Tom Byer is tasked with implementing a total sea-change in the way the country of over a billion people perceives and coaches the sport. As the Chinese Super League...
Popular Course Subject Areas
At Momo Casting Talent School in Hong Kong, pint-sized recruits know that sacrificing play time is a small price to pay for a shot at becoming a child star.
The children, aged three to 15, spend hours in regular classes at the school in Ngau Tau Kok and give up their leisure time to learn how to sing, act and dance before getting on stage to cut their teeth in show business.
The children usually go to classes twice a week, on weekends or after school. Most of them say they do not find it hard to cope with the packed schedule because they enjoy the thrill of dancing to K-pop. In South Korea, the child star business is a booming industry.
Five-year-old Fan Lok-fung is a child actor represented by Momo.
Dubbed the “king of crying scenes”, Fan is proud of being able to cry on cue.
School principal Momo Mo Lai-yee, says: “There is a big demand for children who can cry in front of the camera”.
Students of Momo ham it up for the camera. Photo: Xiaomei Chen
As for what makes a child star, Fan said: “If you are obedient, you can be a star.”
Here are other suggestions:
1. Be presentable
Looks may not be everything, but Mo says child stars have to at least look decent. It’s also important for them to be able to introduce themselves in a confident way especially during casting. “You don’t have to be super handsome or pretty, but at least make yourself look clean, smart or decent enough to be seen in front of the audience,” she says.
2. Be eager to learn
It’s essential for child stars to have a keen desire to learn new things because having only one talent may not be sufficient in the fast-changing show business. Mo says knowing how to swim is a definite advantage, as many movie scenes with children can involve swimming or playing in the water. As for dance skills, Fan says knowing just Latin dance and ballet would no longer be sufficient – pop dancing, especially for K-pop, would be more advantageous.
3. Have financial support
Since being a star means one has to keep improving and learning new things, financial support from the family is inevitable. There is no specific amount as to how much would be needed but one training course of four sessions catering for acting costs HK$4,500.
4. Have luck
We all know that luck is a necessary ingredient in the recipe for success. Mo says one of her students is really talented but she is seldom selected in auditions because sometimes it is “all about luck”.
5. Get a good talent scout or mentor
Child stars should look for an agent who manages only a small number of clients, so that he or she can dedicate more time to connect them to the right people.