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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Looking Like Your Headshot (Submitted Question)

I saw this question posted on the Backstage Forum, and I posted an answer that I wanted to repost here:

“I had my headshots taken in November. They look awesome. In January, I had a haircut, and had asked for a few layers on my one-lenth hair (which was about 6 inches past my shoulders. My stylist cut too many layers into it, and I have had (a new stylist!) punch up the back of my hair every few weeks so that it remains presentable. Two and a half months later, it started looking much like a mullet, despite all the barrettes, ponytails and crazy glue I put in it. So today I had *the cut*. I HAD to get it punched up, and now it is right above my shoulders. It looks okay, just not like my headshot. Now, in between, when I send my headshots out for jobs, I make a note that my hair is several inches shorter than in my headshot, but I am not sure if they really see that. Regardless, I have 2 auditions coming up, and do NOT have the money to take new shots (and prints) right now. I am taking acting classes, and never anticipated this happening. Do you have any suggestions? I KNOW that casting directors hate when people look nothing like their headshots. But I am really stuck.

TAE responds:

I completely understand your concern. It is very important to look like your headshot, but as Robert said, people's hair changes all the time. So the trick to using the same headshot with different hair is to make sure that you are in the same type category as your headshot.

For example, if someone has long, straight hair, and then gets it cut into short, spiky layers, that person may not be considered for the same kinds of roles (same goes for color changes.) But if you look like you can still play the same kinds of roles, it shouldn't be too much of a problem to have your hair a little different.

Another factor in using non-current headshots is how you are using them. If is it an open audition and you are bringing your headshot with you, it is less of a concern because their first impression will be you walking in the door, not your headshot. In that case, your headshot will be used as a reference, and not as the main tool in getting you called in.

If you are submitting for projects using the headshots, and then they call you in to audition- having different hair could be a concern. One way to fix this problem is to take a digital picture of yourself with the new cut, print out a 2x3 or 3x4 copy of the photo, and attach it to your headshot whenever you submit with it. Between that and your cover letter, they should definitely understand the different looks, and they can make an informed decision.

I hope this is useful- good luck with the auditions!

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