Photos or Experience ??????

  • User Deleted

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    Hi

    There is one thing that has bugged me now for ages and i have never been able to get a definitive answer.

    Does anyone out there know, when a CD is casting do they select auditionees based on the photo in front of them, or the experience in front of them on the cv/showreel, a combination of both

    I am so frustrated, at the moment my modelling agent gets me castings every week, and i get a lot of good high profile work, but my heart lies with acting and i have had probably 2 auditions in 2 years, now surely although i am in no way comparing modeling as well as acting is based on face value, so my question is why do i get seen so frequently for modelling assignments yet a CD doesnt want to know?

    I know they are different games but what is the major difference? My agent says it is because i dont have enough experience and modelling is just being a clothes horse so it is easy but i dont agree with that. I have been to jobs where i was up against 20 or 30 people plus even more in some instances and i have never been to an acting job with the same level of competition.

    Maybe it is experience for Television etc but how do you get experiemce if it seems in my selfish little world haha that no one will even look at me, yet for modeling i have no trouble getting castings.

    Anyone shed any light on this would appreciate advice or similar frustrations and experiences so i know i am not alone in this. My friend said that he has a friend who was signed up by PFD and she hasnt had an audition for 2 years either so maybe it is common

    who knows

    • 3rd Nov 2006
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  • User Deleted

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    i wasnt in any way trying to show off, just trying to work out if it is face value why do CD's not see me for television but they do for Modeling assignments

    • 23rd Jun 2006
    • 1
  • Sally Beaumont

    Actor

    Great to hear you're doing well in one area- money in the bank and all that. Who's the modelling agent?

    I'd say- get more experience. It can't do any harm. Student films, fringe theatre- it all helps.

    Most importantly keep acting. No one wants to hire a depressed actor who's desperate, so you need to keep limber and enjoy acting (whether you get paid for it or not).

    THe fact you get the commercials means there's a market for your "look" which is really great!

    Have a browse at the other people of your type- what's their experience/training? Do they have a showreel? voice reel? What makes them stand out?

    Then work out what you can do to stand out yourself.

    I may be invoking the wrath of your agent, but perhaps it's time to move on? You've persevered for two years- perhaps your partnership is not the right one?

    But mainly stay positive! You're doing a lot better than some, and I think with a little more experience you'll be sailing...

    Sally

    • 23rd Jun 2006
    • 2
  • User Deleted

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    Thanks Sally i appreciate your advice

    I am just letting out my pent up frustrations i guess, without name dropping a lot of my ex class mates and friends are doing very well and every time i pick up a newspaper i see one of them and i am obviously very happy for them but on the other hand i think argggggggggggggh thats another opportunity gone.

    I dont mind working for free either or hard work, thing is when i mentioned this to my agent i dont think they were keen as they thought it would limit my availability if anything did come up.

    Do you think maybe luck plays a massive part?

    • 23rd Jun 2006
    • 3
  • Sally Beaumont

    Actor

    MAYBE?

    Massively.

    Anyway, I always think if you resent successful people, you'll never (subconciously) want to be one.

    I'd kill to have a few buddies doing well- as well as luck, nepotism helps!

    Again, it's a bit crap, but I'd do the unpaid stuff anyway. If you get an audition or paid work, they will understand and work around you. If not, they can always recruit someone else.

    An agent can't say "get more experience" one day, then stop you from getting experience the next because you won't be available.

    I think it might just be a mechanism to stop you complaining- I'm such a cynic!

    Explain that you want to make yourself more marketable, and that they don't have to lift a finger to help, and that of course any audition they get you will take precendent over unpaid work.

    Who could argue with that?

    I've been doing some unpaid work to boost my CV and reel, and had full support from my agent (for above reasons). Now I'm reaping the benefits (commercial audition on monday!) because of that experience, and we both win. A good agent knows that more experience makes you more marketable. You're offering to make their job easier for free.

    It's oft repeated and rightly so:

    You do not work for your agent. They work for you.

    Or, rather, ideally you work as a team to a common goal...

    • 23rd Jun 2006
    • 4
  • User Deleted

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    Congratulations on the audition!!!!

    Please dont get me wrong, i may sound like a resentful bitter actor haha but i am not and i am truly proud of my friends. But you cant help but wonder what you are doing wrong and they are doing right.

    I think i will push for the free stuff and like you said i can always pull out if it something paid comes along, or by chance i bump into someone wanting to make me a star and then i can say you were right it is about being in the right place at the right time.

    Last time i asked my agent what i had been put up for he said Holby City but the director felt i didnt have the experience to handle such a gritty role and i wasnt seen. But when i first joined them i was seen loads for the first month or 2 i just dont know what happened

    • 23rd Jun 2006
    • 5
  • Sally Beaumont

    Actor

    I'm afraid I don't know what to say to reassure you.

    Apart from: welcome to being an actor.

    It is part of it, and you will be surpassed by friends, sometimes there will be dry spells, and sometimes stuff happens for apparently no reason.

    I hate to sound hard, but everyone goes through this, and you'll find plenty of support here.

    It's not a question that you're doing something wrong- if it were a question of right moves we'd all be doing it.

    We all think "what more can I do?" "what's wrong with me?"

    Meet up with your old friends- they may be working now, but someday you may be working while they're at home feeling bitter. Swings and roundabouts.

    I went to uni with a few stars (one of which is now in hollywood blockbusters) and it really burns my toast! However you've got to say well done to them, and perhaps learn a little from what they did (if not talk them into getting you a small part).

    Acting is a hard life with constant knock-backs. Rejection is part of the very ethos of acting.

    But it is still incredibly fulfilling and joyful- if you stay positive.

    I'm sending you a virtual hug, as I know exactly where you're coming from!

    • 23rd Jun 2006
    • 6
  • User Deleted

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    Thanks you have made me feel better :>)

    It takes talking to someone else about it to realise your not the only actor in the world.

    • 23rd Jun 2006
    • 7
  • Mark Joseph

    Actor

    Photo first, always.

    If your photo passes muster, then experience comes into play.

    Mark.

    • 23rd Jun 2006
    • 8
  • User Deleted

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    Hi Rob, well I started out as a model too and it was through doing various commercials that I realised that acting was where my heart was.

    Luckily, at the time I had an Agent who, although primarily a modelling agent, still had access to commercial castings. This gave me my first few credits in the acting world on my CV. I have no training wahtsover which again was probably a mark against me

    When I left the Agent (aged 15) I then just started to look out for stuff for myself and wrote off for everything I could find that I considered suitable for me. Although your Agent will put you forward for things they won't ever sell you the way you can sell yourself. I often said that I hadn't much experience but that I had determination and they should give me a try. Basically told them to gamble five minutes of their time on me! It seemed to work and people did start to see me.

    I agree with Sally, at this stage go for what you can. If you're getting good money for your modelling assignments then take a chance on lo/no pay films to put those credits on your CV. There is some really good stuff out there - but do be discerning.

    Just keep at it is all I will say - each of us only needs one good break and a liberal minded CD who can see your potential to change things around. I'm still waiting too - but having a hell of a lot of fun acting along the way,

    Best of luck

    Sasha

    • 23rd Jun 2006
    • 9
  • User Deleted

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    Thanks for your support and insight Sasha appreciate it!

    But looking at what Mark has said it again throws the spanner into the works, if it is photo's first always which i have heard several times before, why do CD's show no interest whatsoever yet the modelling ones are so much easier

    Tell a lie the freebie ones get back to me with auditions quite a lot so i am not that hard done by. But the more professional ones scarcely

    Its very hard............. oh to be a fly on the wall in Spike Lee's Office eh?

    • 23rd Jun 2006
    • 10
  • Sally Beaumont

    Actor

    Look at your "type"- what are you good at?

    Then choose headshots to go with it.

    You can't expect one headshot to be all things to all people, so have a selection.

    I.E. I have my bolshy one, my kooky comedy one and my period drama one.

    • 23rd Jun 2006
    • 11
  • Mark Joseph

    Actor

    Because modelling photos and an actors 10x8 are very different things. CD's like to follow a rather strict set of guidelines.

    1. B/W - you CAN send colour, as is sometimes fashionable in the states, but I'd stick to good ol' b/w.

    2. 10x8, always. If it's later contact, maybe different, but I'd always INITIATE contact with a 10x8.

    3. Fairly neutral. No huge smiles, very sad, very angry. Just a fairly nice, neutral photo of you looking your best.

    THe main reason though, is luck. If they don't want to see you, they just don't. At some point they will. Just keep sending them.

    Mark.

    • 23rd Jun 2006
    • 12
  • User Deleted

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    Thing is with my agency we have to use their photographer and it is always in the same style.

    I would love to do some different stuff but i just cant if i want to stay with my agent. I think they like the people on their books to all be done in the same way.

    • 23rd Jun 2006
    • 13
  • Sally Beaumont

    Actor

    I can see a few actors on your agents books with different photographers.

    Does the agent have a vested interest in using that photographer?

    In all, I'd say "why are you staying with this agent?"

    It's got to be a partnership- and you don't sound particularly happy. There are a lot of agents out there. You might even consider a co-op as that would allow you to see the casting process from the other side as it were.

    • 23rd Jun 2006
    • 14
  • User Deleted

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    Perhaps the photos you are sending are too "modelly"? I don't know if you have one set for acting and one for modelling. I, for one, would definitely advocate you do this. Often if you look too handsome or outstanding then it will make you stand out in a detrimental way to a lot of acting jobs - ie - you couldn't look like part of a normal family, an ordinary person, if you catch my drift? If you haven't already I would get some non-model like black and white headshots to send out for acting work.

    By the way - Mark J talks an awful lot of sense, he's worth listening too!!

    Good luck

    Sasha

    • 23rd Jun 2006
    • 15
  • User Deleted

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    I would also get some more shots up here on this site and then you can direct CD's to your profile here if your Agent won't let you diversify with your headshots. On here you can put as many different looks as you like and that's exactly what you should do.

    • 23rd Jun 2006
    • 16
  • User Deleted

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    Well at the time i joined i went to a well known photographer called Sheila Burnett, i spent over 200 quid on the pics and when i took them in they didnt like them and said i needed to go to their photgrapher as all their artists did.

    So dissapointed i did as i was keen to please them, however they havent worked out.

    I think i will give it a month or 2 more and then get some new ones done and insist on more of an imput on the style of shots i want.

    In terms of a new agent i find that as hard as getting auditions when you have nothing much on your cv it seems to be the same.

    Thanks again guys

    • 23rd Jun 2006
    • 17
  • User Deleted

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    If an agent submits you for a casting and you look the part you will get an audition... your photo looks good and you have a commercial look so perhaps your agent isn't doing enough for you... who knows?

    When they meet you and see you read they will know if you can do it.. it's there job and they're bloody good at it.

    • 23rd Jun 2006
    • 18
  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    Rob,

    Two things..

    I think there uis at times a sense of judgment agianst models who branch into acting..and maybe casting directors dont take you seriously becasue of this....

    I would suggest a few things...

    1) If you are SERIOUS about the acting side..then find a good scene study class, on camera woprkshop classes and may get a new photographer. Maybe take oyur modeling agent off SPOTLIGHT because SPOTLIGHT is an ACTORS page..and market yourself towards being seen as an actor. use the modeling work as a means to an end...to yopur ultimate goal.

    And its quite okay to have two portfolios....one for the model work...where you are a clothes horse..and one for the acting...

    and you have so much going for you...you have a face for TV and there is no possible reasdon why you cant get jobs...but unlöess a casting director sees you have the look, the training (of any sort..NOT just a drama school) and the right photos...you wont be taken seriously.

    Also, if experience is an issue..then consider doing anything from TIE to student flms to get more stuff on your CV. This is totally acceptable...and is the way through.

    • 24th Jun 2006
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