Keep Your Child Actor From Being Bummed if an Audition Doesn’t Work Out

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When you work hard for something, try your best, and still don’t get the result that you want, you feel disappointed. Bummed out. Discouraged. As adults, we know what a lousy feeling that is. So imagine being a child actor and being told no ... a lot. Ouch! Everyone wants to protect their child from feeling bad about themselves. So how do you keep your child from feeling just that when they don’t book a job?

Though it may be easier said than done, the simplest, most immediate thing you can do is change the focus. Put less importance on the booking of the job and more on the journey to the booking.

Be an example.
The perfect example of how not to set a good example is the little girl who called and asked me how she could help her mom who was throwing up for three days after the girl didn’t book a gig she’d gotten two callbacks on. Don’t be this mom! If you obsess over every audition, your child will too. If your child goes into the audition room prepared and does his or her best, that should be satisfaction enough. Forget about it after. As a mom to an actor, no one understands that better than I do that this is a much simpler thing to think about than to actually do, but it’s also one of the most important. If you insist on obsessing, please hide it from your child.

READ: How to Get Cast on a Disney or Nickelodeon Show

Have fun with the process.
Do something special on audition days. It doesn’t matter whether it’s grabbing a snack at a special diner or a Broadway soundtrack you listen and sing along with in the car, make the audition a fun thing for the two of you. Your child will look forward to having the special time with you during the audition process. The time spent in the car talking is great bonding time.

Let them know it isn’t personal.
Maybe Susie had had the perfect audition, nailed every line and nuance, and the director still ends up going with Judy who wasn’t as awesome but has the same shade of blue eyes as the actor playing her dad. Talent doesn’t always equal a booking. Convey to your child that there are many things they have no control over during the process. Every child is going to be too small, too tall, too young, too old, too dark or too light haired, the wrong eye color, and the wrong gender for an audition. Just a different one each time.

Have an onward and upward mentality.
There will always be another audition down the road. Don’t get too invested in any one job.b

In this industry, even the most talented child will experience more nos than yeses. Let your child know you love them and are proud of them after every audition. The booking is just icing on an already delicious cake!

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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.

Jackie Reid
Jackie Reid owns and operates L’il Angels Unlimited, a talent management company, which specializes in placing young actors in films, theater productions, commercials, print media, on television, and with voiceover work. Reid works extensively with agents in New York and L.A.