On “Types”

20 04 2015

When I was in undergraduate school, the prevailing sentiment was that you were either a skinny actress, or a fat actress. For men, there was, and seems to still be, a variety of sizes you can be. You can be short and muscular, short and fat, short and skinny, tall and skinny, medium and fat, tall and pudgy – but for women… not so much. You are either a waif, or very overweight, and everyone in between just is…… uncastable. Oh, and whether you are a waif or overweight – you must be an extreme in looks as well: waify or hefty bombshell, or waify or hefty ugly. But nothing in between, God forbid the in between!

Fortunately, that perspective seems to be changing, and we see a much wider variety of women on television. The tough part is, we still see mostly only the same TYPE of woman in the roles of the love interest or the DESIRABLE woman. She is usually very tiny in every way: short, very thin, and very typically beautiful. It is as if Hollywood cannot imagine any man would want to fall in love with a woman over 5’2” and 90 lbs. Let me be clear, I am not ranting against those tiny goddesses that populate our movies and tv shows – I think they are beautiful and amazing! I just think it skews out perspective when they are the only women seen as “desirable” in film.

I have found, with the exception of this tiny goddess type, that you CAN transcend TYPE, and that TYPE is a myth. It really is. Are there roles you might be more IMEMDIATELY adept AT? Certainly. But TYPE is just another lie we tell ourselves to avoid the fact that the REASON we were NOT CAST. Assuming you did all your prep work and were prepared, that REASON is that it WAS NOT YOUR ROLE. That’s it.

HOWEVER, it is important to understand your TYPE, or how you come across even when doing nothing. Just as a baseline. Just as an exercise to know yourself, and to know how to be more still or less still or more simple in your delivery when you are doing film work.

More later…