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READ ME before you ask for audition help 
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Headshot DOs and DONTs

Found at: http://theater.about.com/cs/jobs/a/headshots.htm

DO
Print or staple your resume to the back of your headshot. I've been told that casting agents prefer you staple the resume using four staples, one in each corner.
If you are stapling, trim your resume to fit the headshot. You do not it want to look sloppy.
Make sure your headshot looks like you, perhaps a better, more glamorous you, but still you. I've had directors not recognize the headshot and not remember the person's audition.
Make sure the head shot shows your face. I've seen headshots that are so close-up, it's hard to see the whole person.
Make sure the contact information on the back is up-to-date. Create an email address just for your acting resume. MaryMag's special advice: assume that the company you're auditioning for is very professional and don't use an email address that says something like "ilikemasturbation@yahoo.com." I've seen it done. Further, it's not very professional to have some disgusting song like "I like Big Butts" playing on your voice mail. Drives me effing insane when I have to call people, listen to that sh*t, and then tell their voicemail, "Oh we're SO excited to have you join our Children's Theater company..." *one more thing - DOUBLE, TRIPLE, QUADRUPLE check that your contact information is correct. I've missed out before because I accidentally wrote a 3 in my phone number that should have been a 2.
Have at least five copies with you when you go to auditions. You never know who will want them.
It's pretty easy to create and print resumes, so if you have a lot of experience, why not make three different ones. Have one that focuses on theater, one on film and one on commercials to take the appropriate audition.

DON'T
Lie about your experience.
Make up special skills or write things down just so you fill in the special skill area.
Have a resume that is larger that 8 ½ x 11. An oversize headshot won't fit in a standard folder and will probably just get thrown away.
Have a resume that is more than one page. If they want more information, they will ask for it.
Staple reviews or clippings to your resume. They just get in the way.
Make the type smaller than 10 pt. If you have that much experience, edit it down. If your resume is cramped and hard to read, no one will bother.

Headshot FAQ's
quoted from http://www.artistikvision.com/services/faq/headshotfaq.html

Question: How important is the headshot to the actor?
99% of the time, the actor will get the interview through their headshot. So, it's pretty obvious that the actor needs a good one. Or, more accurately, a great one. Show business is too competitive to attempt to break into it with a cheap and unflattering headshot.

Question: Which is better? A 3/4 length photograph, or headshots?
There seems to be an ongoing debate on this subject. Some folks seem to think that one style is better than the other, but I disagree. I feel both are useful for different applications. That's why I always shoot both styles in every session.

Question: There are many different kinds of photographers doing headshots for actors... which kind should I select to do my next headshot?
There is a dizzying array of photographers in the marketplace claiming to do good headshots. It is extremely important to know that there are two basic groups of photographers doing the majority of headshots today. There are the Fashion/Print variety who, as the name implies, specialize in shooting models for clothes and catalogs. Then there are the Theatrical/Headshot variety, who specialize in photography for performing artists. What every actor should realize is, THEY ARE BOTH TOTALLY DIFFERENT IN TECHNIQUE, APPROACH, AND EXPERIENCE.
A typical fashion photographer knows absolutely nothing about what is needed to successfully market an actor, much less what the acting process is all about. And the average headshot photographer is woefully ill-equipped to shoot vastly different fashion layouts. There may be exceptions to this rule, but they are few and far between. Would you go to a brain surgeon to have your teeth drilled? Probably not. But I routinely see actors having their headshots done by fashion photographers who know nothing about what the typial actor requires. How can you tell if you're looking at a fashion, or a headshot portfolio? Simple. If you see nothing but perfect, gorgeous men and women wearing fashionable clothes looking back at you, you can bet your union card that this photographer is a fashion expert. My experience says, look for someone else.

Question: How does the actor choose the best photographer?
Here's a good place to start: Compile a list of the photographers that you want to see by asking fellow actors, agents, managers, acting coaches, and casting directors. Then make an appointment to see their books. Only by actually visiting them in person can you make a truly informed decision on whether or not you want to shoot with them.

Question: What about price?
This is the number one most commonly asked question by actors. Their first question should be, "How much is your career worth?" Price is an important thing to consider, since most aspiring actors aren't all eccentric millionaires. You could always go with the cheapest photographer you could find, but you could also be throwing away an entire acting career - yours. You've probably heard the phrase, "You get what you pay for." Not always. I've seen scores of actors spend exorbitant amounts of money on so-called "Superstar" photographers only to have their expensive new headshots wind up lining a casting director's trash can. That doesn't mean that going to one of those bargain basement photographers is any better. That could virtually guarantee you a lifetime of waiting tables and doing extra work.
Cost doesn't really mean much, quality does.

Question: What are some additional things to look for when selecting a qualified headshot professional?
Even before you look at a potential photographer's book, always ask him if he uses Polaroid test shots prior to shooting. If the answer is "No," I'd simply walk out of this studio, no "ifs ands or buts". Why? Because no self-respecting professional would ever take a headshot without them, period. That would be like having major surgery without getting X-rays
taken first. Less expensive, but extremely foolhardy. The only plausible reason for not using Polaroids is that the photographer is either too ignorant to know better, or too cheap to include them in your shoot, both of which are pretty poor alibis not to use them. My studio is now fully digital, which has totally eliminated the need for Polaroids. You can see your new headshots in seconds.

Question: Which is better, Natural Lighting or Studio Lighting?
The answer to this question, in my opinion, would be the first thing that would determine whether or not I'd use any photographer. Why? Because lighting is the single, most important element in creating a great photograph. Whatever else a photographer does right, if the lighting isn't perfect, your photograph will suffer. I believe that Studio has Natural lighting beat by a substantial margin. There's a huge difference between the two, and when compared with a good studio shot, there is no comparison. "So why," you may ask, "do so many headshot photographers shoot with natural light?" Mainly because they either cannot afford to buy the expensive equipment required to take great photographs, or they simply don't know how to use studio lighting. It takes an enormous amount of time, money, and experience to use studio lighting effectively. Why should they have to take all that effort, when they can just open a window, or take you up on the roof and let the sun do all the work for them? Try this easy test: Simply compare a headshot done with natural light, beside one done with studio lighting. The differences are immediate and dramatic. Everything being equal, studio shots are vastly superior to those done with daylight only. Just ask anyone who is sensitive to bright sunlight, or someone who has nearly frozen to death on a frigid day, or roasted under a blistering summer sun. And just try to shoot your next headshot in the dead of night, in a snowstorm (which I've had to do)! It just isn't possible using natural light. When you compare the hundreds of headshot examples at my studio done both ways, I think that you'll agree. When it comes to creating dramatic, reliable results, studio lighting wins, hands down.

Question: Okay, I've put together that list of great photographers that I want to see. How can I determine who's the best?
With all of the photographers out there all claiming to be "The Best," it can be a confusing and sometimes frustrating experience. I know. I've been a Hollywood actor for more years than I'd care to count. But with all the choices available today, you can't possibly see them all. Or can you? Most actors will typically visit one to six photographers before making a final decision. In my years of shooting actors' headshots, I've compiled the work of over 1,000 of the top photographers in the world, so you can compare my work directly with the best headshot professionals in the industry, all at one time, all under one roof. I try to eliminate the inevitable confusion that most actors encounter while choosing a competent headshot photographer, by utilizing the only tried-and-true method of determining a photographer's ability – an honest, side-by-side comparison.

Question: Okay, I've put together that list of great photographers that I want to see. How can I determine who's the best?
If a photographer offers to give you ownership of the negatives, don't just walk away, run! He's not doing you a favor, just the opposite. He's doing you a huge injustice. Taking your photograph is just the first step in a multifaceted and often very complicated process. If your photographer isn't willing to help you to get a perfect, ready-to-submit headshot into
your hot, little hands as part of the purchase price, he's not a true professional, he's someone who desperately wants your money and will do anything to get it, up to and including giving away all of his work. Steer clear. I hope that these guidelines will be of some use to you in your search for that "perfect" headshot. Best of luck to you in all of your career goals.


Last edited by MaryMag on Mon May 28, 2007 12:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Jan 30, 2007 10:52 am
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A GREAT resource on musicals! It gives synopsis, etc. for a TON of different musicals that you may not be able to find elsewhere on the web!

http://www.musicals101.com/contents.htm

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Tue Feb 06, 2007 12:07 pm
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I love this site too:

http://www.musicaltheatreaudition.com

For so many reasons I can't list. But dig around there. You'll see why I like it.


Tue Feb 06, 2007 1:22 pm
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^I second that one...I often give links to it...

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Wed Feb 07, 2007 9:56 am
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So I'm loving this thread, its very helpful.

I have a question about credits.

I'm a freshman MT in college. So far at school, I was a featured dancer in Giulio Cesare (read: the only kid in the opera who could dance), I'm currently a featured dancer in Candide (same director as Giulio Cesare), and in the spring I will be ensemble in Romeo and Juliet (drama department for a change).

I've done three community theatre shows before college, all with roles, and a couple summer projects involving the Kennedy Center Theatre Lab. I have no paid professional credits.

Should I put my high school credits on my resume, or does that look stupid? Otherwise I have like 4 credits.

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Fri Feb 09, 2007 4:58 pm
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Honestly, for awhile when I was auditioning in the "real world", I did have high school credits on my resume.

They will see that you're young and honestly, we all have to start SOMEWHERE! :)

With all the work/performances you'll be doing in college, those HS credits will disappear in NO TIME! :)

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Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:32 pm
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OMG! THEY FINALLY STICKIED THIS THREAD!!!! OH THANK YOU, MODS!!!!

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Tue Feb 13, 2007 6:59 pm
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wow. i feel neat. :D


Wed Feb 14, 2007 5:47 pm
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MaryMag wrote:
wow. i feel neat. :D


<3.

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Wed Feb 14, 2007 8:32 pm
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After sitting in on auditions last night, I was reminded of many bad habits 90% of actors have when they deliver a monologue...(Some have a combo and some do just one of these things, but be aware!)

"The Stance"

...This is usually done by men. They stand in an almost perfect ballet second position, with their elbows kinda behind them or glued to their sides...It's awkward and I'm sorry...it looks ridiculous...

Accents that you might not be aware of

...I can't tell you how many auditioners went from having normal conversations with us beforehand, to going into some fake-y accent! Whether they went into the "I'm speaking Standard American English now" voices or whether they just slipped into a New York accent that wasn't called for in this piece, etc. they lost me by the first line because it already felt fake.

FOCUS

...I want to see people's eyes! So many people came in and either played to a chair or played slightly offstage right or left...IT MADE ME ANGRY! LOL! Seriously, you should find your focal point just above the casting team's heads, but not include them as your scene partner...you can ask them if that's okay...I see no problem with that...ESPECIALLY if it's a play like we were casting last night, which was audience interactive! That's when I REALLY want to see some expressive eyeballs!

Finding Your Light SO MANY ACTORS stayed in the dark last night! This is YOUR time! Come to where you are comfy...IN THE LIGHT! We want to be able to see you! PLEASE ask if you are in the light if you aren't sure!

Distance from the Casting Team When Performing

One guy was totally at the back of the room. When we asked him why he was so far away, he said his teachers told him to be as far away as possible...UMMMM...WRONG!!!!!!!!! LOL! So we had him come right up to the table and perform his monologue more like a conversation...and whatd'yaknow? He was brilliant! LOL! Then we helped him find a comfy spot to perform the first few lines for us again...and he thanked us profusely! :) It should be a few feet away, if you're in a studio...not all the way across the room...Many times, the casting team will have an "X" on the floor, which helps you find your space...

On the other hand, we had quite a few auditioners who infringed upon our space...One guy threw a paper airplane for dramatic effect and it landed on the table in front of one of my associates as she was writing notes. To say she was a bit put off by it would be an understatement! LOL!

ENUNCIATION!

I know when you get to an emotional "high", you feel the need to talk really fast, but make sure your words don't get the better of you. It comes out like garbledigook...I can't tell you how many monologues I was like, "What did he/she just say?" And screaming for the sake of screaming doesn't help me to understand you any better, either!

DON'T PLAY THE EMOTION!

ACK! Another big problem last night...One guy was playing his monologue angry and there was no urgency/no reason to do it that way. When we asked him what he was thinking about/who he was talking to in the monologue, you could see that the lights were on and nobody was home...DO YOUR RESEARCH, people...have a journey to your monologue and most importantly, a reason to say it! Why do you have to say what you have to say at this point in time? What is your moment before? Ask these questions!

IF YOU MESS UP

Keep going! Don't stop! If you get the gist of the monologue, oftentimes, it will go unnoticed...(Unless the monologue's SUPER overdone!) Just keep BREATHING and keep going.

KNOW THAT WE ARE ON YOUR SIDE

I want my next character to walk in the door! Don't be terrified...

Breathing is the most important thing. If you forget to breathe, you hold in tension!

One guy was so nervous, we just asked him not to do his monologue and tell us a funny story. (He was obviously a newbie to auditioning.) My associates were very understanding and gave him some advice in the future...mainly to BREATHE! And he was genuinely appreciative of our advice! :)

That's it for now! I will let you know if I forgot anything! LOL!

And read Audition by Michael Shurtleff! PEACE OUT!

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Fri Feb 16, 2007 9:12 am
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jazzygirlsings wrote:
Finding Your Light SO MANY ACTORS stayed in the dark last night! This is YOUR time! Come to where you are comfy...IN THE LIGHT! We want to be able to see you! PLEASE ask if you are in the light if you aren't sure!



I second that. It's such an easy thing to do to not sabotage yourself.


Fri Feb 16, 2007 11:35 am
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And another thing...last night I heard so many "yelling" monologues...seriously...

After awhile they all sound like that teacher from Charlie Brown! :lol:

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Fri Feb 16, 2007 2:37 pm
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