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Do You Know Your Actor "Type"? 7 Ways to Avoid Rejections

Rejection in audition due to wrong type

Here is a challenge to conquer!

So often, as actors and performers, we have a hard time knowing how others see us. What is my type which the viewers would like to see and appreciate? We want to play the sweet innocent girl or a leading man when we would be better suited to play the hilarious comedy character or some other side kick. What we forget, is that trying desperately to get roles simply because we like to see ourselves in that “character” may be responsible for our rejections and failure as an actor, whereas accepting and celebrating the type for which we are best suited will allow us to stand out as a total rock star and hit success that might never be possible if we went against our type.
Just follow these steps and you’ll find a new sense of freedom knowing you have a more focused plan as an actor who knows his/her “actor type.”

1. Find Your Actor Type

These are the characteristics that others (casting director, directors and audience and general viewers) more easily connect to an actor upon first impression. Note this has less to do about who you are as an actual person and more about how you are perceived.  Actors like to fight this and say, but I’m so much more than what I look! I’m an actor and can portray any type!
Sure, you can explore the depth of your talents in a class or with a coach,… but it is important to make it easy for casting directors that you’ve yet to work with.
Good audition postings have breakdowns that explain the “type” they are looking for and it’s smart to know whether you fit or not, and then if you go, knowing "yes, I meet the type”, you have a brighter chance of grabbing the role.

2. Research

There are literally hundreds of “types.” They range from broad to specific. Some breakdowns will include specifics such as age, voice type and sex. Some will be a little more broad.

Think of all of the films and TV shows you’ve seen and start to notice how you would describe the characters in just a few words.

3. Know Yourself

This is often difficult. But, if you don’t know yourself, how can you expect casting directors to know anything about you. Especially when they only have your headshot/resume/audition to go off of. Start by answering these questions…

  • What age range I can play? (Not how old you actually are)
  • What is my physical type?
  • When people look at you who do they see? Hero (Ye to hero lagta hai, yaar!)  Young, Old, Thin, Heavyset, Curvy, Toned, Trendy, Rich upper class (Rahis  baap ki aulad lagta hai),  Sloppy etc.
  • What is my type? What personality/energy I give off? 

4. What type or attitude I show and how do I react to different situations in life?

Check and explore yourself

Aggressive (pushing type), Anxious, Arrogant, Shy, Confident, Curious, Determined, Disapproving, Jealous, Dejected, Happy, Horrified, Hurt (physically or mentally), Indifferent, Innocent, Interested, Lonely, Obstinate, Sheepish, Look Suspicious, Sympathetic, Indecisive, Ambitious, Irritating, Easy going, Imaginative, Humorous, Affectionate, Sleepy, Stiff neck, Bored etc.etc.

5. What is my vocal type? 

Do you have a base voice like Amrish Puri, Amitabh Bachhan or Arjun Rampal? Excellent! You are suited for leading man, police or army officer, a good affectionate brother or villain.. Or do you have a thin or shrill low volume or high pitched voice? Dharmendra or Akshay Kumar?
However, let me tell you-voice quality can improve significantly with practice and scientific vocal exercises

6. Ask Your Friends, Co Workers and Your Coach  

I know it is INSANELY difficult to try and separate yourself from your craft. Because you are what you are selling in this business. So, once you have gone through the grueling task of trying to answer the questions in #2… put your answers aside and ask your friends. Here’s the most important aspect of asking your friends, co-workers and teachers. After you ask them – LISTEN!!! Don’t disagree or argue. Listen and take some time to really think about what they say. It’s true that some people might
be way off, or some might give the answers that they think you want to hear – but you are sure to get a few really great answers if you take the time to actually ask a handful of people and really sit with their answers.
If you feel shy asking for advice, I suggest you to contact me. In my case, you are approaching a neutral person. Accept yourself as told and march ahead on your path of success and t up and do it anyway.

7. Conclusion: Compare

Personally, I consider it’s bad to compare yourself to others as it may lead to “copying” and “(mimicking”… but in this case (finding your type) you have to start somewhere. Find a successful actor who has a type similar to yours. Then go for the roles they have played and become familiar with them.

  •  If you are a kid/teenager start by looking for actors who are your current age, and then also do this for actors who are a bit older than you. In children’s films or theatre you’ll sometimes play parts that you aren’t right for yet… but that you will be right for eventually. 
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