Yesterday I was asked by a friend if some acting class she heard about on the radio to make her daughter a Disney Star was legitimate. Scam, I told her, big Scam.
And here is how that conversation progressed and what I have also told others who have asked.
This is what you should be looking out for in an acting school, acting coach and vocal coach:
- No one can promise to make your child a Disney star. They don’t know for sure that your child will work for Disney or Nick or any other channel and they should not be stating that. It’s a big red flag if you hear them tell you or your child that they can get you on those channels and/or make your child a star. They make the advertisements sound so real, but they are not true. It’s just not how this industry works, at all. So, if you hear this, steer clear.
- If they say they are an agent or a manager and then they ask for any kind of money up front, RUN and RUN quickly. No agents or managers will take a dime until your child works a job. Once your child is signed with an agent, they normally take up to 10% of each job they work. If your child also has management, they usually take up to 15% of each job they work. When your child is way more advanced in their career (when they are making about 250K per year or more), you may add other team members such as an attorney, a business manager and PR. Those additional team members may also take a small percentage of each job your child works. But, again, do not ever give money to an agent or manager if your child is not working jobs and are not first signed.
- If they are teaching your child acting or singing, they should come with credentials and a history of experience within that field. Acting coaches/teachers should be working actors and also be staying current on their own training. Vocal coaches should be singers and continue to also train. If they don’t continue to educate themselves, the may lose touch with what is going on in the industry and techniques may slip due to time passing without training.
- Attitude is a big one. They should have a positive attitude. They should help your child to grow. They should talk to you and your child about the big picture, the acting journey and walk you through the entire process hand in hand. They should be there for you and for your child. If you need to, you should feel confident that you can send them an email and get a response in the near future that answers your question.
- Your child should be excited to go to classes. Your child should be learning from their teachers. Your child should feel good about what they are learning and be able to tell you at least 1 thing from each class they attend. If you notice hesitancy, consistently from your child, actively listen to what he or she is saying, as it may be time to switch acting schools or to another vocal coach.We’ve seen this happen first-hand. I’ve went to an acting class, years back, with an acting coach who was way too overbearing, loud for no reason and frankly quite mean to the kids. He almost in a way scared them a bit. For us, that was not the right fit. I’m not saying that there won’t be times that our actress won’t be in front of people like that, as we do realize there are all types of directors, casting directors, producers and so forth. But, that is just not the day in/day out type person we wanted her to be with for her growth. And, by trusting our instincts, we totally found the best academy in our area of the country. So glad we didn’t do more than 2 classes with the original guy.
Oh, and last but not least…Trust your gut. You are normally correct with what you feel.
So…..follow the 5 things above to get your child into the right training with professionals.