These days a large part of the auditioning process happens online — actors and models create their own websites and social media profiles, and casting directors ask for self-taped auditions and demo reels. Modern technology makes the audition process more efficient and smooth, yet there are many things that parents need to learn to avoid frustration and make sure their child receives that much-awaited callback.
Kat, NMS Photography Manager, has highlighted some of the most common issues she faces on a daily basis when reviewing applications:
Names not spelled correctly or parent’s name entered where the child’s name should be. It might seem like an easy-to-do thing, but it’s actually a common error. Misspelling or misplacing the names can lead to a mix-up and will waste time during the casting process. If you are serious about entering the entertainment business, you need to get these basics right.
Giving out your phone number, knowing we will call — it states so in the application —, and then being shocked or even rude when we do call. If you share your contact information with the casting team, please be prepared that we will call. Tip: create a separate business email, so that your child’s acting or modeling-related emails are all in one place.
Not enough information in the profile and not listing all experience in Industry Experience section. Putting your name and email address is not enough information to make a quantitative decision. A comprehensive list of the most recent achievements and tasks that pertain to the job help tremendously.
Providing information that is too vague and general in About/Hobbies/Talents sections. Also, not pointing out unique attributes and skills, such as the child has a great singing voice, plays an instrument or has a great memory. Please be as specific as possible. After all, you never know what other projects the casting crew is working on, and your child might be what they’re looking for!
This is a big one — turning in multiple applications in hopes it would increase your child’s chances of being selected. First of all, it causes system duplicates or the deletion of information. Secondly, it can come across as desperate or unorganized, and casting professionals may get an impression that it will be complicated to work with you. If you haven’t heard back on your submission within a week, then maybe consider submitting the application again, but definitely don’t do it twice within a few days.
Sending in too many photos or videos that are too long. We find that your KidsCasting.com portfolio or a comp card is enough information. What is more important, is the quality of photos and videos. A headshot should be just that — a headshot. The framing of the photo and what’s in the photo is what matters. Please don’t upload selfies or photos with props to your child’s profile. It’s also difficult to make out your child’s features in a picture taken from a distance.
Please pay attention to submission instructions. Every job casting notice includes instructions for how the casting director would like you to submit your child’s application. This may involve calling a phone number or sending an email. Please note there are hundreds of applications that the casting directors need to go through, so if you submit the wrong way, your submission will not be considered.
Please don’t call unless specified. Your submission should consume as little of the casting directors time as possible. Avoid calling the production office or casting director’s office unless you’re given a number and asked to call.
If you are “guilty” of any of the mistakes listed above, don’t worry — this is a continuous learning process, and the more active you are, the better you will get at it. If you pay attention to all these details, you will soon be receiving many more callbacks, and your child will have a lot of fun, and more job offers to choose from!