She is keeping the reel, as a mark of what she's booked and accomplished here in LA, which, although noble, doesn't prove how good an actress she can be.
Here's the thing: I WANT you to succeed. I'm a Struggling Actress myself, so maybe my advice is all crap anyways; beware the source you seek counsel from, right? But I really want you to succeed. And my advice to you is always coming from that place of hope that YOU can beat the odds, beat the adversity, beat the years of struggling paycheck to paycheck to actually make it in this town. And maybe then, you too can advise others answering their calling.
My advice is blunt and honest, but I swear it's coming from a good place.
And with that, we have our next actor asking me advice:
Hi Lira!First of all I want to thank you for your wonderful blog. I am considering moving to LAhere shortly & kept coming across your blog in my research. I really appreciate you sharing yourexperiences as I feel I have a much better grasp on what it's like to pursue acting out there.I read your blog on good head shots & I wanted to see if you wouldn't mind taking a peek at mine.It's the main image here:http://www.imdb.com/name/nm5299336/your opinion?
I know I need to get some new headshots because I don't have a smiling commercial one. I wasthinking of using this guy here since he's a lot cheaper than using a LA photographer one I get there.But I understand there could be a noticeable difference in 'LA style'. He interned underMichael Helms (an LA photographer).What do you think of his work? Do you think that's a good idea to save some money?Here's his site: http://www.a-photography.biz/gallery.phpFrom what I gather it sounds like one would want to live close to where auditions arehappening as commuting can be hellish. What part of town would you say most auditionshappen around?Also, I'm [age redacted]. Do you think I'm crazy to head out there at this age?I know you're busy, I really appreciate your time & all of your insights.You've inspired this Florida girl so much these past few days. THANK YOU!!!!Sincerely,Shayne
Hi Shayne! Thanks for reading! I'm glad you're finding my blog helpful.
Your headshot is not good, but you know that already or you wouldn't have asked. It's weirdly cropped, and you were directed to lean against a wall that is the exact same neutral tone as your hair and skin. Your hair hasn't been styled, you makeup is neutral, with a neutral lip, so you don't pop and the entire picture makes you look like you're uncomfortable.
I looked at your imdb page and most of your shots are of you in a bikini or skimpy clothing. The type you are presenting on imdb based on your photos, is the "Will Do Nudity" type.
There is nothing wrong with that type. A lot of women make good money doing that. But if that's not the type you want to project, you need to take off all the skimpy photos. Bikini photo shoots do not belong on imdb.
DO NOT GET HEADSHOTS ANYWHERE OUTSIDE THE MARKET YOU WANT TO WORK.
Why would you go to a photographer who isn't in LA to take your new LA headshots? He doesn't know the market, doesn't know the industry out here, doesn't know how to sell you. You need a photographer who is in LA and who is competing against other LA photographers. Only the good ones survive out here: the ones who take such good headshots that they are on agency lists, are wholeheartedly referred by other clients, and take photos of you that get you in the door.
The guy you linked to doesn't even understand basic lighting or retouching. You shoot with him and you are going to have to reshoot anyways. Just because he interned under a photographer doesn't mean he learned anything. The photog could have just made him go out on coffee runs!
Expect to spend around $1,000 for good headshots - the photographer will charge anywhere from $275-600, makeup and hair styling will be $125-175, retouching will be $25-35/photo, and then there's the cost of reproducing them to submit them to agents, and then spending $10-35/photo to upload them onto casting sites. Yes, it's expensive, (also tax deductible!) but your headshot is THE MOST IMPORTANT TOOL YOU HAVE TO GET IN THE DOOR. You might not be able to act your way out of a paper bag, but if you have a good headshot, agents and casting will at least want to meet you.
You want to audition close to where the action is. Okay. You might audition in North Hollywood, Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Santa Monica, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood and Culver City. You probably won't audition in Silverlake or Downtown, but you basically have all of LA to choose from. Research the neighborhoods and look on Craig's List for apartments in your price range so you can see what you can get in what neighborhood.
You asking me if I think you're crazy for moving out to LA at your age makes me think you might think you're crazy for coming out here at your age. Is it going to be a struggle? Yes. But it is for everybody out here.
No matter what your age, you need to come out here with the understanding that the first two years are going to be very, very hard, and that you need to be willing to put at least 10 years out here. You need to have a ton of money saved up because you will find securing a job that allows you to get to auditions at a moment's notice very difficult to secure.
You need to be able to afford the tools that will allow you to play the Hollywood game for a long, long time.
If you have any doubts, STAY where you are. Stay near your family, your friends, your support system.
If that is not enough for you, then by all means, come out here.
You already know you've got one friend in me.