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Breaking into Film for Kids

Updated on May 1, 2018
Kenna McHugh profile image

I've written, contributed to several books on film, and worked in the film industry. I like to share the insights of the movie business.

Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning

Much Younger Dakota with Tom Cruise
Much Younger Dakota with Tom Cruise | Source

Child Actor

No matter what your age. You could be 7 years old, 11 years old or 15 years old – opportunities are available for you to start acting in a film. Film, television, cable, DVD, and Internet industries are in a dramatic growth. Giving more opportunities for acting jobs is the result of the growth.

Every year, countless movies are cast with child actors starring in minor and major roles. Oscar-nominated Little Miss Sunshine is one example. Dakota Fanning of Charlotte's Web stars in the least one movie a year. She even worked with such notable stars as Tom Cruise (War of the Worlds) and Denzel Washington (Man on Fire).

Child Actor Casting

The rewards you experience from pursuing an acting career are many. You get to spend quality time with your parents. You will learn something new every day on the set. You will build your self-confidence and have a better understanding of others.

Working in film is a very effective way to pay for your college education. If your parents act as your manager, they can earn 20% of your income.

Child Actor Jobs

You are willing and excited about acting in a film, and one of your parents is as willing and excited, too. They can take the time out of their own schedule to take you around to auditions and film sets. Then, the both of you will reap the rewards of a successful career in film.

Arnold Talks About Breaking into Acting

Child Actor Needed

If parents cannot be with you as you pursue your acting career, a guardian can take their place. The guardian can be a grandparent, an older brother, sister, or a babysitter. It needs to be a safe and responsible person.

A guardian does what a parent would do. Go with the son or daughter to auditions. They stay with them on the film sets. The reason they need a guardian is that it is the law. Actors underage cannot go to auditions and film sets alone. A responsible adult needs to be with them the whole time.

Shirely Temple is the icon of child actors.

 Shirley Temple in The Little Princess, circa 1939.
Shirley Temple in The Little Princess, circa 1939. | Source

What Do You Think?

Are you willing to help your child break into the movie business?

See results

Child Actor Jobs

Trying to convince your parents to move to Hollywood is not necessary to get started in the movies. Many cities have their own film production community.

At times major film companies come to cities and towns all across the United States to film on location. Popular film locations are Atlanta, New York, Vancouver, Canada, Austin, Texas, and Seattle.

Child Actor Needed

Here are some suggestions to get your child's acting career started in a film:

  • Get involved with the drama department at your school, or enroll in a local acting class for children. Sit in on a class or two before enrolling. Have your parent talk to the other parents – get feedback – make sure it is the right class and teacher for you. You want to feel comfortable.
  • Research and find a legitimate agent. Agents registered with the union are the ones you should see. Union agents follow the rules because the union regulates them. It encourages them to follow the rules of the business.



  • Practice with your parent on being in an interview with an agent. So you are comfortable in the real interview with an agent.
  • Practice until you are comfortable talking about yourself. Being comfortable in the interview with an agent makes a strong first impression.
  • When you meet with an agent, find out what they need as far as headshots and resumes. Sometimes agents have standard handouts they give their clients that give specific instructions.
  • Make sure you go over these instructions with your parent and understand them. If you have any questions, ask agent right away.
  • Always be on the positive side. Never give up.
  • Remember to have fun!

Child Support

Having your parent’s support you while you break into the film business is a very commendable act. The rewards are plenty. Keep researching and staying on top of the business. The more you know the better. It can only make your job finding work a lot easier. Good Luck!

© 2016 Kenna McHugh


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