Is Your Headshot Working For You?

in Children

So you've gotten professional headshots, chosen the best commercial and theatrical headshots with the help of industry professionals and started submitting for acting jobs, but you haven't gotten any auditions. What's up with that?

Like so many things in life, while there is a need for talent, it is your headshot that gets you in the door and figuring out if that is working is a numbers game. There are a number of factors to consider whether the problem is the headshot not working or maybe something else is stopping you.

First, go back through all of the auditions you have submitted. In major acting cities in the U.S., this is easier because there are a lot of self-submit opportunities. Elsewhere, you will have to get your agent to help you with the analysis.

Review the briefs. Since I write for parents of child actors, I'll focus this article on child submissions, but the idea is the same whether it is you or your child who is the actor.

Does your child really fit the brief? By this I mean to look at things the brief is describing like:

The brief asks for "funny 9 year old" and lists 8-12 as the age range. Your child is a gorgeous 12 year old who can "look" 9. What could be stopping you may be either a disconnect in looks or age could be stopping you.

Is the brief really broad "average kids 7-17"? There will be literally thousands of submissions so yours may get lost in the shuffle.

Is the brief very specific and your child is not really what is looked for? Redhead and your child is a brunette. Very skilled at a particular sport or activity and your child has done this before, but can't show proof of expertise.

Is the brief a bit misleading? "9-14 year old" is listed in the header, but the description says "cute 6 year old..." Your 14 year old may fit the general brief, but not the specifics.

Once you have narrowed the list to those that truly fit your case, run the numbers. If you have submitted for 6-8 roles that are a true fit and not been called for at least one audition, try another headshot. This can be a challenge in places where there are only 6-8 available submissions in a year, but the numbers still run true.

I admit it. I'm a nerd. I keep track of all submissions for my children and my clients. I note which photo was used and if there was an audition, call-back and booking. I'm pretty meticulous about submitting only those who fit the brief. Casting Directors don't appreciate being thrown a bunch of junk that doesn't fit the brief and learn to ignore submissions from people who do that. They just don't have the time to waste.

That being said, it is uncanny how these numbers work. I'll try the headshot I think is best and if I get to the 9th submission without an audition, I try another one and another one, until it works.

If haven't had a chance to follow previous posts and a new brief comes up before you can get a new variety of shots, you may want to work with cropping, but that's the subject o a different article.

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Jessica Pollack has 1 articles online

Jessica Pollack is a talent agent with Oz Talent and mom of two child actors. She writes about topics to help parents of aspiring child actors to help them navigate the treacherous waters of the Entertainment Industry in her blog

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Is Your Headshot Working For You?

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This article was published on 2010/03/30