Tag Archives: headshots

Actors Resume, Headshot and Website as Marketing Tools

9 Mar

One of my fave actor-friendly bloggers, Bonnie Gillespie, has embarked on a 5-week Critiquing series on her weekly column, The Actors Voice. She opened her email inbox to headshots, resumes and websites from the everyday actor to get critiqued on her column. The main theme of her critiques is that your resume, headshot and website are all marketing tools, first and foremost.

Here is a link to her in-depth actors resume critiques.

Here is a link to her headshots critiques.

Here is a link to all of her old posts, which cover resumes, headshots, cover letters, demo reels and websites.

She’ll be having more posts in the Mondays to come…

The Cost of a Career

3 Mar

I like to remain positive about my career and all that comes with it.

But, let’s be realistic… sometimes you just gotta vent!

So we all know we have to be on those casting sites, mainly LA Casting and Actors Access and perhaps Backstage and Now Casting. This costs money.  We all know we have to have a headshot and this, also, costs money. How about putting these wonderful expensive headshots onto your monthly/ annually paid for sites in order to get more work? Well, you guessed it, that costs money too.

Where does this money come from? I don’t know.

So I finally got my brand spanking new headshots, which I love and am going to ignore the pretty penny I had to pay for them with, and decided to give myself a clean slate on all the casting sites by taking down all my old non-professional pics to upload all my new awesome ones. However, having to enter in my credit card information a gazillion times totally zapped all the fun out of putting up my new pictures!

For LA Casting it costs $25 to upload any initial picture and then $15 for each additional picture (only if you do it all in the same session). So, I decided to narrow down my 5 new pics to 3 and yet that cost me a lovely $55. Moving on…

For Actors Access it costs $10 per picture, not as bad, but still adds up. So for the 4 pics I uploaded, that cost me $40.

That’s $95 just to put a couple pictures up!!! Not to mention the $10/mo for LA Casting and the $65 (?) a year for AA. I don’t even remember anymore. Plus the cost of those headshots in the first place, and the makeup artists, and the retouching, and the formatting and the printing. I’m scared of the grand total.

BUT, it’s okay. This is my investment in my career. These are the steps we need to take, just like for any career. If I wanted to be a doctor I’d be thousands and thousands of dollars in debt just for med school. These are the dues we pay, but to have the career we want to have (not should have) is priceless. =)

Importance of Auditing

17 Feb

Is it cruel that it costs TONS of money to begin a career as an actor and takes FOREVER before you see any of the return? Oh well. What are you going to do, right? They don’t call us starving artists for nothin’

Because it costs so much money and our dollars are so precious, it is really important to research every little thing you invest in (just like in other aspects of your life, right?) As an actor some of the things I have invested in, which I believe are the bare essentials, are head shots and  classes. This post is about the latter.

Acting classes in LA run about $300/month, on average. This is for your standard once-a-week scene study class, be it geared towards theater or film or both. Unless you’re independently wealthy or have the most awesomest parents in the world, $300/mo every month adds up and you might want to think twice before just signing up for any ‘ol class. That’s why it is SO important to audit. Sure name-actors on the class roster, or a famous acting coach can lure you in, but don’t let it fool you. Not every studio is for every actor. You really do have to find the one that will work for you in that particular moment of your career.

Years ago, when I was first testing the waters, I joined Carter-Thor studios after a strong recommendation from a dear friend and auditing his master class. I probably should’ve audited other classes to compare, but it worked out because Carter-Thor was wonderful and was just what I needed at that time. Two years ago when I tested the waters again (took a lot of testing before I went for the plunge), I really took auditing seriously and checked out three “name” studios (Larry Moss, Howard Fine and Ivana Chubbuck). After making my rounds, I chose Ivana Chubbuck. Yes, the “name” was important to me to have on my resume. Also, I read her book and I was interested in applying another technique, especially now that I’d found a balanced approach to acting techniques (my time at Atlantic Theater Co was not so balanced, maybe a post on that later). I learned a lot while at the studio and it was good for me then. Right now I’m on a little acting class break but I always get an itch to jump back in every 6 months or so.

Headshot Selection, Narrowing Down the Choices

12 Feb

As I blogged about a few days ago, I finally found THE guy to take my headshots. I said last time how I didn’t want to mention the photographer’s name so not to jinx my shoot- well, guess what? It rained.

But, no biggie, just got postponed to Monday.

So, Monday I had a wonderful shoot with Peter Konerko. We did four looks, which we had previously discussed during our little meet ‘n greet.  I’d labored over my outfits, the colors, the fits, the overall “feel” and that totally paid off. I’d never taken my headshots so seriously before. Guess I was alway a little annoyed that one picture could mean so much. Which it does… and it doesn’t. Point is, you should take all aspects of the career seriously. These are the tools that will ultimately get you jobs. However, it’s not like your life depends on it.

I arrived to the shoot with my carefully selected clothing options- about two to three outfits per look that Peter could then choose from. Together we decided on the four. Then I hopped into the makeup chair. This was a little nerve racking because I always hate getting my makeup done. Anytime I’ve had it done professionally for a print or film shoot I never feel pretty. It’s as if they don’t know how to put makeup on my type, or something. So I sat there for about a half hour, getting done up without a mirror in front of me… hoping for the best. But when she finally gave me a mirror I was thrilled! This was going to be a good shoot…

For the next hour and a half we took pictures, a million pictures… Peter worked fast and efficiently, which was nice. I plugged in my iPod and just got into a groove and he snapped away. I went home happy, and then that very night, he sent me a link to the server with all the pics up already! All 250 of them. How the hell am I going to pick the right pictures? What if I choose the wrong one? How am I going to decide? I got a little anxious.

I spent the next couple days taking informal surveys amongst my friends and loved ones to see if the same ones continually spoke to people. This actually worked for a few. There were some that almost everyone picked, so I couldn’t ignore it. But then there were other looks that were kind of spread out. Also, I had to remember to take their opinions with a grain of salt because these aren’t casting directors after all. Fortunately, the first step was to just narrow them down to about 20 and then we’d go from there. This took the pressure off slightly. Now I wait for the photographer’s input and we’ll move on to the next step– I will be reporting on that soon!