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How Do I Get My Child on Television?

April 05, 2017

Is there a "Right" way to break in to the business?

If you have an attractive or talented minor, you've probably been encouraged by friends or relatives to get him/her involved in showbiz.  And if that seed has been planted, you're now eager to learn exactly what steps you need to take to make that dream a reality.

"How do I get my child on TV?"  It's a question we at Children In Film get daily.  The problem is parents are bombarded with so much conflicting information that they don't always know where to start.  Additionally, many are looking for a "quick-fix" solution to breaking in to television so they neglect the casting process, and ultimately end up spinning their wheels on casting websites, potential scams and inaccurate forums.

Don't beat your head against the wall! The following information is designed to answer your question, but it is like a weight loss diet - do it right and you'll see results, try to take shortcuts and you'll end up frustrated.

Know the difference between Television, Film, Commercials, Print Modeling and other forms of media.

Okay, so we know you can tell the difference between a television show and a print ad, but do you know how to get cast in each?  If your child wants to be on a television show, he is going to need a theatrical agent.  If she wants to be in commercials, she'll need a commercial agent.  For a detailed list of types of agents, click here.

Having trouble securing agency representation? Don’t give up. This is an essential aspect of the process. Perhaps consider getting a manager; part of a manager’s job is to introduce you to agents.

Know how to get face-time with potential agents.

Once you've determined the type of representation your child will require, you need to get meetings with them.  First, do your research.  Children In Film allows you to read bios as well as ratings and recommendations for the industry pros listed in our Member Directory.  After you've determined the agents in which you are interested, you can contact them directly through the site to set up a meeting.

Additionally, Hollywood From Home Q&A Today webinars and other networking events (both live and virtual) are excellent ways to meet agents, managers and (when you are ready) casting directors.  Each of these CIF events have produced success stories where minors have signed with agents.

Know how to prepare for roles.

If you want to work in sitcoms, your potential theatrical agent is going to want to see that your child is studying the subject.  Once you are signed, staying in shape as an actor will boost your child's resume and help him secure roles.  Choose acting classes and coaches that work in your area of interest.  Ask potential coaches what they specialize in, or locate the profiles of child actors within our Member Directory and find ones where their resume lists a lot of sitcom work.  Then, contact the member and start up a conversation with her parent to determine what kind of classes she's taking.

Small steps towards bigger roles are also important. So many young performers start out in commercials and short or student film roles before landing a major role on a television show. 

Remember, success in this industry is dependent upon knowing the accurate steps and information, and then knowing and connecting with the right people.