What Does A Child Performer Need to Work?

Check List

  • Work Permit​

I hear if my child is under 18, I need a Child Performer work permit. Where do I get it from? How much does it cost? 

Any person under the age of 18 who renders creative or artistic services in New York State or any New York resident under the age of 18 who renders creative or artistic services anywhere outside New York State as a performer must apply for a Child Performer Employment Permit. Applying for the permit is free. It expires every year so the parent must make sure that the permit is valid at all times (if you wish your child to continue in the industry).

The application for the permit may be downloaded at: 


  • Trust Accounts

The Child Performer Employment Work Permit requires that a Trust Account be set up for the child. Is there any specific place you can recommend I set the account with? 

Yes. Even though you can choose which ever bank you want, it is recommended you establish the account through The Actors Federal Credit Union. You may need a New York Child Performers account and/or a Coogan account.

The link to set up this account is: https://actorsfcu.com/youth-accounts/coogan-accounts

But they’re also very helpful if you want to go in and see someone in person!

  • Resume

My child is just starting out. I have a good head shot, but I what do I put on a resume? 

At the top of the page, put your child’s name and a contact phone number and/or an email address.

Next write down your child’s personal information such as height, weight, hair color, eye color, size and date of birth.

If your child has any relevant experience, education (in performance) you can list it. If not, it does not matter. As your child develops, he/she will have content in these areas.

One of the most important things that you can list is skills. Skills are anything you child can do from sports and playing a musical instrument to languages and working well with animals. For example, if you say your child can skateboard and a casting director is looking for someone who can, you have a higher chance of booking the job.

Download a sample resume here. 

  • Headshots

How important are headshots? How much should I invest in a headshot?

Headshots are vital for actors in the performing industry. Casting Directors need to “see” you before they are going to take the next step. Your headshot should be taken by a professional photographer. Keep in mind, that you want it to put you in the best light possible and make you look as natural as possible. Agents and managers want to see a child looking as they typically do on a normal day.

They do not want “glamour” or air brushed pictures. You do not have to spend hundreds of dollars to find a good photographer.

For more tips on headshots, you can go to: http://filmtvcareers.about.com/od/gettingthejob/a/AT_Headshots.htm