Hi Bonnie. I’m a huge fan of your column! Your work is fantastic!

You asked for suggestions for your series on young actors, and since young actors are my specialty I thought I’d pipe in.

The one thing I find myself explaining to parents often is that actor training is like any other training in the arts — no one would expect a young person with talent for playing the violin to start playing the violin professionally after only a few lessons. Like gymnastics, dance, or even voice training, actor training takes dedication and commitment.

It’s true that a young performer may start with a lot of natural ability and a great look, but that will only take them so far. Sometimes it seems that parents can be expecting a return on their investment in their child’s career too soon, as even the most talented young pianist trains for hours a day for years before earning an income.

Like athletics or other arts, I believe that good quality training early on in life can be instrumental in developing a young actor’s full potential. In my classes we focus on goal setting, positive achievements, and replacing can’t with can. I am teaching them skills that will benefit them in any field they decide to pursue as adults. If that field ends up being acting, they will have a strong foundation that will sustain them throughout their careers.

Also just wanted to give a shout-out to the non-profit www.lookingaheadprogram.org. I am on the advisory board of this wonderful program of the Actor’s Fund for Young Performers. They provide excellent free services for young performers.

Cynthia Bain’s Young Actor Studio

Just a quick reminder that I’m still looking for your feedback on which headshot photographers are the best for young actors. Please also share with me some of your favorite COACHES for young actors. I’ll share your lists in next week’s Your Turn (which will correspond with the end of this series on kid actor issues). Thanks for emailing! Hope you’re enjoying the series!

Bonnie Gillespie is living her dreams by helping others figure out how to live theirs. Wanna work with Bon? Start here. Thanks!

Originally published by Actors Access at http://more.showfax.com/columns/avoice/archives/000809.html. Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.

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