Working with divas alone can be downright stressful. Adding child actors into the mix can be an unruly nightmare since their moods can oscillate quite rapidly. However, because they can increase the demographics on set, here are a few things that may prevent anyone from attempting to calls to CPS.
1. Engagement is Key
One of the best things producers can do for a child actor is to energize and and make them comfortable upon arrival on set while remaining constantly aware of their feelings. Being in the spotlight can be a very traumatic experience and having them engaged is essential to gaining trust whilst getting the best possible performance.
2. Mask Frustrations
Some of the emotionally intelligent people are children and they can instantaneously sense frustration, annoyance and other forms of negative energy. With film production being an equally frustrating craft, it is imperative to block all frustrations and negativity when working with children by killing keeping said emotions in check. Neglecting to do so will inadvertently push children back into their shell.
3. Their Needs
As with anyone else, children need the basic amenities like food, water, and the quickest way to the bathroom. The only exception is the intensity of these needs. Their blood sugar can quickly fluctuate with a nagging thirst that can cause a distraction. The best advice is to be overly prepared with craft services and other facilities to meet these needs.
4. Take Breaks
Acting can be mentally draining, especially for kids. It takes a huge amount of focus and energy for most people and can be especially exhausting for children. While working in short spurts and taking a lot of breaks, children are prone to have more fun and be much less stressed. Because film production necessitates numerous resets for moving cameras and setting up shots, be prepared to maximize breathers for children.
5. Limit Down Time
While taking breaks is necessary, giving too much time to disconnect may develop adverse effects. Long resets that can sometimes last a few minutes to an hour may be more than enough time for children to lose interest. Give them a chance to relax, but have someone nearby to keep them engaged and ready to jump into the next shot.
6. Mimicry > Acting
Children aren’t always great at reading scripts and making motivated performance decisions. However, it can be far easier, and far more fun, to show them exactly what to do and say. Have them repeat it back and while making a game of it.