Sunday, August 18, 2013

Adult v. Child Actors

When I tell people I work primarily (though this will be changing shortly) with child actors the reaction I get is: oh that must really difficult.  My general response is: no, it's not really that much different than working with adult actors.

I've always sorta sad that flippantly, as a general statement about general actor.  Well, on my last show I worked with adult actors for the first time in close to two years and I realized how accurate that statement is.  I work with children a lot and as such get to know many of them quite well, and what has always struck me is how similar they are to adults.

They want respect, they want success, they want reinforcement.  And this is true of every actor and of every person I have ever met.  Perhaps the children are more insecure, but in my experience, that isn't always the case.  Perhaps the children are less intuitive, but this isn't always the case.

Part of the matter is that I generally with older children who are very serious about pursuing acting professionally.  That type of drive transforms anyone.  I have always had a belief that adults as a whole underestimate children.  Perhaps that was because as I child I wanted nothing more than to be taken seriously and treated equally with adults.

I have always found that if you lay your expectations out clearly for people than they will generally do their damnedest to meet those expectations.  In the case of actors (backstage) I expect that they stay out of the way, not be in the wings when they aren't needed, stay quiet backstage, perform all set changes that they participate in, and to inform the correct people if something is wrong.  These are fairly simple and straightforward and I've found that I get along with actors splendidly if we both work together on those goals.

I didn't really expect this post to turn into a talk on expectations.  I really did intend for it to be a comparison of young/child actors with adult/professional actors.  I suppose, what I discovered is, at the most basic level, the only difference is their age.

No comments:

Post a Comment