Parents often have children who want to get into “the business” but have no idea how to go about it. The first thing I recommend is a good acting class. Raw talent is important, but having a teacher mold that talent and teach your child “the craft” of acting is extremely important. There are a lot of great acting studios. Find out who has the best reputation in your area. It will not only be a great learning experience from an acting standpoint, but your child will learn poise and public speaking skills that will help in other walks of life as well. It is also a wonderful community to be part of and that’s often where you hear about upcoming auditions.
“Winging it” will not serve your child well in an audition situation. Casting directors and agents expect children to be as prepared and professional for their audition as adult actors. They may ask the child actor to improvise during an audition, but they also expect them to come into the room prepared with either “sides”, which are the lines that have been given to the child prior to the audition, or a monologue. The sides should be well prepared, and if your child does not read well, he or she can memorize them. Memorizing is not, however, a necessity unless specified ahead of time.
The child actor should at all times have at least two prepared kids monologues for auditions, one comedic and one dramatic. Even if the audition notice does not call for a monologue, casting directors or agents may ask for one once the actor is in the room.
The acting business requires a great deal of dedication on behalf of parents as well as the child. If your child chooses to be an actor, you need to prepare him or her for the fact that, though it’s a lot fun, it is also a discipline.