Does your child have real star talent potential? They make us laugh, cheer and applaud — but as parents — it is natural to believe our children are the most beautiful, most talented, most intelligent and, of course, the most fabulous. But once they put down the shampoo bottle microphone and step off our living room sofa stage — will the charm and appeal that we see come across to a packed house of a paying audience?
Below are questions you need to honestly ask and answer to find out if your child is merely an adorable ham at home or has genuine star talent potential:
1) Do they have a good imagination and do they use that imagination to problem solve on a day to day basis?
2) Are they comfortable in front of an audience, small or large?
3) Are they comfortable making eye contact and conversation with all ages…do they love people?
4) Are they creative when they communicate and share their experiences with other children?|
5) Do they tend to write “plays” or stories and/or act them out with song and dance when presented with the opportunity?
If you can honestly answer YES to all of the above — then the following tips are for you as parents to help you support and encourage your child without breaking the bank or cheating them out of their own childhood:
1) Get them into an acting class that has on camera-training or stage improv class with experienced teachers.
2) Dramatic acting is core but if they have a passion for more — expand the training with a dance or vocal class and find a coach for them to work with.
3) Take your child to as many live performances as you can afford (professional, local theater and even high school events) — it is really important they see the end result and appreciate the work that goes into it so they are respectful of the dream and goal they have decided to pursue.
4) Encourage them to work hard and have fun – while always reminding them that even if they shift direction away from the stage (or they don’t make it) — this wasn’t a waste of time. Communicate how this training can be a powerful confidence tool that can enhance all parts of their lives as they grow up.
5) Be proud of their little achievements as well as the more significant ones — attend their recitals, performances but most importantly — make sure they continue to participate in non-drama related activities so they don’t miss the fun of being a kid!
Linda Leonard is an instructor in musical theatre at Dallas-based KD Studio teaching children’s acting & musical training classes of which many A-listers including Demi Lovato (X Factor), Kevin McHale and Mark Salling (GLEE) attended. A working actress herself, most recently appearing in TNT’s DALLAS, Leonard is able to bring her drama training, musical talent and industry acumen to her students at KD Studio and KD College, the accredited performing arts college in which graduates earn an Associate of Applied Arts Degree, and was attended by George Eads from CSI.