Are you a huge supporter of your child’s acting journey? If you want their journey to continue successfully, then…
DO THIS when you get in the Car right after the audition or when you get somewhere you can talk, directly after their audition:
Any type of hug or any discussion with your child should happen after they are in the car or beyond that point and NOT anywhere near the audition location.
When your child comes out, smile at them (seems silly to say this but I’ve seen some parents have the most anxious faces plastered on their faces – so please smile and have positive energy) and if they are all done, exit the lobby with them. Then, after exiting the audition lobby (in the car) give them a hug and a big smile and/or whatever is natural for you, but keep it very positive. They did it! They auditioned! Keep it all a complete positive vibe. If they try to turn to negative, for example, they get upset, they are not happy when walking out, just remind them, they went in there and did their best and that’s already saying a lot. That took courage and effort. That took everything they know and have right now. That should be applauded by you both, first.
Once in the car or beyond that, ask your child how they feel about it. They will tell you usually quite literally. For example, they might say “Great.” or “Good” or “I Don’t Know. or “Not Good.” Those are all their own feelings and they may add on to it. It’s your turn to just listen actively and let them say all they want to first. Just listen to their feelings.
DO NOT ask them how the casting directors thought they did or if they think the director liked them. How are they supposed to know that? They cannot know that. Sometimes directors look down the entire time as they have to be on their laptops, but may really like your child actor’s audition. Sometimes casting directors may not smile but that also doesn’t mean they don’t like what they are seeing. Sometimes an assistant casting director may smile at your child the entire time but that does not mean they like your child’s audition. There is no way for them to know as a child nor as an adult what someone thought of them. So don’t ask this, it’s really an unfair question to them and can even create anxiety in future auditions.
Next, have your child do a quick 1-5 minute self-assessment. This is for the purpose of them learning, growing, and to help in all auditions to come. If you have a young actor you likely will need to remind them and have them ask these things:
*How was my energy level? Super? Great? Good? Fair? Poor?
*How was my focus? Did I look at the reader (theatrical) or in the camera (commercial) as I should have?
*Was I able to take any redirection?
*Did I say my lines correctly? Did I miss any?
*Was I in the moment?
*Is there anything I wish to do better next time?
That’s it – if they just keep asking those same 6 questions after each audition, notating them in a notebook or even out loud if that is better for them, they will continue to grow as an actor. Hearing their own self-assessment is huge for their growth.
Also, by asking those questions, they have scored their own progress and they taken ownership of their audition.
And lastly, but very crucial is Release and Move On.
Move on. Release. Yes, right away. Don’t dwell. Get back into the normal flow of life literally, right away. And read the tips below on how to release.
HOW to HELP your Younger Actor move on:
I’ve had a lot of discussion with other parents about how oftentimes it’s harder for parents to let go of results of an audition than it is for their own child. Some parents just cannot seem to release the possibilities of what could or can be. But they have to let go right away in order for their kids to succeed in this industry.
From constantly listening to other parents, it seems that the younger the child actor, the easier the child actor forgets the audition and moves on right away, because they are more in the moment of what is going on every minute of everyday. So they might audition and then 30 minutes later already be absorbed in an IPAD game OR chasing a butterfly behind their house. As the parent, absolutely set up things to do directly after an audition and your younger actors will likely move on. They have moved on, so you should be too.
HOW to HELP your Teenage Actor move on:
However, as actors become young teens onward, they often start to focus more on the results of their performance and analyze and sometimes, dwell, on the whys and what ifs of their audition. That is not healthy nor productive to the journey of moving on in their acting careers. This can be especially damaging to their confidence if they continue to audition and not land, and then dwell and think and analyze. To help them with this release post-audition, have them read this post here with you and discuss your plan to do so. Waiting, Hoping and Releasing.
HOW to HELP yourself, yes you, the Parent of your Child Actor move on:
The thing is that most parents don’t realize, is that part of the success of your child actor, depends on the willingness of the actor and the parents to successfully and quickly move on to their next activity, right back to their daily lives, without dwelling, directly after the audition. The reason this is so important is that it keeps the focus off the results and keeps the energy level up for the next one.
As the parent, you have to move on quickly and do not bring up the audition with your child at all even hours later nor days later. Just let it go right away and it will be easier for them to do the same. If you dwell, they will too. That will then cause them to start to actually think about the whys and what ifs and will not be a good path to head down for future audition results.
If you have not yet read our post on Waiting, Hoping and Releasing results of an audition, you should, as a lot of parents have said it has helped them with this ability to just release. As those of you that have been doing this for a while know, what your child thinks went really well, may not have gone that great in the room. Sometimes, the audition they are unsure of or don’t think they nailed, is actually the one they may get a callback for. So, this other post is about releasing control and being okay with them just having fun in the audition. Everything after the audition is out of your control. If they land the role, it’s just a bonus, but it’s not everything. If they do not get a callback or land the role, they absolutely learned something from the audition, they gained needed experience and they had a great time with it (had fun with their passion), and those are all tremendous things too.
BUT, it was a HUGE role and they were so close to landing it. How can I let go of this one?
Remember, there is always another fun audition right around the corner. So, why dwell, when there are other chances for them to soar? There’s always next time and this next time they come armed with what they learned last time. Oh, and if you are upset because it was a huge role that they were so very close to landing, well, there are other huge roles they can land too – those roles never go away, they will always be around, as long as storytelling exists, those roles will always be developed and actors will be needed. It’s just they needed to be armed with one more thing and next time may just be it.