Achieving a career in Hollywood might be a dream for many, but it's not a challenge for the faint of heart. Part of the problem is that there's a massive amount of competition out there and everyone is looking for the same job.

There are millions of attractive people. Millions of talented people. Thousands who have both. Hundreds who have both in very large quantity. And they still won't “make it”. Fame is part genetic lottery luck. Part the luck of connections. Part pure fate of exactly what you have to offer lining up with exactly what someone is looking for at exactly the right time. You may be perfect, but too tall or short for your co-star. Someone less talented may be more marketable than you. The bottom line is – it’s incredibly tough.

Luckily though, I know what it takes to start a performance career from scratch and build it to the point where the dream of working in Hollywood becomes the reality of your life. Here are a few helpful tips to guide you on your way to fame and fortune in tinsel town.


The Hollywood Headshot

Nicholas Daines - Headshot (Cape Town shoot)

Nicholas Daines - Headshot (Cape Town shoot)

One of the very first ingredients you are going to need in your recipe for success as you embark on a career within the entertainment industry is a headshot. This is your calling card in the business and your passport to lift off!

You will require a headshot to send out to agents and casting directors and potential clients in the business. In this very competitive market place with so many people all applying for the same job, you stand a much better chance of working with professional photographs, which show you in the best light possible.



How much it’s going to cost you

The price of a photo shoot will vary depending on the experience and kudos of the photographer. The price usually includes a number of free prints but you should bear in mind the added expense of purchasing any additional prints from a shoot which might exclude any re-touching. It is common practice that many photographers will offer a discount on the print price depending on the quantity of additional prints ordered. Some photographers also offer discounts if you are registered with a recognised agent or if you are a fully paid-up member of the actor’s union Equity or SAGAFTRA.

The video bellow will tell you everything you need to know for a successful headshot shoot and hopefully get you where you want to be in Hollywood a lot quicker.


Photograph Reproduction

If you intend to join a few agencies, a less expensive alternative to ordering original prints from a photographer is to use a photographic company that specialise in reproducing photographs in

Nicholas Daines - Headshot at age 25

Nicholas Daines - Headshot at age 25

large quantities from an original “10x8” print for people in the entertainment industry. The quality of these ‘repros’ are excellent and accepted by all reputable agents.

The initial cost of ordering repros will usually include a one-off charge for making a new negative from the original photo. Therefore, if you require additional repros of the same picture at a later date then the same negative can be used and your bill the second time around for the same order will be slightly reduced due to the removal of this fee for the negative. Once again the more reproduction photos you have made at one time the lower the cost of each new print.

Many photographers today use digital photography and place all photographs from the shoot on a disc so that you can print the photographs of a shoot yourself making the process slightly less expensive.

Next week on "The Beginners Guide to Getting Started in Hollywood - Part 2" I'll talk about the importance of having a good agent to represent you and how to find the perfect one for you. Stay tuned!