Did you know that something as simple as using the correct subject line can be the difference-maker between your child receiving or not receiving an invite to an audition?
Seems silly, but it’s true. Thousands of great applications from hopeful families have gone unseen just because they failed to write the correct subject line.
Even though the submission process is straight-forward (Read the casting call, click “Apply”, send the email/submission), there’s ample room for small honest mistakes that can destroy your kid’s chances of getting the role.
Let’s make sure these mistakes don’t happen, let’s make sure casting directors receive your submissions, and let’s make sure they love what they see when they open them.
In this lesson, we’ll talk about the correct way to apply to casting calls on KidsCasting. We’ll go over 3 main things: understanding the casting call, respecting the casting director, and how to make the perfect application.
Understanding the Casting Call
Nowadays, people tend to skim information, rather than read it closely. I do too – guilty as charged. Young talents and their parents often miss some crucial details in casting calls but apply anyway. Unfortunately, such applications end up wasting everyone’s time, and worse yet – give unwarranted hope for the younger talents.
To avoid these honest mistakes and avoid hopes being shattered, you need to pay close attention to the requirements, the location, and the time and dates.
First and foremost, you should check if your child meets the basic requirements – age, gender, ethnicity. But, for example, just because a project seeks 4-6-year-old girls, doesn’t necessarily mean that your 5-year-old daughter is perfect for the part.
You should also pay attention to specifications regarding personality and ability. For example, if you’ve got a shy kid, then it’s best to steer clear of casting calls seeking outgoing kids. If athletic kids are needed, but your child doesn’t do any sports, then it’s also a no-go. Read the casting call closely and pay attention to every word.
This is the most common mistake made by families – applying to far away casting calls that they CANNOT or WILL NOT attend.
If you and your child are serious about their acting/modeling career, I’m sure you’re ready to spend 4-5 hours on the road for a great gig. But applying for a gig on the other coast, thousands of miles away? That’s ridiculous. Sadly, I can tell you that it happens more often than you might think.
And casting directors are tired of it. The moment they see a talent is based too far away – the submission goes straight in the trash can. If you ARE willing to travel, then make sure to note that in the application. Otherwise, don’t bother wasting both your and the casting director’s time.
Times & Dates
Oftentimes, casting directors specify casting and/or filming dates in the casting call description. Before applying to a casting call you need to be certain you’ll be available. Got a trip planned that weekend? Your child’s got a school play you have to attend? Then maybe let this one pass.
If you apply and end up being a no-show, the only thing you’ll achieve is getting on that casting director’s blacklist. So make sure your schedule is clear, or at the very least – flexible.
Treating Casting Directors Right
Casting directors are your child’s gateway into the world of showbiz. Treat them and their time with the respect they deserve.
Casting directors are just people trying to do their job and the easier you make it for them to do that, the happier they’ll be to work with your child! There are 2 ways how you can make their lives easier during the application process: be reliable and be direct.
Don’t ask to reschedule, don’t go missing, inform the casting director ahead of time about your child’s availability, respond promptly, show up on time – make sure the casting director can depend on you.
The faster you respond, the faster the CD can move on with the project, so the old saying of “you snooze, you lose” applies. Once you apply your child to a gig, check your inbox every day. Once the casting director starts communicating with you, check your inbox multiple times a day. It’d be a silly reason to miss out on the experience of a lifetime, just because you forgot to check your mail, don’t you think?
Your child can go a long way in the world of entertainment simply by being a solid performer that shows up to auditions and establishes good relationships with casting directors. This is particularly important when your acting journey is at an early stage.
Don’t Waste Time
Everything in a filming/casting project costs money – renting equipment, renting space, wardrobes, crew pay, and more. Most expenses are time-sensitive, so the more time you can save, the lower the cost of production, the happier the people in charge. As a result, being snappy, direct, and getting things done is a very valued skill in entertainment.
So in your submission email/text, tell the casting director only the crucial details they ask for.
By being direct & straight-forward in your application and communication, you’re telling the casting director that you respect their time and understand that it’s valuable. So avoid over-indulgent backstories, lengthy letters about how passionate your child is for this project, or anything else of the sorts (unless, of course, you’re asked to do so in the application). Your application should be as short & straight-forward as possible.
The Perfect Submission
Casting calls come in all shapes and sizes. Some ask for video submissions, others ask you to answer multiple questions, others yet for a description of why your child wants to become a performer. Some ask for nothing at all.
Here’s what you should do.
Your Child’s Comp Card
Whatever the submission asks of you, one of the first things you should provide is your child’s comp card. It features the 3 most important photos from the profile, your child’s details, as well as your contact information. It’s the performer’s business card and casting directors love it.
Head over to your child’s profile and click the “Download Comp Card” button! You’ll get something like this:
It gives a quick overview of the main things casting directors usually want to know, plus it feels professional. Another bonus is that having 3 photos in 1 file makes it easier for CDs to quickly review your child’s photos. So download that comp card and attach it to messages & emails.
If the Casting Call Has NO SPECIFICATIONS
Sometimes casting directors don’t specify how to apply. But here’s what they expect – a short message, giving them the most important info, along with the best photos of your child you’ve got.
Thankfully, if you’ve got your KidsCasting profile and comp card, then it’s smooth sailing. Just send them this message & attach your child’s comp card:
Hello! [Your child’s name] would like to be considered for the role.
I have attached their comp card, which contains measurements, photos, and contact details.
For more information, please visit our KidsCasting profile at kidscasting.com/exampleexample.
Thank you for your consideration,
That’s it! Just make sure to check back frequently, so you don’t miss their answer.
If the Casting Call Specifies What to Submit
For kids’ casting calls it’s very common for casting directors to specify exactly what they want to see in an application.
Now, when it comes to these things, there’s no secret. There’s no trick to doing it better or doing it professionally. When casting calls specify what they expect from submissions, you either deliver or you don’t, simple as that.
What you should do is read the details carefully and submit everything that’s asked. Everything. If you haven’t weighed your baby in a while, and think to yourself “oh, I’ll just skip the weight, it’s whatever”, then it’s just not good enough. The casting director will be irritated by your application and it might cost your child the role.
In short – when a casting call specifies what you need to submit, follow it to the letter. Don’t add anything more, don’t send less – send exactly what’s asked.
Did a lot of these things seem obvious to you? Were you reading this and thinking “OF COURSE I should apply my child to local casting calls only” and “OBVIOUSLY, I should fill out all the details”?
Well, let me tell you, if you do the things outlined in this article, you’ll be ahead of half the applicants that the casting directors go through. Yes, for doing a few obvious and easy things that take no more than 5 minutes, you’ll significantly increase your child’s chances of getting cast. Most parents don’t and their children are never invited to an audition or gig. Use that to your advantage!
Put this knowledge to use right now and apply your child to a casting call: