High school sophomores and juniors start your engines. It is time to begin considering colleges for next year's college application process. With many of you planning to visit schools during spring break, I thought it would be both helpful and fun to guide you towards the right performing arts degree with a little self-assessment quiz. Scoring is below. In the coming months, Denise will explore questions about college admissions in a series of free upcoming teleseminars with theater professionals from several well regarded programs throughout the country.
January may be the start of the calendar year, but September is the real new year for children and teens. As your child heads back to school, they should also prepare for the new opportunities that await them in television, theater, and film. Proper planning sets a good precedent and keeps your child grounded.
To have a successful year, and stay sane, use these planning tips in September.
Many children I’ve worked with have expressed a need to act. It wasn’t just that acting was a hobby they enjoyed, but that they derived more happiness from acting than any other activity on the planet. If you have a child like that, you might worry that participating in the entertainment business will harm them and they won’t be able to live any type of normal life. There are downsides to fame after all. However, my 30 years in this industry have taught me that children who pursue their acting dreams actually reap great benefits from their experiences and they can navigate any downsides and achieve normalcy with your help.
Here are four concerns you might have about the industry and how you can help your child with them as they pursue their acting career.
For more than 30 years, I’ve worked with young actors and found that many of them fall victim to the same simple mistakes. Talented children are regularly passed over in auditions because of bad habits that parents sometimes don’t even notice. If you’re on the lookout for these common mistakes and can fix them, you might find your child getting more attention in the audition room. Here are seven mistakes you can help your kid avoid.
Some young actors dread working on monologues. Perhaps it’s because they have trouble speaking to someone who isn’t there or maybe they have no idea how to find one that’s unique enough to fit their personality and is interesting to perform. Well, help is on the way!
It’s a thrill getting the phone call from your agent or manager saying the words you’ve been waiting to hear: “Pack your bags. You’re going on tour.” You let your school know you’ll be absent for 6-12 months and you bid goodbye to your friends and family as you embark on the dream of a lifetime.
With the recent media expose about wealthy parents who allegedly bribed and lied to purchase college admission for their children, my students and I have had many discussions about fairness, responsibility, and accountability. My students were angry. Kids are refreshingly honest and forthright. They know the difference between earning something and getting it in an underhanded way. They said “I work my butt off to get into a good school. I don’t want someone to get my spot just because their parents have more money than mine do.”
The interview is the time to personally interact and see if you and the agency or management company are the right fit for each other. It’s kind of like a first date. Sure, you may be nervous. You may be thinking, “If I am just plain old me, will I make enough of an impression?" Your best bet is to be prepared, but also be yourself. Look your best without trying too hard. Relax and have a good time. This is supposed to be fun, remember?
“Acting for Dummies” is the silliest name for a book on acting because acting is certainly NOT for dummies. It takes a real education to look natural in front of an audience or camera. As an acting coach, my teaching style consists of myriad techniques learned over the years from some very gifted teachers in the industry. This mix is also reflected in my reading list. Between my Kindle and my bedside table, I have perused and read far too many books to list in one article. However, I’d like to recommend six must-haves for aspiring and working actors alike.