How to Know & Love Your "Type"

"Don’t waste time wishing you were someone else or looked like someone else. Your uniqueness will get you the job..."

By ATC Founder, Carole Dibo

know your type
"The acceptance of how you read & who you are as an actor determines what kind of roles you will play."

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” -Oscar Wilde

When I was in my twenties, my thirties, and - in fact - my forties and fifties, many of my audition breakdowns led with “attractive, but not too attractive”. When I was younger I will admit this bothered me. "Wait…I’m not attractive enough…for what…to sell toothpaste, or bleach or real estate?"

As I got older I began to lean into the fact that I wasn’t tall. I didn’t have leggy legs or silky straight hair. The fact was I was 5 feet tall, had my Grandmother Rose’s thighs and curly hair that - if not attended to - was a cross between Bozo the Clown and Jennifer Gray in Dirty Dancing (you can throw in Larry from The Three Stooges if the day was hot and humid.)

The fact is the sooner you identify and embrace your type fully the more YOU will lean into it and a huge weight will be lifted off your shoulders.

Once I did this I was totally okay with “attractive, but not too attractive mom on the playground”, “attractive, but not too attractive woman shopping for a car”, “attractive, but not too attractive woman at Thanksgiving dinner”. I was in a lovely group of actresses who were labeled the same and it was these ladies I was most comfortable with in the waiting room. They were on my team, as were the men we were always paired with.

Other than relieving stress, why is imperative to know your type? Because it is that acceptance of who you are that will help you land the job. Casting Directors and agents need to know who you are so they can match you with the role that fits YOU. If where you fit into a television show, film, or commercial is ambiguous - you wont make much of an impression. That acceptance of how you read and who you are as an actor determines what kind of roles you will play.

If you are the best friend of the prom queen - not the prom queen, fantastic! If you are the nerdy guy shunned by prom queen, wonderful, get cast as those nerds! Getting cast means more work, more work means more experience, which means more visibility and eventually you will be trusted to play “against type”. See how that works? Work begets work.

Your type at 18 will not be your type at 30. The wallflower 18 year old will blossom into a managing partner in a law firm, the shy boy at the dance will turn into the beloved teacher at a high school.

So don’t waste time wishing you were someone else or looked like someone else. Your uniqueness will get you the job.

-Carole Dibo ATC Founder

Due to your interest in this article, we recommend the following classes/workshops:

Breaking Into the Business: ATC Founder & Talent Manager, Carole Dibo, will share her years of experience in this invaluable workshop breaking down the who’s who & the dos/don’ts of a very complicated industry. A must for every actor - perfect for the new actor or parent & a necessity for returning actors looking to brush on the ever-changing expectations of the industry.

Acting for the Camera (sections for Youth, Teens, & Adults):

On camera acting can be a challenge for the young actor whose instinct is to push to “get it right” when what is needed from them is to bring their authentic selves to their work.

Students will work in our professional studio, getting in front of the camera each week with commercial and film/TV copy and will receive adjustments and notes after watching playback.

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