When it comes to your “type” as an actor or actress it’s not about your personality, but about the types of personalities or characters that you look suited to portray. Some people are born villains, born to play the girl or boy next door, while others are completely neutral and can slip from the role of the good guy to the bad guy and back again with ease. Of course some actors and actresses are typecast when they get stuck playing a certain role, but often, this is because it really suits them!
When you audition for a role in the theatre it is important to know what type you are, as this way you can target roles that will suit you, and have the best chances of getting. If you’re not too sure what your type is, follow these guidelines as a starter:
Known Your Type
You need to be honest with yourself when determining what your type is. The main types can be broken down in to the following categories and if you are honest with yourself about where best you fit, you’ll be well on your way to determining your type:
- Leading Man
- Leading Lady
- Girl Next Door
- Boy Next Door
- Funny Friend
- Angry Old Man
- Wise Old Woman
- Reluctant Hero
- Sexy Blonde Bombshell
Depending on your age, gender, height, weight and other physical attributes you’ll fit into one or more of these categories, and the more diverse “types” may fill several across the spectrum. Of course, as you age your type will change and you’ll need to admit when its time to try for older roles.
How to Find Your Type
Ask people in the industry and who know you what your type is. Those with experience should be honest with you and tell you straight what sort of roles you should be looking for. Chat to actor friends, coaches, directors and any one else involved in theatre and see what they think you are most suited to. You may not always like their answer, but they’ll have the experience and know-how to guide you correctly.
Watch movie and TV series and see which characters you identify with the most, and that you think you’d play with the enthusiasm of someone who just hit the jackpot playing the online games on offer. Make notes of actors or actresses who perform in a way that you feel you could emulate or at least match, and see whether a type emerges.
Look and listen to yourself! Learn more about what emotions you naturally project and what your body language seems to say. Get to know your prominent characteristics and what makes you unique. Hear your own voice, the tone it speaks in, and observe your mannerisms that come naturally.
Last but not least, trust your research, what other people with experience have to say, and the sort of roles that you end up cinching. Knowing your type is not just a solid introspective exercise; it is also one that can be a very good career move.