I was stage struck when I was a kid. To me, acting wasn’t just play (which it was): it was a full-blown quest, which continues to drive me today. That passion keeps me going, even when I’m met with the obligatory industry opposition.
Certainly one of the biggest concerns parents typically experience is coming to terms with the fact that your child will face a great deal of opposition as an actor. Whether that opposition comes from numerous snarky competitors who don’t appreciate being bested, or after delivering an exceptional audition only to discover someone else booked the job, young actors must confront a steady stream of resistance. It’s a tough pill to swallow for an adult, let alone a young performer.
After training and producing literally thousands of voiceover demos over the years for literally thousands of young performers ranging from age 4 through 17, I’ve come to the conclusion that a kid with a voice-over demo is like a kid with a Red Rider BB gun—they’re bound to hit something.
Kids with voice-over demos work—provided they have access to a talent agent that handles both kids and commercial voice-over, and provided the voice-over demo sounds like actual national commercials. If your child can’t easily re-create what’s on his demo, that demo will be misrepresenting his abilities. However, a well-produced voice-over demo can be a remarkably effective tool to better define your child’s public personae and what sort of commercial work he’s best suited to book. Without the benefit of having a proper commercial on-camera reel (yet), an effective voice-over demo can offer producers and directors a better idea of how vivid your child’s imagination really is and how it applies to a mass medium like commercial work.
Part of the beauty of being a young actor is this truly is the only time the actor can actually walk into the audition or job and simply act. As an adult actor you must handle all the administrative, financial, technical, communication, and scheduling logistics involved with establishing and maintaining a career in this field. All of those duties fall to YOU in addition to offering your very best performance. All your child or young adult actor should ever worry about is stepping into an audition, onto a set or booth… and just “play”. (They don’t call a “play” a play for nothing.)
Allowing your child the freedom to do just that means you’re doing your job well. And it is a job! This certainly explains why so few child actors continue in the business into adulthood. They must have had powerhouse parents who flawlessly maintained the administrative aspects of running their small business that gave the child ample opportunity to concentrate solely on performing. When they move on to adulthood, they suddenly discover that 90% of success is administrative. The rest is showing up and delivering goods.
If you have a child or young adult who shows great interest and natural talent, our sage advice will assist you on every level, from breaking into the entertainment industry to how to proceed, even if your child is signed with a respected manager or talent agent. You both need a proper coach to insure you’re on the right track.
We offer a one-on-one, in-depth, two-hour career consultation (which we call an Orientation). This service is dedicated to educating you, the parent, on current industry demands, defining honest industry expectations, and addressing your concerns, while giving you a better understanding of how to manage your child’s career.
From there we offer one-on-one coaching and professional demo production for your young talent, provided we collectively feel that’s the appropriate next step.
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