Monday, October 29, 2007

Congratulations Lindsey E. Pearlman

Lindsey E. Pearlman was the grand-prize winner of the St. Sebastian Players Monologue Match-Up and received a free photo session! She did an amazing job and gave the best contrasting monologues I've seen in years.

Laura E. Taylor

Laura E. Taylor is going to be a star. Over the years I've worked with a number of people who've gone on to very big careers and they've all had a couple of traits in common. First and foremost, they demonstrate a self awareness that many other performers do not. They take stock of their assets as a performer and leverage their unique characteristics to set themselves apart from the rest.

And in the world of entertainment, Laura is in the most competitive segment. She's a New York chorus girl and on the verge of her big break. Currently performing in The Producers at Marriott Lincolnshire, Laura has spent the last four years on the road, performing in such productions as The Kennedy Center's revival of Mame starring Christine Baransky and playing Millie Dillmount in the Sierra Repertory Theatre's production of Thoroughly Modern Millie. She's at the point in her career that when she hears a director is doing a show somewhere in the country she can pick up the phone and ask for an audition, if not a job.

Laura came to me with a very specific goal. After being on the road for four and a half years, and being considered to step into some pretty impressive roles currently running on Broadway, she's decided that the time has come to go home and prepare for the upcoming Broadway audition season. Her next goal is a Broadway credit. She showed me her current headshot taken in Los Angeles and it's stunning. So is Laura. The problem, Laura felt, was that the current headshot didn't really capture her energy. She's a very strong dancer, and she's very bubbly, and she wanted all of that conveyed in the picture.

We talked about her dream roles and what reviewers have said about her. As Millie, one reviewer said that she was a "pretty Carol Burnett." That's where I started. More than one Broadway leading lady got her break because she evoked the image of a predecessor. Once you've met Laura, there is no way you're going to forget that smile. Even as a dancer, that's the thing that sets her apart from all the rest. I focused on the smile. The second aspect was the use of color. In Los Angeles and New York, vibrant color is used sparingly, but I wanted to put Laura against a rich background so that in a stack of resumes, that color would stand out from the standard white or brick backgrounds. The shoot flowed perfectly, and it didn't hurt that Laura is a dream to work with. It's clear to see that everyone who works with Laura, loves to work with Laura.

Take a look at the other shots of Laura on, and be sure to watch the cast lists for all of the shows opening on Broadway next fall. Laura is sure to heading up one of them.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Dan Hunt

Dan Hunt is a model. At 21 he's been working in the industry for two years and as is true with any segment of the entertainment industry you need not only talent, but discipline and dedication. Dan has all three.

Dan came to me for two reasons. In the last few months he's really focused on developing his body to branch into the fitness modeling market. He's managed to drop nearly thirty pounds and he barely looks like his old shots. While actors try to get by, particularly in non-Equity theater, with headshots that are a few years old, outdated comp cards are death for a model. Second, like any ambitious model, he's starting to branch out into commercial on-camera work.

When you talk to Dan, it's almost like a hit parade of Hollywood's leading men. At times he's a cheerier Sean Penn. Other times, he reads like a younger Orlando Bloom, and still others he could be Al Pacino. He speaks intelligently and knowlegeably about the Chicago modeling market and unlike a lot of actors and models I've worked with, he has a very clear understanding of his strengths and how to utilize them. We worked together for a little more than three hours and from our shoot Dan found eight shots that he liked and will be using in the next year. Check out the Archetype website to see some of the other shots.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Laura Jacqmin

How many times have you been in a show and at some point during tech week a random photographer shows up, stands you under a spot light and clicks away with no concept of what the show is about? If a publicity still appears with a review, it looks like a still from a 1950's claymation film. I don't want to do that kind of photography. So, I asked to sit in on a run of each of the shows I'm doing publicity shots for at The Side Project.

Now don't get me wrong: I'm a dyed-in-the-wool theater geek. I can watch rehearsals for just about anything endlessly, but there are two concepts that even the pastiest of theater denizens approach with caution: "original script" and "first run through." Combine the two into one rehearsal and enter the theater at your own risk.

In my theater career, I've had my fair share of experiences with original scripts. Of course the most memorable was the reading I did where I was handed the script, sight-unseen, and asked to read the lead character -- an innocent from the Great Plains who gets off a bus to L.A. and in a page-long monologue (single-spaced, no less and in 8-point font) describes in detail his newly discovered love of being raped in the mouth until he bleeds. That experience, coupled with the afore-mentioned role as Satan/Hollywood agent, pretty much predisposes me to think that all postmodern, Judy-Garland, Mickey-Rooney, I'm-gonna-be-a-star scripts are poison. (And yes, I can play Satan and Virgin. It's called dramatic RANGE!)

Last night I went to the first run thru of Butt Nekkid, written by Laura Jacqmin. This was the first run without book, and the first time the playwright would hear her play since a reading seven months ago. In addition, there was a lighting designer and me. Actors are bound to be nervous. There was no set, lots of stops and starts while furniture was moved, actors calling for lines.

The play was a revelation. Above is a quick shot I snapped of Laura Jacqumin. She's a writer with Chicago Dramatist's Workshop, just received a commission from Victory Gardens, and is about to be recognized as possibly one of Chicago's most important theatrical voices in a decade. Butt Nekkid is set in the hip-hop music industry. It plays with the concepts of racial tensions, but it's not a MESSAGE play. At heart it's a stark love story for the twenty-first century. It's dark and raw. The characters are not just mouthpieces for ideologies, but fully drawn people with pure motivations, selfish motivations, conflicting motivations, who wrestle with moral ambiguities and are heroic one minute and despicable the next. Jacqmin is not only a smart, complex writer, she's practical. Her scripts are written with intimate spaces in mind, but not just for modest production values. Her dialogue is taylored for an intimate stage so that you feel like you're peeping into a private moment. That's not to say the dialogue is without style, but it's a silky flow of ideas instead of a mash of words. The characters have original, complex emotions that shimmer on a tiny stage. You know the people on the stage.

And thank the baby Jesus there is finally a playwright who can write a female character who isn't just "the girlfriend" or a male character with breasts. Jacqmin's Sarah is an apocolyptic ingenue. She's without any discernable power, yet she's not simply the reason for the events of the play, she's the driver of them. The men are her foils, her pawns.

The run thru was electric.

Keep an eye open for Laura Jacqumin and her work. Her production of Ten Virgins will be going up at Chicago Dramatist's later this season. And check the Archetype website later this month for the publicity stills for this production and Smart, running in rep with Butt Nekkid at The Side Project.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Gillian Humiston

Gillian Humiston is quite the unexpected actress. Before I do a shoot, I generally like to have met the client to get a sense of her needs and to determine how I might be able to address them. However circumstances were such that I wasn't even able to speak with Gillian before the shoot. We set everything up via e-mail. She sent me a copy of the headshot she was using, but my e-mail system compressed it to a dot, so I had almost no idea of what to expect when Gillian arrived.

The first impression of Gillian is just how tiny she is. And how young. She walked in, backpack slung over her shoulder and sort of plopped down on the couch. We talked about roles she's played. A recent graduate from Columbia College, Gillian tended to play teenagers. In order to find some common ground I always ask my clients about classical roles and wasn't at all surprised to find that Gillian has played Ophelia. She said that she's sort of resigned herself to "playing young," but she was really interested in more mature roles.

Then she pulled out the big surprise. Gillian is a certified fight choreographer and a company member with Chicago's ground-breaking troupe, Babes With Blades. She's in their current production of Horror Academy, running through Halloween. In talking with Gillian, we identified three marketing areas. She needed a shot that kept her in the youth market, one that pitched to more mature roles, and one that she could use as part of her introduction as a fight choreographer.

As seems to happen, my favorite shot was taken almost at the end of the shoot. We did it in the evening, but even with the air conditioning blasting it was still warm. Gillian's long hair was making her uncomfortable and while she's a complete professional and was doing an amazing job in front of the camera, her discomfort was starting show on her face. That's when we applied the fan. It was intended just to make Gillian a little more comfortable, but it gave her that romantic, wind-blown look. In addition, after a while it began to dry her eyes, which meant that she began to produce more tears, which generated the dewy-eyes.

Conflict and contradictions is at the heart of good theater, and Gillian is a bundle of wonderful surprises. Check out her work in Horror Academy, and check out for her other shots.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


I first worked with Julia Maish several years ago on an original musical in which I played Satan, slurping through Hollywood as an agent and Julia was a singing nun fighting on the side of goodness -- I think while trying to get her screenplay produced. All I really remember of the experience is that the music track died during the closing number of the first act, and that Julia had the eleven o'clock ballad entitled "Every Wall Has a Door." To this day, just mentioning that song gets an eye roll and the reflexive response, "No it doesn't!" from Julia.

Shortly after that experience Julia joined a girl group that was originally called 3 A.M., later renamed Moonglow. Originally formed as a tribute to the Boswell Sisters of the 1930's, Moonglow has expanded their repertoire to include standards from the 40's and 50's. While the Andrew Sisters eventually became the iconic girl group of the 1940's, institutionalizing their swinging three-part harmonies, the Boswell Sisters were the their forbears, with much more interesting arrangements and intricate harmonies. The Andrew Sisters had the glitter, but the Boswell Sisters had the sophistication.

Moonglow captures that musical intelligence and sophistication in their shows. And, they're just plain fun. Julia is joined by Diane Compton and Mary Launder and they frequently perform at Chicago-area parties, civic events, and cabaret shows. Even if you think you don't like that kind of music, you really owe it to yourself to check out the Moonglow website, sample their sounds, and see if you can find a performance near you.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Introductory Rates

The response to our $100 introductory offer has been incredible and we will definitely be offering it again. However, through the month of October, we're still offering nearly 70% off our regular price.

Book now for a full package and pay only $275.

St. Sebastian Monologue Match Up

Archetype Images is proud to support the St. Sebastian Players' Monologue Matchup Competition. A full photo session has been donated as one of the grand prizes.

The competition is on Monday, October 29. Competitors arrive at 6:00 for registration, and the competition begins at 7:00. Visit the SSP website for details.