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Little girl posing at a casting call outside

13 Ways to Prepare Your Child for a Casting Call

it's simpler than you think

Here at DFWChild, we hold an annual Real Kids Casting Call—giving kids from around Dallas-Fort Worth the chance to be one of our cover stars.

One modeling agency we work closely with during our casting call is the Dallas-based Kim Dawson Agency. Dee Ann Vernon, who works in the Youth & Young Adult Talent Division, gave us some great tips on how to prepare your child for a future casting call—whether it’s with us or somewhere else!

Check them out:

1.Modeling is for every age, but explaining what’s going on can be harder when talking to a 2-year-old. So pretend and practice at home. Set up your own fashion shoot or runway for them to play around with.

2. On the way to the call, job or audition, don’t put emphasis on it being a “job.” Tell them they’re going to have a good time, visit with others, maybe even play with some new friends. Keep it low key.

3. Pay attention to your child’s personality. If they’re super shy, modeling may not be for them. Or it could mean they’re not ready yet. Your child could grow out of it, and you could try at that time. Wait for them to come out of their shell.

4. If you have an option to choose your appointment time, pick a time that’s best for your child. With younger kiddos, earlier tends to be better so tantrums don’t show up due to hunger or fatigue.

5. Dress your child in clothes that fit well. This goes for face-to-face calls and any pictures you submit too. If the clothes have too much going on or are baggy, the agency or clients will have a hard time knowing what kind of body style your kid has. They need to see if your child is skinny, fuller, has long legs, short torso—all of it.

6. The same goes for your child’s hair. Remember this when getting them ready: How does your child look on a typical day? If they have curly hair, do they usually wear it curly? If so, don’t grab the straightener. They need to look like themselves.

7. And piggybacking off of that: No makeup. None. Those Glamour Shots? They’re a no-go. Your child needs to look like a child.

8. If you’re submitting pictures, avoid props. Keep it simple.

9. Consider your child’s personality when choosing auditions and jobs. Does your child hate being pulled in and out of clothes quickly? A fashion show is most likely not for them.

10. And of course, time is money, so around the time your child turns 5, agencies and clients will expect them to do the job quickly. If your child doesn’t like to be rushed, that could pose a problem.

11. Be aware of your child’s feelings. If they really (and I mean really) don’t want to be there, the agency and clients will be able to tell. And kids who obviously aren’t interested won’t be picked.

And a few final words of wisdom (specifically for the parents):

12. Remember, this is a job. Your child is technically working and they’re working for creative directors and professionals—so follow their rules. Read the room to see what’s expected in terms of parent etiquette. If they ask you to hang back, hang back. If they offer for you to be near the action the whole time, go for it. They’ll keep you within eyesight of your kiddo; just make sure to be professional too.

13. Most importantly, do your research. Legitimate agencies will not charge you money to sign up. Really do your homework on the people you’re planning to work with, so you don’t fall into a scam.

Sign your child up for our Real Kids Casting Call today!

Image courtesy of iStock.