No matter your role – writer, director, actor, if you haven’t previously worked with children in a professional acting setting, things are going to be a little different than you are used to. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, after all they are children.
Whether you’ll soon be working with people their age, or you just want to be a little more informed for when the day comes, there’s a few things you’ll have to expect. However, the most important thing to remember is that they are children and that might require a little more patience, being on stage or on set, than you are used to.
Their Life Experience
As we age, it’s easy for us to forget what it was like being a child. Just take a second and really try to think how the world felt when your age was in the single digits. If you think hard enough, you might remember how easy and joyous the world felt.
If you are being honest with yourself, you’ll also remember how stressful it could feel to be around adults. These feelings might have been decades and decades old for you but for child actors, it’s exactly where they are right now.
No matter if it’s local theater or the next summer blockbuster, always remember the stresses that come with acting and how those are compounding with how difficult it can be to be a child, especially one trying to keep up with professionally experienced adults.
Outside Of The Job
For any acting job, you can never forget they are kids. That means, most importantly, school is going to be a major part of their days. If this is a full blown movie production, that means they’ll be taking time out of their day to work with a tutor.
The production, and their professional careers, are extremely important but should always be secondary to their future, which will be largely dictated by their education. For anyone to be a solid, happy adult, their education cannot be forgotten about.
Don’t Forget About Time
This here is also going to apply for every job, regardless of how big or how small. If you’re on a professional production, never forget about how long they’ve been on set. A child can only work so long per day and that’s what makes child twins so popular in Hollywood.
Think of the Olsen twins on Full House. Having two children play one character meant very few stops in production, compared to having a single child actor in the role of Michelle Tanner.
Things won’t be too different here for a stage production either. That might take a little less time in terms of preparing and then performing the show (at least compared to a sitcom) but with something like this, any child actor is much more likely to have what many would consider a typical child’s life.
That’s going to mean things like sports, or even after school activities for other siblings, might create stress on set as the parents struggle with the feelings of needing to be in multiple places at once.