Working on a story about kids a few weeks back led me to the home in the avenues of the Gurvits family. An acting coach I spoke with had felt that their youngest daughter Greta would be perfect for the role we were casting. Acting headshots never do justice to the layers of interpretation you hope to get out of someone...they never come close. This role needed ambiguity and depth...what the talent looked like really had little to do with it.
I show up at their home on a Friday afternoon. Introduced myself and explained the role to Greta and her Mom. I try my best to illustrate what I wanted : I don't think the kid in this photograph is you, but you may know this kid. Or maybe you've had a day or two like this kid. But really, it's not you. You need to create this kid.
This giggly young girl who seemed excited and nervous to talk to this stranger in her house then slipped into the role. Her shoulders shifted. Her body seemed to get smaller, the pull of gravity seemed to weigh on her. Her mouth changed shape and her face seemed pensive. Right there in the living room, she became what she was not...and it was just what this role needed.
I was convinced. Next my job was to convince the editors.
And in this case, it worked.