I've had a lot of auditions lately and they've all gone well. For some of them, I was even given callbacks or put on hold. However, there have been no solid bookings. Yesterday, I had a meeting with a Toronto agent. When I told her about this, she gave me one possible reason: "It's your hair."
"It's very distracting."
For those of you who don't know, I had dyed my hair blond last summer and, though I had dyed it back in the fall, it's now grown into this awkward two-tone of dark and very light brown. You can kind of see it in the banner picture at the top of the page in which I'm wearing the green sweater. Except that that picture was taken in November and I've got over three months or growth to contend with.
Though I hate it and typically wear it up so that it's mostly brown, due to financial constraints I had been holding off on doing anything about my hair. I kept telling myself, "Well once I book a gig, then I'll go fix it up before the shoot." Never once did it even occur to me that this might actually be preventing me from getting work.
Theatre is different than film. You've got plenty of (well, enough) rehearsal time to make decisions on how to approach character looks. But filmmakers, especially for commercials and corporate videos, are working with a very limited time frame. You could have an audition today for something that is shooting tomorrow. They don't have time to imagine what you might look like with different hair or makeup, ect... Also, everything is now done in HD and there is no hiding anything. I don't know how many times I've seen close ups of Olympic athletes whose eyebrows I would like to go pluck.
In film, when you present yourself to these people, what you see is what you get. It is a business entirely based on looks and sometimes the little things do matter.
The agent told me that even if I didn't sign with her, she would highly recommend that I go get my hair done. For one thing, I would look more like my headshot and for another I would look more polished and professional. Like it or not, roots look messy and could give off the wrong first impression.
If anything, this at least means that I have justifiable reason for claiming getting my hair done as a tax deductible expense.
Coming soon - a recap of my adventures in Toronto (it's not over yet!) including a Tweetup with some awesome theatre ladies!