I recently interviewed a lovely, talented young actress (20ish) from the East Coast, who is very self-aware, in the best possible way. I had seen her in several competitions at a large (nearly 1,000 contestants) talent convention, where, by her looks alone, she was a standout. It was the talent that went with those looks that interested me, however.
I mentioned to her that there was something slightly retro about her appearance. She said, “I know. People tell me all the time that I seem like someone from the 1950s.”. I agreed. She reminds me of a young Kim Novak or Carole Lombard – blonde femmes fatales with a heart of gold (well, at least sometimes).
This actress told me of several instances when she was working on a set as an extra and was pulled aside and asked to do some featured bit…all due to her appearance! She wears her platinum blonde hair in a shortish, Marilyn Monroe style, and extends her slightly narrow eyes with 1960′s eyeliner. Coupled with a svelte figure, she is striking, indeed.
She is not, however, a perfect beauty. And that is why I’m mentioning her.
As an agent, I see photos of dozens and dozens of young actors on a daily basis. Guess what: 99.9% of them look alike! Same haircuts, same makeup, same type of clothes, often even the same facial expressions – following the same trends-du-jour like lemmings. And I mean both males and females!
My mother raised me to follow 2 rules: stand up straight and don’t do what everyone else does. I really wish that more actors would do both!
You do not have to be gorgeous – not at all! But you do have to know your own strengths and weaknesses, and then create your own style that enhances the good and diminishes the bad. That’s exactly what this smart young woman has done and the effect is perfect…for her. It will NOT work for others and in that respect, I hope she does not become a “trend setter”. But in the sense that she knew what to do to create her own unique image, I urge anyone reading this to try to do the same thing for yourself.
Trends come and go. Don’t become a victim to one that doesn’t suit you, just for the sake of fitting in. Fitting in can be a big, fat bore and that’s the last thing any actor worth his or her salt should strive for.
Postscript: I recently ran into the actress I mention here. She is no longer blond, but went back to her natural brown hair. She also is no longer distinctive looking. Too bad. I’d have talked her into keeping the exotic platinum look, had she signed with me. Oh, well.