"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

Saturday, February 28, 2009

How to Get Free Headshots

We're all trying to save our money. Well, except for certain bank execs who still fly corporate jets (or so I've been told) instead of airlines, but hey.

So when our agent or manager calls us and says, "You need new headshots," we immediately all panic. That's $300-$700! And that's not including the reproductions ($85/100 per look!) or the cost to upload them on the acting websites at $10-20/pop. It's a lot of money. A lot of money we don't have.

Which brings me to Craig's List. Ah, Craig's List. I love you. How you've helped me.

I found out about ModelMayhem.com through my beloved CL. Model Mayhem is basically a myspace filled with photographers, makeup artists and you, the actress/model! It's an online network filled with people who need and want to build their portfolios. All TFP (trade for print) or TFCD (trade for compact disc).

You fill out a profile, upload some of your pictures, and then voila! You're ready to scout the photogs! They are all looking to do editorial/fashion, etc, so if you're a 5'9 blonde size 0 Amazon, you're in luck. They'll be all over you like a casting director on a couch. If you're not that lucky (which, well, I'm not either) you're still in luck! Be creative with what you got and it will still be mutually beneficial. I get a lot of fun character stuff this way. I did a "nerdy prom girl" with one photog and a "girl in a feather boa" with another. Next, I want to do a Pinocchio shoot, simply because I have the fake nose and want to do something fun with it.

I am constantly reading magazines, and whenever I find a pose, or makeup, or a shoot style or theme that I really like, in my folder it goes. There is nothing more annoying than a model who doesn't know what type of shoot she wants to do. But let's say that all you need are headshots. The photographer you shoot with will work it out so that you both benefit from the exchange. The photographer could ask you to pose walking on the beach with his dog so that he can build his "lifestyle" port. That's great. Then he'll shoot your headshots. And since we live in a digital age, you'll get your disk either when you leave or a few days later.

There are lots of lady photographers too, and almost all of the male ones will allow you an 'escort' to accompany you so you don't feel intimidated or scared. You're a young hot model- they get it. So do what you need to in order to feel comfortable. Otherwise you'll just look uncomfortable and scared in all your shots. A waste of time for you both.

And if you're not in LA, no worries! Model Mayhem is global. You can be in Skokie or Kalamazoo, and there are photographers who want to take your picture for free. You don't even have to be an actress or a model. You can just be a bored housewife, ready for an adventure. Make yourself feel beautiful!


This is not me. This is Barbara Steele. But man, the great artist Mike Vosburg said that I look a lot like her. I do! Scary!

But actually, this could be a great thing: If there is ever a biopic, I'm sure to get an audition!

You got to love an actress who is famous for doing horror films and then complains about it.

"According to Kim Newman's Nightmare Movies, she is on record as saying that she never wanted "to climb out of another fucking coffin again".

I absolutely love that.

I Love Wearing Pretty Dresses

Because you'll never know when you'll need them in a photo shoot. Now, when an actress is famous, clothes are given to her. When she's not famous yet, it's up to her closet.

Photographers like me. This is not the first time I've been used for promo materials. It's probably because I hate tanning and am clueless about orange spray bottle tan application, so I am so pasty you can see which veins in my arms are carrying oxygenated blood. Creepy!

Click on "Women" and then Number 6. I hate those html pages. It's harder to link. If anyone knows how to do that, let me know. Daughter of a computer programmer; I'm embarrassed to even have to ask. Sigh. [update: my aunt noticed that the previous number I had up, 9 wasn't me, even though it was yesterday. So now that I've updated it to number 6, hopefully it won't change. And seriously, if anyone knows how to link to a flash page, lemme know!]

Ooh look! I'm number 18 as well!


As an actress, one has to expand her horizons. There are so many things we can do! We can model! We can .... uhm....We can look pretty! We can....uhm...gosh, I dunno. Wait! That's right! We can wait tables too! Yee haw!

So my boyfriend Anthony is the best artist in the world.
Seriously, right? How did I get so lucky? Well, internet dating. But aside from that, like I was saying, an actress has to be a muse. Not just amusing, but a MUSE. I've been lucky (hot? sexy?) enough to be asked by a few artists to have me pose for them, and I thought I'd post one of my favorites from a "Wine and Lace" themed posing session we did with Anthony. The other model is a friend of ours.

Submitting Myself

Jimmy Kimmel Live is looking for actresses 56-58 to parody this video. I submitted, believing the ages are missing their apostrophes to represent height. It happens. And although my hair isn't long, I figured, eh, what the hell.

Check this video out. It's pretty badass.

Commercial Agent Meeting

My manager had invited me to the Talent Managers Association Oscar Party last Sunday to schmooze and meet a few agents and casting directors to basically show the world that I'm like, you know, hot. Fake it til you make it, people!

What's funny, is that I finally met the agent in charge of the commercial division of the agency I'm currently with. When I asked him how many people he had on his client list, he told me 200, which , honestly, really isn't that much. What IS funny though, is that he continued on saying that he wanted to get rid of all the dead weight. That's ME! I have been with these people across the board since, what? July? And I have never gone out on one commercial audition. In fact, I have only had ONE audition with this agency, and, although it was for a guest star role on Pushing Daisies, the role was written out, and that was back in August. So again, I am stagnant just like I was last year when I was with Sanger Talent. And after complaining that I needed to leave because at 9 months, I only had two auditions, they folded. Which was a good thing, because my manager said, alright, I'll listen when you say you want to leave. She had hesitated before because she didn't want me to become one of "those actors" who jumps agency ships every three months, but listen: 1) One is able to break their contract like that under SAG rules for that very reason, and 2) I feel it was more of her hoping not to ruin her relationship with that agent because she had another client there. My headshots are great, I have tons of pictures, and my feeling is, if it's not working, get me the hell out of there!

So I talked briefly with an agent that my manager introduced me to, and he was interested in having me meet him for commercial rep. Sweet. I had the meeting with him the other day, and I liked what I saw. Small office, just him as an agent, and only 18 other clients. The place I'm at now, the CEO is building an empire, and I'm with all the dead guys and skeletons as mortar for the bricks. So it'd be nice to be able to have an agent I can actually get a hold of, who will answer my emails immediately, and will actually get back to my manager just as quickly. Cause that stuff is important!

Right now, I'm just waiting on my manager to return my call and see what our next step is. My manager keeps complaining that all I need are auditions. Tell me about it. I book a lot of my own stuff, and while that's all great and good, there is no money in non-union work, and baby needs a new pair of shoes!

Less of an Actress, More of a Waitress

Being an actress is haaaaaard. I could go on and on and complain about it, which, trust me, I do, and I will, but let's go into the reasons why people decide to act.

We're lazy.

Ha! Just kidding! Actors are some of the most courageous, dedicated people on the planet. Okay, not really. I read that somewhere. Load of bunk. Actors are the most narcissistic, egomaniacal people. But we HAVE to be. From the very get go, our first tool to get us into the audition in the first place is our picture. Our headshot. So all of a sudden, we have to look at ourselves like a product. And to do that, we have to be very critical.

Plus, look up any famous person. Any celebrity. Go ahead. Think of someone. Ready? Okay. They had family already in the business. Or they were a Disney baby. Or a reality whore. True story. Jennifer Aniston did not just come out of nowhere. Her dad was a huge soap star. Miley Cyrus is a Disney baby AND she has a famous father. Lauren Conrad? Well, I don't watch her reality show, but from what Joe N. told me, she has no soul. And she really doesn't count because she doesn't want to act. She just wants to be famous. Like Paris Hilton. Ick.

But this is what it takes.

Now for the rest of us, you'll generally see two types of actors. Those who give it two years in LA before they get famous, and those who are in it until they die. The former, usually from the midwest and usually pretty, usually all leave because acting isn't really what they wanted to do in the first place. The latter, well. I fall in that category.

I am in it to win it.