When I told close friends & family that I got Kenzen into acting, first question was HOW did you do that? So, here’s how, if you want to join Kenzen in his career adventures… we’d love to have a family member or friend learn the ropes with us. But, if you don’t want to & were just curious, this will be a boring blog entry for you.
First thing you need to do is get your child’s headshots done. This head shot is your child’s business card. It needs to be a high quality photo of your child’s face. Should be from the shoulders up. The reason for this is that when a Casting Director gets a list of actors who fit the character they’re looking for, the photo is only a thumbnail size, so they need to see the face.
This photo should be of your child at his/her best, & you should have a few facial expressions: Serious, Funny & an all around good smiley one. Avoid using digital programs to touch up the photo. A little, within reason such as fly away hair strand removal, is to be expected, but do not conceal real characteristics.
Next you need to create your child’s resume. If your child has no experience, this will be super easy. There is great advice on Backstage.com if you would like to see some examples of others resumes or click the link I gave in the first sentence.
You then need your child to have his own email address. Trust me on this one because I am friends with another mom who didn’t do this and it was a royal pain to change everything over once her son was in a position to manage his own email. For the email address, you may as well just purchase your child’s domain for a webpage, because if you are serious, you will need this and you don’t want to have to buy your child’s name from some other domain squatter who beats you to it for the sole purpose of exploiting your procrastination & trying to get you to pay $1000 to buy it back. If you don’t think that will happen, or aren’t sure how serious you are, just use good ol gmail.
After you have an email address, you need to create your child’s social media pages. Instagram, Twitter, etc. Decide if you want your child to use their real name or a stage name. We chose stage name. Your child’s real identity will eventually get out there if they are successful, but this is still an added layer of protection.
Most parents want an agent for their child. I chose not to get one because I think I can do it myself for at least a little while. I want to know how to do the job so that I can tell when an agent is doing a good job or a lousy job later on down the road when we hire one. I decided to learn everything, little by little, the hard way. We’re not in a hurry to get famous, so, we have time to learn the ropes.
But, if you’re going to pursue finding an agent first, you need to get yourself a list of the best ones to start with & plan to sit at your computer awhile calling them, getting their email addresses & asking what their preferred method for receiving info about new talent is. Some want you to mail it, email it, drop it off in person, upload it somewhere etc.
Decided which agents you want to call first, and go down the list. Create a paragraph that you can copy & paste into every email with your attachments.
Then you just wait.
If you are like me, and you don’t want to wait, then join Showfax.com. If you get an annual membership there for $68, then you get to use ActorsAccess for free for a year, and Actors access has all the stuff you need to get started finding auditions for your kid. In addition to ActorsAccess you might want to get the membership to Backstage.com. Its either $20 month to month, or $11 a month if you pay for the whole year. I just did the month thing at first, because I don’t know if I am going to end up handing this over to an agent & not needing my own subscription, and I don’t know yet if it’s different than you find on ActorsAccess.
Once I got Kenzen on the roster, so to speak, we had audition invitations within 24 hours. This is impressive, but may not actually mean anything. The websites I mentioned above are a must have, and if you set them up right, they’ll email you anytime a new casting call comes up that fits your kids profile. And since you want to be in the first 500 to respond, it’s nice that the website keeps your kid’s info so that all you have to do is hit one button & it sends it to the casting director. There is still so much more that I have to do, but this is the starter kit, its what you need to do first, so that you can do other things. Without these things contained in this blog post, you can’t do anything at all.
So, to recap: Head Shots, Resume, Email Address, Social Media, Talent Agent or dedicated parent willing to go ALL IN.