NEVER, EVER, EVER pay an agent or manager to represent your child. Agents and managers get paid when your child books a job and they receive commission. If someone asks you to pay money up front for representation, THIS IS A SCAM...DON'T DO IT!
You may be asked to sign up for acting websites such as Actors Access, Casting Networks, and 800 Casting since this is how a lot of casting directors view auditions, this is completely legit. Paying $1000 to use their headshot photographer and take their acting courses is not.
Make sure your child wants to be a part of the acting industry more than you do! The entertainment industry is filled with disappointment, rejection, comparison and competition. It's all worth it if your child (and you!) has the right mind set, passion, and drive to play the game. But if they don't, have them do something else...ANYTHING else. And make sure you check in with them often to see if they are still enjoying the journey. If not, it's fine to take a break. The great thing about acting is there will ALWAYS be another audition.
Headshots do not need to be expensive, especially when dealing with children who are consistently changing from month to month. You should be updating your child's headshot about every 6 months to show differences in teeth, face shape, hair, developmental growth. etc. Theatrical headshots normally don't have a smile, while commercial headshots do. And with technology advancing, many parents are now using their iPhones to take their kids headshots!
No, you do NOT need to live in LA or NY to become a working actor. Self tape auditions are now the norm, especially after COVID, and can be submitted from anywhere in the world. The only caveat is that you need learn how to sufficiently self tape your child, or find a taping service in your area. Check out YouTube, there are a ton of free videos that can help you get tech-savy fast!
VET EACH AND EVERY PROJECT, AND EACH AND EVERY PERSON INVOLVED IN THE PROJECT that your child may be a part of! Whether your child is represented by an agent, or you are self submitting your child for work, it is YOUR responsibility to vet the project and those involved in the production. If you find anything unsavory about anyone attached to the project, DECLINE to be a part of it. Your child's safety and well being should always come first.
Many industry websites like Actors Access, 800 Casting, Casting Networks, and Backstage have opportunities for actors to self submit without representation from an agent. Parents can create a profile for their child and submit for projects they would like. There is a nominal cost associated with each website. And to reiterate, make sure you vet these projects!!
Enroll your child in some low-cost acting classes, or online classes (YouTube even has some free ones!) to make sure they really like ACTING and not just the idea of acting. Training is important. You wouldn't expect your child to know how to play a baseball, do gymnastics, or play a musical instrument without the proper training or coaching, acting is no different.
NEVER LEAVE YOUR CHILD UNATTENDED WITH ANYONE IN THIS INDUSTRY! That's not to say that everyone in the entertainment industry is bad, quite the contrary. There are AMAZING creatives that want to create incredible projects with your child, so make their job easier and keep your child safe by following the SAG-AFTRA policy of always being within sight and sound of your child.
Don't compare your child to any other child! If you have taken our UCAN Thrive Course, you should be a pro in this area already! If not, enroll right now!! Each and every actor is on their own journey, with their own road paved just for them. Comparison is the thief of joy. Teach your child to celebrate their own accomplishments and stay their own course. You and your acting child will be much happier for it!
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