Child Talent Tips to Get Started

Work Permits

An “”Entertainment Permit”” can be obtained at the DLSE Offices
They are required for your child to work. Fill out the application and provide a birth certificate. Permits must be renewed every 6 months.

Kids Audition Tips

Audition Process:
Leave extra time for traffic and parking. Bring quarters for parking meters.
Sign in with child’s name and where it says social security # put “on file”.
Fill out size sheet.If they give you lines (sides) to learn, do so in the waiting room before the audition.

Have headshot ready (older kids) with size sheet; usually a Polaroid is also taken

Use the waiting room time to motivate child and remind them to speak loud and clear and “have fun!”

Prepare the child for possible interview process where they might ask what the child likes to do. Rehearse scenarios for “tell me about yourself” situations.

**Remember “you” are being interviewed and observed as much as your child because the studios don’t want to work with difficult parents. They want to see that you are as easy to work with as your child.

Makeup is not recommended for girls under 16. Agents and casting directors want kids to look more natural.

Finding an Agent

Be careful when you select an agent. There are people out there that will try to take advantage of you by saying your child needs to take “”their acting classes”” and spend a fortune on headshots.Send letters to agents with headshot and briefly say your child is interested in signing with them and you’d like to schedule an appointment and mention any experience and/or acting classes.

For young children, most casting people will take a simple headshot that parents can do themselves.

You can contact the Screen Actors Guild at (323) 549-6745 or to obtain a list of the different talent agencies. Take time to meet with different agents and find someone that is a good fit for you and your family.

Most agents will take a 10% commission of anything they book for you. Make sure you understand everything before signing on the dotted line.

Going to Audtions & Jobs

It can be very tedious to drive to auditions especially when most of them are in Los Angeles. Make sure your family is up to this commitment. Some jobs may be a day and others may be a week or more. Tutors are provided for school age children on the set.

You also need to decide if the pay is really worth it. For “”extra”” parts, you can earn up to $300 per day. However this will need to cover gas, possibly a hotel, etc. If you have twins, you will also need to take another adult so that one child can be on the set with one adult while the other is off the set with the other adult.

The agent will call and say they’ve submitted your child for audition usually the day before but sometimes the morning of the same day.

It’s helpful to keep an audition outfit ready and in the car with a supply of headshots. It is also good to keep a backpack filled with easy snacks and activities for while you are waiting.

Your agent will give you a list of how you need to prepare for each audition (ie: what to wear, paperwork, things to entertain your child, etc.).

You will need to set up a Coogan Account for your child at a bank. 15% of all earnings will go directly into this account.

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