A Young Actor’s Checklist


It’s more than talent that's being assessed in an audition. If your script isn't in order and you're fiddling with the papers, you may become unfocused and distracted. At that point, the casting director is already thinking next. As a teacher, I don’t want to hear excuses about why you don’t have your script. Using your phone is not an acceptable alternative. You need to mark up your scripts with notes, actions, and directions.

What's more, young actors who understand the decision making, diligence, and sacrifice necessary to pursue an acting career on the part of both themselves and their families are often completely invested. Teens and pre-teens thrive when parents nurture their adolescent development rather than control it. An inclusive approach to career decision making with real and understandable expectations and responsibilities often leaves young actors feeling in control, focused, and ready for success.

Here’s a checklist of what you'll need to set yourself up for success in and out of the audition room.

Acting Class + Rehearsal

  • A hard copy of your script, monologue, or the scene you're working on

  • Highlighter to help identify your lines easily

  • Pencil (not a pen) to make notes and changes

  • Water to always stay hydrated

  • Healthy snacks

  • Your phone to record something, add contacts, and to be able to reach a parent


  • Hard copies of headshots with resumes stapled together

  • Your audition copy or sides printed out

  • Music book if it's a musical audition

  • Dance wear for dance calls

  • Water

  • Snack

  • Phone

  • Extra shirt in case of spills

  • Hairbrush or comb to touch up hair

READ: 25 Ways for Young Actors to Take Control of Their Careers


  • Any personal costume pieces

  • Makeup (always bring your own for sanitary reasons)

  • Your script. Even though you will know your lines by performance time it is always best to review them. You might find something new.

  • Water

  • Snack

  • Something to help you relax and bide the time backstage like music, cards, knitting, etc.

As child actors grow into teens, they're responsible for more and held accountable with consequences. Start learning these skills now and you'll be more prepared as you head into adulthood. Preparedness, scheduling, and goal setting all help develop important life skills. The consistent effort to stay organized will teach you how to focus effectively to get things done. Involvement on this level with proper parental guidance also develops communication and critical reasoning skills. These life skills show up in the audition too. Casting directors look for young actors who focus and communicate well.

So kids, take control of your career today. Be prepared and stay organized. Pack a bag the night before with everything you need for class, rehearsal, auditions or performance days and set yourself up for success!