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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Top 10 Things To Do With Old Headshots

Featured Article: Backstage Experts!

Every actor has gone through this: You’re excited about getting new headshots - You book the session, do the shoot, choose your photos, order prints, and as you bring the package home, it dawns on you: You have a crapload of old headshots that cost you a small fortune - and you can’t bring yourself to throw them away! Here are 10 things you could do with them:

10) Instant dustpan - economy sized for the actor’s apartment.
9) Cut them up into pieces and use them as confetti at your next party. Make a joke about throwing yourself at people. Then apologize.
8) Fantasize that you are super famous and practice signing them for fans.
7) Send them to your relatives.
6) Send them to the bullies from 7th grade. With love.
5) Offer them to the kosher delis to place on their walls. Insist on being placed next to that guy from the local news.
4) Get them slightly damp so they stick together, then use this brick as a bookend. Or a paperweight. Or a hammer.
3) Hand them out on street corners, asking, “Hey, do you like comedy?”
2) Make them into a balloon and try to get on a reality show (like this guy)

And finally, the #1 thing to do with old headshots:

1) Commission a designer to fashion them into an outfit for your first big awards show. If American Express can do it, so can you.

Seriously - if you have extra headshots left over, there are a couple of things you can do with them. 1) Bring them as your “hard copy” to any audition where the casting director already has your new headshot on file, or those who know and love your work. 2) Use your old headshots when you audition for things for which you are overqualified. For example, I have done several TV shows and major feature films, so when I audition for student projects, I feel comfortable giving them an old headshot - I feel my resume and old headshot are a strong enough combo. (Plus, it is rare for a student filmmaker to keep headshots on file, so giving them an old one is not a big deal.) 3) When you get ready to do a mass mailing, send the old shots to folks you wouldn’t normally consider mailing too (for example, anyone whose office is too big, or too small, or you aren’t sure you’re interested.) Or, offer it as a 2nd look in your submission packet. Keep in mind, in most cases your old photos are still perfectly good - the new ones are simply BETTER. So there is no fear in using them in these isolated cases.

However, you do want to start using your new ones right away- don’t let them gather dust because you are concerned about wasting the old ones. Realize that keeping the new ones to yourself actually costs you money too - FUTURE money that you could be earning.

And this goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway - Upload your new headshots to the casting websites ASAP -- even if it costs you money to add them. You’ll find that these new shots invigorate your submission process, and you’ll likely see a bump in your call-in rate.

Have a comment or question? Leave it by clicking below! Erin Cronican's career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has done national tours of plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. To learn more, check out

2 COMMENTS - Click to READ:

Cindy said...

Love your humor! Thanks ...

Anonymous said...

Excellent suggestions. Already thought of the relatives and art projects. Sadly, I had a brick of stuck photos and foolishly separated them and shredded them. What was I thinking!?

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