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:
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:
Work Permit Information
For more information about your state’s laws in relation to the employment of minors visit the following websites:
New Hampshire: http://www.labor.state.nh.us/youth_employment.asp
North Carolina: http://docsouth.unc.edu/nc/rules1933/rules1933.html
Rhode Island: http://www.dlt.ri.gov/ls/childlabor.htm
Washington State: http://www.lni.wa.gov/WorkplaceRights/TeenWorkers/default.asp