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Tips for Getting Your Child Started as an Actor

Has your child or teen ever indicated an interest in acting? Most children naturally engage in imaginative play and games of make-believe that requires rudimentary acting skills. It’s one of the ways children grow and make sense of the world around them.

Of course, some children love this form of play so much, they develop a special passion for it. They love the costumes assembled from what they manage to dig out of their closets; the props and set pieces cobbled together from imagination and whatever happens to be on hand. They improvise their own dialogue and action. They love acting – and they’re looking for a stage larger than the living room.

How to Get Started: Child Acting Tips

Perhaps you and your child have agreed that you would like to know how to get your child into acting. If that’s the case, we’ve got you covered! The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute’s Young Actors Program offers a variety of  kids’ acting classes and for children as young as kindergarten. When your actor is starting off this young, it’s important to remember that child acting can truly be both fun and educational!

These courses offer plenty of acting tips for kids and teens, and may even provide a path forward towards a career as a professional actor. If your child has ever wondered how to start acting as a teenager, for instance, this is an excellent place to begin that exciting journey.

How To Get Into Acting as a Teenager

Childhood is a great time to start thinking about acting as a serious, potentially lucrative endeavor. On some level, acting comes naturally to kids; it is, after all, a natural extension of self-directed imaginative play. But perhaps your older child has recently expressed an interest in acting. This is certainly not uncommon among teens who are bitten by the acting bug soon after performing in a school play or musical.

So how, then, to start acting as a teenager? We strongly recommend one of our Young Actors Online Acting programs. Whether you attend our online school based in Los Angeles, or our year-round courses for kids and teens out of our New York location, there’s something for everyone.

Your Child Won’t Learn Empathy in Math Class

In other words, acting can provide insights that enable young people to communicate better and deal with difficult feelings. The list goes on. Education professionals have identified numerous potential advantages for involvement in acting during childhood. Among them: Better writing skills, more sophisticated moral reasoning, improved critical listening skills, and enhanced empathy for others.

All of these inarguable benefits have been documented among students partaking in young actor training. Children may even gain new skills, coping mechanisms, and other tools, which can help them navigate real-world situations requiring creative solutions. For instance, experts point to improvements in students’ ability to navigate conflict resolution. 

As you can see, young actor training is about far more than having fun, memorization, and learning to play pretend. From enhanced self-confidence and self-esteem, to better empathy towards others, and an improved ability to communicate and express complicated thoughts and feelings, acting offers benefits that may not be obvious at first glance.

A Wide Range of Courses Covering All Aspects of Professional Acting 

Depending on your child’s age and interest level, courses range from one-week to three-week sessions, and beyond. Specific topics range from an introduction to Method Acting (the foundation of the Method, developed for American audiences and actors by none other than our founder, Lee Strasberg), to Acting On-Camera, to Storytelling and Collaboration, among others. 

Acting On-Camera is of special interest to any child or teen interested in breaking into television, film, or commercial roles. Acting on-camera is somewhat more technical than performing live in front of an audience. It requires skills and disciplines not necessarily required during live performances. We can show your child what to expect, how to maximize his or her impact, and how to work with the camera to summon performances that feel naturalistic and genuine.

Take Advantage of This Time to Learn Online 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are offering all of our courses online, in a real-time forum, which allows students and instructors to interact much as they would at one of our physical campus locations. While many artists and performers may have been sidelined temporarily by this crisis, there is no need to put your child’s future on hold. We are also still accepting applicants for our Young Actors Program. Keep your child connected to their peers, while continuing to expand horizons by enrolling in the Young Actors at Strasberg Program.

The Overall Benefits of Learning the Craft of Acting

Studies have shown that children and teens who engage in acting classes and activities experience elevated social, emotional and cognitive outcomes. Involvement in classroom drama has been linked to improved verbal skills among young students, for example. Experts have also documented improvements in self-confidence and self-esteem. They’ve even documented gains in reading skills. And crucially, acting can foster enhanced social skills, such as adaptive social behavior. Of course, socialization is among the key skills that children learn at school, despite no formal focus on this important aspect of human interaction. 

Acting is an immersive, challenging — yet fun — activity that gives students the tools they need to identify, explore, and integrate feelings they may find to be unfamiliar, complex, or confusing. Actor training has been shown to correlate with enhancements in students’ ability to convey these complex thoughts and feelings.