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Young Performers

New to the world of casting and auditions? We have some advice to share with you from other parents of young performers to help you get started.

Navigating a new industry can be daunting, especially when you’re doing so on behalf of your child. You want to do what’s best for them and that can be challenging when faced with the prospect of trying to understand the world of casting and auditions for the first time.

With that in mind, we asked some parents of our young performer Spotlight members to share a piece of advice they wish they’d have known before they entered the world of acting. Here are 19 of their top tips:

  1. Sometimes you get really short notice for a casting or to film a self-tape and often you don’t get feedback when auditioning. You tend to only hear back if you’re recalled, pencilled or book the job.
  2. Be prepared to face rejection. It’s so tough when it happens but it’s a lesson we all need to learn in this industry.
  3. Learn to see auditions as work you have to do to get to your goal.
  4. Never stop networking, no matter what stage of your career you’re at! No network is too big and the more people you know, the deeper you’ll be in the industry and the deeper your understanding of it is.
  5. Learn how to self-tape. I can’t stress how important this is – practice practice practice!
  6. Manage your child’s – and your own – expectations and enjoy whatever comes your way.
  7. You’re on your own journey so don’t compare it to someone else’s.
  8. Ask questions. If you are not sure about something, ask. That’s what your agent and Spotlight are there for.
  9. Try not to over-rehearse material for auditions so you can keep the performance as spontaneous as possible. Make sure you are not just reciting the words, but that you understand the story behind them.
  10. When introducing yourself on self-tape, remember to breathe and to smile.
  11. This industry is a marathon, not a sprint. Enjoy every moment and try to go with the flow, which I know is easier said than done!
  12. Once you’ve done an audition, try and put it to the back of your mind. There’s nothing else you can do. There are so many different factors that go into casting and sometimes you’re just not right for the role.
  13. You can say no to things. If you’re uncomfortable about a project your child has been put forward for, or you’re not happy with the material, always discuss it directly with your agent (if you have one).
  14. Communication is key. You need to be able to talk to your agent as, without an open dialogue, your relationship with them just won’t work.
  15. Remember to have fun! Enjoy any self-tape or in-person audition you get as these are massive achievements in themselves. Getting the job comes down to a lot of different factors so don’t be upset if something does not go your way – something else will come along!
  16. Encourage good communication with the headteacher and teachers at your child’s school so they can also support your child alongside you.
  17. Always be a good listener for your child and allow them to talk about how the process of auditioning makes them feel. Whether it’s positive or negative, allowing the feelings to be processed will help them to let go and move on.
  18. Be organised so your child is free to enjoy the process and doesn’t have to worry about the logistics of auditions, rehearsals etc.
  19. Your child’s wellbeing, safety and joy come first, above and beyond everything else.

We have lots more useful advice and information for young performers and their parents, covering everything from auditions through to licensing. If you need any other help, please contact us through Twitter or email us at questions@spotlight.com.