First Impressions

The Red Dress

In one of my last posts, I mentioned booking a student film. Being more regularly in Toronto, I had been submitting myself for student films which I find either on the Casting Workbook or through the ACTRA Apprentice Audition site (I'm no longer an Apprentice Member, but I had signed up for that particular site with it's updates years ago.) I had been warned about student films, because you really don't know the level of quality or professionalism you might be dealing with, but I didn't really care. At this point in my career, I just want to get stuff on film that I can use as a demo reel.

One particular breakdown caught my eye. In the film, the lead character (who lacks confidence and second guesses herself) switches places with the reflection of Herself in the mirror (who is sexy, sassy, and uber confident). Any actor playing this part would get to show some pretty great range. I submitted the day before the auditions were to be held, not thinking I would hear back, but I did.

Long story short, I had a lot of fun at the audition and about a week later, I heard that I had booked the part.

*insert Snoopy dance here*


The film is shooting in Hamilton, which means that the production is paying for my Go Train tickets and giving me a lift from the station. It takes me about an hour and a half to get from my place in Toronto to the shoot location. Good thing I've gotten used to this travel thing. The Go is just another train.

Last night, I had rehearsal for the shoot. The director picked me up and we had some good chats. We have a very similar sense of humour, which is great. We stopped by a mall because she wanted to pick up just one more red dress for me to try on, as tonight I'd be getting a costume fitting. The dress didn't look like much on the rack and the price tag was one that would make me avoid it altogether, but when I put it on? Wow! It's stunning. It fit me like a delightfully skintight glove and was a size smaller than I normally wear. It's something that I would see Nadine rock on a regular basis, but would never manage to find it's way into my closet. Needless to say, I loved this dress. We tried on all the others they had gotten as well, but we came to the conclusion that this was "the one". Since the director wanted to hem it for extra sex appeal, she realized that she would not be able to return this expensive dress to the store when we were done. Guess who gets to keep it after shoot? I think I just found my Les Prix Rideau Awards dress.

Free clothes aside, I can't even begin to tell you how impressed I am with the whole set-up. The director and her DoP husband turned their basement into "my apartment." This seems simple, right? Wrong. There's no bathroom in the basement. They've built a bathroom set, complete with flooring and holes in the wall for when I do the "mirror image". I'm really hoping I get to take pictures to share because it is just incredible.

The amount of effort and passion that has gone into this "little" film shoot is just beautiful. I'll get to work with green screens and go through mirrors and witness first hand a ton of movie magic in the making.

I am so excited for the the weekend.

The Little Things

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."

Excuse me?

"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!