Starfall Acting Contest

Starfall is a unique story that deals with subject matter that doesn’t get a great deal of attention in film or television, despite the fact that we’re all fascinated by it. This apparent contradiction is one of the areas that Starfall will explore, and is representative of the type of entertainment that 2LJ Productions specializes in – stories that provoke, challenge, and entertain. And because the subject matter is so different, the existing acting community and traditional casting methodologies employed today are not geared toward identifying the type of talent that will be needed to play the lead in the story. And so we’ve elected to employ a new and radically different casting method to find the right lead – an acting contest, which will be able to reach all aspiring and established actresses alike across the US and Canada. The advantage of the contest, is that it will be able to reach talent that is not already “plugged in” to the traditional casting ecosystem.

Submitting an Entry:

Round 1

In order to submit an entry to the Starfall Acting Contest, you’ll need to do a self-recording of three monologues, which we’ve pre-selected. The three monologues are from classic stage plays (Three Sisters, A Doll’s House, and Miss Julie) and are available on our Facebook page. You’ll also need to upload two photos – one headshot and one body shot, and answer two questions regarding your comfort level with certain types of scenes. In order to be eligible to win the grand prize, you’ll need to be a resident of the US or Canada, and be 18 years of age or older. Actresses not meeting this criteria can still submit an entry, but will be considered for supporting roles in Starfall.

Round 2

At the end of Round 1, twenty four finalists will be chosen to advance to the second round. The criteria used to select the actresses who advance to the second round are as follows:

  • Emotional range as displayed in your monologues.

  • Your personal charisma.

  • How you answer our questions regarding your comfort level with certain types of scenes.

The second round will consist of a live Skype audition, in which the actress will be reading scenes from Starfall. This round will start with the top twenty four contestants from Round 1. If you are selected, we will provide you with sides from Starfall, which you’ll be able to use to rehearse prior to the audition.

Round 3

At the end of Round 2, eight finalists will be chosen to advance to the third and final round. The criteria used to select the actresses who advance to the third round are as follows:

  • The suitability of your acting style for the lead in Starfall.

  • Your comfort level with the subject matter of Starfall.

The third round will consist of an in-person callback in which contestants will be acting scenes from Starfall.

Contest Winner

At the end of Round 3, one actress will be selected as the contest winner. The criteria used to select the winning actress are as follows:

  • Suitability of your acting style for the lead in Starfall.

  • How you interact with other actors in the final audition scenes.

The winning actress will be awarded a grand prize of $50,000 and the opportunity to negotiate a contract for the lead role of “Kendall” in Starfall.

The name of the winner will be announced on 2LJP’s website (www.2ljproductions.com) by December 31, 2016. If the winner is later disqualified for any reason, 2LJP will choose a replacement winner at its sole discretion.

The Perfect Headshot

In order to take a great photo, you don’t need to go to a professional. As long as you understand the fundamentals of your backdrop, lighting, facial expression, attire, and hair and makeup, you’ll be able to take a great photo!

Research

The very first step in taking a great headshot, is to do your research and take a look at examples of several headshots, perhaps even of well known actors whose work you admire. When you find one you like, think about each of the elements in the photo: the backdrop, the lighting, facial expression, clothing, and hair and makeup. Once you’ve noted all of these aspects, you’ll be able to emulate them in your photo. There are times when reinventing the wheel is effective, and there are times when emulating the best of what’s come before is best. A headshot falls into the latter category!

Backdrop

The right backdrop will make your face stand out.

  • A simple monochrome (one color) backdrop is ideal.

  • Avoid using a busy background as a backdrop. The simpler your backdrop, the better.

  • Avoid standing in front of a window or other bright light source. Doing so will obscure your face in the photo.

Lighting

Using the right light will make all the difference.

  • Find a soft, even source of light for your photo. When shooting indoors, you can use the natural light from a window, which creates soft highlights and shadows on your face.

  • Avoid bright lights, which will make you squint, and will produce harsh shadows on your face.

  • When shooting indoors, avoid fluorescent/neon light. Incandescent light is best, or a combination of natural and incandescent light.

How To Be Photogenic

Your expression will draw us in.

  • Your facial expression is the single most important element of your headshot. Feel free to use whichever facial expression you like, however, keep in mind that because emotions are contagious, if you look like you’re having a good time, we’ll be drawn to your picture.

  • While we may think that we have a “good side” and a “bad side”, in reality, these are perceptions in our own minds that are not evident to others. As long as we can see you, you’re showing your “good side”!

Attire

Wear a neutral colored dress or shirt. V-necks accentuate the neckline and work well. Heavy patterns or colors may be distracting.

Hair & Makeup

Light makeup can be used.

  • Ladies should do their hair and makeup as they would if going out for a casual-to-upscale event. In other words, it shouldn’t be overly heavy or glamorized.
  • For ladies, focusing on light makeup to accentuate the eyes will be effective, as your eyes will be the most prominent feature in your photo.
  • Men with a heavy “5 o’clock shadow” area, even after shaving, should use some light foundation or concealer to cover it up.

Equipment

These days, any camera will do, but a good tripod will work wonders.

  • Given advances in digital photography technology, almost any camera or phone will work well. There’s no advantage to using professional equipment.
  • If you don’t want to take the photo yourself, you can ask a friend to help you with your photo session.
  • If taking the photo yourself, you’ll need a tripod (or homemade equivalent), and you’ll want to set your timer, so that you can get into position prior to the photo being taken.

Experimentation

After you take a few photos, take a look at them and ask yourself, “do I like it?” and “is this the best I can do?” If the answer is “yes”, you’re done. But if it’s “no”, then make adjustments to the items we’ve covered above, and try again!