Is your child’s dream to become an actor? If yes, then theater acting is a good place to start. The theater is a perfect place to hone their acting skills such as improvisation, creativity, and the fact that it allows children to work with fellow actors makes it even more worth trying.
Before the child gets to act in a play, they will have to go through an audition. Auditions are understandably nerve-racking, even for children. So the first thing you need to work on is having the child learn to control their nerves.
Now being nervous is completely normal. It indicates that you are passionate about something. Think of this like an athlete before a race. They are usually trained to convert this anxiety to an adrenaline rush, allowing them to move forward and be energized enough to give outstanding performances.
So aside from learning to calm your nerves, here are useful tips to help your child prepare for an audition and give them a good chance at booking the job.
1. Help your child relax
A child may think casting directors are like the judges they see in television programs like American Idol. But in reality, casting directors are generally pleasant and professional folks who are looking for someone that will fit the role. If anything, they are on the aspiring actor’s side, so there really is nothing to be afraid of.
To help calm your child down, it is best to try breathing exercises with them or discuss about things other than the audition. Have a snack or make a joke to let the butterflies out. There are a dozen more ways to keep your child calm, and the fact that their parent or anyone familiar is around should help them shake off the jitters.
A note to jittery mother (and fathers) out there—try your best to stay calm as well, it won’t help the child if he or she sees you acting all nervous in the audition room.
Theater roles usually require a combination of both acting and singing, so prepare your monologue and the song number ahead of time.
When choosing an acting monologue, you may or may not be provided with an initial script. In case the audition requires the child to prepare their own material, then choose one that is both comedic and dramatic. This showcases a variety of acting tropes, and when done right, it will impress the casting directors.
For your child’s song piece, it is not about choosing a song with the high range as the child may not be able to reach it; instead, go for something that complements their voice. Since the child is auditioning for a theater role, then make sure that the song narrates a story. Similar to that of an acting monologue, you need to prepare an upbeat and dramatic song.
3. Be punctual
Do not add stress to the audition by arriving late as this will only ruin the child’s chances of even getting the part. Note that being punctual has numerous benefits such as giving the child time to relax or having them adjust to their surroundings. So on the day of the audition, see to it that you set the alarm on time and that you leave home early. Also make sure that the child has eaten a full meal before leaving, you wouldn’t want them to feel faint during the actual audition!
4. Dealing with disappointment
Many children feel disheartened when they fail to get the part after an audition. First of all, it is important to remember that only one person can get the role. This can be due to several factors, not just on who acted the best. For example, the casting directors may have changed their preference to casting a red-haired child as opposed to one with brown hair. The acting industry in general is unpredictable, so it is best to remind your child that they should not take things personally.
Aside from applauding them for doing a good job, parents may also reward them with simple trips like heading to the ice cream parlor or visiting a park. Not getting the part should never be seen as a failure as the child has already done a good job by trying.
5. Don’t forget to have fun!
Auditions are an opportunity to act, meet people, and a great way to bond with your child. So in general, the experience should be viewed as an enjoyable one. Happiness also eliminates any stressful experience. So whatever the outcome of the audition is, give your child a big hug because they did a great job!