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What you need to know BEFORE you graduate: Part 2


By Doug Shapiro

Hello Business Owners!

Here comes part 2 of 3 of Business Lovin’ for our College Pros. Again, these actual questions are from the next generation of Accelerated Business Owners, my master class students at Shenandoah Conservatory and James Madison University.

Theme for this article: your Product.

“Should you alter your image/clothing style based on what others (truthfully) perceive you as so that you can be successful in the business?”


There are occasions in which there is a difference between our actual personality and the perception of others.

Maybe you look like a serial killer but have a heart of gold. Or you look very innocent but you’re a rascally little kitten. This is a great opportunity to get creative!

Let’s take the latter example. Perhaps the innocent look with the hair back in a hairband and a sweet A-frame dress, but the dress color can be a bit sultry, or cut just a little low there or high there.

Of course, if there’s a huge disconnect between what you feel is your personality and what others perceive you to be, it can be a good opportunity to do some self-reflection. Not every girl is the sexy vamp with red lipstick and not every guy is the brooding heartthrob with 5 o’clock shadow.

“If people perceive you to be bubbly, sweet, somewhat shy etc...can you still come in with a "mean/witchy" monologue? (if you are good at it!)”


Take a look at Bryce Dallas Howard in THE HELP or Kristen Chenoweth in WICKED. Sweet as pie yet brilliantly cruel.

Characters never set out to be “mean/witchy.” They are fully fleshed-out humans who find themselves in a circumstance that requires them to take this tactic to get what they need. I’d be intrigued to see a Lady M or a Medea played as a sweet woman driven to the edge.

So, lead with your monologue that shows them your money: sweet, bubbly, shy. When asked for something different, hit ‘em with Glinda.

“When we audition we go in with specific "types" and our books reflect that. However, sometimes I feel like I am trying to type myself so much that I no longer give the casting director an opportunity to "see" me as anything else... I am also struggling with "type" because I also think " well I kind of "fit" into that show" when I really don’t, but I need the job! So does "typing yourself" actually benefit you or hurt you?? Does it give the casting director an opportunity to see me as anything other than my "type?””


Type is only one element of your personal brand (the others being your personality, your individual style, the perception of others, and your career goals.) and it is your FRIEND!

You get to show the casting director/agent “This is where I can make money right now.” When you add in the other brand elements, you make your type 3-Dimensional.

Let’s say you’re an ingénue—now, flesh it out. Are you dorky? Wistful? Fiery? Sultry? Dry? Bombastic? Luminous? Once you’re true to your brand, your “Many a New Day” will differ greatly from any other ingénue that enters the audition room.

Once you flesh out all of the aspects of yourself that make up your brand, you may be surprised to find you do more than “kind of fit” into certain shows. In fact, you may be an excellent “outside the box” choice that will make the role more interesting!

When a casting director/agent has worked with you and is confident in your versatility, then they can start giving you those “outside the box” roles. But your brand (which includes type) is what will get you in the door.


So, My Accelerated Artists, go to that Just About to Graduate from College place. A world of opportunities still lies before you. As these amazing students reminded me, we are Entrepreneurs and that entrepreneurial spirit will power us through our day-to-day tasks.


Feel it? Great. Now activate your plan.  Reach out for a 20 minute consult, so we can talk about me teaching your students the Accelerated Artist Way today!


Please share with your peeps!