FAQ: I have been on a ton of castings, but my child hasn’t booked a job lately. What are we doing wrong?
A: Welcome to showbiz – the only gig in town where you have to interview for a job over and over again. No one said it would be easy! Every case is different and all models and actors have dry spells, but here are 8 things you can do to get your baby back in a groove.
1. Repeat to yourself – “nothing is wrong with my child!” No seriously. Do it!
2. Think about your recent castings- How was your child’s mood? Does he do better in the morning or afternoon? Before a nap but after he’s eaten? Kids are fickle and they like routine. Many castings give a range of times you can show up. Try to pick times that fit your child’s natural schedule rather than the other way around.
3. Practice, Practice Practice! If your child is old enough, try practicing at home. My son knew how to slate his name, age, and location at 2. He could walk into a room, look directly at the casting director, or camera and say – “Hi! My name is Caleb, I am 2 years old and I am from Newark, NJ!”. They loved him!
4. How do you show up to castings? Are you late? Disheveled? Unprepared? Surprisingly enough we can set the tone for our children. Look I get it. I’ve had to sit in traffic, watching the clock, look for parking and sprint blocks with my son trying to get to a casting on time. I’d be sweating, out of breath even. Not a good look, trust me. The energy you bring in can affect them. Leave enough time to enjoy the process, because castings should be fun for kids, even if they don’t book the job.
5. Make sure your child looks like his picture! If your agent sends a headshot to the casting director and your child is selected, they expect your child to show up looking like the picture they saw. This is why current photos are so important. I have worked in casting and I can’t tell you how often people show up looking COMPLETELY different. It is annoying for everyone who took time selecting the right mix of talent to call in. It’s false advertising!!
6. Make sure child looks his age and is dressed appropriately. Hair should be combed and neat. Clothes should not have large logos, graphics or busy prints that take away the attention. Also think about the casting and try to be mindful of the role or activity. If you aren’t sure what to wear always ask your agent for suggestions!
7. Does your child follow directions? If the photographer tells your child to stand on an X, turn right and left, jump up and down, smile or don’t smile – will your child follow along? Practice these things so your child can do what she is told and still get great photos. Castings often go so fast there is no time to waste on a kid who can’t keep up.
8. Ask your agent or manager for advice. Make sure your child is being submitted to the right jobs. Maybe it is time for a new haircut, or new headshots. Or perhaps your child is ready for a change in focus. For instance my oldest son started as a print model, but as he got a little older it was clear he’d be better for commercials and theater. He still booked a few print jobs, but he got many more videos, commercials and acting roles. 8 years later and he is still working and loves being in the industry!
The most important thing to remember is not to give up too easily when you hit a rough patch. Don’t get discouraged. Try these 8 steps, keep an open mind and positive attitude and you will be back on set before you know it!
For my experienced Mochas, how are some ways you have gotten out of a booking drought? Please share in comments!