Choosing An Acting Class For Your Child

Early Childhood Education Programs

Tips#1: Read Together Every Day
Read to your child every day. Make this a warm and loving time when the two of you can cuddle close together. Bedtime is an especially great time for reading together.
Tips#2: Give Everything A Name
You can build comprehension skills early, even with the littlest child. Play games that involve naming or pointing to objects. Say things like, "Where's your nose?" and then, "Where's Mommy's nose?" Or touch your child's nose and say, "What's this?"

With many kids acting classes to choose from, selecting the right one for your child can seem daunting. In regards to classes, one has to determine first whether the class is to be recreational or vocational, i.e., your kid wants to take an acting class for fun or your kid wants to be in commercials, film, TV or professional theatre – which can also be fun, but is more involved and ultimately, more costly in both time and money. If the acting class is to be recreational, check with your local schools and your local park and recreation centers. In addition, check with other parents with kids already taking acting classes for recommendations, in much the same way you would for a camp, school or a scout troupe. Classes offered at park and recreation centers, as well as after-school programs and some little theatres can be less expensive than those offered by agents, casting directors or professional kids acting teachers and coaches.

Tips#3: Say How Much You Enjoy Reading Together
Tell your child how much you enjoy reading with him or her. Look forward to this time you spend together. Talk about "story time" as the favorite part of your day.
Tips#4: Be Interactive
Engage your child so he or she will actively listen to a story. Discuss what's happening, point out things on the page, and answer your child's questions. Ask questions of your own and listen to your child's responses.

Pick an acting coach that lets kids be kids. This doesn't mean that a child acting class should be all play, but fun should definitely be incorporated in teaching… or not only will your child not enjoy the class, they will start to think they have to behave like an adult when they audition, which is exactly what casting directors don't want to see. Directors and producers look for kids who can act, not kids who act like adults. Children have a natural ability to play make believe and to really get invested in their imaginary games (something many adults lose when they grow up), so acting can be very natural and fun to them. The goal is to find a kid acting teacher that will teach them how to stay natural when they play in front of an audience (or camera) and not coach them a specific way to say a line or make a face, so look for acting schools for kids that teach things like Spolin's theater games, storytelling, role playing and mime.

Although all the skills mentioned above are useful, the most important thing children can gain from a good acting class is the confidence to be themselves. If they know what to expect when they walk into an audition because they've done it all before in class, they will be much more confident. Pick a kids acting class that prepares them for auditions, lets them perform in front of others and gives them practice time in front of the camera. For example, they should learn things like how to find their mark and slate their name during on-camera auditions. Look for a kids acting class that offers support and makes children realize that their worth has nothing to do with whether or not they are successful in the biz.

Tips#5: Read It Again And Again And Again
Your child will probably want to hear a favorite story over and over. Go ahead and read the same book for the 100th time! Research suggests that repeated readings help children develop language skills.
Tips#6: Talk About Writing, Too
Draw your child's attention to the way writing works. When looking at a book together, point out how we read from left to right and how words are separated by spaces.
Updated: March 4, 2018 — 4:41 am
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