You never know when you're going to get the phone call informing you that your child has an audition but when it does come you want to be prepared. It’s not unusual in the industry to only get one or two days’ notice for an upcoming audition so the time to start practising is now! There are things you can do with your child that might help give them the edge they need to land the job.
Castings – Photo shoots
At a casting for a photo shoot your child will most likely be asked to try on some clothes and pose while having their photo taken. They might be given some direction on how to do this or they may just be asked to stand there while the photo is taken. The more relaxed and natural they look the better! A good way to practice this is by having a pretend casting session at home, have your child try on some different clothes and pose for you while you take the photos.
For inspiration you could also look at some models of a similar age in catalogues and have your child try out the poses they see there, but encourage them to be natural and do what they feel comfortable with. You might also give them directions to see if they can follow your instructions. Afterwards, you can look at the photos together and decide which ones look best and they can continue working on these poses.
You can also talk them through what they can expect on the day, and if you are unsure your agent is always there to have a chat.
Castings - Television Commercials (TVCs)
When it comes to television commercial castings there are a couple of areas you can focus on. Firstly, your child will usually have to introduce them self and say their name, age and agent while looking into the camera. You can practice this at home and watch it back, being comfortable and natural is what you are aiming for here, as well as showing a bit of personality.
Next, your child may be asked to improvise a short scenario based on the kind of thing they would be expected to do in the commercial and possibly say a line if the job requires it. You could watch some commercials on television or YouTube and act out some small scenarios to practice their acting skills. It could be as simple as opening a box and being excited when they see what is in there or telling them to pretend to call their nana and ask for a toy they really want. Another helpful exercise is to give them an emotion and ask them to act it out, for example happy, sad, surprised or angry. You could also give them a line and ask them to repeat it using these different emotions.
You can also work on a ‘chat to camera’. This is a short video in which the child looks into the camera and tells the ‘audience’ a bit about themselves, sometimes telling a story or talking about their past experience.
The final thing you might want to practice is a confident greeting and farewell from your child when meeting new people. Looking people in the eye and saying hello, thank you and goodbye are the kinds of things that will leave a great impression and help them later in life.
Hopefully now you're armed with some tools and tricks to help your child through their first audition and hopefully that phone will be ringing with some amazing opportunities soon!