I’m not an advocate for new infants working in the film industry, so you won’t find too much on this blog about baby acting. The main reason, even though I know productions strive to make things as safe as possible for everyone involved, it is still a work place and a workplace environment.
Infants, not just babies, can work as young as 15 days old in the film industry. Newborns and baby actors are needed in commercials, movies and TV just as much as any other actor/performer. Now obviously, these little bundles of joy aren’t doing much acting, but it’s their disposition and/or temperament that counts. A good baby is an employable baby. That’s right. Tots get paid moola to be fabulously themselves, a baby. Sweet!
Most infant and baby acting is done in pairs. Yes, I said pairs which means twins. If you have twins and they are identical they will be a sought after combo. There are actually (baby) talent agencies that specialize in twins only. And I run across casting calls all the time looking for identical twins (usually touting no experience necessary). And these projects can be multimillion dollar blockbuster movies.
Babies are hired by identical twin pairs for different reasons.
First, there’s how many hours they can legally work or be on set. The rules and regulations affecting young performers especially babies working in the film industry are quite strict. See the resources tab on the Kids in Movies blog for links. Basically, when one baby actor is about to be finished work (wrapped for the day) the other twin can be brought in to take the first babies place. (This is how the Olsen twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen from the TV series Full House started). Thus, there is no down time and the production can keep moving ahead with filming potentially saving themselves thousands upon thousands of dollars.
The second reason for using twins on set is the babies’ behavior. When one baby is fussing, upset or screaming the other baby can be brought in ASAP and the scene can continue. And the third reason for twins is the babies’ sleeping and/or feeding schedule/pattern. We all know babies especially newborns like to sleep and they sleep a lot. So, productions must take this into consideration. When one baby actor is sleeping the other can be working and vice versa. The same thing goes for mealtime.
For parents wanting their babies to audition for baby commercials you really need a baby talent agency or rather an agency specializing or having babies on their talent roster. There are a lot of baby commercial auditions. Baby audition commercials include all brands of diapers, pull-ups, wipes, shampoo, creams, toys, food, etc. What you must remember here is that your baby must be independent of you (mom or dad)—no playing strange.
For older babies, they will be asked to go into the casting room with the casting director to play with toys, do some activity, etc. Once they’re done they’ll be brought back to you and you both can go home. Easy!
Should your baby book the baby commercial be aware that most likely your child will be cast in the commercial with 2-4 other baby actors as back-up. This is because if one baby actor isn’t cooperating another can be brought in immediately. Obviously, this would be devastating to the mom of the baby who was picked number 1, but quite the opposite reaction for the number 2 or 3 baby. The baby who’s featured will earn the most money. So, a happy cooperative baby is a plus.
So, the decision’s yours. Are you up for baby casting calls? Remember, it really depends on how good your baby is; how good they are with strangers; how good they are in strange environments; and how patient you are. If you pinned me down and asked me when’s the best time is to get your child into show business I’d say NOW! Don’t wait! It doesn’t matter how old they are. If you’re both up for it give it a whirl!
Imagine the baby keepsake’s you’ll have!!
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