It was his first big audition outside of school—and it turned out to be a textbook case of what not to do. It’s a lesson that MTV’s “Eye Candy” star Harvey Guillen says he’ll never forget.
“When I first got started, no one tells you that you need a headshot and resume, so I remember being in junior high and going to an audition for a musical and thought it was going to be like one for school,” he shares with Made in Hollywood: Teen Edition at OutFest’s premiere of “Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List” on July 17.
As it turned out, scoring a role in community theater requires more than just delivering a good performance for a casting director. “They were like, ‘Do you have a headshot and resume? And then they were like, what are you going to sing today? Where’s your sheet music?’”
He adds: “Needless to say I didn’t book it, but I learned. That’s why I’m an advocate about the industry teaching up-and-coming actors the right way to do things.”
In fact, Harvey says he returned to his school years later—well seasoned into his acting career—and shared his knowledge with some budding young performers.
“You get thrown into this business but there’s a protocol to follow,” he adds. “I learned it by making mistakes, but you really have to have a plan.”
Obviously getting your headshots, resume and other materials is a good start, but the next step thereafter is to secure an agent and go on auditions. But don’t go blindly mass-mailing agencies just yet, he warns.
“People who think they need to submit their head shots to agencies are making a mistake,” he says. “Because agencies, every month, have a book called The Agency, and you can pick that up. People are looking for you and your type.”
The Agency is one of many resources where actors can scope out casting notices that specify the type of actor needed for specific jobs.
Of course, scoring a role based on the type of character you fit doesn’t guarantee the job—something Harvey observed while on “Eye Candy.”
“The original cast all got recast except for Victoria and myself,” he explains. “In the original pilot I originally played a cop, a really young cop, but when they recast and they rewrote the story, they made me more of a confidant and best friend. They saw the chemistry (with Victoria) and they liked it.”