Judd Batchelor
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The Headshot and Me- By Judd Batchelor

Click Click Click

“That’s it, you look great”

“Move your head slightly for me”

“Great fantastic, you look beautiful”

“You’re made for the camera!”

 

Ok, what am I talking about here? I m talking about the famous Headshot/ 10x8/Photo which is the most important image of yourself that you will ever have in your career. When you walk in to a casting office they will need to see your headshot, when you apply for an acting job online or from news papers like Backstage (New York) or The Stage (London) they will request your headshot along with your resume/CV.

 

So with that in mind you need to get a really good one.

 

Headshots can cost a few hundreds and usually only last for about 2/3 years max- but in my case they same photo lasted a century!! I have to tell you I looked so good in 1998, so good I kept using the same headshot over and over again, but I couldn’t quite understand why I didn’t always get the job or why I was passed onto another (older) role. What’s that all about!?? Now in my mind I looked exactly like the girl staring back at me in my 10x8 (also known as 10 by 8- which basically means the size of the picture.) I thought I looked kinda cute. But when I walked into the casting room and watched the director glance at me and say “Hi Judd” and then looked down at my photo, then look back up and say with her eyes “Judd, you look nothing like this person” I started to think maybe I should update my photo. It’s true that I had aged a little, ok a lot because I took that photo in my mid 20s and I was now in my late 30s. And yes I had gained more weight over the years, and so what if I was rocking my natural hair and not the weave that was in the picture? Who should care? I’m still a brilliant actress and surely that picture should say that- and she should dam well know it too. And I’m not wasting all that money I spent doing silly poses to try and look like I had character.  So between you and me I thought I had at least five more years left with my cute photo.

 

Well you can guess what happened next, I had a new set of photos taken, same photographer because it is helpful to stick to the same person because they know your face and features and they can work the lighting to bring out the best in you.

 

Click Click Click

“That’s it, you look great”

“Move your head slightly for me”

“Great fantastic, you look beautiful”

“You’re made for the camera!”

 

Hold up! Didn’t he use those same lines on me in 1998? Then why doesn’t it sound as convincing as before? I can’t wait to see the stills of me J Look at my eyes they look puffy, my chins had a baby chin, my skin looks terrible- but wait my make up looks pretty and yes my face now has character, I really look like I am saying something in this picture, gone is the soft pretty girl who looks like she’s thinking of absolutely nothing (which I probably was then) and here is the woman who has been through so much since then and on this day she is focused and thinking of her journey and why she has really chosen this career, she is thinking about her loved ones who she has lost and the ones she still has with her, she is thinking that she really enjoyed the chocolates she ate just before coming into the studio. And she is thinking oh to hell with it I am who I am so just deal with it. And then the magic happened, a not so perfect picture was…. perfect. So the good news was I booked work with this truer image of myself and no I never played the ‘Hollywood beauty’ I played the woman with depth and emotion. And that’s fine by me.

 

When you get pictures taken for your professional work as an artist make sure that when you walk into the director/producer/casting director’s office that you look like the picture they have of you.

 

This is generally how it goes- use any accent you like.

 

Agent: Greg how’s it going? Its Ann, listen I have a great actress who I think would be perfect for the part of Julia…yeah she looks great, long hair, lovely smile…I will send her photo and resume to you now.

 

Casting: Hey Ann, loved the picture she looks great and I see she has done a long season in theatre, that’s great…Blah blah blah ok can we see her on Wednesday at 11am.

 

Agent: Hey Judd, we have a casting for you…. Here’s are the details

 

Judd: Great thanks…is there any lines to learn?

 

Agent: No he just wants to meet you because he has a character in mind for you, it’s a new show so they haven’t sent out a full casting for this yet but he really liked your picture… how are the gym sessions?

 

Judd:LL

 

Agent:  Still looking good I hope?

 

Judd:LL

 

Agent: I know it’s been a while since you’ve popped into the office?

 

Judd: OK…that’s great, I can’t wait.

 

Agent:  Call me when you’ve finished.

 

Judd: (hangs up the phone and looks at herself in the mirror) Why did I send in that picture?!

This is what I looked like in 1998, I really liked me in 1998.

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