Wednesday, July 26, 2017

No, Don't Look at Me

Now, folks, we bring you
Here she is at last,

Direct from New York,
Twinkle in her eye
Hot off the press,

Live and in person.
Polly McKie!

Strictly a mess,

I am strictly a messI have never been pretty or beautiful. I was called the runt of the litter in my family. In Scotland, parents do not tell their children that they are beautiful.  Well, at least of my generation.  My mother would tell me that my sister was the attractive one.  I was the funny one.  The stream of boys interested in my sister validated that. I spent my teens (and let's face it, my adult life too) with unrequited crushes. 

But last week, Michael Kushner made me feel attractive.  I cannot bring myself to write beautiful. Although, he did say that several times.  

Frankly, none of that matters.  As actors, we need a good headshot.  And what is considered a good shot changes all the time.  Gone are the days of a black and white that could last you 10 years.  Modern advice is to have a new one every 2 or 3 years.  And I certainly feel that.  I like my previous headshots but we change. I have been letting my grey hair come in and feel different about myself and my type since the last shots were taken.  And I don't know about you, but much as I like my old shots, I crave something new. It boosts my confidence to submit a new headshot. Makes me feel as if I am being proactive about my career.  
A headshot is SO important. It can be our ticket to an audition and without that, we cannot get a callback and a job. It is our calling card. 
My first proper headshot 8 years ago got me my first agent!

There is a strange disconnect that many actors feel. We are, by nature, vain and narcissistic and frightfully insecure. Please do not look at me, but, oh wait, please look at me! 

So, why Michael?

Michael Kushner is a GEM!  He is young, funny, talented, has a brilliant eye AND he is an actor.  He gets it.  And you can afford him!

I have friends who have paid well over $1000 for headshots and, to me, that is abhorrent.  Most of us are already struggling financially. The actors who do not need the new headshots because they are established names might have the money for that but most of us do not. I know of one Broadway actor whose headshot is a selfie he took in Central Park on his iPhone. I don't think that would cut it for the rest of us!

Michael understands. 

Now we have the ugly financial business out of the way, I'll tell you about my experience on the day of the shoot. I arrived at Michael's lovely, brightly lit studio (warning: it's a 6 flight walk up but, if I can do it, anyone can!). I was warmly welcomed with cold water and a comfortable seat and an understanding about my recent climb! Then we moved into the studio and Michael chatted to me about my type and my personality. He has a gift for "getting" people. I felt safe. I hate having my photograph taken and only ever like unposed shots. This never felt like a chore of posing. It was FUN. He asked me what music I wanted to listen to and some of the best shots were when I was relaxed and singing along. He even played a track that he thought would be good for me to learn. So now I have new headshots and a new song I want to learn for my book.

This is why Michael is so great. He is an actor. He gets it.


Just look at us...
Turning gray...

Still playing games,

Acting crazy.

Isn't it awful?
God. how depressing-

Me, I'm a hundred.
You, you're a blessing-
I'm so glad I came!*

What Michael offers:

  • An actor's perspective
  • Profound understanding
  • A keen eye
  • A talent for getting to your type and to YOU
  • A sing-along (not compulsory)
  • A great rooftop for outdoor shots
  • Various packages to suit your budget/needs
  • Photos emailed to you within 24 hours of your shoot
  • Editing
Now I just have to choose one to print!

What we need is a drink.*

Follow Michael on social media  -
Facebook and Instagram:  @themichaelkushner @thedressingroomproject 
Twitter: @mikie_kushner

*Don't Look at Me from "Follies"

Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim