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Having run an acting school for kids, teens, and young adults in L.A. for over 10 years, I do believe that almost every child can benefit from exposure to acting training. Acting helps kids build confidence and poise, and to overcome fears of speaking and performing in front of groups of people.
That said, we at 3-2-1 Acting Studios know that show business isn’t for everyone. While some kids might like to dabble in acting for fun or to build confidence, others do come to our studio with the intention of pursuing acting professionally.
As a parent, you may be wondering if your child is ready for Hollywood. The truth is, no one ever truly feels 100% ready to take the leap—adults included! However, there are certain traits and qualities you can look for in your child (as well as yourself) to gauge if now is the time for your child to embark on a professional acting career.
Here are five ways to tell if your child is ready:
1. Your child loves acting.
This is by far the most important thing. Often, children who enter this industry stay in it for decades, so a passion for performing is a must! Like any business, show business has its challenges and requires commitment and dedication. If your child truly loves to act, then the amount of work that she needs to put into every audition and role won’t matter. She’ll be having fun!
It is so important that we allow our children freedom of expression and creativity; if this means acting for your child, then it’s a good sign that you’re making the right choice to support her in a professional career.
2. Your child is well-mannered.
As a professional actor, your child will be regarded as just that—a professional! As such, it’s important that your child maintain great manners around adults. A lot of this is common sense (e.g. table manners at lunch); however, there are certain etiquette rules when it comes to working on a film set.
3. Your child is responsible.
Because he may be missing school occasionally for auditions and bookings, it’s important that he already be a responsible student. Does he complete his homework on time? Education is so important, and it’s essential that your child continue to learn and explore a variety of academic subjects as he develops his acting career.
This same type of discipline applies to audition and job preparation. Your child must be willing to do (and excited about doing) his “homework” when it comes to acting preparation.
4. You have the time and patience to assist your child on this journey.
As the parent of a professional child actor, you will be taking on new responsibilities. You must make sure that you have the time and willingness to take your child to and from auditions and bookings, and to communicate with professionals in the industry. Also, of course, it’s important that you be your child’s cheerleader every step of the way! She will likely eventually have an entire professional team—agent, manager, publicist, lawyer—and you will be the central contact person for all booking and audition notifications.
5. You’re both ready for an adventure.
As I always say, if we aren’t having fun, then what’s the point? It’s important to treat your child’s professional acting journey like a big, fun adventure that you’re going on together. While the time that he spends on set working is important, it’s the simple moments—rehearsing a scene together in your living room, going shopping for a new audition outfit—that he’ll remember and cherish the most. So have fun!
Mae Ross is an acting teacher and Backstage Expert. For more information, check out Ross’ full bio! If you have any questions at all, feel free to visit 3-2-1 Acting Studios or contact Mae at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Think your child is ready for Hollywood? Check out our kids auditions!
The views expressed in this article are solely that of the individual(s) providing them,
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Backstage or its staff.