Your site is so great, it makes researching the business sooo much easier having all the info in one place! thankyou thankyou thankyou.
Amada, aspiring actress, Sydney, Australia
Just wanted to say that this site is FANTASTIC! It's helped me quite a bit and it's now my #1 bookmarked item, which means I'm going to be visiting here regularly :) Thanks again,
Rob, aspiring actor, Canada
I absolutely love your site - it's SOOOO helpful and very impressive!
I am a frequent visitor and have signed up for the newsletter, plus I think it's so good I have recommended it to all my acting friends! Thank you for creating such a wonderful website!
Wow Tony! I would just like to comment on how much you have affected my life.
First of all, any questions I have are answered extremely fast, and not only that, you give me a very helpful answer every time. Also, by reading your newsletters, I obtain just the right information that I need to succeed in the acting business. I am so happy I discovered your site, and I hope you know how much we actors appreciate you. Thanks again, and I can't wait to read your next newsletter!
Laura Doukas, Actress
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Lauren, actress, Atlanta, GA
Advice For The Parents Of Child Actors
This page is part of an interview I did with LA Youth Talent Agent Bill Naoum, who represents and agency Commercial Talent Kids. He is a man with many years of experience and who was generous enough with his time to share with you his advice with regard to getting your child's acting career started, which is what this particular page deals with. He is an absolutely delightful man and I'm sure that you will find reading this part of the interview of great benefit. For more information for the parents of child actors, have a look at that specific button on the menu here on the left-hand column. In the meantime, have a look at this very informative interview.
Tony: As a youth talent agent, what advice do you have for parents of child actors, who want to get their kids into show business or into doing commercials for example?
Bill: The number one piece of advice for the parents of child actors, and again I don’t mean to sound repetitious, because I am going back to the whole acting class or doing plays thing, but find out if they like acting first of all. I know that sometimes when kids are really young you sign them up for gymnastics and this and that and see if this is something they like or that they will take to but the number one thing is to make sure they like it. A lot of times you will find that out either in a class or if they do plays at school, church or whereever it is. Don’t push them in here, again, because you want them to do it or, because so many people have stopped you on the street and said your kid should be in show business or something like that – because God forbid, and I’m being real sincere here, because I think it is important for the parents of child actors to hear from an agent - I treat these kids like they are my own, you don’t want to see a child get hurt in this business emotionally or whatever, because this is a rough business. I mean I was an adult actor and I used to go home crying sometimes. For kids you just want to make sure that this is something that they really like. I think that would be the number one thing. And ultimately the best thing that could possibly happen, is if that child says ‘Mom, I would like to do this.’ Then you’re like ‘ok!’, and then you have a running start.
Tony: We talked in the beginning about people who live outside of LA and want to pursue an acting career that will largely take place in LA – would you like to address that for the parents of child actors?
Bill: I don’t do a lot of that, because the climate is a little bit different now than it was years ago. The funny thing is there’s a lot of kids that do very well in show business that are typically found from out of town. I’ve talked about this before, its just my opinion, kids don’t grow up to be actors out here. I mean people in LA don’t grow up to be actors even though it's Hollywood, but a lot of them do grow up to be in show business whether its acting, writing or grip and electric or whatever it is, but everybody here grows up just as they do in Chicago or Cleveland- they want to do little league or gymnastics or cub scouts or something like that. Adults move here so you always have a lot of actors out here, and they are usually the best of the best because they move here. Its easy for adults to move here, kids don’t pack their bags up at 11 and say ‘Mom let’s sell the house and move to California I want to be an actor’. So a lot of times a youth talent agent will go out and find them, a lot of times they will have showcases out here with out of town actors who will come out here for a week, for a mini intensive acting camp or something that culminates in a showcase for agents and managers. You just have to be really, really, really, really careful with that because obviously it is a highly, highly competitive business whether you are a kid, adult, animal actor whatever- it’s a very competitive business and to make the ultimate sacrifice of leaving your home and your family and your friends to come out here whether its for forever or for an extended period of time, you just have to be really, really careful with that. It’s really difficult to do.
Tony: How does a parent and child manage the audition process if they are outside of LA?
Bill: You have to be here. I know that a lot of times, especially in the past we used to. You can find a youth talent agent who will represent out of town actors. I have a few of them and if you (the parents of child actors) can get lucky enough to get the child an audition or request them to do it on tape, that is also a possibility. Usually that’s for more theatrical work like for a TV pilot, or a series regular, maybe a lead in a film. Casting directors will look at that tape and if they see something they like, they will call you and say ‘can that person come out here for a producer session or a callback' or something like that. I don’t think that it is as feasible with things like commercials or co-starring, guest-starring roles, because you gotta kind of be here. Casting is really kind of fast and furious. They would rather see a live body than a tape I think. So it becomes more of an issue of being out here and doing it in person unless of course you happen to live in close-by. I do have clients that live in Las Vegas, San Diego, San Francisco, and if they get 12 or 24 hours notice they will make the drive here for auditions. God bless them, because that is a very tough thing to do. Although I had someone who booked a TV commercial for T-Mobile that did quite well financially and they did the six hour drive down, six hours back for the callback six hours back home, booked the job and then they did another six hours to shoot the commercial here so you know, that is a lot of driving!
Have a look at this entire interview on video with LA youth talent agent Bill Naoum in which you will see him give some advice for the parents of child actors.
More advice for the parents of child actors.
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I want to say you changed my life. I want to be an actress so bad, but i began losing motivation when I couldn't figure out what to do. And then I found you! Thanks to you, I'm taking my first acting classes next month! Yippee!
Sara, Pasadena, CA
Just wanted to thank you for bringing me in to [audition for the video], meet you and chat this Saturday. I was really excited to hear about your working on actingcareerstartup.com and even took a look at it today - it's awesome! You are very well-spoken, knowledgeable and enthusiastic, and it shows through the work that you do! I hope our paths in the industry will cross again and really enjoyed meeting you. Thanks, again and best wishes with your very important work!
Gretchen, NY, NY