Mastering the Art of Auditioning for the Young Actor
The audition process for many young actors can be stressful, but it can also be a freeing, fun learning experience. Really. While "getting the part" is the ultimate goal, parents and agents who mentor these young actors may find that altering that focus could make the child’s acting journey much more enjoyable and rewarding.
Preparation, mindset, and smart choices pave the way. Here’s how to create a positive auditioning experience for young actors – no matter the outcome.
• Staying comfortable when the pressure is on. Attaining that level of comfort in auditions comes from practice, classes, and working with a private coach.
Repetition and preparation breed familiarity and eventually lead to comfort. The more actors practice, the more at ease they become, and the less stressed they are over auditioning. Soon, the act of preparing for and delivering a solid audition becomes second nature. While nervousness can be channeled into positive energy, comfort enables an actor to be in the moment and shine.
• Remembering to have fun with the process makes a child actor stand out. They are, after all, kids, and a more relaxed mindset brings out their personality with professionalism.
Casting directors want to see who these young performers are, and they appreciate a candid look into their personalities. This helps them to identify synergies between the actors and the characters they hope to portray.
Of course, it’s not all fun and games; but when young actors are enjoying the auditioning process, they are much more eager to roll up their sleeves and deliver a solid performance. Here are tips to keep in mind:
• Learning your lines is important, but there's much more to audition prep than committing lines to memory. Your young actor must be open to constructive criticism.
Notes are given for a reason. Actors must show that they can take direction well and, if granted the part, will be able to make adjustments as needed. The actor must listen, remain open to any feedback, and demonstrate flexibility. Remember that being able to incorporate script changes quickly, alter a character, and modify performance choices may be required on set, so young performers need to show an openness to taking criticism and the ability to adapt, and not just a talent for memorization.
If the director is investing time in the audition to give the actor direction, then that could be a sign there's a keen interest. An early "thank you" is usually a dismissal.
• Choosing an appropriate monologue is half the battle.
Prep a powerful monologue as the young actor's go-to audition piece. Find something that fits the actor’s style and talents, while also offering a glimpse of his or her range. Often, young actors will gravitate toward pieces they enjoy, rather than selecting texts that shows off their strong suits. Avoid choosing monologues that are overdone, unless your actor has a brand-new spin to offer.
Auditioning can be stressful and tedious at times; but with the right mindset, preparation, and dedication, the process itself can be rewarding and exciting. And having fun creates the proper attitude to increase your young actor’s chances of success.