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Breaking into Film for Kids

Updated on December 19, 2016

Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning

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

No matter what your age is – 7 years old, 11 years old or 15 years old – opportunities are available for you to start acting in film. Film, television, cable, DVD and Internet industries are experiencing a dramatic growth, which means more opportunities for acting jobs. In the past year, there have been countless movies with child actors starring in minor and major roles. Oscar nominated Little Miss Sunshine is one example. Dakota Fanning of Charlottes Web stars in a 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).

The rewards you experience from pursuing an acting career are numerous. 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.

What does it take “make it” in the movie business?

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

Arnold Talks About Breaking into Acting

If parents cannot be with you as you pursue your acting career, a guardian can be appointed. Grandparents, an older brother, sister, or a babysitter can be a safe person to on the responsibility of guardian. A Guardian does just what a parent would do – go to auditions and film sets with you – it is the law – actors under age cannot go to auditions and film sets alone. They need to be accompanied by a legal adult.

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

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. Atlanta, New York, Vancouver, Canada, Austin, Texas and Seattle are popular locations for film productions.


Here are some suggestions to get your acting career started in film:

1) Get involved with the drama department at your school, or enroll in a local acting class for children. Please note: Before enrolling, ask to sit in on a class or two and 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.

2) Research and find a legitimate agent. Agents who are registered with the union are the ones you should see because they are regulated and need to follow the rules of the business.


Meeting the Agent

When you meet with an agent, find out what is needed as far as headshots and resumes are concerned. Some times agents have standard handouts they give their clients that give specific instructions. Make sure you go over these instructions with your parent and fully understand them. If you have any questions, ask them right away.

3) Make sure you practice with your parent on being interviewed and talking about yourself, so you are comfortable and can make a strong first impression.

4) Always be on the positive side. Never give up.

5) Remember to have fun!

Good Luck!

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; it can only make your job a lot easier. Good Luck!


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