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Training at Home

There are always extra things that you can do at home with your child, to help with his or her career, even though they may be getting a really good formal training. If you have the time (and inclination) here are some things you could be thinking about to start, and perhaps doing with your child.

  • Practice playing with short monologues, poems and plays. This will help your child gain confidence in his or her own performance skills, it can aid memory skills, and if needed at short notice, they will have been practiced and are already known to the child! There are many of examples on the Internet that you can use.
  • If you know someone with a natural accent, get your child to learn it! If its possible, get the person to record themselves reading anything, or just talking about something they know about, so that your child can listen and learn in his/her own time.
  • Video and photograph your child. It gets them used to being in front of a camera! Let them critisise their own appearance, and try again too, to 'perfect' their art!
  • Video your child acting, then show it to them. If they have 'hammed' it up too much, try and encourage a more natural way of behaving, then video and show them again...compare the differences. Screen acting is very different to Stage acting.
  • For younger children especially, encourage singing, dressing up, pretend and role play, dancing and movement. These are all early acting skills, that are often squashed!
  • Always be constructive not destructive when talking about what they have done, and praise all attempts, but try not to be too over the top with 'you were wonderful', because that will only confuse them and help build resentments towards other children, casting directors, or even YOU! Be honest with them, they won't learn anything if you tell them they were brilliant, if they were rubbish!
  • Play games that encourage talking, memory skills, or understanding emotion (funny face games for instance)
  • Introduce your child to one of his best tutors - a mirror! Use it to show your child how they really look. It is one thing pulling a sad or angry face, but take a closer look at the eyes...do they really show the same emotion? Once a child can understand how to feel the emotion needed, they eyes tell most of the story, closely followed by the body.


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