Continuing to Respond to a Question from Carl P in Los Angeles, CA: How important are headshots and what is your philosophy behind the type of headshots that are needed as I am primarily a film and TV actor in Los Angeles.
Bob opened by welcoming all to this edition of his column on Times Square Chronicles where he speaks on video in addition to a written summary. He reminds the readers that the column is devised to answer viewer questions asked of a manager and/or producer like himself, so please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
He mentioned that the column is a benefit for The Actors Fund and elaborated on it some. The link to donate was on the video and is below the written summary here. Then he announced that the guest today was Jacque Pedersen-Schrimscher, a manager/agent from Los Angeles who was also an agent in Atlanta who was brought up in the South.
Jacque advised actors to change headshots at least every 2 years as they never look the same, especially in 2020. To not do so is an insult to your reps and CDs as you are going to age. Make the pictures brand focused. In theatre, you can get away with just one headshot – your ‘money shot’ which she discussed in Part 1. This is not the case in Film/TV. She further advised what she advises young actors fresh in LA. They should take a day off, sit down and write down all the shows they believe they could be a series regular on. Not their favorite ones necessarily but the ones they believe would be a fit. If you do, you will see a commonality in the types of roles you are a fit for. She then said to watch an entire series and make notes of what additional roles you could play. If you see there are a lot of people who look like you on the show – it could be a good thing for you. She used the show Mike and Molly as an example. The leads were heavyset. What are the chances of them having another series regular that is very fat -slim to none. But if you are thin – good chance to be cast. Further used Law & Order as an example. Characters are usually clean-cut District Attorneys, ADAs, etc and the perps are usually not clean cut with beards, tattoos etc. Are you a fit? Also, if you are a perp, you will not be a regular because they are killed off, so be aware of this. They don’t have many blondes on the show, so if you are blonde – it is a good thing and may give you a chance to get cast because there is nobody who looks like you. After you have done this for a bunch of shows – look for the roles that are common in all these shows and that will help you identify your brand. These are the pictures you need to get. Don’t listen to family and friends. Get professionals who will know your brand. She also used DiNiro and Streep as an example of actors who did certain roles over and over until they were established, which then allowed them to diversify.
Bob concluded the session by asking Jacque to bullet point the highlights of what she discussed.
1) Go professional
2) Go for personality over glamour.
3) Pictures are all about the eyes.
4) Pay attention to lighting and background. Natural light over studio if possible for film and TV.
5) No props..we look at face, eyes and character.
6) Don’t go crazy with makeup – less is more.
Bob then summed up that headshots are an actor’s calling card to casting directors and agents. If you do not have great headshots you will not get opportunities. Jacque re-emphasized the pictures and how they must JUMP out of the pack.
Bob closed with a reminder about possible donation to The Actors Fund and gave the URL to email questions. All links to other columns are below this summary. Thank you.
Bob Blume’s company website is www.StepForwardEntertainment.com
To Donate to The Actors Fund: www.actorsfund.org/stepforward
To Send in a question: email@example.com
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