What the heck does that mean?

All about working as a waiter, pursuing my dream, eating vegetarian, and loving where I live!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Filling a Niche

My post yesterday made me think about "looks" and "types" in this industry. It seems to me that unless you are drop down gorgeous All-American super model type...you should just forget about even trying to be an imitation of that. If you aren't an ingenue, don't even THINK about trying to be an ingenue. I may be a well-rounded, multi-faceted human being, but everyone else in this business is going to try to label me and define me by what they see on the surface. And "Maxim Hot" I am not.

So long ago I let go of the pressure to try to be tan and toned and have long flowing hair. I do not tan and my hair, no matter how hard I tried, would not flow. So I wear sunblock religiously and cut off all my hair. My pixie cut may be somewhat limiting, but it's also opened me up to a completely different world. It's eliminated some competition. There may be hundreds of pale German-Scotch-Irish white girls auditioning out there, but not many of them are going to have this cute little haircut. It makes me stand out. It makes me memorable.

My life partner tried the whole acting thing a few years ago and he tried to have short hair and go clean shaven...but nothing he auditioned for seemed to match him or his personality or skills. He's gotten out of acting for the past few years, and now he has long dreadlocks and a gnarly goatee. I think it's hot. And as one friend told him, his exterior appearance now matches his true personality. For someone who knows how to wield a sword and set himself on fire and fall off a multi-story building...he looks a little more the part. It makes me think that he should go out there and start auditioning again. I think he'd have more luck. There might be fewer parts available, but he'll be a better match and have less competition for the ones that do come up.

Our roommate, C, has actually had a lot of success lately with getting little parts and auditions without an agent or even trying too terribly hard. His niche is his weight. Putting it nicely, the guy is significantly overweight. He's round. He's not just a "big" guy. He's a really, really, really big guy. And he doesn't have much competition out there. He's told me before that he's gone to auditions that are looking for a "fat guy" and he's shown up and been the biggest one there. He's sees it as a positive. Los Angeles does not harbor many obese people and those people don't always go into acting. So that's his niche. Add on to that his fancy theatrical education and his resume looks pretty good.

So, how do you find your niche? How do you figure out what suits you? It's sad that labels are put upon us...but when you're just trying to get your foot in the door, all they look at is your headshot. I wish I could describe myself in five words or less or have an answer when someone asks what my "type" is... But for now... I have short hair and I'm hoping that makes me different enough.