You have the talent, now all you need are the tools. Many parents believe their child can be the Next Big Thing, and if you’re one of the many looking to get your kid’s foot in the door in showbiz, realize there is a proper and acceptable way to approach auditions. The entertainment industry is famed for being highly competitive; looks and talent will only get you so far. A professional attitude and presentation will go a long way in getting your child her second and third callbacks, and hopefully the job.
Check your local yellow pages for photographers offering headshot pictures. Professional headshots may be costly, but they serve as your child’s business card. Two black and white headshots, one an 8 by 10 and the other a 5 by 7, are the standard. They should offer two facial expressions: one relaxed and fun, the other more serious.
Major acting and modeling jobs are in larger metro areas like New York or Los Angeles. These open calls are usually posted on online sites or in trade papers such as Backstage, available at most newsstands. While you can certainly audition at open calls on your own, the better approach is to have professional representation. If you choose to use an agent, searching the Agent Association website can put you into contact with someone near you.
Make sure you know where to go and when once you’ve determined which audition your child will be attending. Take your copies of the headshots along with a brief bio and resume of any related experience your child has with you to the audition. Once there, be prepared to wait.
You may or may not be allowed to enter the audition room with your child once he is called. If he hasn't turned in his headshot packet yet, he will do so once called in. Make sure he remembers his manners, and to greet the casting director and her associates.
Your child must remember to speak only when spoken to, and to keep answers friendly and brief. Auditions for speaking roles for TV, movies and commercials require either a prepared monologue or more often a “cold” reading from the provided script. Your child is to listen to what the director says or asks for and do nothing more. Stop when asked to stop.
The director will then thank your child for showing up. Your child will thank the director for the opportunity, and leave the audition room. Your child will be notified of a callback or a job offer using the contact informaiton you provided in the headshot package.
Do not attempt to call the director following an audition. Take his word for it when he says “don’t call us, we’ll call you.”
Rejections are part of the process. A handful of rejections doesn’t mean you’re wasting your time; it means your child wasn’t right for that particular job. Keep going to all the auditions you feel your child is right for. Explain to your child that a rejection doesn’t mean “she” wasn't liked--it means that she wasn't what the casting director was looking for at that time.