Camera Ready for Summer

Posted May 12, 2011

It happens every year, usually in late June or early July.  I get a phone call from a client explaining that one of the actors they just auditioned  is orange.  Or red.  Or five skin tones darker than their headshot.  Basically, someone showed up for a casting looking like this:

Trust me when I tell you that while George Hamilton has made a living off this look, it’s not exactly a great selling point in St Louis.

I’m sure you know that too much sun is bad for your skin.  You know it can cause wrinkles and increase your risk of skin cancer.  Too much sun for an actor also means you have committed the number one mistake a talent can make,  not looking like your headshot.  We can stage a comeback from a large number of casting faux pas, but if you arrive to meet a client and you don’t look like your pictures, you are not getting the job.

Clients assume that actors and models who don’t look like their photos are not professional and lazy about their work.  If you don’t care to keep your materials up to date, why should a client trust you to take care of and represent their product, brand or vision?

Luckily, a little prevention goes a long way towards keeping yourself camera ready all summer long.

First, use your sunscreen.  A little sunkissed glow can be nice during the warm months, but be conscientious to stay true to your natural coloring.  If you can pass for a cast member of the Jersey Shore, you’ve gone too far.

Secondly, protect your hair from pool chemicals.  Blonds need to avoid the green tint that pools can cause, but everyone can suffer from the drying effects of chlorine.  A leave conditioner before and after a dip is the perfect solution to protect your lovely locks.

Lastly, consider a self tanner if you find yourself with awkward tan lines or a sunburn from time spent outdoors.  Trying to even those spots out at the tanning salon or in the sun can cause them to get worse while making you darker.  A self tanner will help you camouflage the lines until they have a chance to fade.

And, if you do overindulge the sunshine, make sure you confess before you attend a casting!