How can I get my child into "the biz"?
First you need to know that THE ODDS ARE AGAINST YOU! There are far fewer opportunities for kids than there are kids who want to them. In smaller markets, like Indiana, jobs for kids are somewhat limited as our ads here are primarily selling services to adult consumers. In larger markets where more national product commercials are filmed... there are also a LOT more kids. In short, no one child has a huge probability of working regularly as a commercial actor or model.
Does that mean you shouldn't pursue it? Not at all! If your child has expressed an interest in the industry, we strongly encourage you to provide them with the opportunity to explore it. In fact, we strongly believe that people who develop their skills as actors often learn a great deal along the way about important life skills, such as professionalism, reliability, collaboration and compassion.
BUT... It is extremely important that you 1) make sure that their expectations (and yours) are tempered to avoid disappointment and discouragement and 2) that you are very careful to avoid the many SCAMS that surround the industry.
Parents often want to know how to tell if their child has a chance. The truth is that every child has a chance BUT, for every child, the chance of landing a lot of jobs is scant. What we can tell you is that kids who work most tend to be intelligent, outgoing, well-behaved and comfortable conversing with adults. Being naturally funny is a plus. Being cute is great, but it's not as important to directors, and even photographers, than those other personality factors.
More important than any of these factors is this: Does your child WANT to do commercials? Make sure it's the child that wants it and not you that wants it for the child!
For children who are too small to articulate their interest, consider this: Does your child go easily to strangers? Babies who engage others at the grocery and then don't shy away when a new person approaches is also more likely to engage a casting director and win over a producer. If your child cries at the sight of an unknown adult... we recommend you wait a few years.
NOW... if you have a great kid who is excited to explore commercial acting, has been warned that this is a fun thing to learn about but not a way to get famous AND has a great personality... we want to meet them!