For parents who want to get their child into acting – picking the right time can be challenging, Chalese breaks down the factors you need to consider.
“What is a good age for a child to start acting?” – Beth V., Denver, CO
My husband, who has been acting for 25 years, would say “never!” Although, he would quickly follow that up with “if you want it bad enough you’ll do it no matter what anyone says, so get to it!”
It takes a lot of dedication, time, and patience. I believe that if a child is persistent and really wants to act they should take advantage of every opportunity. The experience of learning lines, developing character, and performing under pressure on a consistent basis is the key. In a regional market, auditioning for film, TV, and commercials can be sporadic at best so I always encourage young actors to look to get involved in a play, be it community, church, or school. As to your specific question, I have found after having taught film acting to children for several years, that there is such a thing as getting started too young. It is difficult to make an assessment based on “years old” but rather, are they able to handle the basics? I would ask the parents of potential students’ questions like: Does the kid want to do this? Can he focus on a task for an extended period of time? Is she creative and does she enjoy performing for family and friends? Can he read? Can she memorize? Usually the very young kids, up to about age 5, are not able to answer yes to most of these questions. This does not mean they are too young, as there may still be opportunities, but it should give you some insight as to how vigorously you seek them out. I suggest you continue to encourage them to express themselves at home. I have found that by around age 7, these basics become much more prevalent and are aided by a youthful, vibrant imagination. They are becoming more independent, so they enjoy taking risks and trying things out on their own. The most exciting thing about younger actors is that they often have an advantage over their elders when it comes to fun and make believe, two very important attributes for an actor.
– Chalese Thill-Stevens
Chalese is the founder of the non profit organization, Rainy Days Foundation, which helps individuals heal after loss. She is a motivational speaker, children’s book author, Liberation Guide, as well as a program director in leadership. Her story comes from a tragic accident in which resulted in the loss of her 4 year old son. She tells about her journey of healing and how she found the strength to carry on. She built her wings and now is helping others to build theirs. She began writing The Adventures of Bug children’s book series in hopes that her son’s thrill of adventure will live on. Chalese is also blessed with two more beautiful children that keep her on her toes and remind her of what is truly important in life. In her free time she enjoys singing in a band, kickboxing, hiking and spending time with her friends. Her infectious laugh, passion for life and ambitious “no fear” attitude build strong and lasting relationships, inspiring those who come into her life. To purchase one of her books, please visit: The Adventures of Bug Books
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Last modified: August 13, 2017