Have you been bitten by the cinema virus? Even if you are still a child, it is still possible to pursue an acting career. However, you need help to make your dream come true. But if you devote yourself entirely to acting, you will be able to meet any challenge.
Part 1 of 3: before you start
Step 1. Talk to your parents
If you're not yet 16, you can't work as an actor without your parents' permission, so it's important that they support you. Explain to them how much you enjoy acting, so that they can understand that you are passionate about this career. Try to reassure them that you will not let go of your other responsibilities (like studying or doing housework) by pursuing your dream.
Don't tell your parents that you want to be an actor just to be famous or rich. Find good reasons to convince them and make them take you seriously, such as enjoying telling stories, creating characters, etc
Step 2. Take acting lessons
While you may be naturally talented, taking classes is important to develop your skills and prepare for auditions. Drama school is a great way to launch your career, but you can also attend more specialized classes (for example advertising or film).
- If your studies do not allow you to take classes during the school year, you can take summer classes.
- If you want more personalized support, you can ask your parents to hire a theater coach to help you improve your acting.
Step 3. Gain experience
Although you may not find a contract immediately, you can contact casting agents or directors to make yourself known. Find opportunities near you (like a play from your school, a regional troupe, or a graduation film) so you can list the roles you've performed on your resume.
Try to vary the roles you play. This will allow you to polish your acting skills and prove to casting directors that you have mastered a wide variety of characters
Part 2 of 3: build a network
Step 1. Have your portrait done
When you meet a potential agent or casting director, you need to be able to give them your photo. It must be a professional shot. So go through the services of a specialist photographer for children or adolescents. Make sure you have a commercial and theatrical portrait done, so you can seize opportunities in the world of cinema and theater, but also advertising.
It is important that you choose the right photographer for your portrait. Ask friends or acquaintances in the film industry to recommend a professional. You can also search the Internet by looking at their portfolio to familiarize yourself with their work before contacting them
Step 2. Find an agent
You will certainly find small roles with the help of your parents, but being represented by an agent is crucial if you are serious about a career. Familiar with the world of cinema, he will be able to point you in the right direction and will use his contacts with casting directors and producers to help you land an audition.
- To find an agent, identify the most important agencies in your area. Make sure he has a good reputation (and that he doesn't ask you to pay it off before signing a contract).
- Many artistic agencies will allow you to apply online. However, it is best that you meet with an agent in person with your parents before deciding to work with them.
- If you live in a rural area, where it will be more difficult to find an agent, don't be discouraged. You can go through specialized publications, online casting platforms where you can identify opportunities in your region.
- Some agents will refuse to represent you if you have never had a professional contract. You can find small roles on your own (or with the help of your parents) before you start contacting agents.
Step 3. Obtain a work permit
If you are under 16, you cannot work in the entertainment industry without your parents' permission. These laws make it possible to regulate child labor. Ask your parents or agents to help you get it.
You will usually need to complete a form in order to obtain your work permit. You must present the written consent of your parents as well as the documents that will be requested from you by the administration (such as your medical and school certificate)
Step 4. Register on casting platforms
While your agent can help you land a role by identifying available opportunities, you can also do your own research. Sites like Étoile Casting, Castprod or Orrlando will give you information on castings near you or projects looking for actors. You can apply directly, but it is best to discuss this with your agent beforehand.
These sites are generally paid, so you will need to register with your parents' consent
Step 5. Create a YouTube channel
Whether you have an agent or not, it's important that you make yourself known as an actor as quickly as possible, especially if you don't live in a big city where there are more opportunities. Shoot videos showcasing your acting talent and send them to casting agents and directors. They won't necessarily see them, but your videos may go viral.
- For example, you can film your performances in a regional or school play, but also your appearances in a local commercial, as agents and casting directors who are not in your region will probably not have seen them yet.
- If you want to be more creative, you can post an original short film that will showcase your acting skills.
Part 3 of 3: Auditioning
Step 1. Prepare a monologue
While some auditions allow you to perform a specific scene in a group, you will usually be asked to prepare your own scene. So it is interesting that you work out a monologue or two, so that you are ready to audition. Make sure it allows you to showcase your acting skills.
- If you're not sure which monologue you should prepare, consider a scene from your favorite movie. You will certainly find a passage in which you can express your talent.
- Choose a monologue appropriate for your age, preferably performed by an actor who is of a similar age to yours.
Step 2. Study the script
In many cases, the casting company will send you a script or your character lines that you will need to prepare before you audition. Don't just look at your lines to try to memorize them: try to understand the character and find the best way to act out your scene.
Most casting directors won't mind if you keep your script in hand during the audition. However, avoid reading your lines. Look at your sheet occasionally to remember them before playing them
Step 3. Be professional
If you really want to have a career as an actor, you have to take auditions seriously. While this is not your job yet, keep it professional so the casting director will want to work with you. Be open to their suggestions and ready to replay your scenes as many times as they see fit, without complaint.
Show the jury that you have confidence in yourself. If you don't think you delivered a good performance, the manager is likely to think so
Step 4. Don't give up
Cinema is a very competitive environment, even for children. So you will certainly be auditioning many times without landing the part, but that shouldn't make you give up or lose confidence in your acting skills. As with everything, you need to practice to improve yourself, so the more auditions you go to, the more likely you are to impress a casting director.
If you find that pursuing an acting career is no longer giving you pleasure, talk to your parents. Don't continue if it doesn't make you happy or cause you to lose confidence in yourself
- Remember, this is just a job. Continue your other hobbies and have a good time with your family and friends.
- Keep practicing, even if you are just rehearsing your lines in front of your loved ones. This will allow you to be more comfortable and confident at your next auditions.
- If you have a hard time putting yourself in your character's shoes, try to remember a time in your life when you felt the same as him (or take his point of view). For example, if you play a character who lost their dog, imagine how it would feel if you lost yours.
- If you attend drama camp, realize that it can often be a very intense experience. So do everything you can to progress if you want to become an actor.
- Only pursue a career in cinema if you are genuinely passionate about it and not to be known.
- Remember that the entertainment industry is extremely competitive. Many adults and children try to become an actor, but fail to make a living from it. Pursue this career because it's about your passion, not about being famous.
- Acting as a career may seem glamorous, but it actually takes a lot of work. Be prepared to dedicate your time and effort to it.