How To Become a Child Actor in Massachusetts
There’s no need to travel the long distances to LA or NY. If your child is just starting out then keeping it local is best.
Our smaller community helps them get recognized and remembered by casting directors more easily. So many movies are being filmed here, I’ve lost count. There are television shows and commercials, as well. So, how do you get a piece of the action? There are a few steps and a few rules to keep in mind.
If you’re thinking of taking the whole acting idea seriously then enrolling your child in classes and getting them involved with a community theater program (LINX and Wheelock Family Theatre are just two of Boston Parents Paper Family Favorite Award Winners) is a great way to start. Besides giving them experience, you want to build their resume. Children who have had small roles somewhere or at least lessons stand out more to casting directors and often feel more comfortable in front of the camera.
Two of the biggest casting companies in Boston are Boston Casting and C.P. Casting. They offer classes for children on things like the basics of acting and improvisation. They can be very fun and even if your kid is more on the shy side, this may help them open up. While I recommend going to one of these places for networking opportunities, you can always find classes that are more local and not as pricey. Next, think about getting an agent.
Agents aren’t always necessary but they help with finding jobs. They can take care of a lot of the work for you and you just have to show up at the audition. Some of your profit will go to them but you should not have to pay to join an agency. This is important to remember to avoid scams. To find a good agent, you can check with the BBB, read reviews and ask your acting teachers for recommendations.
Next, get some professional head shots. Head shots and resumes are so important. As an adult, would you go to a job interview without a resume? The casting directors need to know the child’s information and have pictures to remember him or her by. Head shots and classes are two of the only things you should be paying for.
Now, if your child just wants to be an extra, then classes, agents and head shots aren’t necessary. Keep updated by following local casting agencies such as: Boston Casting, C.P. Casting, Maura Tighe Casting, Christine Wyse and New England Film, just to name a few. Student films are also great for the resume. You can occasionally find local casting calls in the newspaper.
Remember, nothing happens overnight. Be professional and make sure your child is having fun. Good luck!
Jennifer Hanrahan is an intern with Boston Parents Paper and recent graduate of Newbury College.