Have you ever had an agent or manager look you in the eye and say, “What type of roles do you think you would play?” or “What shows do you see yourself on?” or “What actors do you resemble?”
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Cut to the blank look on your face as you sit across the desk scrambling to come up with a good answer when your only experience has been experimental college theater where you played parts twice your age, opposite gender, or silent performance art pieces where you were an animal for the entire play.
At any given moment when productions resume, there are nearly 100 shows casting in major cities. That means hundreds of shows casting dozens of co-star and guest star roles in every episode, all year round. Do you know where you fit in? What’s your marketability? Do you know what type you are?
Let’s put “range” aside for a moment. What are the roles you would play today? How do people see you when you walk into the room? Be honest with yourself; it’s the most attractive thing to a casting director and makes everyone’s job easier (and saves you a lot of time when going through breakdowns).
Are you a young leading man who is born to be on the CW or are you a character type with a receding hairline and a quick wit? Are you the clean-cut, sophisticated young lawyer or the early-30s slacker? There are more TV shows than ever casting all different types, on all networks, giving actors much more opportunities than ever before.
So find your niche and own it—your age, your ethnicity, your looks. Do it confidently and unapologetically. Many actors have long, successful careers playing the same type over and over.