I participated in an acting workshop last week where you perform for a group of agents, who in turn evaluate you (and, hopefully, sign you). Part of the workshop involved a coaching session with a casting director prior to the final performance, so that no one is going in there wasting either their own or the agents’ time.
I’m really comfortable with coaching/performing/auditioning, all the trappings of an acting career (thank goodness), so I was looking forward to the coaching just as a professional check-in. I figured I’d go in and get some tips on the scene I had chosen and that would be that. I don’t fit into any of the typical actor categories – “young mom”, “beach bikini girl”, “gruff blue collar man” – so for me the game is just to be known to as many people in the industry as possible. Since I’ve determined I’m the only “hip, young butch” around. At least Guinevere Turner thinks so.
I shouldn’t have been surprised by the cd’s only real question to me – but it caught me off guard anyway: he took a look at me, took a look at my pictures, and said “So why don’t you have dyke-ier headshots? Your photos look like a variation of ‘young mom'”.
This is a weird variation of a theme I uncovered back when I was taking a “business of acting” class last winter, which is that people feel REALLY strongly about me and my butch or queerness.
If someone sees the softer (aka “less butch”) side of me, they often REFUSE to think of me as butch, even though that’s what I ask for and prefer.
Alternately, a lot of people here think I’m the dykiest thing since Doc Martens and the Chelsea haircut.
I think he’s right though (leave it to a gay man in Hollywood to lay it out for me) – it’s probably time for some butch-er shots. Case in point – the brilliant photographer who took my last round of photos wanted only to capture the soft side, so while I have great pics, they lack that gayness. Je ne sais queer, if you will. Which I’m discovering, for my career, is essential.