Acting for Kids

Become a child actor

Many kids want to be actors, actresses and Disney Channel Stars. However before all that happens you need to know what is required of kids in movies, TV and any other productions.

If you are a kid who wants to act make sure you are aware of all the following:

Kids can not go to auditions alone or be on-set alone. You must have a parent with you at all times. You can read the acting tips for kids and on-set tips for kids and parents.

So make sure that you have the full support of your parents and your parents are willing to do the work. Yes work! Being a child actor is a 2 for 1 deal. Hire the child and get the parent for free. If you work for 2 days on-set, so does your mom. Your parent has to be with you 100% of the time so make sure your parents have the time.

You will need to get some training and a bit of experience. Ask your parents if you can join a community theater group, school play or other activity.

Do kids absolutely need experience and training? The answer is no, but experience and some training will give you an edge over competition in a very competitive field. Actually what you need depends on age. A baby looking to do some baby modeling or a toddler are not expected to have any experience nor would you want to. A child of 15 is another story.

However, if acting is your dream, there is no harm in joining your schools drama club and you should have done that already.

What kids DO NOT need are expensive headshots and expensive acting classes. A young child who is just starting is not expected to have professional headshots and many child acting scams operate by convincing parents that they are required. If you do need headshots, choose your own photographer. An agent is not allowed to require you to use their photographer. Those that do are usually scammers and cheats.

More about child acting scams and modeling scams.

Once you have a bit of experience, you will need a resume. Your parents will have to create a resume for you which they will use to get you an agent.

Once you have an agent, there are a few more things that need to be done before you actually go to work.

A special bank account called a Coogan account for kids,  needs to be set-up for you. Without one you can not get paid.

Also, a child needs a work permit to work in most states. The links below are by State and will give you information on regulations within those States as well as how to go about getting a work permit.

To get a work permit, most States require a letter from school stating that the child is doing well and his grades are acceptable as well as a copy of a birth certificate.

 

Links to get a child’s work permit in different States.

Special Work Permits

States such as California, New York, Louisiana and New Mexico have special work permits and rules and proof of trust (a.k.a. Coogan) accounts for children who are employed in the entertainment industry. You will find information about those special permits and rules through the following links:

Californiahttp://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/DLSE-CL.htm

New Yorkhttp://www.labor.state.ny.us/workerprotection/laborstandards/secure/child_index.shtm

New Jerseyhttp://lwd.dol.state.nj.us/labor/wagehour/content/child_labor.html

New Mexicohttp://www.dws.state.nm.us/careersolutions/CSS-WorkP.html

Louisianahttp://www.laworks.net/Downloads/ORS/MinorIntentionToEmployForm.pdf

Work Permit Information

For more information about your state’s laws in relation to the employment of minors visit the following websites:

Alabamahttp://www.alalabor.state.al.us/CD/Movie%20Release.pdf
http://www.alalabor.state.al.us/PDFs/Work_Permit_Application.pdf

Alaskahttp://labor.state.ak.us/lss/childlaw.htm
http://labor.state.ak.us/lss/lssforms.htm

Arizonahttp://www.azcommerce.com/Film/Child+Labor+Laws+(Arizona+Youth+Labor+Law).htm

Arkansashttp://www.ark.org/labor/divisions/standards_childlabor.html

Coloradohttp://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/CDLE-EmployTrain/CDLE/1248095317847

Connecticuthttp://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/wgwkstnd/faqs-minors.htm

Delawarehttp://www.delawareworks.com/industrialaffairs/services/LaborLawEnforcementInfo.shtml

Floridahttp://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/reg/childlabor/index.html

Georgiahttp://www.dol.state.ga.us/em/child_labor.htm

Hawaiihttp://www.hawaiifilmoffice.com/film-permitting/filming-regulations/child-labor-law

Idahohttp://labor.idaho.gov/dnn/idl/LaborLaws/tabid/667/Default.aspx

Illinoishttp://www.ilga.gov/commission/jcar/admincode/056/05600250sections.html

Indianahttp://www.in.gov/dol/childlabor.htm

Kentucky: http://www.oet.ky.gov/des/pubs/jobser/childlabor.pdf
http://labor.ky.gov/dows/doesam/kcll/pages/child-labor-law.aspx

Mainehttp://www.maine.gov/labor/labor_laws/wagehour.html

Marylandhttp://dllr.maryland.gov/labor/mosh/teenworkersguide.shtml

Massachusettshttp://www.mass.gov/?pageID=mg2subtopic&L=4&L0=Home&L1=Business&L2=Workplace+%26+Employees&L3=Child+labor+%26+apprenticeships&sid=massgov2

Michiganhttp://www.michigan.gov/documents/Work_Permit_FACT_SHEET_July_2006_169123_7.pdf

Minnesotahttp://www.dli.mn.gov/LS/ChildLabor.asp

Mississippihttp://www.mdes.ms.gov/wps/portal#null

Missourihttp://labor.mo.gov/DLS/YouthEmployment/

Montanahttp://erd.dli.mt.gov/labor-standards/child-labor-law/103-montanas-child-labor-law-reference-guide.html
http://erd.dli.mt.gov/labor-standards/child-labor-law.html

Nevadahttp://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-609.html

New Hampshirehttp://www.labor.state.nh.us/youth_employment.asp

North Carolinahttp://docsouth.unc.edu/nc/rules1933/rules1933.html

Oklahomahttp://www.ok.gov/odol/Workforce_Protection/Child_Labor/

Oregonhttp://www.boli.state.or.us/BOLI/WHD/CLU/index.shtml

Pennsylvaniahttp://www.dli.state.pa.us/landi/CWP/view.asp?a=185&Q=58124

Rhode Islandhttp://www.dlt.ri.gov/ls/childlabor.htm

South Carolinahttp://www.llr.state.sc.us/Labor/wages/index.asp?file=childlabor.htm

South Dakotahttp://dlr.sd.gov/lmic/lb/lbartapr07_youth_labor_laws.pdf

Tennesseehttp://www.state.tn.us/labor-wfd/childlab.html

Texashttp://www.twc.state.tx.us/ui/lablaw/cllsum.html

Utahhttp://www.laborcommission.utah.gov/FAQ.html#Minors

Vermonthttp://www.labor.vermont.gov/

Virginia: http://www.doli.virginia.gov/laborlaw/laborlaw_faqs_childlaborlawp1.html
http://www.doli.virginia.gov/laborlaw/laborlaw_childworkpermits1.html

Washington State: http://www.lni.wa.gov/WorkplaceRights/TeenWorkers/default.asp

Wisconsinhttp://www.dwd.state.wi.us/er/labor_standards_bureau/child_labor_laws.htm

 

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21 thoughts on “Acting for Kids

  1. katherine brown

    I would love to become a child actress.

  2. haven pennington

    Hello I’ve been wanting to be an singer and actor for awhile and I’ve been making up pretty good songs. I will soon be putting those online for people to look at me and help get me into this career. I really want to do something with singing and acting. I really hope you get a chance to see me on your TV shows and look at the talents I have. I am 12 years old turning 13 in February 2014. I hope to help you out with your shows.

  3. Jada

    Hi my name is Jada and here’s my info:
    Where: Denver, CO
    Age: 10
    Height: 4’7″
    Weight: 89 or 90
    Condition: Uhm I have acne but it isn’t very serious just a few spots.

    Bio

    I am very humorous and I tell a lot of funny jokes. My DRA level 60 ( for 4th grade ), and I am really smart. I plan to take drama class for 5th, 6th, 7th and so on. My mother is a elementary school teacher. I taught myself how to play piano and even though I can’t read sheet music yet I can play by ear. I will also take violin classes. I can play piano, (almost) violin, flute, trumpet, recorder. I can change my voice to different octaves, I am a really good singer…but dancing hasn’t changed that much after 1st grade. I can do many accents in case I have to be British, Australian, Chinese, Jamaican, Hispanic, Italian, German, Russian, American and country. I LOVE learning, listening to music, and other things. I can already act, but I might be a little shy at first. Though I am going to another school for fifth grade and probably middle school, in fourth grade I was the best artist in my grade next to my friend Ashley. In case I need to know another language, I am the best with Spanish, and I know a bit of Japanese as well. I can write songs, but…I have a small case of stage fright, in which my face reddens and my voice cracks, but as long as I am comfortable around the people on the set, I can be really funny, again, and sing extremely well. I have two brothers, mom and dad. I have always dreamed for the world to know who I am and appreciate me.
    Yours truly,
    Jada

  4. DeAnna Harden

    Hello my name is DeAnna Harden it has always been my big dream to be an actress. I actually just recently turned 12 years old June 11. At school, I am always participating in drama and my drama teacher thinks that I have really good talent in my acting career. I love singing, acting, talking, and drawing! I have a really great personality, if you choose me I promise I will not ever let you down. If you pick me, this will absolutely be one of my birthday wishes coming true!! Please pick me, love always DeAnna Harden!

    1. DeAnna Harden

      Oh and I am 5’5″ and a half, 110 pounds and I have bright beautiful blonde hair and blue eyes.

  5. Edgardo

    I am Latino, I speak English and Spanish fluently, I know how to dance, skateboard and I have a great personality!!

  6. Chloe

    Age: 9
    Height: 4’3″
    Weight: 53 or 54
    Bio
    Chloe is a little girl who loves disney channel!
    She loves good luck charlie and ant farm the most. She had a drama class and always acts with her friends.She would be a great actress for any of those shows. She lives in Houston,Texas where not many dreams come true. She said she always wanted to go to California to be famous! She’s really good at piano and singing. She’s really humorous. She’s that funny person that can crack a joke at any time and everyone can laugh at it. She can make an awkward situation not so awkward anymore by a joke. She’s that type of person. She’s been acting with her friends for a while. She makes movies with her camera and thinks as if they would become a big hit. She’d be a great actress for disney channel.

  7. Alisha Davies

    Hi my name is Alisha Davies I am 11 years old . My height is 4 feet 11 inches.I
    was born on Augst 9,2001. My pasion in life would be modeling and acting. My favorite actress is Peyton List.
    Sincerly Alisha

  8. Natalia

    Hi, My name is Natalia and it’s always been a dream of mine to act. I’m 12 years old with no experience and i live in Vancouver Canada and there aren’t many auditions here that i know of. What can i do? Someone please write back! And what are the chances of a girl like me with no experience to get a job?

    1. Jada

      Natalia,
      Some actresses may not be trained at all but still have really good acting qualities because they practice everyday and observe other actors doing the same. Everyone can learn by themselves if you can’t afford a tutor, so just practice.
      Perhaps you could either move in the U.S. out of Canada, and if not the, maybe you could wait for a couple of years until the cattle calls come closer to you.
      If none of this helps, I’m not really sure, but keep practicing and watching this website.
      Ttfn,
      Jada

  9. Christina Renee Allen

    My name is Christina. Here is my Info:

    Height:5ft 3″
    Talent:Singing,Dancing and A little Acting

    I have acne but that does not mean I don’t clean my face. It has gotten better and I use acne cream every day so I can get my skin clear before I start my acting career!:) LOVE CHRISTINA(:

  10. Sydney Sweeney

    My name is Sydney and im 12 years old. i love in Ireland. I have been dying for a long time to be able to try out for an audition in Disney Productions. Here is My Info:
    Height: 5ft 3′
    Talents: Acting
    Weight: 8-9 st.
    Regular Info:
    im not fat, im just big boned.
    thanks, sydney

  11. altari

    My name is altari I’m 11 years old.I live kosciusko,ms. I want to follow my dreams but mostly to help my community. Here’s my infomation:
    Weight:109
    Hieght:4feet and 9inches
    Talents:singing,dancing,acting,&learing line
    My friends say i sing like(China Ann McClain)but if I get pick to be on a tv show it will make a big change in my life.
    Thank you,
    Altari McBride
    :)

  12. Camree

    Someone please write back! So I want to be an actress I can play 4 instruments sing and act. Its my dream to be on Disney channel but there’s nothing out right now. I’m gonna be in either Arizona or California in 6 monthes so in like 2013. If anyone has a link to a website or something it would mean the world. Someone please help! Its my dream right by being a nurse and a musician. My list toes like this. 1.Actor 2.musician 3.nurse.

  13. Katherine Scarvelis

    Hi i love acting and im 12 but I live in montreal Canada and there are few movies and t.v shows made here. What can I do? Do you know any auditions around here?
    sincerely,
    Katherine

  14. Esther

    Hi my names Esther and I have always had a really big dream of being on Disney as a young 13 year old actress (sort of like China-Anne) but my problem is that I live in England and there aren’t many BIG opportunities here for me.
    If I could audition, it would mean so much to me and my family. Do you have any solutions?

  15. Aizsanay

    i AM A Good dancer and i know how to act , sing , And Model those are All my dreams .

    1. Aizsanay

      Please Help Me Accomplish Them Before This Summer .

  16. keyronndra ray

    How do you get started with auditions for children

    1. journey mariah

      My daughter is two

  17. danielle

    how do i audition for parts on disney channel shows?

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