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Backstage Experts

Can You Trust Your Child's Acting Coach?

Can You Trust Your Child's Acting Coach?
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The success of a performer comes from their training, motivation and passion. Just as in the Olympics, a qualified coach can make a great difference in your child’s training and ability to win roles. Acting coaches are experts in enhancing performance skills. They are well trained, highly skilled and know the industry inside-out.

To move forward as an actor and be able to portray roles with intimacy and authenticity, you must trust your coach. You are enlisting them for their knowledge and advice and then practicing what they preach. Acting is such a personal business. Both you and your child must trust your acting coach to create a safe environment for growth. The best way to find a coach you can trust is to evaluate his or her professional etiquette, experience, and ethical standards.

Acting coaches can hang up a shingle without a teaching license or certification. They may be skilled, creative, well trained and even a genius, but how moral and ethical are they? My students come to rely on me as a confidant and mentor as they bare their souls and become vulnerable. They speak their truths, insecurities and fears while they dig within to learn who they are and how that relates to the character they are portraying. It’s deep work and requires me to be careful with their emotional growth.

Students often ask me for guidance and advice. They also share their excitement and joy when they are being considered for a role or book a job. The first thing they say is, “You’re not going to tell anyone, right?” Confidentiality is important for production and it is equally important in relationships. A nine year old student of mine booked a job, and when I asked him what it was he replied,” I can’t tell you because I signed a nondisclosure.” He then coyly asked, “Mom, what does that mean?”

Recently, another student brought a monologue to me and made me swear I wouldn’t give it to anyone else. They trust me to maintain their privacy and to coach them to their very best level of performance.

READ: "How to Choose an Acting Teacher for Your Child"

In addition to being an acting coach I am also a certified life coach. I trained with a master level coach and completed a rigorous examination process in order to receive my certification. My life coach training gives me ethical guidelines and professional standards while establishing trust with the client in a safe, supportive environment that produces ongoing mutual respect and trust. These are the principles I follow as an acting coach. I work with many young students and their parents need to know their child is safe and I can be trusted.

When you are looking for a trustworthy acting coach for your child, consider these characteristics. Does your coach:

 

  • Gossip?
  • Take personal or monetary advantage of the client?
  • Give misleading information or advice?
  • Become sexually intimate with clients?

 

Or does your coach instead:

 

  • Accurately identify their coaching qualifications, expertise and experience?
  • Recognize personal issues that may interfere with their coaching performance?
  • Report research with competency and honesty?
  • Avoid conflicts of interest?
  • Respect their clients’ rights to terminate coaching and not blacklist them?
  • Maintain the strictest level of confidentiality?

 

Before committing to a coach, do your homework. Ask around for recommendations, check them out on the web, read testimonials and trust your gut. As a parent, you know your child best. If you feel that something is off in the relationship between your child and an acting coach, trust that feeling and explore other options.

When you trust your child’s acting coach, and your child does too, it removes fear and anxiety. Once that happens, a young actor can open up to do his or her best work. Developing the art of performance requires a tremendous amount from a young actor. A trustworthy, ethical and experienced coach makes a big impact on that process.

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Denise Simon is a New York-based acting coach and Backstage Expert. For more information, check out Simon’s full bio! 

Want more advice from Denise Simon? Watch here: 

 

 

The views expressed in this article are solely that of the individual(s) providing them,
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Backstage or its staff.

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