How to be an Actor as a Kid? (Quick Answer!)

By KidSpaceStuff •  Updated: 02/15/24 •  8 min read

So you dream of seeing our little one in the spotlight, huh? Don’t worry, acting isn’t just for adults. With the right support and a touch of talent, your child could be a rising star. It’s not all glitz and glamour, but if they’re dedicated, the sky’s the limit.

In this article, I’m exploring how your kid can get into acting, from mastering the craft in classes to snagging that first big role. We’ll guide you through everything you need to know for them to start their acting journey before high school. Let’s dive in!

Now, How to be an Actor as a Kid?

A picture of kids having a role play at school

To become an actor as a kid, the first step is to gain experience by participating in school plays, community theater, or even creating your performances at home. 

Consider enrolling in acting classes geared towards children to hone your craft. A professional headshot and a simple resume highlighting your experiences can be helpful for auditions. Networking is also crucial; join child actor groups on social media or in your community to find out about casting calls. Parental support, both emotionally and logistically, is essential in this journey.

Understanding the Craft

Understanding the craft of acting is about learning how to pretend to be someone else in a believable way. Imagine you’re telling a story, but instead of using only words, you use your body, face, and voice to show the story. 

You’ll need to understand the feelings and thoughts of the character you’re playing to act like them realistically. Actors must also know how to work well with other actors, listen and react genuinely, and follow the director’s directions. It’s a skill that takes a lot of practice, imagination, and observation.

Starting Small: Local Opportunities

Starting small in acting means beginning with opportunities close to school setup at your home or in your local area. For kids, this could mean being in a school play, joining a local children’s theater group, or even acting in a community event. 

These local roles allow you to practice acting, learn the basics, and get comfortable performing in front of people. It’s like learning to ride a bike with training wheels before you go off on big biking adventures. Plus, it’s easier for parents to support you when the activities are nearby. It’s an excellent way to start gaining experience and building confidence in acting.

Building a Portfolio

What is an Acting Resume?

An acting resume is like a job resume, but it’s all about your acting experiences. Here, you list the roles you’ve played, where you’ve performed, and any acting classes or workshops you’ve attended. Even minor roles in school plays or local theater can accompany this resume. It’s a way to show casting directors what you’ve done and your skills.

Importance of Headshots

A headshot is a professional photo of your face, which you attach to your acting resume. This photo is the first thing casting directors see, so it needs to look good. The headshot should show your personality and make you look approachable. Remember, this photo represents you when you’re not there, so it’s essential.

Compiling Performance Footage

Performance footage means video clips of you acting. You can get these from plays, shows, or even scenes you act out at home and record. These clips show casting directors how you move, speak, and express emotions. It’s another way to show off your skills.

Auditions

Where to Find Audition Opportunities

Finding where to audition can start close to home. Look for school plays, community theater, and local acting opportunities. As you get more experience, you can explore more extensive auditions, maybe even in big cities. There are also websites and social media groups that post casting calls for young actors.

Preparing for an Audition

Before you go to an audition, practice, practice, practice! Know the lines you have to say and understand the character you are auditioning for. You might also have to bring your acting resume and headshot, so have those ready. Dress appropriately for the role you want, but stay comfortable.

Do’s and Don’ts

Do’s:

  1. Be on time.
  2. Listen to instructions.
  3. Be polite and professional.

Don’ts:

  1. Don’t be shy; this is your time to shine.
  2. Remember your lines or materials.
  3. Don’t argue with the casting directors or other actors.

Are you searching for a way to act realistically? Check out the video below!

Parental Support

Legal Requirements (Work Permits, Child Actor Laws)

If you’re a kid aiming to be an actor, your parents have some legal stuff to sort out. They’ll need a work permit allowing you to act professionally. Child actor laws vary by state, but they often include rules about how many hours you can work and require you to keep up with your schoolwork.

Emotional Support and Encouragement

Acting is a roller-coaster of emotions. Sometimes, you’ll get the role; other times, you won’t. That’s why you need your parents to cheer you on. Their emotional support can boost you to keep chasing your dreams.

Financial Implications

Acting classes, headshots, travel for auditions—they all cost money. Parents should be prepared for the financial investment in supporting a budding actor. It’s not just about paying for things; it’s about investing in your future.

When to Consider Professional Help

Agents and Managers

Once you get some experience, it might be time to consider hiring an agent or manager. These professionals help find you roles that fit your skills and negotiate contracts on your behalf.

The Role of Casting Directors

Casting directors are the ones who pick who gets what role. Understanding what they are looking for can help you in auditions. But remember, their choices can be subjective; it’s not always about your talent.

Financial Planning and Scholarships

Your parents should consider setting up a financial plan to cover acting-related costs. Some organizations offer scholarships for young actors, which can help ease the financial burden.

Dealing with Rejection

Rejection is a part of the acting world. An agent or manager can help you understand that it’s not always about you; sometimes you just don’t fit the role they’re looking to fill.

Tips for Parents if Their Kid Wants to Be an Actor

If your kid is showing interest in becoming an actor, here are seven simple tips that can help you guide them on their journey:

Tip #1: Be Supportive

Always encourage your child’s dreams and interests. Whether it’s practicing lines with them or cheering them on at performances, your support means the world.

Tip #2: Understand the Commitment 

Acting isn’t just a hobby; it requires dedication from you and your child. Between rehearsals, auditions, and performances, it’s a time-consuming activity.

Tip #3: Get Them Trained 

Consider enrolling your child in acting classes or workshops. This can help them learn the basics and improve their skills.

Tip #4: Look for Local Opportunities 

Start small. Community theaters and school plays are great ways for your child to gain experience and learn what being in a production is like.

Tip #5: Prepare for Auditions 

Help your child prepare by practicing with them. Make sure they know their lines and what’s expected of them.

Tip #6: Legal and Financial Planning 

Research the child labor laws in your state and ensure you understand the work permit requirements. Be prepared for costs like classes, headshots, and travel for auditions.

Tip #7: Learn to Handle Rejection

It’s essential to teach your child that rejection isn’t the end of the world. Use it as a learning experience and encourage them to try again.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, as a kid, the first step to becoming an actor is to get practice. You can do this by taking part in school plays, or even making your own shoes at home. 

Embarking on an acting journey as a child is an exhilarating experience filled with opportunities for growth, self-expression, and learning. But it’s not a solo endeavor; it involves the whole family, from parental support to financial planning. Rejection and setbacks are inevitable but also valuable learning experiences that can fuel your child’s passion and resilience.

Remember, the road to acting success is often long and requires consistent effort and commitment. Yet, the thrill of performing, the joy of storytelling, and the magic of transforming into different characters make all the challenges worth it. With the right mindset, adequate preparation, and a supportive environment, your child can truly shine in acting.