Loaded question, no?
A few weeks ago, I had new headshots taken by the lovely Tee Schneider. Tee and I had worked together when I was at musical theatre school, when her husband directed me in a show. We had some fairly intense moments working together (the show was Judith Thompson’s Lion in the Streets. I played Scarlett, a woman with Cerebral Palsy who had a fantastic night time love affair who dies via the “kiss of death” by a local newspaper reporter) so I knew that I was going to feel incredibly comfortable working with her again. Anything was going to be easier than that, right?
An actor’s headshot is incredibly important. Your headshot is your sales pitch and is essentially your vehicle for getting into an audition. I’ve been using the same headshot for a couple of years now and while it has done me well, it was time for something that reflected redheaded Ashley of 2010.
Shoot day was a lot of fun. I brought about 75% of my wardrobe as instructed by Tee,snacks,and an ipod loaded with A Fine Frenzy, Death Cab, Spice Girls, Foo Fighters, Idina Menzel and lots of my favourite tunes. I prettied up my hair and hopped on a streetcar to head over to the studio. Isn’t being an actor glamorous??
When I arrived we sorted through my wardrobe made tea and got the tunes rocking before shooting for the next five hours. I felt super comfortable with Tee. We caught up on life, laughed and had fun deciding on different looks. We wanted to create some options for casting. This included a healthy, fitness-type, hip young mom, urban business woman, and CSI-esque agent look. When I got my shots back, I was overwhelmed. Maybe because of everything that has been going on lately I felt like I was having a bit of an identity crisis or maybe because there were so many shots to choose from I was overwhelmed by the selection; whatever it was, I had no idea which picture I wanted to represent me. While many of them made great pictures, I needed more than that. I needed a headshot that looked like me and was going to showcase me as a youthful, dynamic, charismatic, vibrant actress with a little bit of an edge. This final shot is the one I think I’ve decided on as my main photo (although I’m sure I will use some of the other photos for specific opportunities. Does you know anyone who is casting for a cop drama??). Choosing a headshot had made me look at myself as a performer more objectively and also begged the question, where does performing fit into my life? I think I still need to ponder that one a little bit but believe it needs to fit into my Go Big or Go Home motto of 2010…
Having new headshots is incredibly exciting! A special thank you to Tee for making it such an enjoyable experience and giving me so many options. I’m really looking forward to submitting for more roles in the months to come and continue pursuing another one of my passions.
In the Toronto area? I will be playing Anne Boleyn and Elizabeth in
REX from February 17 – March 6. Only one week to opening!!
Check out Richard Ouzounian’s interview with Sheldon Harnick in today’s Toronto Star