Online auditions for kids are the new normal. In the heat of the pandemic, the entertainment industry was quick to adapt by moving castings and auditions to the virtual world. Now, as the scare is releasing, and even in the coming months, when normalcy will be restored, online auditions will still be here.
They’re just too convenient.
Simply put, online auditions for kids actors and models are here to stay. Let’s learn how to make sure that your online audition goes off without a hitch, so the casting directors get a positive first impression and can fully appreciate your kid’s talents and abilities even through the screen.
Without further ado, here are the main things you should do to ACE online auditions for kids:
1. Show up on time
If you don’t show up on time, you’ll lose the audition. Simple as that.
In the entertainment industry, there’s a saying that bears repeating over and over again – “15 minutes early is on time, on time is late”. This also applies to online auditions.
Why is it important to be early to an ONLINE audition? To set everything up, of course. Test the camera, test the microphone, make sure you’re ready to go, check if the video is framed well, if the lighting is good. We’ll get into these tips in a bit.
Most of the time it’ll take you less than 5 minutes to check everything and make sure it’s all operational, but it’s important to have a safety net so you have time to fix an issue. According to Murphy’s law (which says that anything that can go wrong will go wrong), your microphone is BOUND to break right before that one audition for a project your child really, really wants to be a part of.
So DO be early to an online audition, so your little one is ready to rock the moment the camera is on.
2. Prepare like for a typical audition
This is a formal event and you should treat it as such. Just because it’s happening in a virtual format, doesn’t mean you and your young star shouldn’t put in the same effort as for a live event.
Let your kid’s talents shine through and be sure to play your part as well.
3. Make sure there are no distractions
You DON’T want to be interrupted and you DO want to be 100% focused on the call. So lock your pets in another room, ask your special other not to barge in mid-call, mute your phone, close any messaging services or software that might pop up on your computer.
Interruptions and distractions can easily derail your kid’s audition.
That being said, things happen, and the casting director probably won’t get cross with you, if your dog suddenly decides to join the audition, but the danger is in the audition’s disruption and your kid having to refocus & restart, which is asking a lot from a talent in a high-pressure situation.
4. Find a clutter-free, neutral space
You want the casting director to pay full attention to your kid. So when doing online auditions for kids, it’s imperative that you have a nice, clutter-free space. You don’t want the casting director to be judging the mess in your house, or even studying the poster or painting behind your kid.
The perfect scenario is having only you, your child, and a blank wall in the video call’s screen. If that’s not possible, and your room can be seen, make sure it’s tidy!
5. Frame the camera correctly
Make sure the camera is face level and the casting director doesn’t have to stare up your and your kid’s nostrils.
One valuable benefit of online auditions for casting directors is that they can immediately see what on-camera presence your kid has. So, it’s important to literally show off their best side.
To get the camera face level you can stack some books underneath your computer, or put it on a window sill – just find what works best for your kid and get them looking great on-camera!
6. Ensure there’s good lighting
Continuing from the last point, I want to emphasize that in an online audition for kids the CD can see your kid’s on-camera presence. So it’s important to use all the tools possible to make sure your kid looks fantastic – picking the right clothes, framing the camera correctly, and, perhaps most importantly, having the best possible lighting.
We’ve talked a bit about lighting here and there, but here are the main things you need to know. Natural light is fantastic, so if you can hold the interview by a window – perfect. If, however, you’ve got limited access to natural lighting, the easy thing to do is to put 2-3 lamps behind your laptop and make sure there is no bright light behind you and your child.
That’s the basics.
7. Have everything you need nearby
People that are prepared come off as professional. Not only does this mean your kid learning their lines, but also being practically prepared for the audition. Things like having a copy of the lines nearby, a prepared list of questions for the casting director, some props if you need any, or even something as simple as a glass of water – all of these things will help you perform better at the audition without interrupting it.
What’s more, use the fact that it’s a virtual audition to your advantage. Prepare some post-it notes and stick them around the computer to remind your kid of various things – “SMILE”; “TELL THE CD ABOUT THE SCHOOL PLAY”; “IT’S OK TO BE NERVOUS”; “LOOK INTO THE CAMERA”. Whatever helps, just write it down and put it someplace your kid can see it.
Speaking of “LOOK INTO THE CAMERA”…
8. Make sure to look into the camera as much as possible
We’re naturally drawn to people’s faces, especially when talking. In any video call, be it a work conference or a call with friends, we tend to spend the entire call looking through our screen at people’s faces. That’s why everyone in every video call always seems to be looking downwards.
Looking people in the eye is a very powerful thing to do. And you need to use it to your advantage as much as possible. So teach your children to look directly into the camera as often as possible, when doing online auditions for kids. It often feels awkward and unnatural, but it’s a fantastic way to stand out and let the CD see your kid’s best side.
Take these tips to heart and put them in practice. Casting directors will recognize your efforts and your kids will be able to let their talents shine through. Now your kid just needs to put on a good show!
What’s more, these DOs and DONTs hold true for things like job interviews and conference calls as well. It’s just good video call etiquette.
Wondering where to find online auditions for kids? Browse 100s of them right now on KidsCasting and apply your young superstar today: