"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

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Window Envelopes

Kel writes:

Hi Lira!

Love your blog, and have a question.

I'm about to submit to several (22) agencies for commercial rep. I've heard a lot of talk about these envelopes that have windows in them so that people can see your face before tossing your unopened inquiry letter in the trash. (link here: http://www.theactorsphotolab.com/8x10-open-window-envelopes/)

When I first heard about them and saw them I thought," Huh, what a neat idea!"

however, when I brought it up to a couple other actor friends, some of them told me that agencies don't like them.

Which is true?

Also, I have naturally curly hair that I sometimes straighten. When submitting nmy photos, is it possible for me to have my head shot be with my natural hair but put a inset picture of me with straight hair as well? I'm asking because it might seem insignificant, but I look totally different with straight hair vs. curly hair.


Window Envelopes! They are such a great idea.....right? Right? I mean, they're worth the price because agents will get to see your headshots immediately........

Okay, here's the deal: I used them before. Once. I thought the same thing - I look different enough from everyone that they'll HAVE to open my envelope! Who knows, maybe they did. But I have a theory....

If they see what you look like before seeing your cover letter and resume, a window envelope makes it easier for them to throw you away.

UNLESS - you are a minority. If you're a minority, chances are an agency needs your category.

ALSO - if you're an 11 on the hotness scale, use window envelopes for sure. Me? I feel very comfortable saying I'm a solid 7 so I don't think the window envelopes necessarily worked for me.

Kel, you're African-American. If you look at commercials today, you'll see a lot of African-American young women with natural hair; it seems to be on trend. So send in the photo you love the most and make sure you'll do your hair the same way when you get called in for interviews. Once you sign with an agency, discuss with your commercial agent how you want to have your hairstyle for your new headshots (comm agents almost always ask for new comm headshots). Make sure you pick a hairstyle you'll be comfortable in and want to maintain for the next two years so you can match your pictures.

Now, you CAN add a photo of you with straight hair, but I can tell you from experience, sometimes your agent will send you an audition notification at 11pm at night and sometimes an hour from the actual call time. If they submit you with straight hair, you honestly might not have time to straighten it. (depending on how adept you are at a straightener/hair dryer/roller brush, whether or not you have stock in DryBar, and how curly your hair is.) Some cd's might care, like, if the breakdown specifically says, "only girls with straight hair will be seen!!!!!!!!!" but most often, cd's won't care.

If you don't have one already, you can always invest in a really good straight hair styled wig. (It's tax deductible!) You can cut your hair much shorter, fro it out, and still have long beautiful hair if you want it. Best of both worlds!

So go forth, Kel! Use the window envelopes! And let us all know when you sign with your new rep! Break legs!


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