Posts tagged #commercial

5 things to consider before selecting your next commercial headshot

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Even the most selfie-obsessed actor can struggle when it comes to figuring out what their commercial headshot should ideally look like in order to impress those elusive casting agents. Sure, you want that photo to reflect the real you, but in a world of filters, Facetune, and Photoshop, it’s getting more and more difficult to see ourselves clearly.

Scoring the right look and vibe is, of course, going to depend on a variety of factors. Before you get dolled up for the next shoot, consider a few things first:

Is this photo neutral?

Okay, obviously it’s best to let your personality shine through in your headshot. But unless your goal is to only get submitted for one type of role, you’re going to want that image to remain a bit on the neutral side. This means selecting an outfit and background that won’t take away from what’s most important: your beautiful face!

Consider which demographic you fall into, and do let your unique self shine through while maintaining a broad approach for casting agents. You can alternatively choose a few different looks if multiple shots are in your budget, but typically, you’ll need at least one that you can use for a plethora of roles.

Is this what I really look like?

Most of us - if not all of us - would love it if a soft light filter followed us around everywhere we go. But before you ask your photographer for that mole on your neck to be photoshopped away, and for your cheekbones to look a smidge more defined, consider what the casting agent’s first impression will be of you if you walk into the room looking only slightly like that headshot.

Even if it’s the best headshot you’ve ever held in your hands, if it doesn’t look like what you look like today, it might as well go in the trash.

Can I ask anyone for their expert opinions first?

It’s 2019, and we have a world of resources at our fingertips. Step one would be doing exactly what you’re doing right now and asking the Internet for some free guidance.

If your photographer is at all experienced in working with actors, don’t be afraid to ask for the opinions and let them guide you. Taking acting classes? Talk to your peers. Ask your instructors for their input. Have an agent? Believe me, they’ll have their expert opinions and advice to offer as well.

An objective take may just help you nail down what works best for you.

Will I be able to use this photo long-term?

Maybe you have money to burn and this isn’t an issue, but for many actors, those headshots need to work for at least a year-- or until a new gig requires you to chop off your hair or shave your beard. If your current look is bound to change in the near future for whatever reason, keep that in mind before you drop serious cash on those prints.  

And finally….

Do I love this photo?

It seems obvious, but if the whole world is telling you they love a photo of you, you may find yourself convincing the little voice in your head that everything is fine. Don’t do that. Being proud of your headshot will give you a boost of confidence when you submit for roles, and as mentioned plenty of times above, you’re spending your hard-earned dollhairs on this and should have final say!

There is a world where both your colleagues’ professional opinions and your personal opinions both live; it just may take a bit of extra effort on your part to find that happy medium.

Posted on March 18, 2019 and filed under Headshots.

The Three Types of Actors You'll Meet at Auditions

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It’s Fri-YAY and finally feeling like fall in the A, so why not have a little fun with our weekly blog post? As an actor with over 16 years of experience, I’ve auditioned all over the country for theatre, film, and schools, so I’ve seen my fair share of actor “types” in said auditions. Here are the top three types of actors you’ll meet in the waiting room, no matter what gig you’re auditioning for:

The Eager Beaver

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Also known as the Big Fish From a Small Pond, this person is trying EVERYTHING IN THEIR POWER to book the part. They typically come from a smaller market and are trying to make it in the big city - which is really what we’re ALL trying to do, but the Eager Beaver thinks that this fact makes THEM unique. They are either overly friendly with you, sizing you up as competition, or overtly cold…also because they’re sizing you up as competition. Hot tip: even if the Eager Beaver is rude to you, don’t be rude back! I guarantee you the auditors are watching, even if you don’t think that they are.

The Model

In the words of the cult classic Mean Girls, “She doesn’t even go here!” - as in, sometimes non-actors will show up for auditions that are very tall and very, very attractive. These are models who are trying to broaden their resumes and maybe break into acting. Some models actually DO have pretty good acting chops, but some are just there to, for lack of a better term, diversify their portfolio. Basically, they’re your really, really ridiculously-good-looking competition.

The Newbie

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The “newbie” is the actor that’s just starting out, natch. They’re probably pretty nervous, and looking for advice - which means that if you sit next to them, you’re gonna be sitting next to a real Chatty Cathy, more than likely. Again, niceness is always the best policy in my book - not only do you never know who’s watching, you also never know who’s gonna make it in the “biz.” Give advice as much as you can, but also, focus on your character portrayal and lines. You do you, boo!

Posted on October 12, 2018 and filed under Actors.

So You've Booked a Commercial...Now What?

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Congrats! You've made it through getting headshots, getting an agent, auditioning, acing the callback (did we miss anything?!), etc...now, you've booked the commercial gig of your dreams! Your acting career feels like it's finally headed somewhere! What's next? A guest star role? A five-liner? A pilot?

We digress. Back to the fact that you're an awesome, incredible actor who just booked their first commercial job! So, what happens next? We're covering it all in this blog post that tells you everything you need to know before arriving on set - read on.

It Ain't About You

If this is your first commercial gig, then you're likely at the beginning stages of your acting career. It's important to remember that it isn't about you. You are there to do your job, and a lot of the time, jobs ain't glamorous - especially first acting gigs. Show up prepared, with your lines memorized (i.e., off-book) if you have any, and even if you're facing the camera and getting to say those sacred utterances, know that you are still selling a product. That is your job - so do it right!

Actors' Agency

Even if you self-submit and book a commercial gig, no matter how big or small, circle up with your agent(s) and/or management team, and let them know you booked it! They can handle the nitty gritty details. And even if they just send one email, that means they still should get their compensation (i.e., a percentage of the cost of the project, whether it's 10%, 15%, or 20%, depending on your contract with your agency). Leaving them out in the cold means you'll never work in this town again! Kidding. Sort of. Pay them fairly, and they'll work hard for you.

Stay in Character

Do not drop that mom character who just loves the newest antibacterial wipes on the market until they yell "Cut!" Even if it seems like everyone is just waiting around or not doing anything, chances are they're going to go again - and you need to be ready. The easiest way to remember this tip is to simply stay in character the whole time that camera is on you - you can't go wrong!

Be professional

We cannot stress enough how important professionalism is on a commercial set - or any set, for that matter. This is a job that you are getting paid to do - know how lucky you are in that! No everyone has your life. Plus, the length of the commercial is super important. The length of a commercial is also paid for, whether it's a 15-second spot, 30-second spot, etc. You cannot get in a few extra lines, no matter what - stick to the script, and be word-perfect.

 

Have you booked a commercial gig? What's your experience? Let us know in the comments!

Posted on September 1, 2018 and filed under Commercial.