How long does it take? No one can know how many auditions will happen before an actor is cast in their first project. And then how many more auditions will pass before their second role! It can be frustratingly slow, unnervingly quick, and everything in between.
In other words, it will probably longer than you‘d like. But it could also happen before you’re ready!
We were in Los Angeles exactly ONE YEAR to the week when Dove finally got her first role, a recurring guest star on Shameless. It felt like it took forever. Everyone told us that it happened really fast!
Then it took ANOTHER 8 MONTHS before she landed her second role—the part of Alanna in a Disney pilot called Bits and Pieces, which eventually was retooled into Liv and Maddie. I figure she’d been out on around a hundred auditions by then.
The time between the first and second roles included a crazy pilot season where she screen-tested for FIVE different leads—and got NONE of them. One project took five weeks, seven rounds of callbacks, and required dyeing her hair. So close—but no deal. Over and over and over.
When an actor gets so close that they are in the final round of callbacks repeatedly but still not landing the role, you can notice two things:
- They must be doing something right to get so close so often, and it’s probably just a matter of time before it’s their turn, and
- A session with a coach (or maybe a new coach if you already use one) to just tweak a few things might make all the difference.
Practice really can make a difference. The more auditions you (or your young actor) go out on, the better you get and the more likely to finally land a role. Patience and faith play a big role here. So does a serious budget and some savings!
I do know one young actor who was cast in a series regular role while on vacation in LA—but she is definitely the exception. Many stars aligned to make that happen. You can pretty safely assume that it will take somewhere between many months and several years before that first role is won, and it can be quite a while again before any real momentum starts—if it ever does.
Yes, the odds are tough. But if you—or your child—have your heart set on being a successful film or TV actor, then it’s worth the effort. Certainly you will never succeed if you don’t try—and you will never know if you could have succeeded either, which is a harder thing to bear for many of us.
Being simultaneously ready for the long haul and ready to jump (is your passport in order?!) is part of the life of a professional actor, and the life of their family too if that actor is a kid.
Every audition might be the one that leads to the role that makes all the difference. It’s not for the faint of heart! The people who chase this dream are willing to work for the chance, knowing there is no guarantee.
But few things in life are guaranteed anyway, right?
My book, The Hollywood Parents Guide, available on Amazon contains everything I wish I’d known when Dove and I started this journey, and will save you untold amounts of time, money, and stress. Full of information you MUST know, it also features stories from parents of other kids who’ve made it!
Or book an hour consulting with me to come up with an individualized plan that takes your own unique needs into account. For about the cost of an hour with a professional acting coach, you can get your questions answered and a road map to help you move forward toward your dream.
Invest a little in your kid’s future today.
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