How to Be an Extra

How to Be an Extra

How to Be an Extra

Extras, or background actors as they are also called, are a vital part of film and television, despite often being limited to the sidelines of a scene. The truth is, a lack of extras can completely ruin a scene, since they help to give sets a “real world” feeling. Extras are needed to make places feel populated, busy, and generally normal. Most television shows heavily feature public, densely populated areas—hospitals, schools, restaurants, cafes. Not having extras to fill in those spaces would severely alienate the viewer from believing the story and setting.

From Child Actor to Stand-up Comedian

From Child Actor to Stand-up Comedian

From Child Actor to Stand-Up Comedian

Is your young performer interested in stand-up comedy? If they have a great sense of humor or a knack for making their co-stars laugh frequently on set, then they may have what it takes to thrive as a comedian.

While it may seem like kids exist on a different wavelength than the rest of the world, their sometimes-wacky viewpoints can bring a new light to many common topics, and that is a tremendous asset in stand-up comedy. A child’s humor is suitable for all or a wide variety of audiences, as everyone was a child once and can relate to the experiences from which a child comedian may draw.

Introducing Your Child to Voice Acting

Introducing Your Child to Voice Acting

Introducing Your Child to Voice Acting

Acting is a broad category, full of many different avenues to pursue. If your child has acting aspirations, chances are they may not be clear on all the options open to them. One of these possible areas of focus, with its own ups and downs, is voice acting. Though it may seem that voice acting is a simpler alternative to theater or film, it requires character, focus, hard work, and skills, just like any other form of acting.

Creating the Perfect Child Actor Resume

Creating the Perfect Child Actor Resume

Creating the Perfect Child Actor Resume


When trying to book any sort of job for your child, making sure they have a well-organized, comprehensive resume will dramatically increase their chances of getting hired. While not having a resume at all is a problem, having a poorly-crafted one can be just as detrimental.

Headshots

Headshots

The Headshot: The Actor's Foot in the Door

For young actors entering the entertainment field, their headshots are one of the most critical components of their marketing toolkits. It is their introduction to agents and casting directors, and the right headshot can mean the difference between being selected to audition for a major role or being passed by in favor of someone else.

Mastering the Art of Auditioning for the Young Actor

Mastering the Art of Auditioning for the Young Actor

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.

Acting Styles: Konstantin Stanislavski’s System

Acting Styles: Konstantin Stanislavski’s System

Improv games are great as a training aid, a creative exercise, or just a fun diversion. And the good news is that actors can't lose at these games. As we discussed in our last article, improvisation mastery builds confidence, skill, versatility, and courage on stage, in front of the camera, and in auditions.

Improv is an invaluable tool, for any actor, but especially for young performers. Beginning in childhood, improv games help sharpen character development, creativity, and on-the-spot decision-making to a fine point. And they can be played just about anywhere at any time. Think about it: Fun and free. All work and all play. What’s not to love?

Here are a few tried-and-true improv game suggestions for your young performer:

Acting Styles: Lee Strasberg's Method

Acting Styles: Lee Strasberg's Method

“Method acting is what all actors have always done whenever they acted well.” ~ Lee Strasberg

Lee Strasberg (1901-1982), actor, director, and teacher, has been called the “Father of method acting in America.” His technique is based upon a system created by Konstantin Stanislavski, where actors strive for a realistic performance by utilizing their “emotional memories.”

Acting Styles: Sanford Meisner’s Technique

Acting Styles: Sanford Meisner’s Technique

"To be an interesting actor – hell, to be an interesting human being – you must be authentic and for you to be authentic you must embrace who you really are, warts and all." ~ Sanford Meisner

What do Michelle Pfeiffer, Tom Cruise, Stephen Colbert, Alec Baldwin, Diane Keaton, and Robert Duvall have in common? Besides being A-List actors and performers, they have all been trained in the Meisner technique, a specialized acting style that teaches students to “Live truthfully under imaginary circumstances.”