Kids Acting Classes
Wondering about kids acting classes?
If you're not sure how to pick a good children's acting school for your kid,
read the information below.
It takes you through what good children acting classes
should offer and what acting skills kids need to learn
to succeed at auditions.
You'll also find listings of acting classes for kids and acting schools
that offer children programs to get you started with your search.
1) How to Choose Good Acting Classes for Kids
Here's a list of important skills child actors need to succeed,
and things good kids acting classes should provide:
- Acting Technique
Your child will need a basic acting technique.
How much technique depends on their age.
While a younger child will do great with simple role playing and theatre games,
an older child (9 and up) can be introduced
to basic acting techniques like short term objectives
or asking the questions "Who What Where and When" when reading a scene.
A good kid acting class also helps children explore
what makes them unique rather then teach them line readings
and cute "tricks". This is especially important if you
think your child is into acting for the long run. You don't
want them to pick up bad habits that will take years to break
down the road. A good kid acting coach helps children build the confidence
to be themselves instead of trying to guess what casting directors want.
Listen to this short video where
Talent to Go
co-owner Pat Tallman talks about young actors who mistakenly try to "people-please".
- Speech & Elocution
Actors, of all ages, need to be heard.
In the least, they need to be able to speak clearly and audibly.
If they are interested in stage acting, they need to be loud enough
to be heard in a theater. A good children acting class should address
any speech problems a kid has. There's no need to take formal speech
and voice classes, but a class that teaches a basic vocal and body
warm-up will get them started on the right foot. Older children actors
also need to be able to read well. Often, actors are given "copy"
to read at auditions (also known as a cold reading).
A young actor will not be able to concentrate on the acting
if they are struggling to read. A good children's acting class
will give older kids plenty of opportunities to do cold readings.
- Memorization & Improvisation
Reading-age children who want to act are expected to learn lines,
so they should pick an acting class that includes scene study
or monologues where they can practice memorization.
That being said, casting directors don't expect kids to be perfect,
so being able to use improvisation is very helpful for children.
Improv makes them unique in the eyes of casting directors while
giving them the confidence to make it up if they forget a line.
Improvisation is even more useful with younger kids who don't
learn lines at all and are basically just expected to be themselves.
- Being a kid
Pick an acting coach that lets kids be kids.
This doesn't mean that a child acting class should be all play,
but fun should definitely be incorporated in teaching...
or not only will your child not enjoy the class, they will start to think they
have to behave like an adult when they audition,
which is exactly what casting directors don't want to see.
Directors and producers look for kids who can act, not kids who act like adults.
Children have a natural ability to play make believe and to really get
invested in their imaginary games (something many adults lose when they grow up),
so acting can be very natural and fun to them. The goal is to find a kid
acting teacher that will teach them how to stay natural when they play
in front of an audience (or camera) and not coach them a specific
way to say a line or make a face, so look for acting schools
for kids that teach things like
Spolin's theater games,
storytelling, role playing and mime.
Although all the skills mentioned above are useful,
the most important thing children can gain from a good acting class is
the confidence to be themselves.
If they know what to expect when they walk into an audition because
they've done it all before in class, they will be much more confident.
Pick a kids acting class that prepares them for auditions,
lets them perform in front of others and gives them practice
time in front of the camera. For example, they should learn things
like how to find their mark and slate their name during on-camera auditions.
There are no guarantees in the acting business.
It's just the nature of artistic careers that actors
don't know if and when the next job will come.
This can be particularly hard for children who are still building their sense of self.
Look for a kids acting class that offers support and makes
children realize that their worth has nothing to do with
whether or not they are successful in the biz.
How much should kids acting classes cost?
Expect to pay between $35-$50 per class for a 2-hour basic children acting class.
Most classes are offered on a 6-week or 12-week basis.
Avoid acting schools for kids with expensive "packages"
that include classes, headshots and other "showbiz specials".
Similarly, if a children's acting class is really cheap, there may be a reason,
so check the teacher's credentials and reputation before you sign up.
If you can audit the class first, that's great. If not, ask if you can get the number
of a few parents whose kids attend the class to get recommendations.
Now that we've gone over what good kids acting classes should offer,
let's look at some other options you may want to consider depending on
what your child's dreams are:
If your child wants to perform in theater plays,
they need to practice being on stage in front of others.
In that case, a class that culminates with a small performance
for family and friends is very useful.
You'll see what your kid's been up to and your child will get used
to performing in front of a live audience.
If your child is ready for theater auditions,
also look for a class that will help them prepare a
If your kid wants to be in musicals,
then they'll need to be a "triple-threat"
(which means they'll need to know how to act, sing and dance).
There are plenty of kids acting classes out there that teach everything Broadway,
from basic vocal technique and dance steps for younger kids
all the way to musical theater workshops where children get to
perform in popular kid musicals like Annie or the Wizard of Oz.
When your child first expresses an interest in acting,
get him or her to try an acting class.
Later, if it turns out your kid is really hooked and wants
to pursue a professional acting career, you'll have to start
thinking about an agent or manager.
That's when kids acting classes that include
agent showcases and casting director workshops
Agent showcases allow your child to perform in front
of invited kids talent agencies.
It's a great way for them to be "discovered" once they're ready.
Casting director workshops allow your child to practice
his audition skills with a guest casting director.
It's a great way to be introduced to casting directors
in town and to get professional feedback on their acting,
headshot and resume.
If your child loves to act but you're not sure
if they should take this passion a step further,
look for children's acting programs that will
introduce them to the professional world of acting
so they can decide if this is what they want to do.
Look for children theater performances that have a
Q&A with working actors after the show or find a kids
acting camp where young actors get to experiment with
costumes and props.
Is my child too young for acting classes?
Most acting classes for kids start around 6-7 years old,
although some start as young as 4 years old. Of course,
that doesn't mean you can't sign up your preschooler for a fun
class that explores acting through storytelling,
animal exercises and other age appropriate methods.
These classes can be a lot of fun for children, while at the same time
helping them develop their speaking and listening skills, as long as you
don't expect them to learn an acting technique.
All a very young child needs is to smile and be cute.
If you want to get them started in the business before 6,
just go straight to a good child talent agency that does modeling and acting.
2) Listings of Kids Acting Classes
Piven Theatre Workshop
This Chicago acting school offers children acting classes for grades 4-8. Classes put a strong emphasis on working with an ensemble and some include a performance. There's also a spring break intensive for kids.
Acting Studio Chicago
This school offers acting boot camps and acting summer camps for kids 7 and up, as well as children acting classes to learn commercial technique, on-camera technique and voice-overs.
The Arden Drama School
This acting school affiliated with the Arden Theatre Company offers ongoing Saturday acting classes for kids K-5, as well as after school classes, a spring break acting camp and summer camps that include a performance for friends and family.
Curio Theatre School
This Philadelphia acting school affiliated with the Curio Theatre Company offers theatre classes and acting summer camps for kids grades 1-6. All classes include a final performance. Children in the summer camp are also introduced to voice and dance, playwriting, costumes and props.
Dearing Acting Studio
Kids acting classes at this Phoenix acting school include improv, voice, monologues and musical theater.
California (except Los Angeles)
Limelight Acting Studio
A modeling and acting studio where actors 4 and up
learn cold reading, scene study, improv and commercial technique.
Next Stop NY!
Connecticut kids acting classes for TV, film and theater acting (ages 8 and up).
American Stage Summer Camp
This acting school in Florida affiliated with the American Stage Theater Company offers a wide range of acting summer camps for kids from 5 to 11 years old. Kids can learn acting, puppetry, comedy and clown, musical theater, Shakespeare and playwriting.
University Center for the Performing Arts
This Florida Performing Arts school offers acting classes for kids 3-5, 6-9 and 9-13, as well as a wide range of dance classes starting as young as 4 years old. Children 7-9 can also study voice, on-camera acting technique, musical theater and participate in a performance workshop.
The Actor's Scene
This acting school in GA offers kids acting classes, showcase opportunities and workshops for kids ages 4-17 years old.
New Jersey School of Dramatic Arts
This New Jersey acting school offers kids acting classes and musical theater classes for grades 1-5.
Each class wraps up with a performance.
This is one of the New Jersey acting schools that specializes in kids acting classes.
Classes include beginning classes to more advanced, as well as commercials, film and TV classes.
Houston Family Arts Center Actors Academy
Houston family friendly kids acting classes with performance opportunities for 1st - 12th graders.
Our list of kids acting classes is constantly growing!
Come back to visit us often for new listings of kids acting classes
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