As an actress, there is no denying that the pressure is always on! With the sometimes crushing pressure of striving for success and acclaim upon your shoulders it’s no wonder you can feel completely overwhelmed by the whole industry. Chin up though, because I have made a detailed list of the top ten essential items for every budding young actress.
1. All Inclusive Make-Up Kit
There are many different roles you can play in a lifetime and none of them are exactly the same. Just like any two people, any two characters are never going to be identical. With that being said, there should be no reason for you to do your makeup exactly the same for every casting or audition you attend. For example, it would be wise to make yourself up very differently when going to a casting for a TVC for an Insurance company compared to an audition for a ‘party girl’. As all of us ladies know, make-up can be a very powerful tool when used correctly. Amazon.com has some fantastic complete make-up sets. The Cameo All in One Makeup Kit ($29.99) is good option, but for me it’s slightly too bulky. You could also try the SHANY Cosmetics Carry All Train Case with Makeup ($34.95), however, I think the most practical and highest quality product would be the e.l.f. 83 Piece Essential Makeup Collection ($22.22 – pictured) because it has a huge selection of different eye shadows which can be used to drastically alter your overall look.
2. A subscription to IF and SCREEN magazines
There is nothing better than being up to date on all things Acting and by subscribing to IF and SCREEN magazines you’re bound to up on all the latest industry gossip! With numerous press releases and the latest industry buzz, these magazines are a feeding ground for new opportunities. Having access to breaking industry news, you have an edge on those who aren’t ‘in the know.’ By this, I simply mean, that you can email or make contact with producers/casting directors for upcoming projects and in turn, have the possibility of an audition. We all know how priceless this is! Make sure you drop a line to your agent too when you’re partaking in these ‘cold-calls’. You’ll prove how dedicated and passionate you are about your acting career to all parties.
3. Black Pumps
Every girl knows the value in the LBD. But not everyone thinks the same when it comes to your feet – the LBS (Little Black Shoe) is an equally important wardrobe staple. With the ability to be fairly well matched with any outfit, a perfect pair of black pumps is a must have for any young actress. Whether you will be rocking them to an industry event or an audition, there is no reason why you shouldn’t own a pair of your own. Amazon.com has thousands of suitable options for any taste. For me, by far the best option is The Highest Heel Women’s Hottie Stiletto ($44.42 – pictured). With the black velvet outer and gentle pointed toe, this shoe is a standout when it comes to the LBS! Other women might be drawn to the Jones! By Delicious Platform Stiletto High-heel Dress Pumps ($17.99) because of the round closed toe and simple stiletto, but to me, I much prefer the understated detail of The Highest Heel design. If you like the design but want more of a POP then check out Ollio Women’s Winter Elegant Multi Colored Dress High Heel Shoe Pump ($19.99) which has an eye-catching patent finish.
4.Teeth Whitening Kit
No amount of brushing and flossing is going to guarantee you sparkling white teeth. Frustrating? Yes! But its not the end of the world because there are so many affordable teeth whitening options available nowadays. If your a bit dubious and prefer the old-fashioned brushing system then check out Colgate Toothpaste Whitening with Peroxide and Baking Soda Oxygen(Pack of 3) ($7.79). However, I much prefer a more immediate solution. The Supersmile Ultimate Whitening System ($34.74 – pictured) is an effective and pain free teeth whitening system wherein you prep your teeth and then use specialised pastes. If you don’t want to change your toothpaste then checkout the Go Smile Whitening System ($50.00) which uses a singular applicator system. But always remember – if you are going to whiten your teeth always follow the instructions carefully because you don’t want to end up with super sensitive teeth for the following week!
Organisation and presentation are key elements to portraying and working towards success. When attending meetings with casting directors, agents or other actors its always a great idea to be extra prepared. This means having a stash of business cards, CV’s, headshots, comp cards – maybe even a spare copy of your showreel just in case things take an unexpected turn (hopefully for the better). Amazon.com have a huge array of folios on offer and the following are my picks. Pierre Belvedere Snap Portfolio is a fine choice and I do love the light green colour ($22.51). Another very self-sufficient option is the Case-it Executive Zippered Padfolio($28.11) which has storage space for all your stationary needs. The pick of the bunch is the classic Moleskine Folio Notebook ($20.76 – pictured). The hardcover finish is sleek and professional yet effortless in its appearance.
6. A Credit/Debit Card
There are endless ways to abuse a credit card but let me give you a couple of ways to use it wisely! If you keep up to date on repayments, a credit/debit card can be your best friend. In the acting world there are hundreds of out of pocket expenses – Hair, makeup, outfits, gyms fees and of course membership fees for all your extremely important casting websites. To me, it is absolutely non-negotiable to be on IMDB, AT2 or Showcast and Starnow. Model Mayhem, Ecaster and Casting Networks are optional extras. Unfortunately in this era of the entertainment industry, if you don’t have profiles on these websites, there is a good chance you wont be able to book any paid work. Trust me, it will pay off to have an online presence.
7. Healthy Cookbooks
We all know the importance of looking after our bodies and a big part of that is what we are feeding ourselves. Any actor knows how crucial it is to maintain a healthy weight – after all you need to look like your photos so you don’t surprise casting directors in a bad way! Its easy to get sucked into faddish diets and takeaway salads but at the end of the day what really matters is good food knowledge so you can cook up healthy treats every night of the week. If you work out in the evening than I would suggest The Feed Zone Cookbook: Fast and Flavorful Food for Athletes ($14.10). Another informative and deliciously laden cookbook is Power Foods: 150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients ($14.32). However, the cookbook which will have your taste buds singing and comes in at the best value is The Clean Eating Cookbook & Diet: Over 100 Healthy Whole Food Recipes & Meal Plans ($9.89 – pictured). This cookbook will not only teach you how to cook some uber health food, but will teach you the importance of clean eating as a lifestyle choice rather than a fleeting diet.
I know what you’re thinking – I’ve already covered makeup in this article… But c’mon – red lipstick is way too important to merely gloss over. The red lip is a vital part to any actress’ essentials kit. Whether it be prepping for a big audition or readying yourself for a movie premiere, the red lip is a steadfast accessory to ensure you stand out from the crowd – and this industry, you need all the help you can get! If you’re new to the red-lip craze then I suggest you ease into the trend with Maybelline New York Colorsensational Lipcolor in Red Revival ($5.29). One step up is the NARS Semi-Matte Lipstick in Jungle Red ($26.00) which is a good choice for everyday wear, but for me I cannot go past MAC Matte Lipstick in Russian Red ($21.55 – pictured). MAC Lipsticks are in a league of their own. With hours of coverage and staying power – even after eating, you cannot go past this perfect shade of scarlet.
At the risk of sounding like your Mother, there really is nothing more important than protecting your biggest organ. Having healthy and vibrant skin is imperative when trying to book jobs. When you have healthy skin you radiate confidence and vitality. Lets face it – who doesn’t want to look like that?! If you exercise in the sun, partake in water sports or just love going to the beach, you simply must protect yourself with a decent sunscreen. The Neutrogena Ultra Sheer SPF 45 Twin Pack ($13.59) is a great bargain and as is the Coppertone Ultraguard Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70+($23.56). Although, you simply cannot go past the original Banana Boat Sport SPF 50($9.94 – pictured). At 80 minutes water resistant and super affordable you won’t ever have an excuse not to Slip, Slop, Slap ever again.
10. Water Bottle
Stars like J-Lo, Lady Gaga and Keira Knightly are avid water drinkers and so should you be! There is nothing better for your body than being completely hydrated. Water is a super liquid for every human being and for any actress, water should be your best friend! Cleasing, purifying and detoxing there is nothing unhealthy about drinking water! For some of us, drinking the necessary two liters of water per day is somewhat of a struggle. However, I’ve found a way to make water fun! The Bobble Sport Filtered Water Bottle($9.99) is basic BPA free bottle. However, I think we can do better! The next step up is Brita Hard Sided Water Filter Bottle ($16.88), which is a little more fun and has a higher quality water filter – after all you don’t want to be drinking all the nasty chemicals pumped into our water! Better yet though, is the MIU COLOR™ Stylish Portable Real Borosilicate Glass Water Bottle with Black Nylon Sleeve ($16.99 – pictured). The most exciting thing about this glass bottle is that is comes with a tea infuser! How exciting – delivering a double whammy of health and vitality; water and the purifying qualities of herbal tea!