You may think this is a pretty easy question to answer, but there’s a lot more involved to it than you may think. What you wear to an audition is very important. Your agent may tell you what your child should wear to their audition. These guidelines will be relayed from the casting director (CD). Don’t dismiss these instructions. You don’t want your child going into the audition looking out of place (already at a disadvantage).
Write your child’s wardrobe requirements down in your audition journal or small note book. If your agent doesn’t give you any wardrobe requests ask him/her what the requirements are before you get off the phone or locate them in your confirmation email. Many an agent has forgotten to pass this pertinent information along to their client and CD’s don’t take kindly to the excuse, ‘my agent never told me.’ You don’t want to look bad for not following instructions even if you’re not to blame.
Sometimes, you’ll be given no wardrobe requirements, so in this case you’ll have to do some detective work on your own. Study the storyboards for commercials. The storyboard is drawn out like a comic strip and the character(s) and their clothing and accessories will be draw into the boxes. For TV and movies, you’ll have to read between the lines. That is, you’ll have to read through the sides and/or script to get a picture as to what character type the director/producer(s) are looking for to narrow down your wardrobe options.
Your child’s audition wardrobe should be different from what they wear to school or around the house. This way it can be coordinated, ironed, kept clean and always look new (fewer washings keep the color, fabric texture and fit of clothing intact). Your child should have 2-3 audition casual outfits for each season, a dressy outfit, a Halloween costume and a few uniforms. Some examples of uniforms you might need are: Brownies/Girl Guides or Boy Scouts and sports uniforms such as soccer, baseball, hockey, etc. If your child doesn’t own any uniforms or play the above sports approach family and friends beforehand to see if they have a uniform you can borrow when the time comes. Don’t go out and buy a particular uniform unless you can get it cheap or second hand from Value Village or some other thrift store.
Your child’s audition attire should be a complete outfit from head to toe. Yes, shoes and accessories are important too. All clothing should fit your child well. You don’t want any item of clothing your child needs to “grow into,” (so, no baggy or loose fitting clothes and nothing too small or too tight either). Hey, there’s no chance of a flood in the CD room (hahaha!). Wardrobe assistants like The Gap store sizing, so that might be an option if your pocket book allows for it or you can get your hands on second hand Gap.
Try to stay away from solid red, black and/or white colors and colors your child doesn’t particularly look good in (possibly, yellow, beige, green, etc.). Stay away from crazy prints; nothing too loud or busy. Small prints can play tricks on the camera and can be quite distracting to the eye when your child’s filming their audition. This can turn off the CD and/or client/director/producer(s). If your child likes stripes make sure they’re larger than smaller. Also, stay away from logos, trademarks or any brand recognition and any sayings or writings that may be inappropriate.
For commercials, choose those colors your child looks good in; colors that bring their face to life and colors that complement their hair, eyes and skin color. Young kids can get away with brighter colors more so than older kids. Keep in mind commercials sell products and your child needs to sell that product. Watch commercials on TV and take note as to what the kids have been dressed in.
For TV and movies, audition clothes should find a special place in your child’s closet so they are easily accessible. These clothes are special and they should make your child feel special. It’s not every day they will get an audition. Hopefully, this will help with their confidence going into the audition especially when they see the other kids coming directly from school with grass stained knees and/or mud streaks on their school/audition clothes. Everyone likes to feel special and clothing can do that.
Having your child’s clothes accessible makes it easier on you when your child gets called in the day of an audition (it happens). You can grab his/her audition clothes easily without hunting for clothes to coordinate and assemble into an appropriate outfit. Time will be of the essence here. So, when you go pick your child up from school bring their outfit to change into.
Why is wardrobe important? Wardrobe matters because you want to do everything in your power to give your child the best chance at getting the role. A lot of parents do not think this part is important, but it is. It is so important that I have had my child filmed on the set of commercials and TV shows wearing the wardrobe he wore in the audition room. The wardrobe department either tries to find something similar to what he was wearing in the audition or opt to rent my child’s wardrobe. When the wardrobe department rents your child’s clothing he/she gets paid for it. So, it’s worth the effort. If you were going to a job interview you’d dress the part and so should your child. Hey, if the other kids are in grass stained jeans and food dripped T-shirts just smile to yourself and be glad you read this blog post.
Remember, you’re goal with audition wardrobe is to try to make it easy for the CD and/or director/producer(s) to visualize/see your child in this part or role.
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