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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Auditioning: Know your colors

Audition Tips For Actors - What to Wear to Win the Job! Wear Blue!
By Gwyn Gilliss

The Actors Market, A Firm for Actors

The key word is BLUE.

Why blue? Why a color? Colors are a form of energy.

When you communicate, you're expressing ideas through energy-your personality, your voice, your appearance and the COLOR you're wearing! When you appear on camera the lens pick up the energy of that color. Certain colors have more energy and attraction than others. Bright reds and oranges may have a lot of energy but to most people these tones are not very appealing. Red can represent passion but also fire, fear, blood and anger. Dark somber colors-black, evergreen and brown are usually perceived as depressing, cold, sad. Dull shades of gray, navy, and cranberry usually represent the corporate world- serious business.

Vibrant and pastel shades are generally the most popular. They're used frequently in nurseries, schools and hospitals, as they are perceived as happy, relaxing and healing.

And guess which shade is the most popular with most people? You guessed it. BLUE. Why? Blue is the color of the sky and water-lakes, oceans, streams. It is the most frequent color used in nature, at least on our planet. Not green. And it represents a positive energy, HAPPINESS. Think about it. Blue skies, blue moon, blue screen, jetblue, TV blue... On any day you'll see more of the color blue than any shade in the rainbow so it's the most universal, the most comfortable. It puts people at ease. Sky blue, French blue, aquamarine, turquoise, and baby blue. These colors are everywhere. Now, you're asking, how does this relate to Acting?

When you audition on camera the first thing that anyone sees is the color you're wearing. Wear something depressing, annoying or threatening and no matter how brilliant your performance, they are going to be affected by the color first and the performance second, especially when you are auditioning for commercials, daytime/prime time TV or film roles. It's subliminal-first impressions and all that.

If you are portraying a psychopath/murderer, a desperate housewife, an aggressive district attorney or an FBI agent, OK, choose to wear the more aggressive colors. But if you're portraying a professional-a doctor, lawyer, corporate spokesperson or even a happy Mom/Dad, use blue in your ensemble and you'll book more jobs. Strange, but true. Try it!
Years ago when I auditioned a lot for network TV commercials, I had a blouse that I bought very reasonably at the neighborhood boutique. It was my favorite blouse. It was somewhere between sky and french blue, a warm ocean-lake blue.

I booked more spots wearing that one top than any other piece of wardrobe I owned. It earned me millions over a decade! In more than a few screen tests for the roles of lawyer, doctor, Mom, I wore the blouse. Did I have a successful career because I wore blue? Yes and no. My audition had to be good and I had to look the part and be the right type as well. But when competing with dozens of other actresses who were all talented, attractive, pleasant, professional with comparable credits, how did I have the edge? Ego says it was my talent. But the final booking factor might have been the blue blouse.

I was even asked, Could I bring that blue blouse as wardrobe for the final shoot? One commercial casting director who had sat in on a final casting session told me that the client had insisted they hire that actress in the blue! So I booked that particular high paying network TV spot. True story.
If you guys want to book a lot more on-camera jobs, get the advice of a color or image consultant. What are your strongest or best colors? What suits your hair coloring and skin tone? There are many shades of blue. Get advice on what hairstyle really sells you and what wardrobe best suits your type. Find out what your type is. Auditioning is an art and every detail is important. Your best bet is finding an experienced Career Coach who's been an actor and can advise you on ALL the above.

FINAL TIP
For on-camera auditions, avoid wearing RED, WHITE and BLACK.
WHITE is a no-no for the camera because it tends to create a green shadow around you and glares! Skin tones are then off- you do not look good!

RED can be exciting and beautiful to wear in person for a special interview/audition or for a gutsy song-dance number but on-camera, it's a disaster! The color may turn beet-red, dark, dried blood red, orange or ugly purply pink fuchsia. No matter what your skin tone-eeek!

BLACK looks like a shadow and literally sucks all the energy from you on camera. (Especially if you have dark skin tones-all the more reason to wear something vibrant so YOU stand out.)

These colors can be great in an actual shoot-a film, commercial or TV series because during a real shoot there's a lighting designer who can add thousands of overhead lights with gels to soften, tone, perfect the look. Or he'll take a whole day to create the mood and make the lighting fabulous. That's why film stars look so good.

But during an audition in a casting director's studio, you usually have one camera and one little light stand with an umbrella reflecting the strong beam. So these 3 colors come out weird making you look, well, less than attractive. You're just shooting yourself in the foot to defy the law of lighting and color. You just won't win or will win very infrequently.
Instead of assuming it's your performance or blaming the casting director's lack of imagination, change your wardrobe and see if you get a different response. I'd be willing to bet on it.

You've all heard the classic line, dress the part? Now, just remember, dress the COLOR. First rule of marketing is making YOU, the product, desirable. So how you dress is the wrapping on the product, YOU.

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