Q: I don’t want to rock the boat with my daughter’s agent, but it seems like she’s never brought in for the right type of auditions. It’s either too old or too young… what should we do?
Communication is the key to handling this situation. It is important to be on the same page as your agent and/or manager when it comes to what type of roles, she should be going in for. We talk about this quite a bit in the book in Chapter 7, Getting an Agent or Manager. This is a conversation you should of had before you sign with your agent. Ensure both of you are in agreement with your child’s casting possibilities and age range. But it can come up later as your child ages and casting opportunities change.
All kids mature at different ages. For example, if your son is starting to get facial hair and his voice starts changing at 12 – maybe he’s done with those cute little boy auditions, and really needs to move into more of the teen categories. Likewise, I have seen girls and boys who are actually 14 or 15, yet they are still able to play 12 or 13, so for that age bracket there is more leeway.
It’s important to drop by and visit your agent or manager periodically as your child ages so that your representation can see what age range your child can play and how he or she may have changed physically. You can call them and request a meeting or drop by, depending on what your agent likes. Have a face-to-face meeting without being accusative or demanding, just ask some questions. For example, “What age range do they see your child playing now?”, “Did they get feedback from any of the Casting Directors agreeing that your child was too young/too old?”
Give your agent the benefit of the doubt. Your agent might be sending you out for everything even close to your child’s age group. Sometimes in the breakdowns they give the age range from 9 to 13 years old. Now there can be a huge difference in a 9 year old and a 13 year old, but there are also mature 9 year olds and still very “young” looking 13 year olds, so you might be getting caught in that dilemma. You say to yourself, that is a pretty big age range, but sometimes we are trying to match actors up – older ones with a younger ones – and we make the range a bit wider as we try to see who fits best together.
I worked on one pilot, where the age range was 9 to 11 for the younger brother and the sister was 13 -15. As we narrowed down the casting choices, we had many callbacks, producer sessions and were close to picking our final choices, but at the last minute the age range changed for the younger brother to be 11 to 13. This could be one of the reasons. This is show business and things are always changing.
As I said before, I’m a big fan of communication, especially when done before you are too upset to even “hear” what the other person has to say. Try not to think about those hours spent driving your child all over town, just set up that meeting with a smile on both your faces, have a chat and decide you’re going to work it out and I’ll bet you do!
Stay positive! Your next job could be an audition away!