Mindset

How To Help Your Child Actor Have a Fun and Productive Summer

I like to think of time in four ways – my time, your time, together time, and down time. My child needs empowering, fun, and enriching activities to help her grow and learn independence. I need “me” time whether I am working or relaxing. Together time as a family, including vacations and activities at home, is equally important – especially since our kids are grown and out of the house before we know it. We all lead busy lives so building in downtime is crucial to prevent burn out.

Most school-aged children have eight to ten weeks of summer break. This can either be a blessing or a curse depending on your child’s individual needs and personality. I know my own children benefit from structure. However, as much as I would like them to keep busy, they remind me they need downtime too. For example, seven weeks of sleep-away camp is too much time away from home for my teenage daughter, so we found a program where she goes for four weeks and gets to come home on the weekends. This arrangement works beautifully for our family. I had never heard of this kind of camp schedule before, but I am grateful I found it. The point is that there are lots of options, so you should be able to find something that is just right for your family.

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Your Child’s Time
Does your child love to act and want to train? During the school year, he might get really bogged down with auditions and homework. During the summer, maybe he would enjoy something like my upcoming four-day acting boot-camp. Something like this can be a great way for these young performers to get back to basics with improvisation, learning a new monologue, and perfecting their audition technique for TV and film. Or perhaps your child has a musical bent. I am also collaborating with my colleagues in voice and casting offering one-day musical theater workshops culminating with a performance in a landmark cabaret club. I personally love shorter workshops such as these because they give both my students and me the flexibility to fit in many other life enhancing activities that help create balance.

Your Time
While planning out your summer schedule, don’t forget about you – the parent. Our tendency is to put so much emphasis on the many wonderful opportunities available for our children that we sometimes forget our own needs. While your child is either away from home or in a daily program, you may want to consider learning a new skill yourself. How about some yoga and meditation? I recently spent a weekend at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health and came back rejuvenated and inspired! Maybe learning to paint or dance is more your thing. Just do something to take care of yourself so you can be the best you can be for your child and your family.

Together Time
Planning a vacation or “staycation?” Summer is a great time to check out theater and concerts in your local parks for the entire family to enjoy. There are also plenty of online sites that offer discount vacation packages last minute. Whatever you decide, the most important thing is doing things together.

Down Time
Burned out on too much theater? Perhaps a week of something physical like tennis or soccer camp is what your child needs to get away from it all and stretch a few new muscles. What about doing nothing? This is a concept very foreign to me, but I am trying to find time to do more and more of it. My child needs it. I need it. And together we all need it to lead calmer, more serene and peaceful lives.

There are many kinds of summer camp programs available for your children – typically ranging from one day to several weeks in length. Taking into account these different segments of time and your family’s specific needs will help you plan your summer wisely, have fun, and stay sane all at the same time.

19 Lessons For Self-Reflection on a Snow Day

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As I work from home today, watching the snow floating down, I am in awe of nature’s beauty. The phone is not ringing since all personal and work appointments are cancelled, and my dog is fast asleep at my feet. Sometimes it’s nice to have a quiet moment to reflect on things that have inspired me.

I am a student and always will be. I have taken classes in acting, voice, dance, meditation, guitar, yoga, kick-boxing, knitting, quilting, and cooking to name a few. In my own work teaching clients, as both an acting and life coach, I find myself quoting words of wisdom from some of my favorite inspirational teachers that I have worked with over the years. In this time of quiet reflection, I thought it would be nice to share some of them with you...

“It’s haaaaard. Acting is very hard.”

“If you say you’re going to go, GO!”

“You must be willing to make a mess to have your dreams.“

“In order to explode, you must have the stuff to explode with.”

“The voices in our head will sabotage us.“

“Take the effort, struggle, and examining of it out of acting.”

“Theater is life distilled.”

“We must forget the language and go with the humanity.”

“Make it specific. You won’t react from generalizations.“

“Acting is the most important moment of your life.”

“The title is very important to what is happening in the scene.”

“You understand a play better when you understand what is going on in the world at that time. “

“There are only two emotions in life - love and fear.”

“Let things surprise you. The reward about acting is you discover all the different me’s.”

“Don’t take it personally. It’s never about us. “

“Stay curious.”

“Anyone can make the moment real, but what you do with it is where the talent lies.”

“With good writing your first obligation is to the playwright.”

“Pay attention!”

I encourage you to find a quiet moment in your own busy day so you can reflect on what inspires you to do what you do. This can bring a smile to your face, give you a deeper sense of certainty and satisfaction with your life, and can even trigger fresh ideas and get the creative juices flowing. Stay safe and warm and enjoy the snow.

3 Reasons to Support Your Child’s Acting Dreams

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“Help, my son wants to be an actor! Can’t I talk him out of it?” No, and why would you want to? You are so lucky your child has a passion that gets him out of bed each day. So many kids flounder because they haven’t found that “something special” that motivates them. Statistics show that most child actors won’t end up pursuing acting as adults, but there are still countless benefits they can gain as they make the journey.

A parent who recently brought her daughter to me for a consultation was concerned about all the negative effects the business has on a child, with the prospect of having to face rejection at the forefront.Rejection is part of life. Why not look at it as learning life’s lessons early on? Out of her fear and just plain not knowing, this mom was trying to do everything she could to sabotage her daughter’s dreams. I pointed out to her the many positive assets this business has to offer her child – building self esteem and confidence, learning how to speak in public, social interaction, risk-taking, listening skills, independence and responsibility, improved reading skills, and learning to think on your feet. After hearing these things, she left my studio excited to give her child a chance at pursuing her dream.

1. Acting builds self-confidence. I have taught countless shy introverts as well as kids who were afraid to get up in front of others for fear they weren’t pretty enough, talented enough, funny enough, or even smart enough. One of my students, who is now the associate director of graduate studies and lecturer on physics at Harvard University, attributes his teaching success to his acting and improvisational training. Some of my former students have gone on to pursue professional careers as actors while many others are successful in their chosen careers as chefs, journalists, teachers, business execs, theater company producers, casting directors, and many others. The one thing they all have in common is self-confidence.

2. Acting opens doors to other careers in the entertainment industry. Many of my colleagues in casting, management, teaching, producing, and directing were all actors. We all studied theater in the hopes of the big acting career. At some point in my journey – my late twenties to be exact – when I wanted more stability and financial security, I took the leap to the other side of the business. My acting training and love of theater has enabled me to have a happy and thriving career in the entertainment industry. My parents have no more regrets that I was a theater major; it now makes sense.

3. Some children choose acting because they have no other choice. It’s in their DNA. They act because they have to. Nothing else will satisfy them and fill them up the way getting on stage or in front of a camera does. If they have a choice, they will find it. Until then, support them! Don’t stand in your child’s way of self-empowerment, happiness, success, and becoming the best they can be.

I hope this has given you some food for thought if you have a child who longs to pursue acting. I would be happy to answer any questions you might have, so please leave a comment below and let me know your biggest concerns. Or, if you have already gone through this as a parent, I’d love to hear what made you decide to go ahead and support your child as they followed their acting dreams.

7 Reasons to Involve Your Young Actor in Managing Their Career

Today, I am busy organizing my financial records to prepare for taxes and the upcoming year. As I add up my mileage log and collect my receipts, I can’t help but reflect on the many young actors and parents I advise about the business of show business. They too are collecting receipts and keeping mileage logs. What starts out simply as a child’s drive and passion to act quickly becomes a business with financial, legal, and organizational responsibilities well beyond acting in the school play.

Many parents feel overwhelmed as they struggle to prioritize and stay organized. My advice is: don’t do it alone. You have the perfect resource to help keep it all successfully together—your child. No, a 10-year-old will not be able to help with the carpool. Nor is it likely that your child will immediately make things easier; however, involving a young actor with many of the day-to-day details of managing their own career can result in a tremendous growth in maturity and many other benefits.

Sound like more trouble than it’s worth? Here are seven reasons to get your preteen and older actor involved in the management of their own career:

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1. Empower your child. Young actors who understand the decision making, diligence, and sacrifice necessary to pursue an acting career on both their own part and the part of 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 for your young actor often leaves them feeling in control, focused, and determined.

2. Get better results. Families who involve their young actors in the nuts and bolts of running their acting careers spend more time planning and weighing their options in terms of craft development, audition opportunities, financial commitment, and family conflicts. It helps the actor make good career choices and the family unit function better.

3. Learn to budget. Pursuing an acting career is a significant financial investment. It presents a wonderful opportunity for parents to give their children a hands-on understanding of budgeting and financial decision making. A young actor can learn a lot from helping you spend their “acting allowance” wisely.

4. Keep their feet on the ground. Success can be tough to handle gracefully. Two of the best ways to keep things in perspective is  for your child to experience the hard work it takes to meet their goals and recognize the contributions and sacrifices of those supporting them.

5. Put that smartphone to good use. Tech savvy teens are a great resource to help organize the paperwork functions of an acting career. A teen with a smartphone can log mileage, receipts, and appointments. They can upload sides, keep an audition log, and create an online acting notebook. In addition, they can regularly look for new audition and training opportunities. It is truly amazing what a young actor can get done in the car with their smartphone on the way home from an audition.

6. Develop life skills. Scheduling, budgeting, goal setting, and personal and family decision making develops important life skills. The consistent effort to stay organized teaches children 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.

7. It’s their dream. The child that is truly invested and passionate about pursuing an acting career will often appreciate the rewards of involvement and accept the responsibility to do their part. While it is not necessarily the ultimate sign of disinterest, children who are resistant may be sending you a message about their commitment or maturity. It is certainly not an all or nothing proposition. Parents who take this approach generally match the level of responsibility to the stage of their young actor’s development.

7 Tips For Parents of Young Performers

WANTED: Parent of working child actor. Must be on call 24/7, be willing to commute four hours a day or rent an apartment costing $2500-$5000 per month, parent other children from a distance and teach spouse how to do laundry and cook while you are away.

Did you mean to apply for this job? Despite all the ways a parent supports a young actor’s dream, few parents are actually prepared for the enormous commitment of a tour, Broadway show, film, or television series. The experience often comes with many delightful and difficult moments. It can be a wonderful investment of time, but financially draining. It is exhilarating to see a child blossom, but isolating to be apart from family and friends. It may create a lifetime of precious memories, but leave a parent physically exhausted.

The key to success for both the parent and young actor is to prepare for the challenges, remain flexible and creative when solving problems, and stay organized. Here are some tips to make your experience as the parent of a working child actor a happy and successful one.

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1. Do your research. Know what you are getting into by speaking to the parents of other child actors in the show. Every production has its unique challenges. For example, some production companies provide tutoring while others don’t. Make of list of all the organizational, financial, and emotional challenges you are likely to encounter. This includes issues around marriage, raising other children, finances, housing, and employment to name a few. For example, one parent I know copes with the close quarters of hotel rooms by booking suites. Another parent negotiated tutoring for her other child whom she also takes on the road.

2. Family conference. The life of a working child actor will affect every member of the family. Have a family discussion before accepting any offer. It is likely that siblings will have to be more independent, spouses will work harder and endure loneliness, and details of home life may go unattended. Be specific with new responsibilities. Make sure everyone is on the same page and willing to accept the changes that go along with supporting a working actor.

3. Be realistic. Once on the road or in a production, be flexible. You can’t plan for everything. Some things will cost more, take more time, or go undone. An extra plane ticket for a sibling who misses an on-the-road parent is often the cost of supporting a young actor’s work.

4. Be organized. Driving long hours, eating on the run, and sleep deprivation are often part of the job. Your daily routine of staying healthy—including cooking healthful meals and exercising—will now be compromised unless you are organized. Keep a daily schedule to ensure you remain focused. Do research to plan for the next stop on a tour. Knowing that the grocery store is only a block from your hotel can make all the difference when you are checking-in late and have to prepare for the next day.

5. Keep your marriage healthy. Nothing beats sitting with your spouse and watching your child happily perform on stage. However, there will be times when you and your partner will be separated for long periods. Make your marriage a priority. Be prepared for unanticipated stresses that come from employment, child rearing, and separation. It is often very helpful to have a trusted family member take over the chaperoning duties for a bit while parents get together to recharge their relationship.

6. Early empty nest syndrome. Closed rehearsals are one of the hardest parts of parenting a working child actor. It’s a bit like the first day of kindergarten. Children leave for work early in the day and don’t return home until quite late in the evening. There is generally no parental involvement during this time even with regard to schooling. It’s important to listen carefully to your child for signs of stress and develop a trusting relationship with key members of the production such as the child wrangler and tutors. The parents of other child actors are also a good resource to help chart these difficult waters.

7. Watch your pocket book. Your child is now working in the business world! Be prepared to learn about the tax implications of that and the record keeping required to track expenses. Also, manage your per diem payment for expenses wisely. With proper planning, many families are able to cover unanticipated costs like travel.

Parenting a working child actor is tough and yet, most parents would agree that the performing experience is the single best thing they ever did for both their child and themselves. As one mother of a young Broadway starlet put it, “Despite all the downfalls, the joy of seeing my child on stage makes it all worth it. It is a once in a lifetime experience I would never trade.”

Formula for a Healthy Acting Career

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I’m not much of a gardener, although I would love to grow beautiful flowers. Something I hear myself say over and over is, “I don’t have a green thumb.” The truth is, if I turned that thought around and put my attention on watering and feeding my plants, the result would be a flourishing garden.

If you truly believe something will not happen, chances are it’s not going to happen. Why? Because the choices you are making are not supporting your goal. A student came in for her lesson a few weeks ago disheartened after her audition. She didn’t hit the notes in her song, wasn’t clear on her choices, forgot the words, and basically fell apart. When we looked at what led up to the audition, she shared she had not done her acting or voice homework. She had also convinced herself the note was a reach for her. The next week, she met with her voice teacher, was in a positive state of mind, told the story beautifully and – no surprise – hit the note! If you open yourself up to the possibility that what you want could really happen, there is a much more likely chance you will get what it is you are hoping for. Want some food for thought? Here are three reasons you may be struggling to reach your goals in your acting career.

1. You are not preparing for success. How many times have you heard yourself say, “I’ll never get the part,” “She’s prettier than I am,” or “Why did I even bother going to that audition?” How about turning those thoughts around? If you don’t have 100 percent proof that what you are thinking will actually manifest, you may as well think a thought that’s more helpful and will support you in getting the results you want. We make up most of what we think anyway, so feel free to rewrite your “script” so that it works for you. What will life be like if you don’t have these negative thoughts but positive ones instead? You very likely will have positive outcomes!

2. You may be giving up too early. A parent of a young student of mine called the other day wondering why she was still bothering to take her daughter on auditions. She was getting a lot of callbacks but hadn’t booked a job in the two years she has been auditioning. Not staying the course will never get you the job. Callbacks are a sure sign you are on the right track. As long as you are doing what it is you are supposed to be doing – studying, keeping your marketing materials up to date, staying physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy – you are setting yourself up to succeed. It may not be in the time frame you would like, so allow yourself to enjoy the process in the meantime. Make sure you have other things in your life that bring you joy while waiting for the gold nugget in your acting career.

3. You are hitting a slump. We all get overwhelmed and have setbacks at times. Life ebbs and flows. Take a look at the three As: Awareness, Acceptance, and Action. Be aware of what is happening. Accept that you are doing the best you can at this moment, and if you are not, take some action. If you are telling yourself a negative story, ask yourself how that benefits you. It’s a simple concept but not easy – change your thoughts. Act as if what you desire is already yours. Fake it till you make it. Affirm what it is you want in a positive way as if it is already happening.

As an actor, you already know that when you are playing a role, you must make your performance real and believable. I invite you to take the same approach when it comes to your mental preparation for your acting career. Connect with the genuine emotion and truth of what you want – then make yourself believe it.

4 Tips To Keep Young Actors Grounded And Real

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I love to feel the passion my students have for acting. It gives them a sense of accomplishment and identity that leaves them confident to reach for new challenges. As both a teacher and mom, that is exactly what I want for my kids. Surprisingly, for many casting directors, passion and confidence are more or less prerequisites and not what actually sells them on a young actor.

Last month, I held an audition workshop with a guest casting director. A parent asked a question that I hear over and over: “What is the one thing you look for when casting a young performer?” There are so many factors to consider here; age, type, hair color, height, weight, personality, charisma, preparedness, and talent are just a few of the many criteria assessed. The answer this casting director gave was real. “We are looking for real kids who are just kids.”

What can a parent or young actor do with an answer like that? Look at the commitment behind all the productions, commercial work, and classes in which they have participated. They have real skills on stage and on camera that come from hard work and passion. They can listen, take direction, and maintain consistency—skills coveted in the industry. What could be more real than that?

The answer lies in the young actors who love and thrive in the business, but aren’t defined by it. They are children with a passion for performance that blends with ordinary talents, interests, and friendships nurtured outside the industry. These young actors stand out in their auditions because their talent feels genuine and unaffected. Casting directors and audiences relate to the perspective that they inherently bring with them to their auditions.

Here are a few tips to keep your children grounded and real in a very adult business that doesn’t always reward the childlike qualities in your child:

1. Fight specialization. Though it takes real skills to perform at a high level, don’t specialize in acting to the point of pushing all other activities aside. Find a balance that leaves room for religious school, sports, the elementary school yearbook committee, or whatever non-performance related activities your family and child values. These activities create opportunities for serious actors to form a broad range of relationships and skills that give them the life experience to succeed both on and off the set.

2. Maintain friendships. “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other is gold.” This well worn song says it all when it comes to show business, especially for children. Show business can inflate and delete an ego like none else. Old friendships are the antidote, and in a business that is famous for last minute callbacks and rehearsals that run long past scheduled, they don’t always last. Be sure to make them a priority for your young actor.

3Volunteer. Nothing develops humility and respect more than giving service to others. A little goes a long way so even the busy working actor can fit volunteer opportunities into a harried schedule.

4. Let your child drive. I’m talking career, not car. (That will come soon enough.) There may be times when a friend’s birthday party to a really cool water park conflicts with an audition. These are great opportunities to prioritize and form agreements. If it’s a callback, young actors need to know that they must go because they gave their word to follow through when they initially auditioned. On the other hand, it might be better to pass on an open call rather than disappoint a good friend. Talk with your kids to give them a strong voice in their own careers.

Although young actors must be skilled and proficient in their performance, what often gets a casting director’s attention is the interesting, natural, genuine quality that emanates from them. Give your child the training to pursue acting accompanied by a balanced childhood and you give them the tools to thrive in the business and in all aspect of their lives.

I’d love to hear from you with what has worked to nurture your child’s talents while keeping them grounded and real.

5 Ways To Tell If Your Child Is a Natural Actor

The fake cry. Every parent has heard it and knows in an instant when their child is pretending. I would say the same is true for good casting directors. They can spot a young actor pretending to feel something they don’t.

Good actors communicate real emotions, not pretend ones. When a young actor plays a scene showing—but not connecting—to the emotional life of the character, he is often doing what we call “indicating.” Here are some telltale signs of “indicating” that you want your young actor to avoid.

1. Fake emoting. Crying on cue may come naturally for some, but for many young actors, producing real emotion is an acquired skill. It’s not the real tears that are of concern—that is what glycerin drops are for. Rather, it is finding and applying the honest emotional life of the character. Next time, encourage your child to recall a time in their life that may have made them sad, lonely, or angry. The use of imagination can be another powerful way to create a truthful circumstance.  If the character is reacting to their parents divorce, how would the young actor feel if their parents actually divorced? This is a hard skill to master. Don’t be discouraged if it takes a while to learn. Most young actors benefit from a trained acting coach or acting class to learn the necessary skills and let go of fake emoting habits.

2. Making generalizations. Casting directors commonly give this feedback to actors: “The actor was not specific enough.” Unfortunately, this isn’t very specific feedback! What the casting director means is that the actor isn’t making interesting choices that relate to the character’s objective. For example, I often see actors use hand motions—especially when singing—that have nothing to do with anything. The more the actor knows about the character, the more specific he can be when creating a non-obvious interesting audition or performance. Ask your young actor to incorporate facets of the character into their acting. Examples include hometown, upbringing, and social class. Consider who the character is speaking to and what he wants from that person.

3. Concentrating too much on the dialogue. Of course the lines are important—they tell the story. You don’t your young actor to make mincemeat of them—especially if the writer is in the room. But make sure your young actor doesn’t become a hostage to the dialogue either. It isn’t about being right all the time. Tell them to let go of perfection and play what is real to them in the moment—even if it means dropping a word or line or paraphrasing.

4. Not speaking to the reader or other actor. Readers are hired to help the actor create reality. Make sure your child is focusing and speaking to the reader or other actor in the scene. I recall a young actor who entered the room in which I was participating as a judge for a talent competition. I said, “Hello,” and her response was, “Hello ladies and gentlemen,” as if she were addressing a crowd. As I tried to engage her, she was thrown because she obviously had been coached by someone to act as opposed to just being herself.

5. Not reacting. Acting should really be called reacting, not acting. What an actor does is in response to what someone else makes them do! Many times there is little dialogue but a lot of action in a scene. Listening is a basic skill in acting. How well your child is listening and reacting will create a more authentic performance.

I smile with pride whenever a casting director comments that one of my students is, “a natural.” That tells me they have successfully drawn from their own emotional reality and applied it to the character. When young actors learn this and begin to search for authentic connections to their characters, they’ve learned the real first lesson of acting.

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Don’t let Nerves Sabotage a Young Performer’s Audition!

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When people talk about stage fright, they often refer to full-blown deer-in-the-stage-lights, flop sweat anxiety. As an acting coach and teacher primarily for child to young adult performers, I more often see a much milder form that manifests itself during the audition. The nerves reduce a talented actor to giving a flat and uninspiring performance. Don’t let nerves sabotage your audition! Follow these five tips to leave your butterflies outside the door where they belong and land the role your talent deserves.

1. Be very familiar with the dialogue. Young performers often worry that they need to say every word exactly as it is written in the script. Take that burden right off your shoulders! Complete memorization may give some actors confidence, but it is not the main focus in the audition. Instead, focus on mastering the lines well enough so that the script, if you need it, becomes a reference tool instead of a crutch. Veering from the script in small ways is rarely a problem in an audition. Talk to your practice partner to be clear that the goal of running lines is proficiency, not perfection.

2. Make a connection. Confidence in what you are doing in the scene allows you to shift focus away from how you are feeling and toward the rapport you are building with your reader. Make eye contact and react to the reader’s cues. You will notice that the more you connect with someone else, the less nervous you will feel and the better your acting will become.

3. Be pleasant, but don’t worry about pleasing the people behind the table. Young actors are often influenced by their desire to please. Whether that impulse is directed toward a parent, the casting director, or an agent or manager, it is best to ease that burden. Reframe your perspective on the audition. Let it be an opportunity to do the thing you love rather than a judgment of you as an actor. Remember that the casting director genuinely wants you to succeed. And never forget that your parents love you regardless of whether you act on Broadway, in front of the bathroom mirror, or not at all.

4. Own your passion and success. Teen and young adult actors are generally more prone than their younger peers to a crisis of confidence. The rough terrain of going through middle and high school and on to college can take its toll. I encourage you to do two things to minimize these moments of fear and keep them in perspective. First, keep a scrapbook, photo album, or memory box of mementos that connect you to the love and accomplishment you feel about performing. Refer to it often and let it be a source of happiness and pride. Second, continue performing in amateur productions when professional jobs temporarily dry up. Consciously notice how acting makes you feel. Use that understanding to reinforce your confidence at auditions and in all areas of life.

5. Decide who comes with you to the audition. Sometimes it’s best to go it alone and sometimes you do your best with the support of a loved one. Many of my students audition out of their parents view. Talk to your parents if their presence is inhibiting your performance and negotiate a safe and mutual alternative.

Auditions can be nerve wracking but also empowering. You are focusing your initiative and drive on learning the art and putting yourself out there to make your dream a reality. Wow, when you think of it that way, auditions are truly a celebration of you.

20 Rules for Young Actors and Their Parents to Live By

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As a weekly contributing expert to Backstage.com, I give advice to parents, children, teens and young adults from my many years in the business as an acting teacher, coach and talent manager. This month I decided to ask my clients, both young actors and their parents, what advice they have for working and aspiring actors and their parents on the set or on the road. Here’s what they had to say:

1. Be flexible, as a working actor’s schedule can be demanding.
2. The experience is the child’s, not the parent’s.
3. Have an open mind about schooling; don’t expect the experience to be the same. It may actually prove to be more rewarding.
4. If you are on the road touring, sign up for airline and hotel reward points.
5. Keep open communication with company management and the education provider.
6. Take advantage of all the wonderful sites and experiences in each city you travel to.
7. Respect the adult actors’ time and privacy.
8. Be professional; remember, it’s a business.
9. Learn from all of the professionals you are working with.
10. Get your rest and drink plenty of water.
11. Be respectful to everyone from the production assistant to the director.
12. Do what you are asked to do to make the child wrangler’s job easy.
13. Always have your child’s social security card and work permit as well as any other required documentation.
14. Parents- you are your child’s best advocate.
15. Use your down time to keep up with schoolwork.
16. Remember to say please and thank you.
17. Know the rules and regulations regarding the employment of minors. You are responsible for your child’s safety and welfare.
18. Try not to let your child’s performing successes define him.
19. Be grateful for the wonderful opportunity you have been given.
20. Laugh, laugh, laugh.

Thank you for these wonderful reminders. Respect, gratitude, humility, open mindedness, responsibility and fun are all wonderful tenets to live by. And if you don’t  remember to laugh while you work, you may want to question why you are doing this in the first place. If you are a parent of a working child actor or a young actor with experiences to share on the set or on the road, I’d love to hear from you. Just leave me  a comment below.