Know Your Acting Niche

By AM Staff

  • Know Your  Niche!
    Understanding Your Niche As An Actor…

    The giant casting machine is a conservative piece of equipment.  The cautious selections it frequently makes are based not on talent alone, but on prevailing, or popular notions.

    For instance, your appearance, from the way you dress and speak to the way you carry yourself, is what’s called your “type” or niche–how the people who run the machine instantly classify you and your acting style.  More often than not, your niche coincides with someone currently in the mainstream.  For example, they use popular presumptions like the following to identify you: An impulsive, passionate Anne Heche type.  Or, the opposite: a reflective Meryl Streep type.  As a male, you may be viewed as a low-key, nearly self-effacing type like Tobey Maguire or a rebellious, edgy Matt Dillon.  What this boils down to, is they wouldn’t normally cast Matt Dillon as a country boy because his mannerisms wouldn’t plausibly fit.  Likewise, it would be difficult to accept Tobey Maguire as an inner city gang leader.

    In a manner of speaking, you might say this is safe, uncreative image casting, not acting casting.  Be that as it may, it’s the way it works.  Knowing your niche therefore, is essential to landing more parts.

    Up to now, you may have thought of yourself as a leading man, but your quirkiness may put you in the niche of a comic relief player.  If you’re a female, you might think you’ve been perceived as a professional career woman but your soft, wholesome features make you look more like a young mother.  Playing to ways that oppose how you’re viewed hampers your chances.  The conservative machine can’t get a “fix” on just who you are and consequently, what role you’re truly appropriate for.

    If you’re not absolutely sure about your niche, ask other actors and especially your agent about how you “come across.”  If you can obtain a clear picture of this, you can enhance your performances by gracefully playing with that picture, not undermining your efforts by struggling against it.  And just as important, you can arrange for your headshots to play into this whole niche aspect by dressing in an appropriate style of wardrobe for your photo shoot.

    Winning Auditions is a systematic guide that helps actors immediately increase their callbacks and booking rates. Hollywood Producer Bob Fraser wrote, “This baby belongs in every portfolio or knapsack of every actor on the planet!” 

    For further tips and tools to build your career, visit  WinningAuditions.com

    Recommended Posts

  • Ad

  • Never Apologize When You Make a Mistake During an Audition

    Never Apologize When You Make a Mistake During an Audition Don’t apologize during an audition. Ever. If you stumble over your words or make a mistake, simply correct it. Confidently. (by Carmichael Phillips)…

    Before You Approach an Agent, Get Your S@#t Together!

    Before You Approach an Agent, Get Your S@#t Together! Before you approach an agent, make sure that you are ready to present yourself as an actor who understands the business and understands what…

    3 Helpful Suggestions When Slating

    3 Helpful Suggestions When Slating While the slating process may seem insignificant, it represents an additional opportunity for actors to stand-out, when done properly (By Jim Webb) You already know what slating is….

    5 Riddles Every Actor Must Solve

    5 Riddles Every Actor Must Solve So many riddles to solve. So little time. And on it goes… (By Carmichael Phillips) In a normal profession, everything is clear and easy to understand. The…

    Make Sure Your Name is Added to the “Nice” List

      Make Sure Your Name is Added to The “Nice” List You may not get the role you auditioned for, but make sure your name is added to the “nice” list (By Jim…

  • Ad

  • Reinvest 50% of Your Cash Back into Your Acting Business

      Reinvest 50% of Your Cash Back into Your Acting Business Of course, each time you repeat this process, your career becomes stronger! Your power becomes stronger. (By Carmichael Phillips) No professional actor…

    3 Hidden Advantages of Self-taping

      3 Hidden Advantages of Self-taping This new wave of self-taping also offers actors enormous advantages (By Carmichael Phillips) Self-taped auditions are the wave of the future, in part, because they offer casting…

    5 Great Ways to Master Your Cold Read Audition

      5 Great Ways to Master Your Cold Read Audition (By Jim Webb) Doing a cold read audition is a lot like getting thrown into a pool when you haven’t yet learned how…

  • Ad

  • 5 Things You Should Never Do After an Audition

      5 Things You Should Never Do After an Audition (By Jim Webb) There are many things you should never do after an audition. You should already know the obvious ones: Don’t make…

    Don’t Sabotage Yourself

    Don’t Sabotage Yourself It’s difficult enough for an actor to find and secure a paying gig. Why make it even more difficult by sabotaging your own chances? (By Jim Webb) It’s ok if…

    All Acting and No Play Makes You a Dull Actor

    All Acting and No Play Makes You a Dull Actor Ironically, spending too much time on all things “acting” can actually make an actor worse at acting. (By Carmichael Phillips) You know what…

    Don’t Just Tell a Talent Agent About Your Dreams. Show Them Your Work!

    Don’t Just Tell a Talent Agent About Your Dreams. Show Them Your Work! Your dreams are not much different from any other actor’s dreams. It’s your work that sets you apart. (By Carmichael…

    The Callback is Not the Time for Experimenting

    The Call-back is Not the Time for Experimenting Why tinker with a winning formula? (By Jim Webb) The callback is not the time to start taking chances. Unless otherwise instructed, try to do…

  • Ad

  • Don’t just pursue an agent. Study the craft. Do good work. Then, invite them to pursue you.

      Don’t just pursue an agent. Study the craft. Do good work. Then, invite them to pursue you. (by Jim Webb) Pursuing a talent agent is one of the more unsavory, yet necessary,…

    Check Your Ego at the Door, But Bring Your Confidence into the Audition Room

    Check Your Ego at the Door, But Bring Your Confidence into the Audition Room (By Jim Webb) Check your ego at the door, but always bring your confidence into the audition room. And…

    Why Natural Actors Still Need Training

    Why Natural Actors Still Need Training While an actor might be a natural performer, he or she is also a human being. (By Jim Webb) Training is vital to the actor’s life. Being…

  • Ad

  • When you speak words you don’t truly understand, you are not truly acting.

    When You Speak Words You Don’t Truly Understand, You Are Not Truly Acting So, pull out your dictionary or get busy on Wikipedia and find out the answer! (by Jim Webb) When you…

    Don’t Be Afraid to Politely Ask for an Audition Do-Over

    Don’t Be Afraid to Politely Ask for an Audition Do-Over The goal is not to be nice, the goal is to leave the audition room feeling good about the performance you put on…

    3 Reasons Why You Should Not Pursue Local Hire Roles

    3 Reasons Why You Should Not Pursue Local Hire Roles Why risk it? It’s probably much safer to get creative about discovering new acting opportunities where you live. (by Tonya Tannenbaum) Having family…

    3 Great New Year’s Resolutions for Actors

    3 Great New Year’s Resolutions for Actors Here are some great New Year’s resolutions you should strive to keep, if you haven’t already achieved them (by James Webb) ________________________________________________________________________________________________ We are a few…

    4 Great Reasons to Audition with Your Sides In Your Hands

    4 Great Reasons to Audition with Your Sides In Your Hands Question: Now that you are off-book, should you bring your sides into the audition room with you? Should you use them during…

  • Ad

  • Beware Career Advice From Family During the Holidays

    Beware Career Advice From Family During the Holidays (by Carmichael Phillips) Going home for the holidays can be a social minefield for actors, sometimes. It can be replete with uncomfortable stares, snide remarks,…

    Don’t Focus On How You Say Your Lines. Focus On Why You Say Your Lines

    Don’t Focus On HOW You Say Your Lines. Focus On WHY You Say Your Lines. Once you understand your character’s “why”, you will naturally emphasize words based on that “why” (by Tonya Tannenbaum)…

    Make sure that YOU are the star of your headshot.

      Make sure that YOU are the star of your headshot. (by Webby) Is it time for you to get new headshots? Fantastic! If you are a new actor getting headshots for the…

  • Ad

  • Never tell casting directors your main area of interest is “acting”

      Never tell casting directors that your main area of interest is “acting” (by Webby) Oftentimes, an actor will be interviewed before an audition. The purpose of the interview might be to get…

    Top Secret: Wear your audition outfit to the callback!

      Top Secret: Wear your audition outfit to the callback! (By Webby) (CAUTION: THE FOLLOWING IS A TOP SECRET ACTING TIP. TELL NO ONE OF THIS!)   _____________________________________________________________________________________ After an audition, don’t wash…

    Beef-up your acting resume with training, not lies!

      Beef-up your acting resume with training, not lies! Are you a new-ish actor? Don’t have much on your acting resume? Then, beef it up with training, not lies! If you are an…

    Special Skills Means Special SKILLS

    Special Skills Means Special Skills If you can’t really swim, then don’t put swimming on your acting resume. The same goes for all the other special skills you claim. (by James Webb) There…

    Acting Tip: Wanna get more “looks”?

      Acting Tip: Get More “Looks” From a Photoshoot Wanna get more “looks” during a headshot photoshoot for free? Wear layers and slowly “undress” for the camera. Great headshots are essential for almost…

    Acting Tip: No Messy Headshots.

    Acting Tip: Don’t make your headshot messy. Make sure that YOU are the star of your headshot. Never allow yourself to be upstaged by your shiny jewelry, distracting clothing, busy wallpaper patterns or…

    Acting Tip: Never arrive late to audition.

    Acting Tip: Never arrive late to the audition. “One of the worst things you can do is arrive late to an audition. In addition to being unprofessional, arriving late shows the casting director…

    Acting Tip: Send unsolicited, if necessary

    Acting Tip: Send unsolicited submissions, if necessary. Just because an agency says, “No unsolicited submissions”, doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t open or read it. There’s a slim chance they will. And this is…