How to Start Your Child’s Acting Career in a Rural Area or Minor Market

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If you live far away from Los Angeles or New York and your child has expressed an interest in becoming an actor, worry not: There are many ways for your child to start on this career path regardless of where you live. Countless performers have started in small towns, rural areas, and minor markets. 

Read on for insights from acting coach Mae Ross, the founder of 3-2-1 Acting Studios, about ways you can help your child actor get started.

Take online acting classes

If you have an internet connection, your child can access a wealth of online acting training resources, regardless of your location. 

Participate in school plays and local theaters

Take full advantage of all the resources your community has to offer. Even if your child is interested in working on TV shows, theater training and experience provide a great foundation—and also a lesson in work ethic since it takes a lot of hard work and commitment to put on a play or a musical.  

RELATED: How to Get Involved in Community Theater 

Find local acting classes

Education and training provide opportunities for exposure to talent agents and managers, and you may be surprised at the availability of acting classes in minor markets and small towns. If there are no local acting schools, see if nearby community theaters offer acting classes for children. Schools often offer an acting class as an elective, as well as after-school enrichment programs that have performing arts components. Do your research to maximize all nearby opportunities.

Look at local casting calls

Often, small businesses will cast their commercials locally. Reese Witherspoon auditioned for her first acting job—a local commercial—by responding to an ad in the newspaper. You can also check out the Backstage database of casting calls for child actors, filtering by location, to find out what projects are casting in your area. Major feature films and television shows will often film in rural and regional areas and cast locally for background talent and small speaking roles. 

Consider a nearby minor market

If there truly are no resources in your area, you may want to consider a nearby city that has opportunities for young actors. The good news is there are many expanding minor markets outside of Los Angeles and New York City. These include but are not limited to Atlanta, Chicago, New Orleans, Washington, D.C., Miami, Orlando, Austin, Dallas, and Boston. Here’s some more information on film markets outside of NYC and L.A.

Make your own content

Many kids are now creating their own digital content on YouTube, TikTok, and other social media platforms. If this is something your child is interested in doing, encourage them to get started, since big-city casting directors look at actors’ social media followings and posts.

Avoid scams

Beware of acting scams that promise wild amounts of success, fame, fortune, and immediate agency representation. These dishonest organizations often capitalize on people who live in rural areas of the U.S. who may have less knowledge about the entertainment industry. This business is full of tricksters trying to take advantage of actors, so be on high alert for red flags. 

The journey of an actor is certainly one full of adventure, learning, and fun. You and your child should embrace the resources available to you as you enter the world of performing.

Ready to get cast? Check out Backstage’s kids auditions!

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Mae Ross
Mae Ross is the Owner/ Director of L.A.’s highly acclaimed actor training center, 3-2-1 Acting Studios. Her leadership has garnered 3-2-1 consistent recognition as Hollywood's premier on-camera acting school for kids, teens, and adults. She has launched hundreds of successful acting careers with her expert on-camera coaching and professional guidance.
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