Doing—Not Acting—Will Make You Great

Many young actors are taught to play “tactics,” an action or strategy carefully planned to achieve a specific end. The word brings up images of generals sitting around a war room, strategically planning an attack on the enemy. And that’s exactly how most actors approach the “playing of an action.”

But we prefer to call actions or objectives “doings.” What’s the difference? With “doing,” you’re not pretending or faking something, you really do it, hence the name. This small tweak in approach will lead to great acting that is truly alive.

For example, you’re playing a character named Sally who just found out she’s failing math class. She needs to get the teacher to change her grade so as to not disappoint her parents. All too often, we’ll see the actor make a sad facial expression and sad sounds with her voice to make it seem like she is, in fact, sad about the grade. This is called indicating and it’s nothing more than a lie.

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To really grip the audience and hit them where they live, the actor instead needs to actually experience and feel what the character is experiencing and feeling. She needs to be devastated. She needs to beg the actor playing her teacher, not just have her character beg another character. It’s a simple concept, but it’s not as easy to achieve.

Have you ever seen an actor onstage who is supposed to be hungry and eating but only pretends to eat, not actually putting the food in his or her mouth for fear of the food getting in the way of the audience appreciating the clever way he or she is delivering lines? If you’re supposed to be hungry and eating cereal, eat the cereal. Really do what you are doing.

How? Here’s an example from life that may help illustrate the point.

You come home from school and your sister is standing by the sink, crying. You rush over and hug her but she pushes you away and shouts, “Don’t!” What do you do next? Do you run right back and hug her again in the same way? Of course not. You’re a human being and you would adjust to the information you just received from her response. Maybe you remain silent for a moment. Maybe you gently whisper, “What happened today?” The only person who would rush right back over and throw their arms around her in the very same way would be the actor who had carefully and strategically rehearsed their “tactic.”

While you must always know what you’re doing or what your objective is, the how to do it is supplied by the other person. You must learn how to actually receive what the other actor is giving and then authentically respond to that behavior, moment by moment.

This takes a lot of practice and is only truly achieved through training with others. It requires taking risks and being willing to explore freely with your mind, body, and spirit. The objective must be accomplished with all of your behavior—the speaking of the words, your physical and emotional behavior, the way you listen and receive what the other actors are giving you.

It’s invigorating stuff and will transform the quality of your acting in the most brilliant way, making you what we call a “true actor.”

Help Your Child Actor Grow This Summer

As the days get longer, temperatures rise and school demands end. It’s officially summer, most kids’ and teens’ favorite season, and a wonderful time to decompress, change up routines, pick up skills, form different relationships, and try new things.

Because young working actors carry the burden of both work and school during the academic year, summer is a valuable time to lighten up and actually be a kid, while at the same time developing new skills. Whether your child is enrolled in a theater or traditional camp, traveling, or working at home, summer affords endless possibilities for growth that can’t take place during the school year.

When I see my students in September, I marvel at how they have not only grown in inches but also in maturity. This summer, encourage your kids to get the most out of their time with these tips.

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Become a camper.
I attended sleepaway camp from the age of seven. As an independent, active, social young girl, I was happiest at a camp that offered a host of activities. As I developed into a teen, summer camp became a place to blossom and form healthy relationships, some of which I still maintain today.

Listen and observe while traveling.
I love hearing of all the fascinating places my students visited over the summer. With the world as their classroom, encourage them to watch, listen, and learn. If your child wants to work on their dialect skills, consider planning a family trip to another country; the best way to learn a dialect is directly from the source.

If you’re traveling this summer, encourage your child to do a little homework by observing and listening. It can be fun and educational to speak with new people.

Delve deeply into the craft of acting.
One of my favorite sayings is, “Talent and passion are essential elements in an actor’s life. Training is the glue that holds them together.” During the school year, there is limited time to study intensely and consistently between school, rehearsals, and other commitments which makes summer a great time to take advantage of intense training in acting, singing, or dance.

Just like an athlete, your young performer needs to continually improve their skills. Intensive courses that require many hours that just aren’t feasible during the school year, making it an ideal endeavor come summer.

Volunteer and serve your community.
Sympathy and empathy can’t be taught in the classroom, but these qualities are critical to a being a good actor and a good human. Being charitable is a beautiful way for kids to give back and have fun. The most successful actors are those who demonstrate the ability to give and support others.  A kind and giving person is attractive and always welcome in a cast.

Learn a new skill. 
A person with diverse interests who is curious and invests time in acquiring new skills comes across as vital, intriguing, and attractive. Your child’s interests outside of acting can be as essential as learning how to act or sing. The best performers are interesting people first. Casting directors love to see the pieces that make up your child and keep them well-rounded.

Take a break.
Be a kid and have fun. Wash your hair in the rain, catch lightning bugs, go fishing, read a book, lie on the beach! Just as there is much to learn with structured time, learning how to be still is a skill in and of itself. To “just be” is a core concept in acting and requires practice. Encourage your child to carve out time to rest and relax. When they do, they’ll be ready for the fall audition season with plenty of energy and excitement.

Whatever you and your child choose this summer, make sure you include plenty of time to make great memories together.

How to Deal With the Stress of a Last-Minute Self-Tape for Your Child Actor

You just received a message from your rep that your child has an audition…tomorrow. Because auditions have been slow, you are excited about the opportunity for your child. But then you realize it’s actually a self-tape with 12 pages of memorized material due in the next 24 hours. Your child isn’t even home from school yet and you’re already stressed because, on top of this self-tape, he also has a test tomorrow he needs to study for.

This stressful situation can be painful for both parents and young actors. To make it all a little easier, there are a few things you can do as a parent of a child actor:

Be prepared with equipment. 
Self-tapes are very popular today so make sure you have a home setup for tapings. Even though your child will have to memorize and be prepared with the material, if you’re prepared to tape at home with lights, backdrop, and camera equipment, you won’t have to make last-minute calls looking for a studio. It will also be helpful if you/your child knows how to upload the scene onto a computer to be sent off quickly.

Oh, and be sure your printer is working so you can have the sides handy—along with a highlighter—to start the memorization process.

Ask for help.
Parental anxiety and the desires to have your child nail the audition will stress your kid out and can get in the way of their best performance. If that’s true for your family, remove yourself from the mix and use a coach or taping studio. As an acting coach who does many tapings a week, I get last-minute calls all the time and will always try to accommodate young actors if I can, even taping clients at 10 p.m. if necessary.

If there isn’t time for a live coaching session, consider a Skype lesson with a coach to get some tips on the scene to make the taping smoother. Find a mentor you can trust and count on for moments like these.

Think outside the box.
If your child is a good student and has good attendance, you may want to consider letting them tape in the morning and head to school late. Discuss the situation with the school ahead of time to let them know your child is pursuing an acting career and ask for allowances. If the school agrees, it will take some of the pressure off. If your child is auditioning regularly and seems stressed, you may want to revisit the schooling situation to make sure it’s working for everyone.

Breathe and let go of perfectionism. 
Remind your child that this is all supposed to be fun, satisfying, and gratifying. Casting directors don’t expect perfection, especially when a young actor is asked to prepare many pages on short notice. The instructions say actors should memorize the material but if that is just not possible, instruct your child to become very familiar with the material. Then, he can glance at the script off to the side if he stumbles over the lines.

Ask for an extension. 
In some situations, you may be able to request an extension. Extensions aren’t always available but if you don’t ask, you will never know. Speak to your rep and explain the situation. An extra day could make all the difference.

Turn down the audition. 
Is it worth the aggravation? If your child has been very committed and never turns down an audition, weigh this decision carefully. Ask yourself how important this one is. Discuss this option with your child, then your agent and manager so you can make a choice together. It’s not wise to set a precedent of missing auditions but declining one or two will not be harmful if the situation is impossible.

The industry is using self-tapes so much these days and it’s a trend I don’t see slowing down anytime soon. Preparing for situations like these is wise. Be ready to move quickly and help your child do their best. Check in with your child to make sure they understand the commitment and that they’re still on board. Working hard under pressure is tough, especially when there’s no guarantee of a callback or booking so be sure to celebrate their hard work in other ways.

5 Steps to Understanding Your Scene as a Teen Actor

Every scene you play as an actor, no matter how old you are, will require a deep understanding from you. You need to understand who the character is, what the context of the scene and larger story is, and countless other aspects of the scene that will make your work on and with it shine.

In our opinion, there are five steps you need to take to truly understand a scene. To help walk you through and illustrate them, let’s use the following scene scenario as a setup for the five steps that will help you work on your character and the scene: You are a 17-year-old whose mom has just returned from three months at a drug rehab facility. You’ve been living with your dad while she was getting help and even though she’s back home and clean, she is still struggling and not the fully-recovered mom you hoped to find.

Step 1: Determine the given circumstances.
The given circumstances are what you know from the text based on what the writer has told you with his or her words. Your mom has been in rehab detoxing from drugs. You have been living with your dad while she was away. Now that she is home, you’re getting used to what life is like with a recovering, struggling parent.

Step 2: Find your deep wish.
Also known as your objective, this is what your character needs to happen. In the above scene, your deep wish is to have your mother be the role model you always wanted and be a loving, protective, participating parent. You have been without this your whole life and have suffered greatly.

Step 3: Identify the opponent or obstacle. 
Internal or external, this is something that gets in the way of you getting what you want. In life, we don’t always have an obstacle but in acting, there must be one to create the struggle. If it’s too easy to get what you want without a fight, there’s nothing interesting happening. The obstacle in this scene could be that your mom is in too much pain and not willing to get well right now.

Step 4: Personalize. 
Now that you have your identified your deep need and discovered what’s in the way of achieving it, you’ll need to personalize the situation to make it true for you. Begin this process by looking at the character’s situation and asking what might be going on in your life that could lead to a similar problem or challenge to overcome. What you choose to work with can be imaginary/fictional, but the meaning must hold true.

Step 5: Now do. 
This the most vital part. Acting is doing. What are you going to do to get what you want? Perhaps you beg and plead with your mom to stop using drugs. Maybe you start parenting your mom in a role reversal to get your—and her—needs met. It’s in this doing, this action, that you become a compelling actor.

How To Prevent Your Child From Being Over-Coached

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Casting directors want real kids. The problem is that many young actors are over-coached. Parents, read on for some tips to help you help your child get the casting director’s attention and win the audition!

1. Be Truthful. Too often, kids rehearse with their parents or coaches over and over again learning to emphasize words and emote. They are taught to show, not do. Going over dialogue until they are blue in the face will get them nowhere. It isn’t about the words; it is about being themselves and listening. A child’s biggest asset is simply to be who they are and not try to imitate someone else. When I see youngsters who practice in front of the mirror, it makes me crazy! Do you practice in front of the mirror when you are going to have a conversation with someone? Even in the interview or slate (when an actor says their name for the camera before an audition), over-coaching can be obvious. I once auditioned a young actor who came in the room and when I said “Hello,” she responded, “Hello, ladies and gentlemen,” as if she was a speaker addressing a full house. Parents, allow your children to be natural and real. It may be the most helpful thing you can do for them.

2. Listen. This basic concept may sound simple, but it is not always easy. Kids are often so concerned about memorizing lines that they spend their time thinking of the next words to say rather than actually listening to the reader or other actor. Memorization is certainly important, especially if the actor is going on tape, but not nearly as important as a truthful audition. If there is not enough time to learn the lines, encourage your child to use the script as a reference, glancing when necessary, but always listening attentively to the person they are reading with.

3. Take Direction. Good listening also plays a big part in being able to take direction. The over-coached child may have learned the scene well in one way but may be incapable of changing it. Listening to the director or casting director and being able to make adjustments is a sure-fire way to make a good impression. If something is not clear, it is perfectly acceptable to ask questions. In fact, this may be a way to score points. I can assure you that captivating, smart, and curious actors will most always get the callback!

So, how can you as a parent be the most helpful to your child without over-coaching? Explain what is going on in the scene and define any words your child may not understand. If you are a professionally trained actor or coach and your child will listen to you, great! If not, it is really best to leave the job to a skilled acting coach who knows how to get your child to be natural without looking coached. Master your craft, empower yourself, and enjoy the journey.

How To Assemble the Best Team For Your Career (Part 1)

I never met an athlete who wanted to be on a losing team. They know that being good at what you do may get you in the game, but it won’t win you a championship trophy. The same is true for actors. Your team matters.

Picking the right agent and/or manager, the “team,” may be just what you need to help you succeed in this business. Your team can be comprised of you (the player) and your agent; you and your manager; or all three of you. Knowing the right questions will help you determine what is best for you.

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How do you best prepare for the interview? First, make sure you know the roles of both agent and manager. In a nutshell, the agent is franchised with the union and able to procure auditions for you. The manager plays a more supportive role as they help you cultivate your career. A manager can be an integral part of your team when you are just entering the business or when you become more successful. They tend to work with fewer clients than the agent and have more time to guide and advise you. You want to find someone who believes in you wholeheartedly and will do whatever it takes to move your career forward.

Get familiar with the company you are interviewing with beforehand. Research them on the web, and ask colleagues what they know about them. You may feel more self-assured if you prepare ahead of time with some questions for your interview. Here are a few tips to get you started.

1. What is the difference between an agent and a manager? You did a general mailing or you were seen in a performance, and both managers and agents wanted to meet with you. You may think you know the difference, but finding out how they define their role will be very informative. What is the agent's role? What will the manager do for you that the agent doesn’t? How do they work together? Each agent or manager has their own style. Listen carefully. It’s not only what they say but how they say it that will help you know if they are the right match for you.

2. If I sign with a manager, do I need to be signed with one agent or will I freelance with many? Years ago, managers submitted directly on projects without an agent and used an attorney to negotiate the contract. This is still a grey area. Some continue to work this way. In the world of child actors, it is very common to work with a manager and freelance with a few agents. Whichever agent calls the manager for the client first, wins. Today, many managers sign their clients to one agent and collaborate as a team. Find out how your prospective rep works and make sure it will meet your needs.

3. What is the difference between a freelance agreement and signing with one agent? It is typical to sign a one-year exclusive contract with an agent and a three-year contract with a manager. It is also possible to work on a handshake or freelance with several agents. Offering you a contract may give you a sense of security knowing your rep is committed to you. Ask the company you are interviewing with how they operate and see if it will work for you.

I’m sure you are flattered and excited to be interviewing with the agent and/or manager, but remember, you are hiring them. Ask questions, get informed, and listen carefully. This is an important decision, and you want to make sure that it’s a good fit.

Tune in next week for Part Two on how to best prepare for your interview.

What ‘Raise the Stakes’ Really Means for Actors

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Something actors hear all the time from casting directors and directors is “raise the stakes.” But do you really know what it means?

Let’s begin with one basic fact that is true for every script you will ever read: it is not just “any” day in the life of the character, it is a very special and deeply meaningful day. There is something very big the character needs to have happen, something vitally important that he or she must accomplish. When do you think the character needs to accomplish this? The answer is always, always, always, RIGHT NOW.

Here’s a scene for you. Billy and Susie were high school sweethearts. They went their separate ways and years later, Billy can’t get Susie out of his mind. He needs to let her know he loves her and wants to be with her. He sees through Facebook that Susie is engaged and decides he must let her know how he feels. Those are the given circumstances of the scene. Billy needs to tell Susie how he feels and find out if she feels the same way, despite the obstacle that Susie is engaged. When must he do it? Right now!

Why now? If Billy doesn’t take action immediately, he will lose Susie again—probably forever—and that will destroy him. So Billy has a deep need to take action right now.

But what if there is no specific timeline given by the writer? Create a sense of urgency for yourself. In the example scene, you might decide that Billy just found out that Susie is getting married tomorrow. Urgency! Take action! They didn’t tell you that—you made it up. Not only is it fun and inspiring, it helps you spring into action. When? Right now!

To create a compelling and fascinating performance, you must have a true and powerful need to take action, just like Billy. You must make Billy’s need your need. We do not mean the imitation of Billy’s need, we mean you must find in yourself a true need to accomplish what you’re setting out to do. In acting terms, we call this personalization.

Personalization means finding a way to relate personally to the circumstances the character is going through. To make this very simple, we can say that the character has a problem he or she needs to solve right now and you need to make that problem your problem. The way to begin this process is to look at the character’s situation and ask yourself what might be going on for you that would give you a similar problem or challenge to overcome. What you choose to work with must be imaginary yet at the same time, it must have true meaning for you. This is what will make the problem necessary for you to solve and will make you take immediate action. It’s also the part of the work that will take you away from the false, fake, pretending-based acting and instead, will lead you to acting that has a beautiful quality of reality, vitality, and emotional aliveness.

How badly you want your deep need to be met is what will create the high stakes. It’s not just what you want from the other person in the scene but what you do to get it. Because there is a conflict and it’s not easy to accomplish, this makes things interesting for you and compelling for the audience as they witness you fight for your life.

Delete the word “casual” from your acting vocabulary. There is no moment that is casual for the actor. Even if you think the character is “just sitting around doodling,” there is something important going on. A one-minute audition scene, a two-hour film, 16 bars of a song…they all need to have something important happening. Just like in our lives, in every moment there is much at stake.

When what you are doing to get what you want in spite of your obstacle has great meaning to you, only then do you become interesting to watch.

Acting Between the Lines

Emma González, a Marjorie Stoneman Douglas student and activist, spoke for just under two minutes at the March for Our Lives rally in Washington. She described the effects of gun violence in emotional detail and recited the names of classmates who were killed by a school shooter. Then she said nothing for four minutes and twenty-six seconds. It was her silence that was perhaps the most influential statement of all, communicating, “We are angry, hurt, and we will not go away quietly.”

Emma’s use of silence was a powerful example for young actors: the lines in the script are only a part of the scene. When I was a young actor and got cast in a show, the first thing I did was count my lines. I thought the number of lines I had would determine the size and importance of my role. Today, one of the biggest mistakes I see all too often is acting the dialogue only.

When handed an audition side, take a look at the amount of black type and white space on the piece of paper. What percentage of the paper is white? 30 percent? 50 percent? 70 percent? That space is all actable.

Consider this scenario. Your friend accuses you of stealing her boyfriend. You may have indeed done so and don’t want to fess up. She is probing deeply with lots of questions. She is raging, firing away with even more accusations. You process your thoughts, think about whether to tell the truth or lie, stay silent while figuring it out—any number of reactions before you utter a word. All of this fascinating behavior is happening on your face and body between spoken lines of dialogue.

Recently, some of my students were auditioning for a horror film in which two sisters are alone in their house when they hear someone enter downstairs. One sister is huddled in the corner fearing for her life while the other is taking action, figuring out what to do to stop the perp from getting to them. There is not much dialogue on the page but there is a lot of stage direction: Girl nods, a troubled look in her eyes. She listens intently, breathes deeply, stares out the window. She hears another noise. Did the front door open? Is the perp inside, getting closer? She goes to the door, pauses, listens. She hears another sound and freezes.

What’s an actor to do in those moments? The girl is fighting for her life, so a savvy actor will react to what is happening with that intention. How? By freaking out, taking charge, crying, or creating a game plan. Actors must make choices and create non-verbal reactions that convey action and even show thoughts. To create a believable, real-life scenario, his acting between the lines must occur.

One of my favorite acting exercises is “five lines in five minutes.” The actor can only utter five lines and must take five minutes to do so. This exercise will allow students to explore other ways to communicate and try to get what she wants. For example, if the character’s deep need in the scene is to get her mom to stop drinking, what can she do other than speaking while the mom is avoiding the subject? Sitting in the silence while her frustration is building will allow the lines to come from a real place when finally spoken.

It’s not comfortable to sit in the silence. We use the words as a cover-up, a crutch. But sit in the quiet, be uncomfortable and see what happens. Use this exercise in your daily life which is, of course, the best playground for an actor.

You’ve all heard the phrase “acting is reacting.” We don’t act only when speaking. Watch, notice, observe and listen to your real life. We act, react, and respond all the time, non-verbally, in the silence, between the moments. Emma Gonzalez showed us the power of silence. Use her speech as an inspiration to become more comfortable using silence and non-verbal communication in your acting. That’s how you create magical, real scenes.

How Well Do You Know Your Craft?

Every year, thousands of young people decide they want to pursue acting. Many make that choice because they think it looks easy. And it looks easy because the great actors make it seem like they’re not really doing anything. But the truth is, they have worked very hard on their craft—that’s the key. Good acting may look easy, but it’s not.

For those of you who think you know a thing or two about the craft of acting, here’s a little quiz to test your knowledge.

1. The character is always you.

  • A) Yes

  • B) Sometimes

  • C) No

  • D) Yes and no

The answer? A. The character is always you. Who is uttering the words? Whose tears are flowing? Whose heart is racing? Who is wearing the costume? You must always begin with yourself. If you don’t, you will end up an empty shell.

2. Which of the following is NOT a good way to emotionally prepare to begin a scene?

  • A) Shooting hoops before entering.

  • B) Using an analogous situation from what the character is experiencing to tap into the character’s emotional life.

  • C) Imagining the same situation the character is going through.

  • D) Eating a lot of candy.

The answer? D. Getting pumped up on sugar can actually get in the way of your performance. To properly prepare, any one or a combination of the other answers are true. Tapping into your emotional life by imagining something to be true is what actors do and to do this, you must exercise and strengthen your actor’s imagination. If your character is in a playful state of mind perhaps playing basketball before entering may also help you get into the proper mindset.

3. What is acting?

  • A) Faking an emotion.

  • B) Pretending to be the best you can be.

  • C) Living truthfully under imaginary circumstances.

  • D) Hiding behind a character.

The answer? C. According to the great acting teacher and guru Sanford Meisner, acting is living truthfully under imaginary circumstances. It is a simple way to define what an actor does to create a performance you can believe.

4. What is an acting teacher’s job?

  • A) To tell you how to say the lines.

  • B) To intimidate you to be your best.

  • C) To be your best friend.

  • D) To help you find your truth.

The answer? D. A good acting teacher will help you direct yourself with skill, guidance, and support. They will do this without ego and with a strong sense of self. You will feel welcomed and heard and an equal partner in the process. When a student asks, “How do I say this line?” a teacher must never give a response. Instead, they may ask you to reframe the question to, “What does the character want?” or “Why are they saying this line.

5. Which of the following is not true? To be a good actor you need to be…

  • A) Humble

  • B) A good human

  • C) Interested

  • D) Confident

The answer? Trick question! Every answer is correct. Good actors are not ego-driven; they’re interested in other people and they are kind. Other people want to work with them.

The truth is, many actors at every age approach acting by imitating what they have seen before or trying to make it look like they are having an experience that they’re not having. This is not acting. This is not related to acting. There is no life and there is no fun. Good acting is real, honest, and truthful.

5 Ways To Help Child Actors Stay On Top of Schoolwork

How many times have you pulled your child out of school early for an audition? Does your teenager miss the first few classes in the morning because of a late night at the theater? Going to school, attending auditions, and working can be a heavy burden for anyone – especially a child or teenager. Here are some tips to help you as parents and guardians manage the scheduling demands of your busy young performer.

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1. Make sure your child gets enough rest. Not only can sleep deprivation lead to poor school performance, it can also compromise your child’s immune system, resulting in allergies or other sickness. If your child starts missing school due to illness, playing “catch up” will just add more stress.

2. Ensure your child is eating a healthy balanced diet. Yes, this is easier said than done. I have kids of my own, and they like sweets. When they are filled with sugar and carbs, they will be lethargic, moody, and not at the top of their game. The next time your child needs a pick-me-up, substitute a protein bar for that Snickers bar.

3. Keep good communication with the school and teachers. Consulting with the school in advance is absolutely a key element to creating a supportive school environment and helping your child stay on top of his or her academics. When children miss class in public school, they are marked absent. They are only allowed a certain number of absences per semester, and "working" absences are not always considered "excused." Consulting with the principal or district supervisor, especially on long, on-going shoots (TV series, movies, etc.), may help you keep the truant officer away from your door.

4. Make sure your child is attending a school that is supportive of their job. I frequently get asked by parents, ”Which school would support my child best?” I decided to ask Alan Simon, president of School for Young Performers and On Location Education, the nation’s premier tutoring service for child performers, to answer this question as he knows a thing or two about school and its demands on young actors.

"Schools that are supportive of the working actor's lifestyle come in many forms. In addition to the School for Young Performers, there is the Professional Children's School. Both of these are examples of private schools that can accommodate a family's needs. Some families prefer to home-school through a variety of programs, some independent, some religious, some affiliated with universities and other institutions of learning. Additionally, there are also many public 'magnet' programs that support drama majors and working performers. Whatever you choose, make sure that your school of record will sign your child's work permit. Completion of satisfactory educational performance must be attested to by a recognized public, private, or home-schooling program in order for your child to legally work in at least forty of the fifty states."

5. Develop a good routine. Sticking to a regular schedule and routine can also help balance the work and school load. The problem is that show business does NOT follow a schedule. For the working child actor, there are hold days, re-shoots, matinee performances, unexpected overruns, etc. Explaining the business of show business to the school takes some doing. They understand scheduling conflicts such as sanctioned sports trips and children with illnesses and broken limbs. The schedule of a “working child”? Not so much. They will have to learn to "roll with it" as much as the family does. When exploring your school options, consider how supportive the school can be before settling on one.

Although my own children are not in show business, I know what it takes to manage their busy schedules. In order to be the best parent I can be I need to practice self-care as well. As the parent of a child actor, I recommend you follow my advice here not only for your child, but also for yourself. Get enough sleep, eat well, plan your schedule, and don’t forget to throw a little fun in too!