Q&A: Do u know of any people who need 11-14 year olds to audition…?

Question by po!z3nSky: Do u know of any people who need 11-14 year olds to audition…?
I am looking for auditions for films, or commercials tht r looking for 11-14 year-old actresses. U know of any?? (In MI) *Not Detroit, plz!!=)

Best answer:

Answer by TR
Yes–but they’re not professional.

Lots and lots of young people want to get into show business. And that’s a decent ambition, but almost none of them make it. If you really have a passion for acting as a profession, you can get to a career, but you need to have a realistic plan. And it’s long-term.

At this point in your life, it’s safe to say that you have no professional experience. If you should get your parents to take you to a professional audition, you’d find yourself competing with dozens of other people your age who have been in professional shows before–some since infancy. Plus, there will be some young adults who can PLAY your age. If you were a director, what are the odds you’d choose the inexperienced newbie over the experienced teen who knows the business–or the young adult who doesn’t have child labor law restrictions?

So your odds of just finding a professional job right now are near zilch. However, a realistic long-term plan will improve your odds–though let’s face it, getting into show biz is never easy. But if you have the heart, here’s how to go for it–these are fairly generic instructions, and you may need to adjust according to what grade you’re in:

Right now:

Get into as many shows as you can. School plays, and also amateur community theatre, local college theatre, and even local semi-pro productions if you can find them. Look for announcements of auditions in weekly entertainment newspapers, and phone community troupes and college departments to find out if they have a role you might play in an upcoming show. If not, volunteer to work backstage or with the audience if they’ll have you. This will give you experience, plus it will build a network of people who love theatre and who are knowledgeable.

Take instruction–classes, workshops, seminars, lessons–in acting, voice, dance, acrobatics, diction, fencing, horseback riding, any other skills that an actor might conceivably use. Also, read lots of plays–start with the masters, Shakespeare, Miller, Sophocles, Williams, etc.–also read books about acting (Hagan, Lewis) and other aspects of theatrical arts.

In high school, prepare for college by taking four years of English, four of math, biology, chemistry, physics, foreign language, history, and a range of arts and humanities. Phys ed is good, too. If there’s a drama club, join it and work your way to a leadership position.

In your Junior Year:

Work with your counselor and also any theatre contacts you’ve made to identify 4 or 5 colleges where you can get a bachelor of fine arts (BFA) in theatrical performance. NOT a plain bachelor of arts (BA), that’s an academic degree, the BFA is professional preparation. Pick 1 or 2 “stretch” schools that you’ll need to be lucky to get into, 1 or 2 “likely” schools that are competitive but that probably will take you, and 1 “safety” school that accepts everybody.

In your Senior Year:

Early in the Fall, apply to your selected colleges. Doing it early puts you in line for more financial aid, but it also is often necessary, after the college or university accepts you as a student, to then apply and get accepted to the theatre program. The theatre department will want an acting resume (which lists major instruction you’ve had and roles/tasks you’ve performed in shows), perhaps a head shot (a photo of you, no makeup, regular hair), letters of reference (best ones from theatre people, particularly college theatre), and an audition (you pay your own way there).

The BFA program will hone your skills and will teach you the ins and outs of the business end of show business. Complete that, and you’re ready to start clawing your way into a reliable career.

One final word of advice: there will be agents who will offer to kick-start your career for a fee. Ignore them; no legitimate agent collects a fee up front, they agree to represent you and they collect a percentage of your pay from acting jobs. Also beware of agencies that will take you for free but require you to take lessons or get photos from their exclusive providers–those lessons/photos will cost more than typical and some of that gets kicked back to the agency. Don’t fall for that kind of scam–rule of thumb, no agent with any integrity will want to represent any actor who isn’t qualified to join one of the professional unions (Equity, SAG, or AFTRA).

That’s the plan that the majority of professional actors follow. Break a leg, kiddo!

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