How to Define Your Type as an Actor

Are you a recent acting graduate or new to the world of casting? Well this article is for you! As you may know, auditions occurs before any productions in order to find the suitable actor to play the part in a specific project. In fact, the casting process involves many people that may be sharing a different vision about the character at hand. This is one of the reasons it’s highly important to determine your type as an actor as you enter the film industry. Knowing your type will not only help you market yourself better, but also help you in the long run as you build connections with casting directors and filmmakers.

It’s easier to enter the film industry following one path than trying to master all of them. Once you make a name for yourself in the film industry, it will be easier to be considered for different type of roles. So how do you determine your type?

Skill sets and physical attributes

First, make a list of all the skill sets and physical attributes that define you. When you look at a picture of yourself, what do you see? (And it would be a good idea to ask your close friends and family too.) Do you see naivety, strength, vulnerability, mysteriousness, villainy, toughness, etc? It’s important to list what energy is perceived at a glance, rather than the type you feel you are, because this is what casting directors sees first. From there, make a list of the characters usually associated to those characteristics. The girl next door, the bad boy, the villain, the quirky guy, the seductress, and the list goes on. Once again, try to remain as honest as possible and not to list the characters you dream to play; we are trying to be marketing efficient.

Explore Genres

Another great way to define your type as an actor is to explore genres. The best way to explore genres is by acting in independent films. Since casting decisions are made at a lower scale, it’s easier to submit yourself and be considered for a wider range of characters. Exploring genres allows you to find what types suit you best. You will learn a lot about what you emanate at a natural state and the projects in which you shine the most.

These two guidelines are essential to define your type as an actor. Knowing your type will allow you to use the proper head shot for submission and build a demo reel that portrays your energy. And yes, it is possible to remain versatile as an actor and still have a type, so don’t fear embracing your unique characteristics. The sooner you know who you are, the sooner you will find yourself in the audition room; reading for the roles that suits you.


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