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The best place to find advice, analysis, and information on demo reel services Los Angeles, whether for actors, singers, dancers, journalists, or anyone else with an interest in promoting themselves.

Dance-tress Acting Up- Head Shots

Hi Friends

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So heres the deal, I started making these video blogs about three weeks ago and I really enjoy it. I'm not going to lie, its MUCH more time consuming, but I guess when you enjoy what you do, work isn't really work. And like I've always said, I feel a high level of accomplishment after posting each blog. *pats self on the back*

This week I wanted to talk about head shots. I have included some tips, do's and don'ts and my own personal issue to get that perfect shot. 

First of all, they are the #1 tool an actor should have. If you don't have one, how are people going to remember you? Or, how will you convince someone to cast you in their project if they don't know what you look like? Please don't use a cute Facebook picture. You'll be laughed at and definitely not be taken seriously. Be professional.

Your head shot should not only look good in an 8x10, but also as a thumbnail. Casting directors may only have X amount of time to cast a project, so the likely hood that they're going to click through every single picture is slim. They're going to look at maybe a group of 20 pictures per page, then click the thumbnails that stand out to them. Bam, done.

I personally believe it is important to get other opinions of which is the best photo to use. You may like picture A, but the rest of Los Angeles loves picture B. Now, what's more important, a photo that you think you look great in, or one that everyone else thinks you look great in? 

Remember, the whole point of a head shot is for people to see what you look like! Sounds like a no brainer right, but how is everyone going to see what you look like if the lighting isn't correct? If you photoshopped your picture to make yourself look 10 years younger, or if your eyes are looking a different direction. Eyes are important. Always, look at the camera.

Wear an outfit that compliments your skin tone and the vibe you want to give off. If you're going for commercials, I would recommend bright colors. No logos and busy prints. If you're going for the business professional look, I would suggest maybe a shirt with a collar or tie. Bc, duh.

Last but certainly not least, chill out and RELAX! Have fun. Be you. Don't over think it. I know I know, I struggle with this myself, but that's why it is so important to find a photographer you are comfortable with. Bring some music and have fun. Photo by Jimmy Bui.

 

Dance-tress Acting Up: Want to get paid?

What up, Peeps!

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You're an artist, therefore, you work for free, right? That is obviously not true, but that is what the common belief is and that is why you are not getting paid what you DESERVE. Why does this happen? Why do so many companies/people think they can ask artists to volunteer time on their projects, while they reap all the benefits? You'll get a copy of the finished project (if you're lucky) and credit, and maybe, just maybe you'll be on their mind when a paid project comes along.

Let me explain why this happens. Say for example there is a job available for $100/day. A person who is trained, skilled, over qualified, and fully capable declines the job because the rate is incredibly too low for the amount of work you will be asked to do. Break it down by the hour, the job ends up being $8/hour because we all know a day on set can easily be 12 hours, sometimes more. The rate is a bit of a joke when you calculate the years you have invested perfecting your skill. You can make more money in less amount of time waiting tables on a Friday night.

Then, Joe Schmo comes along and accepts the job because he is desperate for work. Now, the company thinks it's an "OK" thing to think that $100 is an acceptable pay rate, therefore they will never pay you for what you deserve because someone else will do it for less. 

Well, way to go Joe Schmo. You have officially lowered the standards for an entire industry. This happens everyday in all areas of entertainment in front and behind the camera. But, how much can you blame Joe Schmo? He wanted to make some money working in his industry that isn't opening any doors for him. And hey, $100 is better than no pay right? What a catch 22. And if you're new and still building up your resume, this is a great opportunity for you. How else are you supposed to grow and network?

On the flip side, super talented Tim McGee, who has invested THOUSANDS of dollars, loads of sweat equity, and time spent away from his family, has to settle for either no work, or stoop down to $8/hr. This is not ok and guess what actors, if the crew isn't making money, there is absolutely no way you're going to get paid.  Unfortunately, as important as you are, you are at the bottom of the totem pole and if you chose not to work for these rates, someone else is lined up right outside ready to take your spot. Ouch.

How can we fix this? Can we all stick together and demand more? Know your worth. I'm not saying that you should be getting rich off student projects, but some of the bigger productions may be able to offer some compensation if we (you, me, her, him, all of us) demand it. All I'm trying to say is, I like my current job, but I love my art. Power of the people, yo.

Have a good suggestion? Let me know and I'll write about it.