A Parent’s Guide to Why Your Child Was (or Wasn’t) Cast

Photo Source: Photo by Joseph Gonzalez on Unsplash

Bookings don’t come easy for most actors, so when your child is close, it’s exhilarating. But the difference between the gold and silver medalist is 1/100th of a second. You and your child have done all you can and now it’s out of your hands; the decision is with the producers or other powers that be.

That phone call may or may not come, but whether you’re on the right or wrong side of the booking, here are a few things to remember about how the final decision is made when it comes to whether your child got the job or now.

1. Your child’s look.
If your child looked like what they needed, that can be a big factor. For many castings, it’s a marketing decision. Maybe your child resembled the parents that had already been cast or he was shorter than the bully. On the flip side, maybe your child was more talented than his competition but his look wasn’t what they needed.

If you get the final call, it’s still a booking. Take it and thank your family lineage for giving your kid the right gene pool for this role.

2. Your child’s résumé.
Maybe your daughter was clearly the better actor, but she was just too new or unaccomplished. The role is too big and her résumé isn’t strong enough for this director. Remember that time is money and they don’t want to get this wrong. So they go for option number two, the safer bet, the one with solid or more credits.

3. That one little thing your child did.
The expression “you remember moments in life” is true of auditions as well. Maybe your child had a spontaneous moment in the audition that produced something really funny, really sincere, or really captivating. Whatever it was, it was really right. He made them feel something in the scene and that’s why he got the call.

4. Timing.
The actor they wanted suddenly wasn’t available, so they went to their second choice. Number one has a situational conflict with the new shooting days, an unexpected family emergency, or something that prevented them from ultimately accepting the job. Congrats. The production is still happy to have your child.

READ: How to Help Kids Handle Rejection

5. Your child’s skill level.
Your daughter is simply more talented or not as talented as the other actor. Her moments were stronger, her choices more interesting. She was more connected to the role, more focused, specific, engaging or surprising, from beginning to end...or not.

5. Your child’s background.
Casting directors have called me regarding my kids when they get close to a major booking. They want to know about the parents and the child’s background. Difficult parents can lose the job for kids, enough said. It’s been written a thousand times before. If you’re a difficult parent, the industry knows. This can sway the final decision. Unfair to the child? Yes. Reality? Yes.

6. Something completely out of your control.
Maybe your child was up against a famous actor and the director wanted a name. Or the director’s nephew wants to act. Sure, it sucks, but there’s nothing you can do. Unfortunately, it’s the way of the world in every industry.

For better or worse, you’ll rarely get feedback on why your child did or didn’t book something unless your agent or manager inquires and casting is feeling generous. But life doesn’t always have answers, so it’s important to let it go, for the sake of your child and your sanity. It’s a tough call as to why your child is or isn’t selected over the other child, and you may never know. What you do know is that you can’t change it so move on and make sure your child knows that she did the best job she could do, that you are proud of her, and that some things just aren’t meant to be.

Charles Mitri is a Los Angeles-based headshot and portrait photographer who specializes in creating dramatic, moody images for actors and models. His work elicits emotions that are rarely felt from standard industry photography. He is also involved in creating his brand of stylized portraits that combine backgrounds shot separately with subjects shot in-studio, then composited together to create one of a kind artistic images. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, writing, yoga, swing dancing, tennis, and eating chocolate chip cookies.

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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.

Charles Mitri
Charles Mitri is a Los Angeles-based headshot and portrait photographer who specializes in creating dramatic, moody images for actors and models.
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