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How to Teach Kids About Stage Presence in Show Business

by Carissa Lawrence

Everyone knows that show business is a competitive industry. It's not enough to just get on a stage and sing, act or dance, even if the performance is executed perfectly. Directors and choreographers are looking for the person who stands out the most -- the person who seems to have been born on the stage. This is where stage presence comes into play. If your child is interested in or involved in show business, developing a strong stage presence will help her have a competitive edge. Over time, you can help your child build the confidence she needs to make a lasting impression on stage.

Introduce the concept of stage presence to your child. Stage presence involves being aware of yourself and every detail of your performance while you're on stage. It's also about making a connection with the audience members, reading their reactions and making adjustments accordingly throughout your performance.

Watch videos of great actors, dancers and singers with your child. Ask her what she likes about how the professional is executing his performance. Help your child analyze how the professional stands, moves and interacts with the audience. Encourage your child not to copy the professional but to use his performance techniques in guiding how she develops her own performance style.

Have your child practice his performance in front of a mirror, including how he will enter and exit the stage. Instruct him to enter the stage with purpose, walk in with good posture and stand firmly before starting. Making a strong entrance helps a performer establish and maintain stage presence.

Explain the idea of subtlety to your child. The biggest movements aren't always the most effective ones. Encourage your child to pay attention to her facial expressions, posture and general movements while she is practicing. Make suggestions for where she can use facial expressions, slight shifts and hand motions to help convey emotion throughout the performance.

Remind your child that every moment on stage matters. If he's on stage, it's for a reason. Often, children think that the leads or solos are the only kids getting the attention. While the soloist or lead may be the focal point of the stage, audience members are also aware of each individual on the stage. If a performer isn't adding to the production, he's taking away from it. Encourage your child to maintain character, poise and active presence from the minute he walks on stage to the minute he gets backstage.

Items you will need
  • Videos of professional performers

About the Author

Based in Gainesville, Carissa Lawrence is an experienced teacher who has been writing education related articles since 2013. Lawrence holds a master's degree in early childhood education from the University of Florida.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images