5 Tips to Understanding Your Type
Updated: Jul 26, 2020
1. Know What you Sell
When people ask you what your type is, what they’re really asking is “what do you sell?”. If you had to fill out this sentence, My name is *** and I sell ***, ***, and ***, what would that sentence say? Can you sell sultry, Intelligence, exuberance, naiveté? Are you stern and commanding, or better in a meek position? Type doesn’t have to be limiting, it can be a tool for creating clarity. If you don’t know what you sell, chances are no one’s buying.
2. Be Specific
As humans we all have the full breadth of the human experience at our disposal. While this is a beautiful thing, you have to remember that this is a business. Talent seekers have jobs to do. Make it easy for them by being as specific as you can regarding your type. Are you edgy? What kind of edge? Can you sell a conniving Iago-like villain? Can you sell innovative architect? Ethereal empath? Actors who are specific get remembered and the more you can be remembered, the more likely you are to succeed. Talent seekers are looking for primary colors, not dull grey confusion.
3. Win Your Field
When you’re specific about what you bring to the table, you can be the most “that” of anyone else out there. If you sell “rich ivy-league jerk”, be the biggest jerk out there (in performance only, of course!). Lean toward these qualities and refine them. A single point going in all directions, goes nowhere at all. Stick to your guns and always show what you do best; we will see if you're trying to be someone else! Each audition is another chance to showcase those qualities. The more you lean toward your strong points, the more you have the ability to maximize the intensity of each.
4. Don't Rush "Range"
There’s no point in showing off your range if you don’t have a starting point. Picture this, a CD is watching your reel to get a sense of what you bring to the table. You did it; showed them everything you can do, right? Dazzled them with your range? Not necessarily, the more likely outcome is that they’re confused. They’re not sure, if they call you in, what you’re going to bring to the audition. Not a great bet to make. Maybe they come back to you later, maybe you get lost in the pile. Establish a starting point and increase your range over time.
5. Be Cohesive
You now have a starting point when dealing with your website designer, headshot photographer, and demo reel production company. Do your marketing materials match “you”? Should the colors be bright and inviting, or dark and brooding. In your scenes, are you on top of things, or getting stepped on? People will remember how you made them feel. This feeling should be consistent across all of your marketing materials.