"The label you give yourself cannot impact external forces that are not motivated by your own psychology or influenced by a third party's pre-existing consciousness of you. We are all presented with reasons to struggle which come from completely external forces; to pretend that one is not struggling is either arrogance or an admission of defeat. To admit that one is struggling is a sign and a source of strength." - Evan A. Baker

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

How to Use Actors Access Effectively Part 3

Part 1 and Part 2 have been making the rounds (and if you haven't read them, you should!) and have even caught the attention of Breakdown Services themselves.

Jenna Pass, the Director of Media Communications, wanted me to contact her immediately, so I did.

"...am I in trouble...?" I wrote her.

Not at all! She was so impressed (::blush::) with my basic Actors Access actor tutorial, that she wanted to give me a tour of the company! Although I was pretty sure it would just be a five minute tour of cubicles and computers, I was wrong.

There is a TON of things that Breakdowns does to make sure that YOU are seen and acting. About 100 people make up Breakdowns, and they want YOU to book work.

I have not been paid or compensated by Breakdown Services, Actors Access, or their affiliates. This is just good stuff to know!

So, on with the show!

Created in 2003, there are 380,000 subscribers on Actors Access, 180,000 in California alone. That's a lot of people, no? They all use the site to submit themselves and book work. You can use it if you're in San Francisco, Hawaii, Florida, Toronto, Vancouver, Chicago, even Colorado and Utah (no one might be putting casting notices up there, but if they are, you can submit if you're in that market!) In fact, 95% of all television and film are cast through Breakdowns and Actors Access. 

With all these actors trying to get seen and trying to get auditions, the good people working at Breakdowns and Actors Access have come up with a variety of things to get the hard working and hard researching Struggling actors and actresses the upper hand. You seriously want to get in on Kabookit, Casting About, @ActorsAccess and Reels.

Brian Shook at Actors Access wants to help spread the word when you are part of that booking 95%. He's in charge of KaBookIt (a "play" on Kabuki [see what I did there? double en"pun"dre!" Ah! I'm STILL PUNNING!]).  KaBookIt has been running for a few weeks, and was first introduced to the regional agencies but is slowly gaining momentum in the major markets. Basically, your agent submits your recent booking to KaBookIt with the name of the show, the role, and who cast you, and KaBookIt creates an entry proclaiming it with your name hyperlinked to your Breakdowns profile.

Yeah, big deal, you say. So what?

Well, they email that list to casting directors! And when CDs read the list and you're Kabooking stuff, they see your name. Keep Kabooking, they see your name again. In the near future, when they're casting something, and they come across your name, Kapow! They might just bring you in due to the name recognition. Cool, right!?

Casting About
Then there's Casting About. Now, I have seen a few memos here and there on AA from them, with the names of a few Casting Directors and what they're currently casting, but I never really understood what the website was all about. Now I do!

Blair Hickey and Brian Wold have partnered up with Breakdowns to basically create your own interactive and up to date Rolodex of casting directors. You become a member for $39.99/year or $9.95/month (if you're more on the auditioning for tv/film regularly and hustling with postcards, etc type of actor, this is a great thing to have.) you get a list of all the Casting Directors, what they're  casting, what type of show, whether that show is currently casting, on hiatus, canceled, etc, who their Associate is, and who their Assistant is. (They do this for the Los Angeles AND New York City market!)

Click on the Casting Director's name and you can see everything and anything they have ever cast, ever. Click on the show and you get a logline! You get an official website where you can see full episodes! Casting About lists whether it's a half hour comedy, one hour drama, etc, and you can know its status so that if you're sending postcards with your acting updates, you're not wasting a card and postage on a show that's on vacation.

As if that wasn't all amazing enough, they even have a Notes section, featuring such valuable info as where it shoots and if "Sam" is a girl, etc. Even better than that, you can WRITE YOUR OWN NOTES! Auditioned for a pilot with great feedback? You can notate it! Met a CD  at a workshop? You can notate it! Follow a cd on Twitter? You can notate that too! And they're all time stamped! And like I said, Blair and Brian slave away all day updating everything, five days a week.

Want to send a bunch of postcards to people? Click a button, and you can print labels!!! And they'll give you three different layout options!!!

You can search CDs and see what they're working on. You can see what they've done.

Casting About is literally like having your own personal assistant do all your homework for you. At $40/year, that's a pretty sweet deal.

"So what. I'm not getting out much. I'm a Struggling Actress." Well, come on now. You need to think out of the box. What type are you? Are you a sexy 30s type? Do you look intelligent when you slip on a pair of glasses and a suit jacket? Then you'd make one hell of a lawyer! With Casting About's filter features, you can find all the 1 hour dramas and see which ones have "courtroom" or "lawyer" in the logline and mail postcards to those CDs who you can tell are currently casting! Casting About makes it so easy for you!

Follow AA on Twitter! Tell them what you recently booked off AA and they retweet it! Heck, the kind people running their Twitter account read my last post and tweeted me congrats on my commercial booking. It's the small things, guys, seriously. Actors Access tweeting me congrats seriously made me feel like I had all of Breakdowns on my side.

They ALSO tweet interesting tidbits, acting related articles you should read, and if you mention you're going out for an audition or important rep meeting, they'll tell you to break a leg! Seriously, how sweet is that? You have ACTORS ACCESS rooting for you!

Eric Kuhr works hard at getting your reel uploaded as soon as he can. On an average day, 30 hardcopy reels are mailed in and 50-60 are emailed. He's seen his share of good and bad reels and has a few suggestions for how to make your reel even better:

1) Lose your title card! Casting wants to see you act immediately and they don't want to waste 15 seconds, 10 seconds, even 5 seconds watching what they already know - your name. Your video is attached to your profile. Casting sees your name and your photos and your rep, so just lose it.

2) No montage. It's filler and it's still keeping casting from getting to see you act. Lose it.

3) If you're going to put titles on your scene, like, "CSI:NY," make sure it's music video style where it's in the bottom corner and not distracting.

4) Start your scenes off with YOU. Sometimes this is difficult, but it must be done. Let's say you don't have, oh I don't know, really frikkin curly hair, and your scene partner is a girl who also kinda looks like you. Start off with you so we know who we are supposed to be watching.

5) A seven minute reel is too long. No one is watching it. They say 1 minute reels are best. In fact, when you mail or email your reel to Eric, you can notate that you'd like your reel to be "Clipped Out." They can go ahead and take your 7 minute reel and cut it where your scenes end so that you can have five clips of your scenes instead of a seven minute reel. They don't EDIT, mind you, they just cut your long reel into scenes. You can't have them do this if your video is already up there, but you CAN ask for it when you send in your new reel.

6) Do whatever you can to keep from naming your reel "Demo Reel." Eric says it's boring. You can actually title your reels whatever you want and even subtitle them. For instance, you could title a reel "Seriocomedic" and the type of character you play, like, "Neurotic Loner."

7) Actors Access changed it's reel price rules. It used to be $75 for the first minute, and $22 for every minute thereafter, but now it is JUST a flat fee of $22/minute. And the best part is, there's a 10 second grace window. If your reel is a minute and 8 seconds, it's still going to be only $22! As Eric said, "We're not in the business of ripping people off." They're really not.

8) Do not put clips of you in plays on your AA profile. Wrong market. And the footage of that is always taken by someone from the back row so not only is the sound quality awful, so's the visual.

Not too shabby, right? If you want to learn more about AA and what Casting sees, or if you just want to go to the Webinar and get the How to Use It and Other Fun Facts seminar and web visual, follow @ActorsAccess and ask them when the next one is.

Isn't it amazing how much they do for us Struggling Actresses and Actors? I thought I knew everything there was about it, and I was wrong. It makes it seem the Struggle seem a little bit easier knowing there's about 100 people doing their darndest to help us succeed at our careers. Makes it a little less lonely too.

Now go say hi to @ActorsAccess and tell them I sent ya!

There is now a Part 4!!

If you like this blog post, please share it via Twitter or Facebook and help spread the word to your fellow struggling actors.  :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Avail

When I had booked a KFC commercial last year, I was on Avail for days. I was still on Avail after they had started shooting. They were blowing through five commercials in five days, and when I still hadn't heard anything from my agent, I had assumed I had been released without being told.

Then, day four of their shoot, my agent called and told me I was booked and shooting the next day. Bam! Just like that.

This Avail was going to be different. When I heard the news from my agent, I was also told that, should I book it, my fitting was going to be that afternoon. I expected to know if I was booked in two hours.

So, 11am rolls by.





Still nothing.

"You need to get out of the house and do something to take your mind off it," my fiance reasoned, but I countered that straight away: I couldn't go anywhere because if I booked it, I had to jet off to a fitting immediately.

3 minutes later and I say, you're right. Let's go run a few errands. I'm pretty sure I didn't book.

2:48 I get the call. I booked it.

I booked it!!

I booked an online promo for a website that might air on tv should they choose to go that route! It's for a new website and this is part of their launch campaign! I'd tell you what it is, but I can't! Not yet.

I CAN tell you, however, that I already shot it. After my fitting on Thursday, I drove down to Long Beach to shoot it Friday morning. It's done! I already did it!

And here's a few interesting tidbits:

1) I was super proud of my wardrobe choice for this audition. Wardrobe notes on the audition sheet said "Nice casual," so I went in with a Bambie graphic tee and a 3/4 sleeve cardigan. I felt the two together was a nice juxtaposition for "quirky 20s" that really represents who I am and what I give as an actress.

I found out I was cast as the Upscale Lady. So, you know, there goes that wardrobe theory.

2) When I got to the fitting, I saw my size sheet that had my snapshot, sizes and casting's note. In big blue letters: "First Choice." I walked into that callback as the next to last person to go and blew out whoever else they had in mind. I nailed it. Am I lame that I wanted to take a picture of that?

3) Splattered mud in movie land is created by mixing various food stuffs with chocolate!

4) I had the crew laughing when I was doing my lines. I had the director practically fall out of his chair. He was so encouraging, so sweet. Even the camera operator was laughing. At the end, when I finished, I was told to hang around to record some wild lines. The director came up to me and shook my hand, telling me how great I was, what a pleasure to work with. He held my hand the entire time, which in LA, means you REALLY mean what you're saying.

When I went to Craft Services to go grab some water, another crew member met me there just to tell me how fantastic I was, how incredible.

When I went back to holding, the wardrobe assistant said how great I was. Since she's younger than me, instead of gushing thank you over and over again like I had been, I joked with her, "So what I hear you saying is that I'm the best." "That's what they're saying, yeah!"


It was a great shoot, filled with very lovely people, who kept on telling me what a pleasure I was to work with. In a commercial shoot, things need to go very, very fast, and one doesn't waste time complimenting actors to feed egos. If they took the time to say all this to me, they really meant it.

It was a very lovely Friday.

And thank YOU for continuing to read, continuing to support, and continuing to wish me well on this journey. You have no idea what you mean to me, my lovely readers. Thank you.


See what we're filming? Oh, you can't? Great! I can post this picture, then!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Callback That Almost Wasn't

I haven't booked a commercial since last April. Does that make me nervous? Of course it does! Because even though I am happy with my commercial agency and go out a lot, and get called back pretty frequently, I always have this thought in my head: If I don't book something soon, they're going to DROP me!!! It's always in the back there, niggling at me.

On Tuesday, I got two auditions. On my notification sheet, it said the callbacks were the following day, so I knew I would have to be notified that night if I was to be called back. I thought they both went well.

Cut to me in class that evening, constantly checking my phone to see if I got called back.

I didn't.

And class goes until 10pm.




I was home, catching up on emails at 11:07pm when my phone beeps. I got a callback! For the one I wanted the most! Yay! I confirm to my agent, "Oh, how funny! I was JUST thinking to myself - what the heck? No callback?! And boom. 30 seconds later!" He writes back immediately, " now just think to yourself...what the heck?  No booking?!  Let's see what happens. :)" Ha. Love it. Will do, I wrote back.

The next morning, I get another notification. I got called back for the other one too! Woot! On a roll!

The only problem is that one is in Santa Monica at 3:25 and the other is in the valley at 4:25. And they are 14 miles away from each other. I email my agent asking what the time frame is for the one in Santa Monica to see if I can get there earlier. I can. They start at 2:30.

So, I figured, after my tax appointment at 12, I would go straight to Santa Monica, get to the callback around 2:30/2:45, finish up around 3:30 and probably only be about 10-15 minutes late for my 4:25 callback in the Valley.

Well, add in an extremely slow tax preparer and rain. Two wrenches I didn't count on. Also add in that Callback number 1 is taking over an hour to see people. The waiting room I walk into is filled with people.

I am emailing my agent in the wait room to see how long the other callback is going until. After a few frantic minutes, she tells me that I have until 6!

By now, I'm wondering if I should just cut my losses and just head over to the other one, but I learn I'm now third in line. So I wait.

I get in the room to audition and when they start the camera and ask me my name, I turn to look at one of the clients who is playing audio on his computer during my audition. I'm sure he didn't know they started. But I look at him with a pleasant smile on my face, waiting for him to finish. That has never happened to me before. I'm already going downhill. Then I find out it's all improv and I'm so flummoxed due to needing to leave TWENTY MINUTES AGO, that I bomb it. I bomb it So Badly. SO Badly.

They thank me and I run out of there, run to my car, and drive 20 miles under the speed limit because the rain is just coming down and traffic is at a halt. I have an hour and ten minutes to go fourteen miles in Los Angeles in the pouring rain.


Twenty minutes go by and I am at mile two.


Ten more minutes go by and I am at mile 4.


We are now at 5:40 and I still have 8 miles to go.

I won't make it.

I should also mention here that we're going away for the weekend Callback number 1 is shooting. I didn't even WANT that gig. I wanted the second one. The one with the cuter campaign. The one with the shoot dates fully available to me. THE ONE WITH A SCRIPT.

Finally, FINALLY, I get to the second callback at 6:20. It's on a second floor. The bottom floor is deserted, the side streets, normally packed with actor cars, is deserted. I glumly walk up in the rain, hoping that maybe, just maybe they ran a little late and can still see me. I take the elevator up, and the room is pretty much empty. I walk towards the lady helping run the session.

"You guys aren't seeing people anymore, are you?"
"We've been waiting for you, Lira! You're after these two."
The session runner said she was fielding calls from agents all day about actors being stuck in traffic and running behind due to the weather.

I get into the room, have my lines down, do them, am given redirection, do them, am given another line, do it, given redirection, do it again, given another line, do it, given redirection, do it, and finish.
"Thank you so much, Lira, that was great. You are a very talented actress."

I leave the audition feeling so happy. It was such a good callback! SO good! And as I exit the building, a miracle seemed to happen right before my eyes. The sun was out! It stopped raining! The clouds had parted and the sun was streaming through. It was beautiful.

I go to a meeting at my friends house a little distracted because I know that the second callback has their fitting the next day. If I were to book the thing, I would get a call that night saying so, with where and what time to report to wardrobe to be fitted for fancy clothes.

I don't get a call that night. I don't get an email.

I go to bed disappointed. I really thought I nailed that one. I made the room laugh! I got a great compliment from the director!

I wake up the next day at 10:12am (the life of an actor!) thinking, okay. I would know by now for sure if they passed on me. I check my phone.

A voicemail from my agency.

I'm on Avail!!!

Avail - Means that the actor should be available to work in the dates of the shoot. It is almost as if you have a 50% chance to get the role. Many times the casting director will just use you as a security in case something will fall with his first choice. But anyway you look at it, it is a good thing.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Beggars Being Choosy

I got an email from one of my theatrical agents. An audition!!! My first since November! For the lead in an indie feature! I was super excited and confirmed my appointment right away.

Then I read the sides.

I reread the sides.

I read the sides once more.



They were bad. They were so bad.

I went back to the breakdown they sent along with the info and looked up the director, and casting director and my thoughts were confirmed; they were at the level I thought they would be.

I sent the sides to a good friend to see if maybe I was wrong; maybe the three pages I got were actually really GOOD and I was too stupid to see it.

She wrote back that I'm not dumb. That the sides were just that bad.

What do I do?!

Do I call up my reps and say "Thanks but no thanks"? Being ungrateful for an audition - for PASSING on an audition is grounds for dropping a client.

I called up my manager.

"I know I shouldn't be choosy, but...."

"I'll go ahead and cancel your appointment."

There was no admonishing! No scolding! No lecture about how I should be grateful for the audition and that I was being a diva without the career to back up such behavior.

I went on to my manager that although the sides were....difficult, I could find a way to make it work. But then, what if I BOOKED it? I can save three pages, but I can't save an entire script. Even Oscar winners can't make a difficult script work all the time. Ask Halle Berry about Catwoman. Ask Sandra Bullock about All About Steve.

This is the first time I have ever been able to say to my reps, hey, this isn't right for me, and for them to listen and say, "Great. Not a problem. We want you to let us know these things."

I have the power to say no to things that aren't right for me.

I'm passing on a project. I feel....in control. I'm in control of my career, with people who trust my judgement.

It feels pretty amazing. It feels good.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

And We're Back!

It's true that girls mature faster than boys. Take for example, my and the Love of My Life's experience with our new niece Joslynn:

After meeting her, hanging out with her, feeding her, burping her, changing her, getting peed on by her, (a true sign that a baby likes you; being pooped on means the baby looooves you) letting her fall asleep on us, and just be an excellent three week old baby all the way around, I can now declare with confidence, "I want a baby!"
Anthony however, wants a dog.

Ah well. Years before either or those things will actually materialize in our lives, but still. If you want to get out of LA, get out of the "pilot season" that didn't exist for Struggling Actresses, there is nothing better than going to meet new family members!

I am recharged, super happy, content, and playing catchup with all that I missed! I have a reunion with my V Show creators at a yogurt shop early this evening, and then going to a screening for the short I filmed a while ago. Then, in the morning, a commercial audition.

I missed National Pie Day on 3.14 and since we need to bring dessert to Phoenix and the Boy She Adore's St Patricks' Day Dinner, I'm going to make a Granny Smith Pie. Cause it's green apples. And Granny Smith might've been Irish.

Get gone, ye snakes! Get gone!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Taking the Vacation

A lot of times, a Struggling Actress will take a look at future events and sigh, "That's during pilot season." "That thing's during episodic time." "I can't go to that, because I can't be away for two weeks or my agents will kill me!"

You know what you have to say to that?

Bull Pucky.

Take. The. Vacation.

Take the time off to see your friend get married. Take the time off for some badly needed recharging. Take the time off to maintain a level of sanity for the craziness that is your life for the rest of the year.

I'm on vacation, meeting my new niece during what my agents and managers call the busiest time for their clients at my level - THIS, they say, is the beginning of pilot season for people who are not movie stars, who are not tv stars. THIS is the time they can push their new clients and get them seen.

This is the time I'm taking off to feed, burp, and change diapers. This is the time I'm taking off to rock a baby I will know for the rest of my life to sleep. This is the time I'm taking off from auditions, from callbacks, from pilots, so that I can stare into the blue eyes of the  most beautiful baby girl and watch her yawn and slowly drift away to dreamland in my arms, against my chest, nuzzled in my neck.

You might be struggling, but you can't keep passing on life events so that you'll always be available to a possible job opportunity that might actually never materialize. You need these events to help you make acting choices- to remember how you feel now so that you can use it for another character- because now you know what it's like to go to get engaged, to go to a wedding, to hold a baby.

And if you have reps like mine who say, "That's an important thing that only happens a few times a lifetime. Go, go be with your family. It's more important than anything else," hold onto them. Because they get it. They get the struggle. They get what it's like to be an actor.

And they believe in you enough to get the next audition when you come back.

And if you have reps who ask "would you fly back for this commercial in the middle of your trip because it pays $2,400?" it is perfectly okay to say, No, I wouldn't. Because time with family is worth so, so, so much more than that.

And always will be.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

How to Use Actors Access Effectively Part 2

I like to think I know a lot about how to market myself, but the truth is, I don't. I DO know that Actor Update emails are nothing short of annoying and if I do that, I immediately get cast as Spam. But that's my take. If they work for you... great, but Actor Update really should only be for family and friends.

I also like to think I know everything there is about using AA effectively. But even after my little casting assistant help, I realized whoa. And changed something.

As I mentioned in Part 1, having an effective picture is everything. For one juicy role, your headshot is competing  against 1,334 others. Yes, it's daunting, but don't worry. A quarter of them are outside the specs, and one or two are the opposite sex we need. Wish I was kidding. Sigh.

But, what MAKES a good headshot? Everyone has an opinion based on their own aesthetics, and if you're new to LA, congrats, you don't have a headshot aesthetic yet. You think everything looks good. Give it a few years, look at all your friends' headshots and really try to pinpoint WHY you think their photo is good or crap.

And here's the part I promised: Thumbnails of what we see on Breakdowns.

I hate to do this cause it sounds mean and terrible and I hate negative energy, but it's for the greater good, right?

Here's how I'm doing it. I'm opening up the page and simply scrolling down. Anything that makes me stop gets a mention.

And listen. Here's the truth. If you're in LA and you want to be a Leading Lady, you have to be pretty. Drop dead gorgeous is better. Thin is fantastic. And under 5'8 is preferable, cause all Leading Dudes are tiny. If you're over 5'8, don't sweat it.

If you're average, you fall into character. If you're pretty, you walk the line.


Everyone is beautiful with proper lighting, professional makeup, a professional photographer and photoshop!

Here's a few pictures (actual size!) that stood out to us.

Irena is gorgeous, her skin looks amazing, her makeup is flawless and I'm a sucker for redheads.

In a sea of faces, Tamara's eyes POPPED the most out of the other girls in her row.

I normally strongly advise against wearing white in your headshots because it reflects all the light the brightest, thus washing you out, flattening your bosom, making your waist appear bigger and on and on, but this works for Beth because it draws the eye to her face and the pink background. This shot works when it shouldn't because the photographer was smart with the framing.

This one popped out to me cause I recognize her.

A simple, clean, effective headshot. Candace is obviously a major hottie but has a fantastic warm, girl next door look. She can choose to be the character or the leading lady.

 Mirai's skin is glowing. Beautiful.

Love Stephanie's eye makeup, her lips, her bangs, her pose, the dark clothes forcing the eye to look at her face - this is an EXCELLENT headshot. 

Julianna's lips popped and made me look at her.

This photo is cropped a leeeetle too closely, however, look at Liz's eyes. There is something to be said for using eyeliner on the bottom inner rim.

Emily looks clean, doesn't she? Simple, great.

If you don't have the audition rate you want, get a new haircut. I'm serious. Because if you look current and trendy, you look like you work a lot. And I'll bring you in. The dark color and blunt bangs are fantastic on Natasha.

 This is a FANTASTIC example of how to have an incredibly sexy shot without revealing hardly anything. The hair is soft, if frames her face, and we see just a bit of cleavage. This is perfect for either character or lead. And it's Victoria Secret sexy without being Victoria Secret vulgar.

 If Alex could crop this closer to her face, it might be better, but it's a great smile, a great pose and she looks refreshing and real.

Stacy pops out. I love her skin, her hair, her expression, the background.

Like Erica above, this  is another FANTASTIC sexy picture without being vulgar in the slightest. Love the makupe, the pale lip, and the tank top strap with the shoulder. Very sexy and piercing, yet soft. We want to know her.

The above photos were culled from only the first five pages of the 13 we got. They stood out for good reason. The trend now, because everything is digital, is to have closeups of the face. If your headshots don't look similar to the ones above, you have a problem.

You have a problem if yours look like the ones below too, because they stood out as well. For all the wrong reasons (I'm sorry if I'm mean, here! Really! Greater good, I swear!!)

[UPDATE: If you see yourself in one of these photos below and would like it to be taken down, please email me, letting me know which one it is. I will be more than happy to remove it as quickly as I can. I honestly do not mean to offend, but to educate.]

I know this is shot by the same photographer who did Beth's (third from top) up above, but the photographer went a little too extreme with the cropping.  HALF the photo is negative space! This girl's face is almost cut off! If you are paying a photographer for your headshots, it is absolutely necessary to go through their portfolio and say, "I don't care for this cropping," if you feel that way. Since the industry is trying to go green more and more each year, in the next five years, and possibly sooner, we won't be bringing headshots with us to auditions at all. There is no need for 3/4 shots anymore. You'll see why. Hang on.

The lipcolor is very 1996. It's an out of date photo because of it. If you don't like what your makeup artist does to you, you can ask her to change it. You're her employer and she has to do what you want.

This is not a headshot. I can't see what you look like.

This is not a headshot either. It's a modeling shot. I can't see your face. To me, it screams you're not an actress.

This IS a headshot, but I still can't see your face. This is a 3/4 shot, showing 3/4 of your body. And in today's digital age, if it's not focused on your face, we can't see you. The photos are just too small.


Needs to be cropped in so we can see more of your face and the color NEEDS to be corrected here. You're too Jersey Shore.


This is not a headshot. It's a publicity shot.



Meet an actress with too much light.

Photoshop is worth the investment. It evens out skin tone, can make your roots lighter, and will help you get through the door. This is a bad photo of an extremely pretty woman.

Her face is cropped out! If we an't see you, we won't bring you in.

[Black and White Photo Removed by Request]
Some people might have told you that a black and white picture in a sea of colored ones will make you stand out. It does. As someone whos is 10 years older than they want us to think. Someone who can't be bothered to take a current, color headshot. This was not the only black and white photo that was submitted.

This photo was taken from the inside of an elevator of a hotel floor. No. This does not show me that you are an actress.

And ladies, just so you know, if you have ANY shirt that's a spandex/cotton blend, a camera's flash goes right through it. I'm pretty sure those swirls on her shirt are from her bra.

Now, like I said earlier, I too learned something from this casting experience. If we clicked on a photo because we wanted to see what else the actress had, we got to see the rest of her photos on AA. Actresses with more than 6 photos had headshots that were basically the same photo in different clothes. You don't need twelve photos. So when I went home, I took down two photos that shared similar aspects.

A few actresses who submitted themselves with one hair color, would have six others from the same photoshoot, and then 5-7 more of themselves with a completely different look (like, going from long brunette to short and blond pixie cut). Take off obsolete photos.

Ladies, my fellow Struggling Actresses, I hope this helps. I really do. Now that you can see what is and is not effective, I hope this will help you in deciding what you need, what you want, and what you have to have when it comes to your career.

I believe in you.


UPDATE: Now there's a Part 3!

If you like this blog post, please share it via Twitter or Facebook and help spread the word to your fellow struggling actors.  :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Billy O'Leary Free Classes!

Hey Everyone,

This week has been crazy busy with taking care of last minute things, but I just wanted to throw it out there that if you haven't gone to a Billy O'Leary Class by now, you're really, truly, honestly missing out.

I mean, heck. IT'S FREE!

He's got TWO Free Evening Classes for you to choose from:

This Saturday, March 5, from 5-7pm OR
Next Friday, March 11, from 7-9pm.

Email assist@billyoleary.com to get into those or a future Free Class.

Happy Wednesday!