Communication and confidence are key to making the casting interview a positive experience for young performers. These are skills that don’t come easily, even for adults. At-home practice with parents can put children in the best possible position to stand out in auditions. Once the child has learned basics, parents can help them build confidence.
These tips combined with talent and good acting training will help your child make the first impression a good one.
- Practice at home.
Casting directors look for a child’s personality by encouraging young performers to open up about topics such as their hobbies, pets, friends or school. Parents can prepare their children by practicing this part of the casting call at home. The objective should be to help the child feel comfortable talking in front of strangers instead of learning rehearsed answers.
This is a good time to encourage a shy child to answer questions with more than a single word or discourage a young performer from using inappropriate language in the casting interview.
- Make it a game.
Here’s a fun way your child can learn about the basics of good communication when first meeting another person. Ask friends or family members to play along by pretending they are meeting for the first time.
Tape a card to everyone’s back. Let everybody introduce themselves and talk to each other for a few minutes. Then ask them to write one or two words of a positive “first impression” on everyone’s card. Go around the room and ask each person to reveal what’s on their card. You child will see first-hand the importance of smiling, listening, courtesy and eye contact.
- Head to the mall.
This exercise needs a little preparation because you will be asking your child to talk to adults they do not know. The goal is to help the child feel comfortable and build rapport with strangers.
Take role playing over to the mall and let your child pick out a store and talk with a sales person. Let the child find something she would want to buy and then ask the salesperson about the item. What does the salesperson think about the item and what else would the salesperson recommend?