So Chris and I took headshots this weekend. Not the way you’re supposed to when you shell out five hundred bucks for, I don’t know, two looks or something like that? We just rented a camera ourselves and took them, figuring it out as we went with lighting and outfits and chin up or down, smile or not?
Yes, I want to take real headshots soon, most likely this winter after I (hopefully) can cut my hair shorter I will do that. But for now, this is what I could afford for less than $150. Ps I will also edit them myself. Because I know how. Because that’s what learning Pixlr (free Photoshop) for all your indie film’s graphics gets you. (And please don’t tell me I’m not a serious actor if I’m taking my own headshots and not investing in my career/craft. Some of us are making movies too. Anyway. I could make a whole short film about the weird crap actors tell each other in acting Facebook groups, it really is the one artistic “path” that some of the absolute weirdest and saddest people get involved in.)
Anyway, I feel pretty good about it. It’s never comfortable choosing photos of yourself, but I’ll have to make some decisions this week. (Cracks knuckles and sighs.)
It’s weird to create your image. We like to imagine that artists, actors, musicians, etc. just show up the way they do, but little decisions are made over and over and eventually pile up and make that identity. Often there are whole teams behind these decisions. Other times it’s simply Bob Zimmerman becoming Dylan (and a million decisions after that). Maybe it’s because I’m more of a writer/wallflower than anything else, but figuring myself out has taken a very, very long time. I’m still working on it.
The headshots this time around felt easier because I went backwards from casting myself. I’ve always kind of done this, but this last time I really mapped it out. I wrote out about five character breakdowns for the right roles me to be cast in (actors spend too much time thinking about this crap, it’s not healthy but it’s necessary), and then I figured out my clothing, hair, makeup, attitude (ugh, or whatever you want to call the spirit of the scene) for each one. And then made headshots that cast me well in those roles.
It’s weird. And I actually don’t know how in depth I care to go on a blog about this stuff, but it kind of ranges from tough small town girl to sweet down to earth girlfriend (the latter of which I tend to get cast in more, the former is the one I feel more at home in). Weird weird weird.
I don’t feel well today (my day off) so I ended up lying down and watching Gaga: Five Foot Two on Netflix. This is kind of a weird side of me because I really don’t care for pop music much (consider me more the Gillian Welch doc watcher type – who’s gonna make one??!?), but I also watched Beyonce’s and Katy Perry’s documentaries while recovering from surgery a few years back. I really like seeing the behind-the-scenes of these powerhouse ladies who have control over their work and their image. I really like seeing the effort and the strain and the creative decisions and the authority. I feel inspired and I feel less alone. Even if I can’t imagine being a world famous pop star (oy, can you say, direct opposite of my personality??), I can apply it to my own feeling of doing too much in too many areas.
I just appreciate seeing that side of things. I appreciate knowing and seeing how hard someone else worked and is working. Because sometimes it really does feel like everything good is happening to other people and not you, and that you’re just spinning your wheels, sending out your blogs to no one (hello hello hello echoes…).
So, I hope this blog is helpful if you’re figuring out yourself as an artist or if you just want to watch this thing I’m trying to do unfold. Because I have a hunch I’m moving in a pretty cool direction. Not superstardom, just a direction where I can make more cool movies, and if you want to hear more about it, I’m right here and I’ll tell you about some of my steps every week.
Chris ended up in these because, like when we made June, I am a control freak and had to figure out the best lighting for myself using Chris as my stand-in. Cuz we’re classy and high budget like that.