The importance of knowing your “category” when auditioning in Hollywood…
A sea of busty, blonde hopefuls fill the casting office – each one vying for the opportunity to appear topless opposite a movie star in a major motion picture.
Only one line of dialogue, but incredible exposure (in more ways than one)… and an IMDB credit is an IMDB credit. Right?
When casting a role such as this, the question becomes… what separates one “booby blondie” from the next?
We’re talking about one line of script, so the casting decision couldn’t possibly be judged by acting prowess?
As each hopeful is beautiful in her own right and totally appropriate for the role, how on earth can the winner of the role be chosen? Are the actresses now narrowed down by size, shape and sexiness of the breast and nipple itself?
Well, perhaps… after whittling down the actresses to a smaller number for a “call-back” session – next comes the body check. Yes. “Body check”.
During this process, the actress is asked to remove her top and bra and allow casting to take a close-up photo of her naked breasts for the producers and director to examine more closely.
Humiliating or part of the job?
Remember, this is a studio feature film starring an A-list movie star. Not the set of a porno movie.
After three callbacks and a body check, not surprisingly, the role ultimately goes to the executive producer’s “girlfriend of the moment”.
“Big-titted, sexy blondes are a dime a dozen in this town. Those women were lucky to get a great audition like that.” ~Anonymous
Offensive? Or is there some truth in this statement?
Most actors like to say, “I can play any role”. This may be true if you’re a trained actor or a natural born talent, but will the powers that be ever give you the opportunity to prove that you can indeed play any role?
If you happen to be a bleached blonde, spray tanned goddess with inflated lips and implanted tits, let’s venture to say that you probably won’t get the opportunity anytime soon to audition for the role of a “brain surgeon” on the next hit hospital themed television show, unless of course, it’s a comedy. That would actually be awesome.
“It’s important for an actor’s primary marketing material (headshot) to be indicative of them fitting into a particular category. Casting needs to immediately be able to see you playing a particular role. When this happens, you will significantly increase the frequency of your auditions.” ~Daniel Wojack, Executive Producer and state licensed talent agent, Betwixt Talent Management
With literally thousands of actors being submitted on each role for every SAG (Screen Actors Guild) project that is announced in the breakdowns (breakdowns: the daily listings of projects that are being cast in show business) – every unknown actor needs to pray that their photo catches the eye of the person who has twenty minutes to scan through the 3,000 or more photos that have been presented to them. And of the thousands of actors submitted, on average, only 12-18 max are scheduled for that actual SAG theatrical audition.
Knowing this, actors still complain — “I read for the “naked blonde stripper” for the 6th time this month. This is bullshit, my agent sucks.”
It sounds like your agent might be doing a great job! Six SAG theatrical auditions in one month is a lot of action for most actors.
Isn’t it better to be auditioning and getting out there than not? And if for whatever reason your moral compass will not allow you to portray the “naked blonde stripper” than perhaps it’s time to consider changing your look.
Remove the implants, go brunette and start donning a pair of horn-rimmed glasses – push yourself into an alternative category. Maybe “genius girl with an edge”…
Sadly, your audition numbers will most likely go down. A pitiful reflection of the type of material that is actively being produced and the types of roles that are available to unknowns.
Bankable actors with a studio behind them can call their own shots and are allowed to transform themselves into whatever character they might want to be.
Those bankable actors put “butts in theatre seats” and that means BIG $$$ for the studios.
As the rest of us struggle to be discovered we unfortunately find ourselves at the mercy of what the world quickly and easily perceives us to be.
What category do you find yourself in? Make a decision and dedicate yourself to that category. Be the best damn “naked blonde stripper” you can be if that is your choice or the best damn dramatic actor you can be if that is your choice. Build up your IMDB credits and prove to the world that you are worthy of bookings and work diligently to become that real working actor.