Hiring actors of any age and skill level can be stressful: but hiring child actors can be the most complicated. The important thing to know is how to use them when you’ve hired them: and that the project you need is the right fit for their skills.
These are the four contexts to hire a child actor and why they can throw a wrench in the entire project, requiring extra planning.
Why Hiring Child Actors Can Be Complicated
Due to child labor laws and the child actor laws that are in effect across all states, hiring a child actor can be complicated. Not only does every child actor under the age of 14 need an authorization of employment, but they’re also limited in how many hours they can work and what types of projects they can take on.
Many television and movie productions prefer the actors to be twins, so they can trade off who’s working, so production isn’t slowed down as much. This is why so many famous twin child actors exist.
Local and National Commercials
Commercials are a great space to use child actors since it gives them the room to use their cuteness to sell products and services, and they’re only needed for a short period. Since most commercials are less than two minutes long, there’s less worry about how long the child professionals will need to be on set and far less worry about keeping up with laws and labor needs.
If you want a television show to have a child actor involved, keep a few things in mind. If they’re going to be a repeating actor who’s in the production for years on end, you can look at their parents to see if they’ll grow to look more like whatever actors are playing their family, and you should ensure that their family understands the need for them to stay local.
Child actors can walk away from productions at any time and don’t have to worry about the lengthy project contracts adult actors do: which can put displays at risk if they don’t hire intelligently.
Movies and Film Projects
Movies and film projects are easier than television, but with the increased budget and larger pressure to succeed: it’s important that you hire correctly. When hiring a child actor for the main role, consider hiring a specialist who has worked with child actors on film sets and knows how to get the best performance possible out of them.
When educational projects need to connect to a younger audience, they often hire younger performers to help the audience connect to them. For this, you’ll need to decide on the age of your target audience, what type of feelings you want them to have towards the program, and how much you’ll need your performer to be ankle to do.
Child Actors Are Incredibly Skilled Individuals
Not only are child actors capable of some of the best acting possible, but they’re also fantastic assets to the right projects. Plan carefully around how you’ll use them, and be prepared for different working conditions than you’ll need for adults.