One of the most frequent questions we get asked from parents is “Why isn’t my child getting any callbacks?!” It can be very frustrating to go on audition after audition without receiving any feedback. At L’il Angels, it is our policy to call in kids for a personal evaluation after a period of time has passed without any callbacks. We bring the child into the room without a parent and hold a mock audition. These are some of the factors that we see that affect your child’s ability to get to the next level of a project.
1. Not Prepared. If we give your child a script in advance, it is expected that the material will be memorized. When a child goes into an audition and reads from the paper, it shows a lack of interest and seriousness on the part of the actor. If the casting director wanted a cold read, they would have given you the material in the waiting room.
2. No Eye Contact. When your child walks into a room to meet a casting director, remind them to look the casting director in the eyes when they are speaking to them. You want your child to establish a connection with the casting director, and eye contact is step 1!
3. Fidgeting. When a child is being taped for an audition, every fidget and tic is magnified by the camera. If your child is playing with their hair, blinking a lot, rocking on their feet, etc, it comes across HUGE on camera.
4. Lack of Enthusiasm. When your child is auditioning for hot dogs and when asked if they like hot dogs, shrug and say “I guess so," this is not going to inspire a sponsor to make your child the face of that product.
An easy way for parents to try and figure out what is going in is to get a video camera or use their iPhone and do a pretend audition. If your child is younger than 10, it’s best to have someone else do the taping so you can see how the child is responding to a stranger. Play the tape back for your child and show them what is going wrong. I have used this technique for years and it has taken many kids from no callbacks to callbacks and bookings!
Jackie Reid owns and operates L’il Angels Unlimited, a talent management company, which specializes in young actors for placements in film, television, theater, commercials, voiceover, and print media. She works extensively with agents in New York and L.A. She possesses an excellent eye for talent that both casting directors and agents value. She understands what it takes to support young actors as a stage mom to two children, one of whom currently plays Sinjin on Nickeldeon’s hit series "Victorious." Follow her on Twitter @LilAngelsTalent and like her on Facebook.