Thursday, November 29, 2012

Clothes can make the woman

At auditions, how you look matters.  You want to show the client and/or director how easy it is to see you in whatever light.

I’m asked to wear a wide variety of clothes to suit different roles I’m supposed to play.  A businesswoman requires a matched business suit (not separates), a mom a sweater set or simple blouse.  Ffor business casual, khakis and a blouse or sweater set are de rigeur.  Nice casual means good jeans and a sweater or blouse.  Solids are usually preferred over bold prints.  You need to know not only what colors look good on you and on camera, but at the various casting agencies.  One has a very blue background, so if you wear a similar shade you could blend right in and look like a floating head.

At one point I was getting a lot of doctor or pharmacist auditions. Sometimes they had lab coats we could borrow, but they were so big and baggy, with sleeves I had to roll up multiple times that I looked like a kid trying on her parents’ clothes, not a medical professional you’d believe could represent a product.  I bought my own XXS labcoat...and haven’t had a medical audition since.  

I’ve been asked to wear fitted workout clothes, holiday attire, something appropriate for a bridal shower, etc.   Once I was asked to look like someone on the TV show Laugh-In. I decided on Joanne Worley...and even put my hair up like hers.  Fortunately I had a cool vintage dress of my mom’s.  Another call was for a used streetwalker.  I teased my hair (it can get quite big), smeared my makeup and wore an off the shoulder shirt.  That, I think, helped me get a callback.

Sometimes auditionees don’t dress as instructed, and look out of place.  At a long ago audition requiring a woman in an old-fashioned butcher shop, everyone in the room had her hair up in a bun (some with tendrils) and wore some kind of cream or pale blouse.  Mine had a lace collar.  In pops a woman with short, kind of punk red hair and a bright green shirt.  She looked around the room, said something about one of these things is not like the others, and left.

On the other hand, occasionally they call in someone to push the envelope.  I’ve been the oldest person I’ve seen at a few auditions, the youngest at others.  They may toss a brunette in with blondes, a short person in with tall. 
You also have to think about your hair.  Sometimes I wonder if, to be a businessperson or mom, I should straighten it, because that's the norm. But then I won't look like my headshot, which is what they used to call me in.  So I might be the only person with curly hair.  
You never know what they're looking for.  They might not even know exactly what they want until they see it.  So my goal is to be the best me I can be, given my interpretation of their parameters.




No comments: