“You should look like yourself”—you have probably read this rule from acting websites over and over again. And it is reiterated for a good reason. If you put yourself in the shoes of the casting directors, then you’d know how much first impressions matter. You wouldn’t want your child to draw scared or unsure reactions from casting directors and ultimately ruin their chances in getting a part. Remember, your child is judged based on an overall criteria, not just their acting ability.
Perhaps one of the usual mistakes parents make is being too concerned with their child’s outfit. Here are important tips to keep in mind when dressing up your child during auditions.
How Do I Dress Up My Child During Auditions?
Solid bright colors
Wearing bright and bold colors are ideal, a director can see up to a hundred children in one day, so think of colors and clothes that stand out. Do not, however, have your child actor wear stripes, patterns, or any polka dots. Don’t dress them up in dull colors like brown, gray, and black. Keep it bright and colorful. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t match, as long as your child is presentable.
No rips or frays
Shirts that have rips, holes, tears, or are “faded out” from the wash are not good and will only hurt your child in the audition room. Similarly, jeans should be non-ripped and unfrayed. Clothes should not distract casting directors from your child’s face or body.
You don’t want to over accessorize your child in auditions. Clunky big jewelry can be very distracting on camera. You want the casting directors to be paying attention to your child’s acting performance and not their flashy neon earrings. If they do not wear glasses normally, your child should not be wearing glasses. No hats either.
No prints or logos
Leave the Dora the Explorer shirts at home. Avoid logos and brand names at all costs. This includes product names, designer names, and cartoon characters. What casting directors want to focus on is your child’s natural features. Settle for a plain shirt and jeans to create a casual and natural look.
Comfort over looks
Your child needs to be confident and relaxed, and they will be when they are dressed in an outfit that they have picked. A child needs to feel comfortable in what they are wearing, so try not to get them to wear something that they don’t want to. Your child is representing themselves and the agency, so make sure that they are neat and tidy. Some auditions may also require them to move around, so be sure their clothes don’t restrict their movement.
Minimal to no makeup
If your child is a girl, try not to put makeup on them. Natural beauty is always best. If they want to wear some, keep it light. Just make sure that your eight-year-old does not look like an eighteen-year-old going to a club.
Make sure that your child’s bangs or hair does not fall in their face during auditions. You’ll want to tuck their hair behind their ears or pin them down if necessary so that their face shows on camera. The first thing your child should do as they enter the audition studio would be to make eye contact with the casting director and this can not be done through a mop of hair hanging over their eyes.
Kids should look like kids. Nothing looks more cringey than little girls caked in makeup, struggling in heels, or wearing inappropriate clothing. Boys don’t need to be forced into their Sunday best with starched stiff collars and their hair slicked down unnaturally in a pompadour. Often, auditionees will be auditioning for a character that is very similar to them, which is an everyday character in casual clothing.
A Final Tip
When your child gets a callback, keep track of the outfit that worked in the audition. A lot of other parents of child actors do this. They let their child actors wear them sparingly or only wear them for auditions. That way, they don’t start to look faded from the washing machine. A lot of these parents hang these clothes either in a separate closet or a different place within the closet. You might want to consider this secret sometime soon.