In the last five years or so, we have seen the internet develop into a social networking phenomenon. This cacophony of cyber space has greatly affected the entertainment industry, bringing about significant changes for the aspiring actor. Previously, getting a new headshot every two years or so was the industry standard. The most pressing concern was making sure the picture looked like you when you walked through the door. Now, with the internet becoming a large part in the casting process, the actor’s headshot has metamorphosized into a very different animal.
Whether the effects of the internet or just LA’s high population of actors finding a good Agent (good meaning you go out more than once a month) is close to impossible your first year when you move to LA. That is unless you know someone who can “walk in” your materials. I would therefore suggest using your time to focus on what you can control. The reality is that transplants moving to LA, especially young hopefuls, are typically go-getters and, if anything like myself, are hyper driven and a little neurotic to boot. But, good news to you workaholics, there ARE several things you can do aside from knocking on Agent‘s doors including landing a flexible job, obtaining an apartment (or a friend’s couch), and creating something which resembles a social life. And the number one thing you can do is get your headshots done!
With that being said, as hard as it is to get a helpful agent in this town, there are in fact those lucky encounters. And if you are one of those chosen few, you better have your elevator speech and headshot handy. In addition to courting lady luck, take matters into your own hands. There are now several sites you can use to submit yourself for parts. And whether they are student films, non-union commercials, or non-paying print jobs, I say just do it (using discretion of course!). Keep in mind, you will be competing with a sea of “stars-to-be” and a picture, at this stage, is probably the most important tool you will have. It is crucial to have the right shot ready. Remember, by and large, you are not dealing with Kubrik’s at this level. If a role calls for a dog lover and you have a headshot with you and a pitbull, guess what? You just beat out twenty other brown haired, brown eyed girls for the part.
At this juncture, it’s about playing the game. The more people you meet, the greater your chances of coming into contact with someone who can help you in someway. Overall, it’s best to be prepared when opportunity knocks. Have all your images at your finger tips, submit yourself, then let fate do the rest. I feel in this city (and maybe in life?) what you chase runs away. Try setting an initial plan and then see what comes your way!