Acting : I need Help. by Matt Sydney

Matt Sydney

I need Help.

I'm an actor who's got a nice collection of footage together for a reel. My problem is I'm on a contract on a cruise ship and for the gig I've lost close to 50lbs. Don't get my wrong I'm healthier, looking better and more confident but my look no longer matched ALL of previous footage. My goal was to start marketing for representation while I'm away working but can I market myself this way? Do I shoot new scenes? Do I send my old footage with my new photos so show skill AND what I look like now? I'm torn and worried. I want to further my career. Please advise.

Debbie Croysdale

Do film footage of yourself NOW even if amateur footage on video (because no professional DOP available on board) but make the characterisations strong and interesting. Do ONE showreel of yourself, COMBINING both over and underweight. A Listers have lost or gained excess weight for Hollywood roles, so this reel proves you can do it aswell. Don’t feel because you are on a ship you are a cork bobbing at the mercy of the sea, you have technology at your fingertips. You can say to an agent “Yeah I can do that aswell.....loose or gain weight for any role like A lister.”

Alexander Doddy

Get some footage of you now, even just on a phone, so you can show off your new look.

Keep the old reel as it still represents your skills.

Send them both with the explanation that you are on a ship and will be sorting it as soon as you can.

Casting Directors will understand. The ability to gain and loose weight might even work in your favour

Another option is to write a scene and (depending on where you stop) grab a lav mic and shoot a replacement scene and edit it in

Kaye Bewley

Start a daily video blog... focus on your work as an actor and the things that you do daily while on this cruise ship and why you had to lose the weight... you can then offer snippets of your previous work and tell 'behind the scenes' from an actor's viewpoint. Besides, losing weight for this current role shows a dedication to the job in-hand. Well done. Keep up the good work of entertaining people!

M L.

Fit or average, in movies you want to look like the "type" of actor you intend to be and reference those who came before you. In theater it's not as critical. But if you're shifting to film, look at the Hollywood actors who are out taking roles you want and whatever they look would want to probably adopt that look with your own personal touch. Be original, but realistic in that the industry will want to know where you "fit". Are you a franco? A rogen? or a Michael Cera? Later you can prove yourself as a Jared Leto or Christian Bale who can switch at will. I wouldn't advertise that till you're established.

An older example of a change gone wrong would be Anthony Michael Hall. He totally rebranded himself after the John Hughes films and I would argue that it confused a lot of people and nobody knew where to place him.

Jason Bateman is naturally a very overweight man. He practically kills himself daily to look like he did in Arrested Development and now Ozark. At least this is something he stated in an interview once. So you can definitely work hard to go against what your body type might be naturally. If you want to take on roles that don't correspond to the visual representation they usually have.

Kesean Williams

Yeah man, if anything this situation makes you MORE marketable. Follow the advice above from others to turn it into a strength. Best wishes

Mikul Robins

Yes, they need to see how you look now

Stephen Anthony Bailey

Shoot new stuff. I know that feels daunting. But there's so many beautiful positives to this! You will be producing new work for yourself, writing, producing, editing and directing. You will be working! And it will become marketing materials showing who you are now with the skills you have had. I would recommend not just shooting 'scenes' but actually creating a web series or a short film that you can take to festivals, put on vimeo and youtube. That way it's 2 birds, one stone and you look all the better for it! And you will feel better for it because you are creating! That's your job.

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