actresses with short hair

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    Just wondered if I could get your collective thoughts on something - I'm battling a little dilemma at the moment: Do we think it better to stick out for being different, and thereby to limit your casting range, or to fit a much wider profile, but to look pretty much the same as everyone else?

    Here's what led me into the quandary: for the vast majority of my adult and late teen life, I have had short hair. Varying degrees of spikiness, granted, but short nonetheless. I recently took the decision to grow my hair, as I thought it would make me 'more castable'. With longer hair, I can play someone from pretty much any era, and as it's infinitely more stylable, of pretty much any type. It's currently shoulder-length.

    But here's my problem: I'm not stunningly beautiful. Yeah, OK, I'll admit I'm probably not what you'd call ugly, but I'm not drop dead gorgeous either - I'm fairly average looking. Which is fine, and doesn't bother me in the slightest - but, by definition, means that I'm not a lot better, or a lot worse, looking than most other people. Consequently, if you were flicking through Spotlight, chances are that if you did notice me, you'd have forgotten me again once you'd looked over another 20 images. Possibly even another two. Just another average looking actress with mid-length, nothingy hair. However, if I have short spiky hair, I'm going to stand out a bit, just by virtue of being different. If you're flicking through Spotlight, and the other 3 actresses on that spread have mid length hair, you'll probably be more likely to remember me for looking a bit different.

    But will having short hair typecast me? Or limit the parts and the plays for which I'm seen? Hmmm. So you see my problem... any thoughts? Any other short-haired actresses face this issue?

    xx

    • 20th Nov 2012
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    For a start Tegwen, you stand out because your eyes "speak" in your photos! That's a great attribute to have.Bland faces are forgettable, yours isn't. I would say that if YOU think you stand more chance of being noticed with your hair short and spiky then, that in itself, is going to make you exude more confidence. If you have the ability which I'm sure you do, then if a project requires an actress with longer hair they can put you in a wig - or get one step ahead and buy a wig or two and put that you have them on your CV. Or find someone who's a whizz on photoshop and get them to "touch up" a headshot or two with different hairstyles so you can put them on your site. I am a brown eyed blonde and so keep blue contact lenses in case people want a classic blue eyed blonde rather than an odd brown eyed one!!

    Final word, re Spotlight - go with what suits you and your personality best. From what you have said - that's short hair. Dare to stand out from all us "boring" safe-hair types!!

    Good luck.

    Sasha

    • 16th Oct 2006
    • 1
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    You know, that's a great idea. I'd thought about wigs, etc, but more along the lines of 'being wigged' rather than getting a couple to own myself - that'd then prevent anyone else having to buy them, which would probably be less likely to scare off potential employers - genius. Definitely something to consider!! Cheers hun.

    xx

    • 16th Oct 2006
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    Glad the idea appealed to you. It would just give you more "looks" and, therefore, options and, let's face it, the wigs used in productions these days can't even be detected most of the time so no one worth their salt is going to baulk at the idea of an actress with short hair being cast in a role for soemone with long hair, it's easily sorted.I'd also recommend you get some shots done before you cut off your hair again so that you can upload at least one photo of you with your own longer hair.

    By the way, I like your head shot with the really short, darker hair - your eyes stand out in it and you would DEFINITELY be noticed!

    Go for it!!

    • 16th Oct 2006
    • 3
  • Lucy Perkins

    Actor

    Hi,

    I used to have short hair and must admit I did grow it to be more castable. As it was I was usually getting lesbian/tomboy/bad guy type roles, which is great, but I did realise that I might be open to more if I had a more changable look, and, I have been proved right. That's just me however. Sasha's right, you have very striking look anyway and really, you need to be comfortable and confident with how you look. If growing your hair would make you feel less like you then don't do it, but remember, hair can be cut again, so maybe give it and go, experiment and see what happens?

    Lx

    • 16th Oct 2006
    • 4
  • Morna Young

    Actor

    Hi Tegwen, to start with I think you look great in all the pictures!

    When I first attended drama school I was advised to grow my hair to make me more castable. I haven't been left for very long now but I'm going to see how it goes with the longer hair - otherwise it'll soon get chopped!

    I completely agree that its whatever you feel most comfortable with. Have you put your pics up to be assessed on here? Maybe see what responses you get to the different styles?

    Good luck to you and, like I said, I think both look great! xx

    • 17th Oct 2006
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    I started off with shoulder length hair and kept it for a while, then on the advice of my then agent, I cut it really short 'for an image change' and even though it was nice for a change for me personally (I had had short hair before) I felt it paused my acting career until it grew out again. I was only getting sent up for gay roles and tomboys (like lucyp's post) as when I have short hair I am quite boyish looking, but it was annoying as there there are more diverse roles out there!

    Yes there is the 'wig' factor and extensions, but again, casting directors don't want to have to imagine that or companies pay for it unless your a 'name'.

    I would cut it short again if it was for a role, or if I wanted a change, but I personally have found myself more castable with longer hair. You an always cut it but to grow back takes atleast 2 years.

    • 17th Oct 2006
    • 6
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    I have to say I find it really quite annoying from reading the posts on here that if a woman has short hair she is only put up for "tomboy/gay" roles and that it limits their castability. Sad reflection of the narrowmindedness of our society. There are many beautiful, talented actresses with shorter hair who get to play the leading lady/love interest. Short hair can be elegant - think Audrey Hepburn, Sharon Stone, Nastalie Portman. Stand up for your principles girls and your hair!!

    • 17th Oct 2006
    • 7
  • Lucy Perkins

    Actor

    Absolutely Sasha. This is going back a few years though so maybe/hopefully things have changed a little!

    Lx

    • 17th Oct 2006
    • 8
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    You look so striking in your photos Tegwen! I personally love your short hair. I think it stands out.

    I've been having the same debate with myself now for a few weeks. I'm average height, average build, long blonde hair, blue eyes...pretty average all around looks-wise. And so many of the rejection letters I've had back from agents has been that they've already got someone like me on their books, they won't even grant me an interview...

    I've been thinking about cutting my hair short for a while now and talking with my singing teacher recently, I think it may make me stand out a bit more. As you ladies say, there's always extensions and wigs, even if they are my own!

    • 17th Nov 2012
    • 9
  • Angela Hartwell

    Actor

    I like the short dark hair personally you look stunning definitely not average looking!

    The more comfortable you are with the way you look the more confident in photos/castings etc.

    • 17th Nov 2012
    • 10
  • Meryl Griffiths

    Actor

    I've had the same debate as you over the years - and eventually elected to stay short. And I've been planning for a while - When I get some dosh together - to invest in a couple of my own wigs too.

    I've done quite a few theatre roles 'wigged' and have used stills from them for when I've gone up for something period where long would be more appropriate. And that's helped.

    More recently I've had the added dilemma of whether to carry on dyeing my hair ( and end up being like hundreds of women of a certain age with that sort of is-it-blonde, is-it-grey sort of wishy washy colour!) so in the end decided to celebrate my silver!

    For all the reasons you're saying .. to stand out a bit perhaps - but then if I need to be more mainstream I can do so with a wig - long and coloured!

    And, finally, I second everything others have said - I think your look is fabulous and if you also give good wig it increases your chances.

    • 17th Nov 2012
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  • Toni Brooks

    Actor

    I think your short hair really suits you and your eyes (which are lovely) are what will 'sell' you. Not at all average so go with what makes you feel confident.

    • 18th Nov 2012
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  • Julia Effertz

    Actor

    Tegwen, you crazy lady - you look very castable to me!!!

    Here's the problem: woman + long hair = sexy/beautiful = castable?

    I'm not so sure.

    Personally, I cut my hair off when I was 19 and haven't looked back since. I have an expressive face and the bob-length works best for my type.

    In October I was booked for a TV-movie and for a flashback scene they simply used extensions to simulate longer hair. So really, when you're working, this is not a major problem...I can think of all these lovely actresses who have shorter hair, from Emma Watson to Charlize Theron to Kirsten Dunst, Christina Hendricks (!), Winona Rider, Meryl Streep. It shouldn't matter.

    What matters is your type and that you're memorable. We will always be typecast and that's exactly what will get your foot in the door. If you look like all the others, who is going to remember you? You want to stand out, with a strong (!) look.

    I like your photos, I get your type instantly, yours eyes pop out. Well done!

    A similar topc: should I lose weight in order to be castable? I am neither fat nor am I thin. I am a UK size 12/14. Boy did that cause me sleepless nights! ;)

    It's ridiculous. Women with curves are wonderful, I want to see more curviness in the business.

    But didn't/don't we all put so much pressure on ourselves to be a certain dress size?

    Thank God Christina Hendricks came along.

    At the end of the day, the most important thing is to be a damn good performer - authentic, memorable, full of presence and truth. That will get you noticed my dear!

    J xxx

    • 18th Nov 2012
    • 13
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    LOVE the above comment. Hooray for short-haired curvy girls!!

    • 18th Nov 2012
    • 14
  • Carrie Cohen

    Actor

    When I pin my hair up it looks short! I have up and down hair on my portfolio on ccp and Spotlight - let's face it the book is obsolete. I submit different photos for different jobs. I do have a short wig and a long wig - very cheap on ebay - if needed.

    • 18th Nov 2012
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  • Carrie Cohen

    Actor

    When I pin my hair up it looks short! I have up and down hair on my portfolio on ccp and Spotlight - let's face it the book is obsolete. I submit different photos for different jobs. I do have a short wig and a long wig - very cheap on ebay - if needed.

    • 18th Nov 2012
    • 16
  • Clare Cameron

    Actor

    Hi Tegwen

    I've been following this with interest as I cut my hair from long to short earlier this year for the first time ever. Whilst it was for a specific role, I've decided to keep it and see how the castings fare...(gulp!) My only thought is that I now notice all the stuff I can't go up for - or, rather, wouldn't be an obvious candidate for becuase I've got short hair ie period stuff; I *think* I've seen an increase in period stuff being produced ( I read somehwere that it's a trend which happens when things take a downturn economically) however, that said, I suspect I might just be noticing those castings more because I'm no longer an obvious candidate for it!!

    For what it's worth, I think you look fantastic with short hair and much more distinguishable: you also look very similar to the woman who plays Sarah in Headlong's current production of Medea, so clearly hasn't done her any harm!

    C x

    • 19th Nov 2012
    • 17
  • User Deleted

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    Hi there

    I find this all really amusing as I first posted this thread in June 2006!! It's really old - not sure why it's suddenly showing as being so current. :)

    In case you were wondering, I didn't grow my hair in the end, and I don't think it really affected my casting or career. I don't do much theatre now, and work full time in voice over (animation, commercial and continuity) so my appearance isn't really relevant any more. In fact, probably the most limiting thing about my appearance now is that I'm 8 months pregnant!

    Thank you for all your lovely comments. I hope those of you with short hair find what's right for you, too. I now think that being comfortable in your skin and confident (and realistic!) about your appearance is probably the most important thing.

    :)

    Txx

    • 19th Nov 2012
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  • Clare Cameron

    Actor

    Ha, brilliant! Welll, I'm glad you found your niche in the industry and best of luck for the remainder of your pregnancy. All the best!

    • 19th Nov 2012
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