Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tips for the parent of a Child Actor


1. Create a RESUME (Please see my ‘The Audition Doctor’ facebook page for instructions on how to structure your FILM resume). I know that Dallas will not have credits yet, however, we still need to know his stats, contact information, special skills, and training. Please DO NOT put your modeling credits on your acting resume, some Casting Director’s will NOT hire models if they are looking for ACTORS.

2. Research your area for Advertising Agency’s and send each of them a HEADSHOT & Resume. Your note should say:
Dear (Name of Marketing Director),
Please consider my son for your 2012 & 2013 projects.
Thank you very much,

You can send this information through the internet, however, you will get more results if you send a HARD COPY to the Marketing Director at the advertising office. You will want to call the agency and ask. “Who hires your actors?” or “May I speak to your Marketing Director?” If they say that they use a TALENT AGENT to find talent for their projects, get an appointment with that AGENT asap. They usually have a favorite TALENT AGENT that handles all of their talent.

3. Research your TALENT Agencies and look for a SAG (Screen Actors Guild) Agent. Your child will NOT be able to speak in a SAG project unless he is in the Screen Actors Guild. Therefore, you will want an AGENT who has been registered (certain guidelines apply) by the Screen Actors Guild. It is highly unlikely that a NON-Union agent will be able to BOOK a union project without getting into trouble with the Screen Actors Guild. Your child can still work with a NON-Union agent but ultimately, he will want to TALK on film. Actors who don’t talk are called EXTRA’S or Background Talent – 2 names you do NOT want to be called!

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4. Order PARENT related books from the Screen Actors Guild. You can go to These books are FREE and available to you upon request. If you are going to play this game, you should know the rules and guidelines that you will be following as a parent of a famous actor.

5. Secure a WORK PERMIT for your child actor. This is a FREE service. You must also request this information from the Screen Actors Guild. You will want to order a WORK Permit for your city as well as a WORK Permit for Los Angeles.

6. Open a COOGAN Account for your child actor. This is another free service provided by your bank. This information is also provided by the Screen Actors Guild.

7. Trust NO ONE!!! Contact your local FBI if you suspect fraud. You should have the FBI contact information near your phone.

8. NEVER give money up front to an AGENT!!! YOU are HIRING them!!! Check with the Better Business Bureau for the agency ranking and to see if they have had any complaints filed. All of this information is FREE to the public. I believe it is YOUR responsibility to research your potential employees ( AGENT – MANAGER – ACTING COACH etc.). You need to protect yourself and be educated.

9. Have your child actor AUDIT every acting class in town and find an acting coach ASAP.

10. Go to your libraries and start reading everything you can about the craft of acting. Your University library is also a wonderful source.

11. Ask EVERYONE who wants to train your son, for their resume and check them out. It’s only your kid’s life we are talking about!!! Go to class with your son the first few sessions with a new teacher. Once you trust the coach; tape all the classes that he is taking and review these classes with your son. I want to make sure that your son is getting a POSITIVE EDUCATION. Some acting coaches will introduce PG-13 or R-Rated material to your child and will believe that it is acceptable. Or, the coach will be mean to your child once you have left the room. Your son is at an age where every word matters, so please choose your acting coaches diligently.

12. Find age-appropriate, feature film monologues to memorize. Tape the finished piece and place it on YouTube. Casting Directors are constantly looking for new faces. Get out there asap!!! Your child’s work should make me fall over laughing or sob my brains out. No mediocre work. Your monologue should be NO LONGER than two minutes.

13. Start auditioning for parts in a STAGE production. In our business, theater actors are highly regarded.

14. Consider an internship this summer with a local production company or local theatre company.

15. Most cities have a Local Film Office, pay them a visit.

16. Send your picture and resume to the ACTOR’S that your child could play as a KID…like your son looks like a young Brad Pitt. You can go to and join the IMDBPro site; on this site, you can find out the contact information to almost everyone in the film business. Send him your information asap.

17. While you are there, at IMDBPro, send your picture and resume to the top 100 director’s in the world.

18. Have your child read everything OUT LOUD and up and OFF THE Page. On my ‘The Audition Doctor’ facebook page, I will be posting the course videos of my newest students.

Rose Heeter – The Audition Doctor

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