Tuesday, 15 December 2009

I want to be a world famous fetish model

I didn't say that. I wish I had but sadly I can't take credit for it. These words were uttered by Ditta Von Teese, the self styled 50's pin-up queen of burlesque. She started her career as a fetish model, gained notoriety for her signature style and then drifted into burlesque.

My point is, other than the gratuitous titillation, that Ditta's success came from her carving out a niche for herself with a consistent and well differentiated image. It's branding 101 really. But with self adhesive pasties (not the Cornish ones - I think that's off the menu if you want to look like THAT.)

So what is my niche? What is the look and style that will help me build a following in the casting community?

The thing is, it's not as easy for actors as it is for performers. An actor needs to remain neutral enough that he/she can be cast in a variety of roles. And in the beginning, until you've established a name for yourself, all the casting director sees is your photo... in a sea of photos of other anonymous faces. How on earth do you stand out without making yourself look like an alien?

Let's think positively for a moment. Let's assume that I can tread this delicate balance between differentiation and neutrality... what image am I aiming for? I'd love to look like Ditta (I think what I mean is that I'd love to uh... hang out with Ditta) but I have a clowny side which draws me closer to Shirley Maclaine than Marilyn. I also have a weakness for Rowan Atkinson's Mr Bean. Not so much the movie version but rather the TV series. I like the sweetly tragic nature of the character, especially when he is alone in his tiny betsit interacting with his teddy. Are you still with me?

So, the big question is how could I combine Ditta and Mr Bean? Just because I love two things doesn't mean that the combination would be something "devoutly to be wished"... afterall, I LOVE After Eights and I LOVE bouillabaisse but I don't think they'd combine very well, do you?

Maybe I should seek inspiration from the masters of mixing: Ben & Jerry's. They concocted some pretty awesome combinations: Fish Food, Cheeky Monkey. Maybe I should drop my name and replace it with a catchy moniker: Lady Bella or Greggy the Frog or... something that doesn't make me sound so much like something out of a Guy Ritchie film.

So where does this leave me? I think maybe I should postpone all thoughts on the matter till after Christmas. Apparently turkey's really good for brain function...

In the meantime, here's to health, happiness and frilly knickers, and a new year full of discovery.