As Hollywood Moms we take our kids on auditions if not several times a day, at least several times a week. I know I’m not the only one who has asked themselves, “What in the world do these casting directors want?”  and “How can I best prepare my child for each audition?”

Fortunately, Hollywood Mom Blog has friends in all the right places and Casting Director Katie Taylor has generously agreed to answer our most pressing casting questions along with revealing the ever important “do’s and do nots” of the business.

[typography font=”Architects Daughter” size=”24″ size_format=”px” color=”#f50c4e”]Question: “When casting kids [child actors] is their look more important than their talent?” – Suzette[/typography]

Answer: It completely depends on the project. For print jobs where no specific skill is involved, yes, their look is more important. Each brand has a certain demographic they market their product to, as well as an “image” they are trying to portray. The “look” of the talent they feature must align with both their targeted demographic and their advertising image and support the creative concept.

In commercials, there tends to be a tiny bit more “image” flexibility due to skill requirements, whether it be acting chops or sports related skills. Most of the time they’re looking for a child to match parents or make a family. But sometimes skill is paramount, and it’s just a mater of finding a child who has the strongest skills and the “look” is sometimes secondary.

Then other times, they may not even have a specific “look” in mind, just a general “feel” or personality trait and an ability to bring those to a character. So you may see a variety of ages, ethnicities and even genders all going out for the same role.

So never doubt your reason for being called in! We often try and sprinkle in a few “curve balls” that take the character an few alternate directions, and occasionally the client goes for it. That is one of my favorite parts of the job!