Child Actor Showreels – Top Tips for Strong Scenes

Actor showreels are one of the key factors that help professional performers get work. It’s no different for children in the industry – but of course, they haven’t always had the chance or experience to build their material. If you are a parent considering purchasing a showreel scene for your kid, here are a few bits of advice to bear in mind.

1. Make sure the showreel material is original.

The worst thing you can do is have your child ripping off a scene from ‘Stranger Things’ or playing the part of Forrest Gump’s kid. It’s amateur, and never looks good. Work with a showreel company that produces high quality, original material. Have a look through their work and make sure they’re able to write interesting, appropriate scenes that suit your son/daughter!

2. Don’t Pay for Multiple Scenes.

I tend to discourage parents from paying for multiple scenes. Chances are, your child is going to change a lot in coming years. The thing about a showreel is that you want it to be relevant, you want it to be a true representation of the actor. If you have a boy who’s 15, and his last showreel scene is from when he was 8, it’s going to look weird.

Rather than splashing out on multiple scenes that will soon become outdated, focus on doing one and getting it right.

3. Get a scene that shows their personality. 

There are a heap of kids out there trying to get acting work, but none of them are like your child. Rather than have them impersonate a particular style or genre, try to have a scene created that shows their essence. If your kid is wacky and silly, have a scene that shows that. If your kid is quiet and introverted, have a character that shows that side.

Of course, a reel isn’t autobiographical, you want them to step into a made up character, but it helps if we get a sense of your child in the scene. We want to see how they fit into the world.

4. Be supportive but not controlling on the shoot day.

It’s absolutely not my place to tell you how to parent, ha! However, I think it’s important that your young one feel a sense of independence on the filming day. Of course you need to be there to support them, to look after them, etc – but the best thing you can do for them professionally is allow them to have a good creative day on set, learning the ropes and finding their way with other professionals. It can be daunting, but taking a step back and allowing them to figure things out is great for their acting on the day!

5. Have them act opposite an adult. 

You might be tempted to share the showreel costs with another parent, to have the two young people split the scene. This can work, but I think it robs the young person of learning from an elder, experienced actor.

And, there’s something about an adult and child dynamic that adds a grown up, cinematic quality to the scene.

If you have any more questions or are interested in hiring me to create a showreel scene, you can find out more information on my showreels page. You can also email me:

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Daniel Johnson
Writer, Director, Author