Saturday, February 28, 2009

Headshot Extravaganza!!!

As a working actor, it is imperative to have a headshot. A good headshot is essentially a modern day calling card for a performer. Everywhere I audition, I need to have a headshot so the director has a visual when casting.  Since the whole point of auditioning is to get a job and a good headshot helps me land a job, it's a pretty important item in my bag of tricks.  I can belt until the roof falls in, dance like a prima ballerina and act with the passion of an angry hedgehog but if I have a picture that looks nothing like me...Well that's bad news bears.  I hadn't had photos taken professionally since high school.  Although it worked at the time for college auditions, I'm no longer blonde or 18. Thank goodness.
Today, I had the privilege of getting all dolled up and getting my picture taken by photographer Simon Hurst. I thought it would be fun to do a little photo journalism throughout the day to illustrate the different steps of the process.

First Step: Outfit Selection
Simon instructed me to bring 5-6 different looks.  I tried to pick out colors that worked with my skin color. (I've determined that I'm not white but actually transparent... Also I may or may not glow in the dark.) Because I'm very pale with dark hair, I went with primarily black and neutral although I also brought my green sweater (Thank you Summer Clifton!) and my blue "date night" dress. (Thank you men of St. Francis Parish!)  I put everything in my car as well as a few random essentials.  Hair spray, lint brush and jelly beans.

Driving to the hair salon down 23rd Street. ----->

Oklahoma City University's Chapel is on the left. Go Stars!!

Yes, Mom, I was at a red light when I took the picture. 

Second Step: Hair
Per Kelly O'Hara's video post on, actresses who keep their hair long tend to get cast more.  It's also important, when you walk into an audition, to look like the person in the picture. Following those dictums, I kept my hair long and the style simple and easy to re-create.  Ashley with Hair Rage Salon always does an excellent job and today was no exception. With the help of lots of product and a magic straightener wielded by Ashely, my mane was tamed and picture perfect.

Ashley Terry @ Hair Rage Salon
 1915 North Classen Blvd. OKC

Third Step: Makeup

Jeanette with Lancome came to my rescue and did my makeup. My makeup almost never turns out well when I try really hard and I decided to leave it to the hands of a true professional. 

She used special photogenic foundation that is designed specifically for photography lighting. I was very happy with the results and appreciated all the detail she put into working with my very pale skin.

Jeanette Burchard @ Lancome
Penn Square Mall, OKC

Fourth Step: Lights, Camera and ACTION!!!
Admittedly I was a little nervous.  I had already devoted a lot of time and money to this project and I really wanted this to be a good experience.  Simon met and exceeded those expectations. He came highly recommended and I will continue with that trend. It's so important to find a photographer that makes you feel comfortable... It truly needs to be a working relationship.  If both the photographer and the person being photographed aren't onboard the pictures won't turn out well. Simon instantly made me feel comfortable.  Oklahoma wind made an extensive outdoor session impossible but Simon was flexible and spontaneous. To complete my photo journal I decided to include a picture of his studio and a picture of Simon photographing the client after me. Sadly, I do not yet have the finished product yet.  I'm truly excited about my new headshots and I'll be sure to update my blog when I get them. Cheers!

Simon Hurst Contact Information:

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ordinary Days

This past weekend I had a wonderful experience performing in a brilliant musical called Ordinary Days written by Adam Gwon. It was part of the Stripped Festival at Oklahoma City University. Stripped is a student-run company on campus that puts on low budget shows; no costumes, no microphones, no stipends with very limited rehearsal time. In essence it's stripped to the bones of the show... Get it? Stripped?

Anyway, I auditioned for the festival in December and was cast in a four person show (2m, 2w) and after only a few rehearsals we opened. It was such a positive experience. I got to belt to the high heavens which is always fun while playing a quirky, fun character named Deb. We were hoping to get Mr. Gwon out to see our show but sadly he had his own concert at the Kennedy Center as part of the "Broadway: Today and Tomorrow" series. Go Adam!!!! This is his bio taken from the Kennedy Center website:

Adam Gwon is a composer and lyricist, and recipient of the 2008 Fred Ebb Award for excellence in musical theater songwriting. His musical Ordinary Days recently enjoyed a sold-out run at the Finborough Theatre in London, after making its world premiere at Pennsylvania Centre Stage and appearing in the 2008 NAMT Festival of New Musicals and the 2008 ASCAP/Disney Musical Theater Workshop. His other musicals include Bernice Bobs Her Hair (with librettist Julia Jordan) and Ethan Frome.
He is currently working on an original musical with playwright Sarah Hammond, commissioned by Broadway Across America, and an adaptation of Joe Meno’s “The Boy Detective Fails,” commissioned by Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA, as part of its American Musical Voices Project: The Next Generation. Adam was a 2006-07 musical theater fellow at the Dramatists Guild, and is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts

Check out
His site is pretty awesome and he's definitely someone that you want to keep your eye on.

It's so exciting to do new works and to feel like maybe, in some small way, I'm a part of something larger. As for our production of Ordinary Days, our show was received very well and although we were the smallest show in the festival, cast-wise, we definitely held our own in my opinion. It was such a pleasure to be performing and working with such talented artists. It was truly a pleasure working with all of them. Here's a photo of three of us after the show. I haven't a clue where Nathan was but here's 75% of our cast going strong.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

[Title of Blog]

Wow, Sheila that's rather egotistical of you to name your blog "Who could ask for anything more?" You must think you're the next thing since sliced bread.

Well gentle reader, I happen to think very highly of sliced bread. Although I was raised with wheat bread, I'm particularly fond of Wonder Bread; non-enriched, bleached flour in all it's glory.

But I digress...

The title of my blog is actually a line from the song "I Got Rhythm" from the musical Crazy for You. The music and lyrics were by George and Ira Gerswhin respectively. The character Polly sings about feeling grateful and content with the simple things. Besides, "I Got Rhythm" is a fantastic example of the horrifying/awesome grammar in the world of musical theatre. In these distressing times with all the economic uncertainty, the war on terror and Britney's comeback tour, I believe that it's more important than ever to be grateful for the little blessings.