Auditions for Kids
One of the unique after-school activities in Los Angeles is kid auditions. Yes, on top of sports, music, Girl Scouts (or Boy Scouts), one must shepherd children to auditions across the sprawling LA metropolis. While actual shoots are excused school absences, auditions are not. Most casting offices take this into account, scheduling kid auditions for the afternoon.
Of course, this means fighting heavy traffic with only a narrow window between school letting out and the kid’s call time. Kid auditions are much easier during summer vacation, at least for the stay-at-home parent.
I can’t imagine what that must be like for such a parent not in the industry his- or herself. The vagaries and intricacies of entertainment are so unique, and a show biz parent’s perspective so limited, even with sites such as BizParents to help.
And that’s not to mention all the cautionary tales that only experience illuminates.
Three Types of Auditioning Kids
- Those kids forced into work by their parents. These kids usually do not want to be at auditions, regardless of whether they book or not.
- Kids who actually do want to be actors, but simply do not have the personality or maturity (yet). After all, these are kids we are talking about. Most, understandably, have simply not developed enough to do this.
- Lastly, that handful of kids who enjoy acting, want to do it, and absolutely own the situation. These kids walk into a room full of adults brimming with confidence and completely control the floor. It’s their world and everyone else is just visiting.
This last group of kids is mind-boggling. It was only observing them that I finally understood the concept of the “it factor.” These kids just have it.
Both of my kids have tried auditioning. For the record, we didn’t care if they did it or not. Our mindset was that, since we do live in Los Angeles with these opportunities, might as well let them try. If they enjoyed acting, great, earn some money for college. If not, stop. Their choice.
The older one went on a few auditions, hated it, and stopped. But the younger one…she falls into group three above. Loves it. Flourishes. Holds her own with adults. Owns that room.
And receives callback after callback, going on avail, booking. Three auditions this week alone.
Truly awe-inspiring to watch. I wish that I had had such confidence when I was her age.
She talks about her career. About her daddy doing her taxes. The vagaries that can make the difference in being cast or not regardless of how well auditions go. (For that matter, the older one will discuss intellectual property rights, the dangers of lawsuits, and what not.) What one absorbs growing up around the entertainment industry…