Apr 10

Should You Move to Los Angeles for Your Child to Become a Child Actor?

become a child actor

Hollywood Sign, Los Angeles

When we were faced with the decision of whether to move to Los Angeles for our daughter to become a child actor, we did not know where to turn for answers.

We had a talent manager who was urging us to move to Los Angeles so he could represent our daughter.

Our daughter was doing some acting locally, but the fact is that Charleston, SC, is not exactly a hotbed of acting activity.  There were not very many auditions for her there.

My daughter also had an agent in Atlanta, but that is about a five-hour drive, which is a long way to go for acting auditions.

Surprisingly, many of our family and friends thought we would regret it if we did not at least give our daughter the chance to pursue acting in Los Angeles.  Of course, others thought we were totally out of our minds for even considering such a thing.

There were so many things to consider, such as whether we could afford it, how long we’d be in Los Angeles, how we’d manage with our family divided that way, and how my husband would work his full-time job and take care of our home and 12-year-old son with us away.

I was worried about leaving my family and friends and going alone with my daughter to this place that I’d heard so many negative things about. And that meant that I would not have anyone I knew nearby to help if we needed it.

And then I had to think about whether I wanted our lives to change that much. We were living a very comfortable life in South Carolina.

It was a very difficult decision to make, especially knowing that there are no guarantees in the entertainment industry.

Certainly, the decision to move to California or New York for your child to become a child actor is a decision that should only be made after a lot of  soul searching.

Is moving to Los Angeles for your child to become a child actor the best decision for you and your child? How will a move like this affect your whole family?  Are there other choices you can make for pursuing a show business career for your child?

It used to be that if someone wanted a career in show business, they really needed to be in Hollywood or New York, or perhaps Chicago or Atlanta.  But now the entertainment industry is spread out more around the country, into Canada, and all around the world, so you can frequently find local acting opportunities.

Acting in a Local Market

Before jumping in your car and driving 2000 miles across the country to Los Angeles or New York to start an acting career, take a closer look at what your local options are.  Going to Los Angeles or New York without first testing the waters locally can be costly and disappointing.

Five things you can do locally to help launch your child’s acting career are:

  1. Get your child involved in local theatre, showcases, talent shows, and other performance venues.
  2. Put your child into acting, singing, and/or dancing classes or lessons.
  3. Find local talent agencies and/or managers and submit your child to those for representation.
  4. Watch for movies being filmed in areas near you and submit your child for those opportunities.
  5. Check at nearby universities for student film opportunities. Sometimes you can even have your child put on a list of talent and have them contact you when opportunities arise.

Some of the advantages to having your child work locally instead of taking off to Los Angeles or New York are:

  • There is much less competititon for opportunities.
  • You can test the waters to see if your child even enjoys acting and can be successful at it.
  • Your child can build a resume before going to a larger market.
  • Your child can build acting and auditioning skills needed in a larger market.
  • Your child can gain valuable acting and on-set experience without the added expense of a move.

Moving to Los Angeles or New York for Acting

The decision to go or not to go to Los Angeles or New York for your child to become a child actor  or model is ultimately your decision to make.  But you should not make the decision without a great deal of thought.

Spend some time evaluating your child (see Is Your Child Right for Showbiz?) and think about the consequences of making such a huge move.

And if you make the decision to move, make sure you do appropriate planning before you go.

Don’t go without first obtaining a talent manager or talent agent to represent your child or at least having some good industry contacts who can assist you when you arrive.

If you don’t already have industry contacts there, have your child’s local agent or manager assist you. Or you can send pictures and resumes to talent agents and managers there indicating that you are seeking representation for your child.

If you get responses from your submissions, set up appointments with the prospective talent managers and talent agents, and then plan a trip for you and your child to interview with them.  You can use this trip to get representation for your child and also to check out the area to see where you might want to live and what the costs are.

Moving to Los Angeles or New York without first doing the right preparation is not advisable in any case. Building your child’s resume and experience locally, and obtaining representation for your child before taking this life-changing step are important to the success of your child as an actor and to your family’s happiness.

For more information related to moving to Los Angeles for your child to become a child actor and other tips on helping your child succeed in show business, be sure to subscribe to Your Young Actor’s Newsletter.

Debbie Sikkema

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  1. cassie

    i would like for my child to become a child at actor

  2. Mom of young actor

    Good advise. I think it’s important that these young kids and parents know that it is important to build a resume and get representation before heading off for the big time. Very few young actors get discovered overnight without all work they have put into classes, plays, student films and such.

  3. Debbie Sikkema

    Thanks so much for all your great comments. I am glad you find my site useful. I’ve been out of town for a while, but now I am back. I’ll take a closer look at your questions and get back to you with information very soon! Stay in touch with me please! –Debbie

  4. Lyndrick@Chicago Actors


    Excellent advice for parents of child actors. Actually good advice for adult actors as well. 😉

  5. Debbie Sikkema

    Hi Lyndrick,
    Thanks for reading on my blog and commenting! Yes, I think the advice is for adults and kids alike. Everyone is always in such a big rush to get to L.A. Sounds so exciting I guess. My daughter was very sought after in SC — life became much more difficult after we got to L.A. and expensive, too, and she worked less often though she is certainly considered a good actor by casting and production here in L.A.! I try to tell it like it is here on my blog! Take care.
    Warm regards, Debbie

  6. james douglas

    😀 😎 i love to be a actor.

  1. Do You Need to Move to Los Angeles if Your Child Wants to Become a Child Actor? | Your Young Actor

    […] talked about the topic of moving to Los Angeles for your child to become a child actor (see “Should You Move to Los Angeles for Your Child to Become a Child Actor?“, “Will You Miss Your Family If You Move to L.A. for Your Child to Become a Child […]

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