How to Stand Out in a Sea of Talent


There are so many actors out there that it might seem like casting is really easy. I mean, all you have to do is walk down the street in New York and you’ll probably run into an actor. But the fact is that while the talent pool is vast, it’s not necessarily as deep as you might think. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that New York actors aren’t skilled and talented and well trained, they are, very much so. I’m saying that it can be hard to find talented actors who don’t… look like actors.

In a sea of headshots, does your stand out or blend in? Here are ways to separate yourself from the crowd.

Do something, anything, different with your hair.

This specifically applies to women but is also valid for men as well. Everyone has the same three hairstyles, and while it may be true that if I’m looking for an edgy girl with piercings and tattoos, we can achieve that effect through hair and make up, if your headshot makes you look like a soccer mom, it will be harder for the team to imagine you in the role. Don’t be afraid to do something different; try an asymmetrical haircut or a fun color. Even just short hair on a woman can be a strong choice or just wear your hair natural. You may not get called in for soccer moms anymore but you will get called in for every single hipster role.


Actress Madeline Kelsey then…


And now…

Madeline landed a campaign of online and subway ads for Smile Direct Club. Her choice of an edgy look helps her stand out.


Have a sense of style

I understand that actors want to be blank slates that can be transformed into anything, but sometimes a blank slate is just that, empty. Make bold style choices that give us a sense of who you are. Embrace your personal style and be consistent whether going to auditions are going to lunch. Have fun! Be bold! Dare to be different!

Get new skills

Learn a language. Take a tap dancing class. Buy a unicycle. Learn a new sport. You would be surprised at the many different skills I am asked to cast and how small those talent pools become when suddenly an actor needs to speak a foreign language or do trapeze.

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