Modelmode :: my journey through fashion modeling

{December 15, 2010}   Auditions for kids

Have you ever wondered about how to find auditions for kids

There are so many kids that want to be famous and most are searching for the obvious Disney Auditions and Nickelodeon auditions in a search engine such as Google or simply through social sites like MySpace, Twitter and Facebook.

Sooner or later, the parents find out about the kids quest for fame, in some cases the parents begin that quest themselves. Either way, the child’s parent may get involved in helping the child find the fame the kid wants.

After searching the Intenet for hours, they realize that it is quite difficult to find any kids auditions on the Internet, especially, if one lives outside of of metropolitan areas, or the two largest cities for auditions, New York and L.A.

The auditions that they do find, many times may not be what they expected and they get disappointed in the search. Other times, the information they find actually ends up being a Acting and modeling scam .

Getting into acting takes time and effort, there is no magic to it or a quick way to stardom. Since most people lack the patience required to achieve such goals, many get sucked in by fast talking sales people who promise fame and deliver nothing.  If approached by someone with the “fast track to fame” attitude, it is most important to do your research before agreeing to anything especially, since it involves your child.

There are many services out there that promise auditions and casting director attention for a fee. Some of them are are completely web based while others use a more personal approach such as approaching someone in a mall. Both methods are used to play on your heart strings and love for your child.

There are so many ways set up to disconnect one from ones money and one of the more popular ways is the “mass casting call” method. Unscrupulous companies may use commissioned sales people that they call “talent scouts”, “talent agents” or any other name that sounds like they have some power over getting your child work. These “fake” agents and “scouts” will normally hang out in places that people tend to visit with a child,  shopping malls and stores is a common area for them to work in. They see you and your child walking to the car and they approach you. These scammers will tell you what both of you want to hear, your child has “The perfect Look” and offer to audition him. They tell you it’s free to go to the audition and casting directors will be there to interview you and your child.

So you go. You feel you have nothing to lose to simply check it out. Once at the audition, you realize that it is nothing more than a huge sales pitch at some of their services. Services that may include acting classes, portfolios, conventions, pageants and anything else they can think of that they feel you may fall for. Most the time the services are sub-par and worthless but come with a heavy price tag. They try to convince you and your child this is the way to get what you want. It is done in the same manner as timeshare conventions. Basically, bait and switch.

They get you there with the promise of something “free” then use hard sales tactics to separate you from your money. The entire sales pitch is done in a way to appeal to your child and convince your child this is the way to stardom. If you resist or say no, you will disappoint your child, and the organizers know that. How many parents want their child to believe all their dreams were shattered by you not wanting to cough up some money?

Another great method to do the same will not happen face to face,  is online. Your child searches for “disney casting calls” or any other combination of searches and finds a form that asks for email, phone number, and name. They tell you the info is so casting directors can contact you and most kids fall for it. A few days later you get a call from a so called casting director who offers you an audition. You and your child are excited and then the ball drops. You hear “A payment is required” to submit your child. How can you refuse? Your child was offered a part for Disney, right? Not so much. The so called “casting director” is playing on words and you do not realize it. The casting director is really just another telemarketer with no connections at all to anyone in Hollywood.

What they are actually saying is that an audition is “available” and “He” believes your child is a perfect fit. He will “submit” you if you pay.

Here is what it all means:
“Available” – means that the production company may actually be casting for the part, they saw it on one of the entertainment sites or spoiler sites.
“He” – means just that, which is meaningless since he is no closer to the casting director than you are. Remember, he never actually stated that he had any control over the casting, only that “he” believed your child fit. BTW, he believes ALL kids fit as long as he gets his sales commission.
“Submit” – means that he will forward your kids name to whatever contact he may have. He does not need to have the correct contact and most likely does not.

If you actually fall for this one, your child will be very disappointed when no one ever calls and an audition never happens. But I was submitted? right? Sure, maybe a link to your page was sent out, maybe not, no one knows, but most casting directors do not even get those. They get rejected as spam. If you were casting a large project would you want to be bombarded with thousands of unqualified links to pages? No. Most casting directors casting large projects for Disney and others use agents to find the talent they want. Most projects will only look at someone if they were submitted by an agent. There are a few exceptions and everynow and then you will run into a casting that asks for headshot, resume and reel be sent to a office location.

I don’t get it. I know my kid is awesome, why will they only deal with an agent? Simply because every kid is awesome and they only want to see the few kids that are qualified and trained. An agent is a screener of sorts making sure that they only see the candidates that not only have the look, but training and experience as well.

Great, the easy ways into showbiz are scams. Now what?

To get your child into acting or modeling you must focus on the skill set needed. Forget about the money and fame aspect of it and concentrate on developing the skills needed to get an agent. If this quest was started as a way to make quick money, forget it. You will most likely spend more money than you make, at least at first. Get your child involved in his school plays and community theater group. Not only will it be fun for the kid but it will also show you how dedicated he is to the craft. Once your child finds out he / she will not become an overnight Miley Cyrus, will they still want to do it? If the answer is yes, you enroll the kid in acting classes. The community theater, acting classes, etc. not only help teach your child the skills needed and build experience, they also offer you a way to network with other parents that can help you find an agent for your child.

Work on building a great resume using your unpaid gigs and classes. Agents like people who have experience and a good resume. They want to send out talent that they know can perform under pressure and won’t botch the audition. I have heard many times that if given a choice, most agents will sign the experienced child who shows less natural ability over the “natural” with no experience.

So here is how to get your child into acting
1, Get your child involved with his school drama classes and school plays
2, Talk to your child’s drama teacher and get his input
3, Find your local community theater and get your child into their productions
4, Network with everyone you meed along the way and get advise from other parents who are doing the same thing you are.
5, Build your child’s resume – Here is a How to create an actor’s resume
6, Find an agent – you can call around or if out of your area, send out mailings to agents –talent agent and casting director labels
7, Break a leg!

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