Head Shots and Casting Calls
Well, I’ve always had a hard time making up my
mind. This happens here as well, as you’ve noticed
by my double photograph change. I was the same way when
I was pursuing an acting career. The only difference then
was that I had many more photographs to choose from. Well,
I still have all those photos to choose from, trouble
is, they are all 15 to 20 years old.
I had what is called a “contact sheet” where
all the photographs from a particular photo shoot were
in miniature on one sheet of photo paper. From there,
I would select what I thought would be the best shots
to have blown up into “head shots.” That’s
an 8X10 inch photograph complete with my name imprinted
at the bottom. I would also attach a resume of past acting
credits on the back.
would make the head shot complete as a presentation package
for casting. My agent would submit probably a dozen a
day for any given parts coming up as being available.
Or at least that’s what he said he did. The busiest
time was what’s called “pilot season”
when all the new shows are being cast for possible airing
in a pilot called “Return to Beverly Hillbillies.”
I was cast as the Ellie Mae character. Unfortunately,
it was never picked up. However, it was lots of fun making
it and I had high hopes for fame and fortune back then.
I was also in a pilot for a series to be called “Sibs”
which never saw the light of day.
tell you the countless number of shows and parts I went
up for. It was a very hopeful time and there were thousands
of us looking for parts. I remember my agent, Tom Jennings,
always trying to be hopeful right along with me. But he’d
been doing it long enough that he knew what the odds were.
He had a few old time soap opera stars that were on his
list and that’s where I think he made most of his
get me a few walk-ons and bit parts on soaps, but nothing
really special. He tried to always give me the true deal.
He didn’t make any false promises or get my hopes
up too high. I could do that all by myself.
Tom as an agent when I first came to L.A. in 1987. I considered
it quite a coup that I actually got an agent so quickly,
because a lot of aspiring actors can’t even do that.
And you don’t have a chance without an agent. The
problem is you are only as good as your last job, and
when you are first starting out, there is no “last
I’m pursuing freelance writing. I get the same amount
of rejections from different newspapers and magazines.
The difference here is I use the photo and my column,
not just the photo. So I’m not getting a complex,
I just know how fierce the competition is. And of course,
I have this column, which had appeared over the past ten
years, to keep me busy.
Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting
career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance
writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County. Previous columns
may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com