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During a photo shoot at a Houston area studio, a photographer helped me capture some very memorable moments—in dresses! Actually it was 2 dresses and a gown, but the poses remained masculine. When I shared the photos, I noticed something interesting. Everyone had a pretty strong opinion of what they were seeing and what it represented.

The comments were very enlightening. Many friends loved the third look, an eggplant gown. One friend said I should be wearing shorter dresses and showing off more of my legs. Someone else said the “air guitarist in a dress” stood out above the rest. Numerous other comments referred to my facial expressions and my apparent comfort level. The photographer noticed how I eased into the wardrobe as well.

As I told the photographer and her photo assistant husband, I want to do as much as I can in 2014 to give people fresh ways to look at me as a character actor. I want to expand my versatility and increase the number of quality roles I am offered. Changing wardrobe is one way to do it, but it’s not enough just to change what’s on the surface. It does help to have a good sense of how we’re perceived by the decision makers of every project. To help me reach that goal, I came up with a list of 10 questions to ask myself for every casting.

10 Questions for Every Casting

1. What makes me right for this role?

2. What makes me look right for this role?

3. What can I change to look more right for the role?

4. What kept me from looking right for the audition?

5. How else can I visually show I want this role?

6. Once auditioning, what will they notice about me first?

7. What general impression will they have?

8. What lasting impression will they have?

9. What did they say directly about me and my audition?

10. How can I get audition feedback?

Once the scene is prepared and any lines are memorized,  consider the ways your appearance may help or hinder you, pay close attention to any direct feedback or hints given during the audition, and take time to briefly review the effectiveness of your wardrobe and appearance choices after the audition is done. Track your progress too. That might keep you from going to the extremes of dressing in an eggplant gown in hopes of getting more auditions.

Black and silver dress

Blue dress_serious face

Blue dress_arms down

Blue dress_hands up_profile

Blue dress_hands up

Blue dress_air guitar

Gown_Arms folded

Gown_Arm extended

Gown with arms down

Gown with smile

Photos by: