What’s My Type?
Special Guest Post from Actress Sara Matsui-Colby. Find her blog HERE.
Typecasting. Ugh. To actors it is a very ugly word. No one likes to be labeled or typed because we are so much more than that, right!? However we are a living canvas and our looks are part of the picture. Not only do we need to portray a character through how we say lines, but also by how our bodies move and that’s where looks come in.
The next time you look in the mirror, really look at yourself. Who would you cast yourself as? A parent? Teacher? How about an international spy or drug lord? Sometimes its hard to critique yourself because there are roles that we badly want to play and we know in our hearts we can play them well, but our physical appearance will also set limits.
I’m 5’2, non-athletic size 14, with a look that is labeled as ‘ethnically ambiguous’. My height will keep me from playing roles like that of a model, basketball player, and a lot of other roles where a particular height is required. Being non-athletic also limits me from taking parts that need a stronger physique such as a police officer, military personnel, spy, etc. And being 5’2 and a size 14? Well, I won’t be playing the love interest any time soon. However I will get to play fun character actor parts.
So what are those roles left for me? It’s not easy to cast yourself, so it’s always good to ask your teachers, agents, friends, and family (well, sometimes friends and family – they can be biased). One suggestion that was given to me was to ask complete strangers. You can always write up a quick questionnaire to hand out to people passing by, but if you’re shy like me, there is another way to ask strangers without the personal interaction.
Typecastme.com is a great site that I just signed up with. On this site you’ll get to typecast hundreds of headshots and also have yours typecast as well. You can either pay $5 to upload 1 headshot, or $12 for 3 – or even better, after every time you cast 50 headshots, you can upload 1 headshot for free.
Here is the headshot that I uploaded:
So far, 10 people have typed me and here are the results:
This actor looks:
|18 and Under||:||0%|
|19 – 24||:||31%|
|25 – 29||:||38%|
|30 – 34||:||31%|
|35 – 39||:||0%|
|40 – 44||:||0%|
|45 – 49||:||0%|
|50 – 59||:||0%|
|60 – 69||:||0%|
|Professional (Doctor, Lawyer, Scientist)||:||11%|
|Healthcare Worker (Nurse, EMT, Administration)||:||14%|
|Law Enforcement (Police, Fire, Ranger, Guard)||:||2%|
|Artist (Painter, Sculptor, Actor, Dancer)||:||10%|
|Girl/Boy Next Door||:||2%|
|Educator (Teacher, Professor, Principal)||:||12%|
|Religious (Priest, Nun)||:||5%|
|Playmate/Male Stripper/Escort (Male or Female)||:||0%|
|Retail Sales/Food Service (Clerks, Waiter)||:||2%|
|Blue Collar Worker (Mechanic, Plumber, Construction)||:||2%|
Does this photo look like it was shot by:
This photo looks:
|Up to Date||:||90%|
Interesting huh? I particularly found it interesting that some people thought I looked like an athlete/jock/tomboy (probably more tomboy) and that 7% thought I could be typed as Military, and 2% said I could either be in law enforcement or a prisoner/gang member.
So what did I learn from this? I learned that a lot of people can’t pin point me ethnically and I look to be anywhere from age 19 – 34. I also learned that although many people type me in a caretaker role, there is a small part of me that looks a bit tough.
Knowing this I now can focus on roles that I know I have a better chance of getting and I also know that if I workout more and had a more stronger physique – I may be able to go after roles that require a strong appearance.
It’ll be interesting to see how these stats will change over time as more people typecast me.