From Youth Theater to the Red Carpet
Aug 13, 2018
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Here is what we often hear from casting directors—the little actor looks great “on paper” and seems to be the perfect fit for the role. But then they come in for an audition, get stage fright, and cannot deliver the lines. The reason is simple—it takes a lot of time and practice to gain confidence to perform in front of a live audience.

From Youth Theater to the Red Carpet

Every red carpet celebrity was once a little kid, just like your little star. So how did they get started and ended up so successful? We dug into some celebrity bios to see how their careers took off and, without surprise, a great many of them have started with acting at their local theaters at an early age.

“My first audition was for Annie when I was like five years old and auditioning for community theater,” Pitch Perfect star Anna Kendrick has said in one of her interviews. Kendrick's first acting role was in a Broadway musical High Society in 1998 when she was just 12 years old. Anna was nominated for the Tony Award, making her one of the youngest nominees in the award's history.

Emma Stone Quote

Hollywood sweetheart Emma Stone took home the award for Best Actress at the 2017 Oscars. She started performing at a small youth theater in her hometown in Arizona. Emma suffered from panic attacks as a child and underwent therapy, but she has repeatedly stated that it was her participation in the local Valley Youth Theatre plays that helped her curb panic attacks. Before heading to California at the age of 14, Emma Stone had performed in 18 different shows, including Winnie the Pooh, The Little Mermaid, and Cinderella.

Twilight star Robert Pattinson says he owes his success to the Barnes Theatre Club. A talent agent spotted him during a show at the theater and introduced Pattinson to director Mike Newell who cast him as Cedric Diggory for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Robert Pattinson Quote

Without a doubt, youth theater is a wonderful, nurturing place where acting-lovers can come together, have fun, work hard, and put together a great production that brings joy to themselves and the audience. There are tons of benefits of performing at a community theater, and here are just some of them:

• The theater can become a great confidence-booster. One of our KidsCasting talents told us about her first steps into acting: “I was too shy to get up in front of my class and give a presentation, so my mom sent me to a little acting school to help me get past my shyness.” Learning a script and putting yourself out there in front of a bunch of strangers can be challenging, but it will give your child a sense of accomplishment.

• Theater teaches children social skills and empathy. When your child creates a character, they have to put themselves into another person’s shoes and in doing so, your child will become much more understanding of others.

• Theater builds work ethics. It teaches everyone about working and improving as a team and bettering themselves as individuals.

We believe that every child needs a place where they can explore the creative aspects of their mind. Community theater or musical theater, music band or a dance class—whatever is accessible in your area, it is worth giving it a try. There is nothing to lose if your child is expressing interest in performing arts.

Regardless of how expensive your child’s headshots were or how famous your child’s talent manager is — nothing can compensate for the lack of practice. So don’t overlook the community theater and try to use every opportunity for your child to perform and improve on stage, however big or small it may be.

Philip Seymour Hoffman
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