I met with a director recently; one meeting in a string of auditions that I can only compare to the tempering of a sword…. uncomfortable, sweaty, frustrating… all with the end goal of conquering in mind. By conquering, of course, I mean landing the job…. although most days I wish I could be as combat tough and graceful as Katsa (not to be confused with Katniss… I’m talking the heroine from “Graceling” and if you haven’t read it, you should!). I’ve mentioned how weird auditions are before but bare with me as another example comes to mind…. imagine your whole life being told that you shouldn’t judge or be judged by outward appearance, but by inner merit and the “fruits” of your life. And then imagine you go into a field where someone can take one look at you, without a word spoken, and, with a look of disgust, say “No, you’re not what we want.” It’s really hard to not take that personally; or worse, to not get indignant and prideful, wanting to throw it right back, “Yeah, well… you don’t even know what you want. You’re the one that’s not good enough.” Talk about a character test. You have to be confident enough to know that you’re good at what you do, with pride that is checked enough to accept when you’re not the right person for the part.
Anyway, that was a tangent; because this director happened to be awesome. Funny, nice, interesting, comfortable… refreshing. And after telling me I got the part (SCORE! HAPPY DANCE! SELF HIGH FIVE!! *oh crap, Cols, you looks ridiculous and you can’t dance and you just self high-fived yourself in the face*), he says, “Man, you really need to update your head shot. It doesn’t properly show your potential at all.”
A good head shot is the difference between getting the audition and getting passed over. A good attitude is the difference between giving up when it gets hard, and persevering through the tempering the become the sharpest available weapon is your field. (Even if you are just a dorky book-nerd who can’t dance at heart.)
Update your head shot. I’m not talking your physical photo head shot, I’m talking the actual piece of you that you share in every day. The first impression that makes people decide to give you a chance, or pass you over. Maybe your shoulders are a little hunched from a couple of hard knocks… straighten them up. Even if you don’t feel like it. Just the act in itself will heal your confidence just a little. Maybe your smile is missing because things haven’t gone your way. Write down a list of 5 things you’re grateful for daily and keep it in your pocket as a little “smile reminder”. Repeat as needed. Hair frazzled from a covering of rainclouds? Grab an umbrella… metaphorically this could be anything from remembering the way you completely ruled at a task last week, or holding close to the love of your significant other. People react to what you put off. Be bright, always, and watch people treat you as a light source.
These are really old photos that I just got around to posting in a sea of other retouch. This is a band called Underoath.