Becoming an actress is a dream for many a young girl, but few take the initiative to realize that dream. While there is no single method for success as an actress, as casting always comes down to the casting director's instincts, the young lady who is encouraged to follow her inclination to perform can, by following a few broad guidelines, increase her chances of becoming an actress.
Recognize burgeoning talent. For almost all actresses on the stage and screen today, the path began when her family noticed she had an inclination to perform, and they encouraged her to follow this path, so if it seems the little girl in your family has a flair for the dramatic, keep on eye on it—you could be raising America's next starlet.
Sign your child up for dance and voice lessons and classes. Many areas offer these classes starting at a very early age, when they can be integrated easily into your child's routine. Often roles require other skills, such as tap or singing, and these can give her the cutting edge when it comes to casting. Plus, even if her interest in the dramatic arts doesn't last, these classes can broaden her horizons and give her increased self-confidence.
Expose your child to age-appropriate film and theater. One of the best ways to learn the craft of acting is to observe other actors, and it's never too early to start.
Help your daughter rehearse. Go through dance steps, songs, and lines with her as she progresses. The practice is invaluable for her, and seeing that you share her interest can make her desire to become an actress that much stronger.
Go to open auditions for community theater and commercials. Every actor's career begins in the audition room, and it's never too early to start—many plays and commercials call for babies or toddlers, so get your child out there and auditioning once you feel she's ready. Remember: even if it's a non-speaking role in a community theater production, it's a credit she can use when pursuing other roles.
Make a list of your daughter's acting accomplishments. Add these, in order, to a resume, making sure to include other relevant information, such as a list of classes and lessons your daughter has taken. This resume can be printed on the back of head shots.
Have head shots of your little actress taken. These can be presented to casting directors, agents, and others to help them remember your daughter. These should be taken by a professional photographer who can provide you with high quality prints.
Engage the services of an agent, a person connected to casting directors and others and can alert you and your child of upcoming opportunities. While these services do come at a premium, usually a percentage of the actress' earnings, her chances can multiply when she has an agent.
Don't rush to change your daughter's appearance to fit with a preconceived notion of beauty standards. Children of all sizes and shapes can find success in the acting business. If your child begins to make money through acting, set up a savings account for her and help her make decisions about the money she is making.
Resist the urge to become stage parent, an individual who pushes his child too hard to succeed, to her detriment. Encourage, but don't pressure, your child, and make sure that she has time to pursue her other interests.