a child actress

How many years will it take my kid to get on television or in a film?

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So you or your other half or your child actor are wondering how long it will take your kid to get on television. Do not expect that your child will land a role on TV or in a film in the first year. It takes most child actors 3-6 years to land a role. Be reasonable with your expectations and have faith.

A few child actors will get chosen in their first year for film, tv and commercials, yes, this happens for some. But most kid actors take 3-6 years to become more seasoned and professional. Most child actors actually take 3-6 years to even land their first role in anything for film, tv or commercials. So, if your child has landed something in the first few years, they are actually ahead of the normal pace. If they haven’t yet, they are right on track with others.

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girl actressIf your child quits prior to that 3-6 year mark, and they have been working hard, they are literally throwing their hard work down the drain. Do not pull them out of their training unless they tell you repeatedly they don’t want to do it and the “whys” they don’t want to do it. It takes time like any other field or sport to learn their acting craft. At first it may seem like this in your own head….”So….my child just walks in to an audition room, and my child is just so cute and charming, and he or she just reads the lines so well, so why aren’t they landing these roles, I feel like they nailed it??? – I don’t get it….”

It’s absolutely nothing like that at all in reality. There are literally 100 things more your child actor needs to train to know, than just walk in and say the lines, that they have to absorb into their core being. They also may be too big in their performance (too showy) or they may be too shy. They may be looking all around the room and not keeping their eyes on the reader. It could be how they stand. It could be they rock a bit back and forth. They could be touching their hair over and over again. They could appear nervous. There are a ton of other reasons that could be the “why” they are not landing. All of these things are worked on over time and professional training.

Also, if you didn’t know this, there are child actors that land 1-5 roles in a year and it seems like the career is taking off and then for whatever reasons they don’t land another role for several years or more. This is also normal, in that, it can happen this way too. Yes, that is hard for both parent and child actor, but this is when your faith has to kick in, and your child just has to keep training.

path actors takeEach child actor’s path will be different too. You cannot make your child land roles. They will land them when they are ready, trained, the exact match in the eyes of those watching them, and the right opportunity is in front of them. Do not compare your child to other children as that just is not comparable, it’s not apples to apples. Each child brings a unique look, background and skill set, so you really cannot compare child A to child B in who is landing more roles or getting more auditions. It’s just like real life, the paths vary.

To be honest, I’ve gone through this myself with my daughter where I’ve done some comparing as to why she does not get more auditions. However, I realized that she may get less auditions as I believe her “category” of child actors is heavy, but she is so happy and does really well in the opportunities that come her way. Whereas other kids may go out many times a week to auditions and not land any roles or they may land all of them. After listening to casting directors, our academy directors and friends of other actors I finally came to peace with the fact that no 2 child actors can be compared and this is not a science. So, I just stopped doing that stuff I was doing in my head. I still do pray and have faith for new auditions to come along for her and that they be the right ones.

cute actor boyIt’s so very sad that some parents give up on their own children a couple of years in because they themselves (the parent) stops believing this is really going to happen for their kid. First of all, it should not be about the “going to happen” and it’s not about getting famous or getting roles right away – so the parent should get that out of their mind the first few years. Very important, the child should be doing acting because they love it and they are passionate about doing it. This should also be one of the main reasons they stay in acting. They can certainly have visions to be on TV or Film or Commercials – that is important, but they need to know that it will take time to get to their visions.

The parent’s job is to make sure they vision with their child (more on this Visioning for Kids (Which works over time as it builds confidence and clarity in them!) coming soon in another post), but they know it may take months up to many long years to land their first role. The parent must believe in their child with all of their heart. And the parent should never stop the acting classes, unless the child is 100% sure that they want to stop.