Haunted By This Photograph… Don’t Know Why!

June 7, 2009  |  Articles

Shawn Hlookoff
Morning Folks,

So I finally watched the last Kyle XY episode… another series canceled without tying up all the loose ends of the storyline. And as I was watching the show I remembered a song that was (as far as I know) written specifically for this show.  It’s called “She Could Be You” by the artist  Shawn Hlookoff (thats his head shot up above).

The opening lyric is the title of this post.

Haunted by this photograph… don’t know why
Every time I look.. I get shivers down my spine

You’ve such a beautiful face… I know those eyes
They take me back in time…. she could be youuu…

etc…

You know how it works by now right? Something triggers something that triggers my fingers to write up a post.

Question of the day

Why is it that voice actors need head shots (a professionally taken photo that is sent out with your voice demo)?

I know allot of you are not in this business just to do voice overs… I know many of you would like to (one day) stand infront of a camera and have more than just your voice heard. For people like that it obviously wouldn’t hurt to have a head-shot and this post isn’t addressing them.

I remember in the old days (when I was 23) and wanted to promote myself as a musician I called up my second cousin (who is a professional photographer) and asked him to hook me up with a few promo shots. They weren’t bad… and honest to God I felt like a total moron doing the 3 score of different poses to get… that right shot.

Being a musician means you don’t just sell your voice or your musical skills… in our day and age you have to sell your looks as well… It might have been allot less important in the time before MTV and the Music Video Clip. I can image that artists like Susan Boyle (of Britain’s Got Talent fame) in the good old days wouldn’t have had a problem selling her looks… since no one cared what she looked like… Today it’s a miracle she can even make it on a stage without getting booed off.

For The Rest Of Us

So… what about the rest of us? I am not half bad looking (praise be to the creator) My wife seems to find me adequate … and I’m not interested in being on TV. I am not interested in acting or in being a radio personality. I’m not interested in appearing in a movie … I just want to be able to do voice overs for a living.

Why does it matter that I have a Head Shot or that I look marketable… for all intended purposes I should be just as marketable to the blind as I am to the seeing… I’m a voice and that is all I wish to be.

What does it matter to the client if I record in my pajamas, underwear or a 3 piece tuxedo? In the end they get an audio file with what they want to add to their trailer, their elearning course or their audiobook.

The Truth Is…

The truth is that people who are better looking than others have a bigger chance of being more successful. People who are brilliant at what they do like Steve Buscemi who doesnt exactly have the standard hollywood looks and perfect teeth of Bruce Willis… almost always end up as supporting actors  (does anyone remember Tom Cruise before his brain was abducted by aliens and he had regular human teeth)

If Keanu Reeves wasn’t a hollywood heart-throb… you think he’d get anywhere with his style of acting? I be thinking not!

In our age of capped teeth, plastic surgery and photoshop touch-ups we seem to be churning out people that almost all look the same… Someone once told me that in Lebanon (where plastic surgery is very very popular) you can tell which plastic surgeon a woman or man went to … because ultimately all his clients start looking the same… its like a sculptor’s signiture on human flesh.

Islamically plastic surgery outside of correcting health problems is not permissible… By problems I mean if you have a nasal passage blockage then that can be corrected (so corrective surgery)… If you suffer burns in an accident then you can get that fixed. Breast implants… unless for cancer victims who have had to remove one or both of their breasts… are a no no… etc. This is because in islam the way God created you is the way you were intended to look. This doesnt mean you can’t mess around with your hairstyle… grow facial hair (for men) or adapt different fashions that change the way you look. But radical perminant changes to your looks are not acceptable.

I mention this because I am a muslim and this is what I believe in so it reflects on how I conduct myself professionally. What is the point of having a headshot if this is what eventually can be done with it:

Comments

Obviously I don’t expect all of you to agree with me… and again I am not addressing those who have aspirations of becoming movie, tv or radio stars… although again it boggles my mind why a radio star needs Head-shots…

I’m a pretty good graphic artist so I can mess around with any of my head-shots and make myself  Hollywood heart-throbesque… I work from Cairo Egypt… what will it ever matter to you how photogenic I am?

All that should matter is my voice… and how I use it… right?

comments please.


1 Comment


  1. Taji,

    I am working on my response to this post. You will see it in just a few days.