3 Essential Traits Child Actors Need to Succeed

Article Image

Show business is glamorous to the outside observer. It is exciting, exhilarating, and draws people who dream of living in that world into the footlights or studio from all walks. Insiders, however, know it is a lot of hard work and not everyone is cut out for it. How do you know if your child has what it takes to succeed? Here are three necessary traits that all successful performers in the industry have in common.

Passion. There is no doubt when young performers get bit by the acting, singing, and dancing bug that they are excited about it! It’s fun! Everyone will see their talent. Their friends will be jealous. The rewards will be fabulous! The question is whether this thrill will last. Is it rooted in a true passion for the craft? Look for the evidence. A child who is truly passionate about performing will be driven to exist in that world above all else. Sports? No thanks, I want to train with my voice coach. Spend Saturday at the mall? No way! I have acting class! Take a cruise during Spring Break? Isn’t there a performing arts program where I can try out for a musical during that vacation? It is this love affair with performing that is the whole reason for getting into the business. There is no substitute.

Dedication. Show business does not notice people with a passing interest in performing. A child needs to be committed to learning, practicing, and developing her talent above all other interests. There is a lot of competition and many talented people vying for attention, so each child will need to work hard and drive his own progress forward. This commitment means a child looks for opportunities to pursue her craft, getting involved in school productions, and community theater. He may be asking for a manager or agent, not waiting for someone else to suggest it. Your child will be memorizing her lines during her free time rather than playing Xbox or surfing the web. The mere thought of being late to acting class keeps her motivated to do her chores and homework on time. It would not be a struggle to get him to focus and do the work needed to memorize his monologue or nail his dance routine because he loves it. The work gets done.

Resilience. Everyone faces rejection in show business. While it may take some time to adjust to it, the experience of being told “no” is valuable. A performer can’t quit when things become challenging. He has to go out the next day and try another audition. And another. No one is right for all roles, and there are infinite reasons why one does or does not get cast. It is not personal. Understanding this is necessary to learning persistence. Courage, confidence, and resilience are needed every step of the way.

Pursuing a career in the performing arts is a tough road! Talent and skill are important, but they are not enough. It takes hard work over a long period of time to break through, so you have to be industrious. There are many disappointments before every triumph, so you have to have faith that the work will pay off. You keep pushing forward because you believe that success is right through the next door you open. All of these things together create the engine for success, and passion is the fuel that propels you forward.

Master your craft, empower yourself, and enjoy the journey.

Get more advice from Denise Simon 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.

Author Headshot
Denise Simon
Denise Simon is a New York-based acting coach and career consultant who has been involved in the entertainment industry for more than 30 years as an actor, teacher, director, casting director and personal talent manager.
See full bio and articles here!