Does your kid have what it takes to storm the Windy City? If you live in Chicago, you’ll find inspiration abounds as theater and the performing arts are such a big part of the culture. This means that your child has lots of opportunities to become a star within the Chicago theater scene!
Know the Big Opportunities
There are a number of production agencies in Chicago, including Alphabet Soup Productions. These performances are not exclusively cast with children, but they do audition for child actors from time to time.
You can also find listings for current casting calls by a number of production agencies at Backstage. With a membership, Actors Access offers opportunities for actors of all ages. Disney casting calls are also a regular occurrence.
And remember: when you take your child to a casting call, find out what time the performances are, as well as how long the show is expected to run. You’ll need to be prepared to hire a tutor or make other educational arrangements if your child will miss school to participate in a production.
Don’t Overlook the Small Opportunities
Whether your child has some acting experience or is just breaking into the game, don’t miss out on smaller opportunities that don’t come with hours and hours of waiting and tons of competition. In addition to the larger Chicago theater venues, local churches, youth organizations, clubs, and schools are great places to get some experience and start building an acting resume.
Check local church bulletins (some are posted online) and reach out to community organizations that put on productions. Use social media to research, and ask other parents in your community if they know of any opportunities. School drama teachers and private acting coaches will also likely have some connections.
Often this kind of networking is more valuable than hiring a talent agent, since many jobs are filled by word of mouth before they are even announced to the public. If your child is old enough, you might want to consider setting up a website or social media account to showcase their experience (filter all communication through you, of course, for safety reasons). Don’t forget to follow the social media pages for local Chicago theater groups and organizations, as well.
Boost Your Child’s Resume With Commercials and Modeling Jobs
Local, regional, and national television commercials, as well as modeling jobs, are a great way to get your child used to being on camera, working with a director, and keeping a strict schedule so that they are prepared for the larger, long-term acting positions they will eventually land. Casting calls for these are typically announced alongside positions for movie and television actors.
Prepare Your Child for Auditions
Of course, all of these auditions and opportunities will be all for naught if you’re not adequately prepared! The most successful child actors are the ones who train and prepare constantly, not just when they have an audition coming up. You can find excellent acting instructors at TakeLessons who can keep your child learning and growing as an actor, so that it’s not crunch time every time your child is up for an audition.
Above all, don’t get stressed about it, and don’t let your child fret too much either. The right opportunities for your child are out there, and with time and preparation, you’ll be able to find them at a Chicago theater near you. Good luck!