How to deal with the pressure of doing schoolwork and acting work

There is no doubt that if and when it comes down to it, schoolwork has to come before acting.

The reason is simple. If you don't do your schoolwork (including your homework!), you will end up not doing well at school. And if you don't do well at school, chances are that you simply will not be allowed to have time off to do acting work.

Think about it. If you have ever appeared on kids' tv, for example, there are a lot of forms to be filled out by everyone from your GP to your local council.

As long as all is well, the forms get signed and you get to go off and play your part (literally!) in whatever you're acting in.

However as soon as your school record runs into trouble, you risk being singled out as someone whose school success is being put into jeopardy by your interest in acting. And that's the last thing you want...

Moreover, there will be times when you need to take actual time off work in order to fulfill your acting obligations. Obviously not all acting work that you will do will necessarily take place after school hours. Imagine that you're taking part in a tv series or even a film and have to be on set during daylight hours three or four days of the week. You will need the permission not just of your parents but also from your school to skip class.

If you're a good student whose been doing their schoolwork and keeping up their grades, chances are that your teacher and parents are going to be ok about signing you off school for a bit, so you can follow your dreams.

However if you haven't been keeping up in class and with your homework, you could find yourself being refused permission to take up your starring role! The reason for this is simple. Every child needs to get an education. The last thing most parents and teachers want is for a child's hobbies to take precedence over the learning that needs to be done for a child to complete school. You might think "Oh I don't need school. I'm going to be rich and famous. Why do I need to know about history and geometry?" Because for one thing, it makes you a more well-rounded and interesting person. And for another? It's the law!

There's no denying that being a top student will open doors for you when it comes to your acting career, too. Directors would far rather work with kids who are keeping up with their schoolwork than with a child who has the education department on his or her tail. If you fall behind in your studies, you could find yourself being disallowed to pursue your acting goals.

Nearly all child actors know this and keep up to date with the schoolwork. Being smart and well-informed also helps your acting; the more you know about the world, the more you will understand the roles you're taking on. The more widely read you are, the more roles you will be able to interpret.

So forget any ideas you have about acting being an easy way out of your schoolwork! The truth is, the better you do at school, the more likely you are to find yourself being supported in pursuing your acting career as a child.

And one last thing, if you would like proof. Think about two of the most famous child actors of our times; Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson. Daniel played Harry Potter, of course. And Emma played Hermione. As his career took off, Daniel continued his school through on-set tutors, undoubtedly doing some homework after hours. He achieved A grades in the three AS-level exams that he took in 2006. And Hermione? Not only did she managed to get her A levels, she went on to study at one of the most prestigious learning institutions in the world, Brown University in the USA. After that, she threw herself back into her career.

Now there are a smart couple of kids! Make them your role models!