Students come into my class with a mental list of all the physical ailments or irregularities that they believe will keep them from booking commercials. Height. Weight. Birth marks. Usually it’s teeth. It was for me! And I'm here to tell you, your body doesn't matter, what you think about your body does.
I grew up with British/German heritage, in Michigan, where my mom would serve us a milk and Coca-cola mixture for dinner. Can you imagine my pearly whites by the age of twelve? Then came the braces, but by then, my thinking was solidified. Do not smile. Your teeth are like a cows. Have you ever seen cows teeth? Probably about as often as mine. Every headshot, with a tight lipped smile. Please God don’t look at my teeth.
Right around my 30th national commercial I begin to realize how little it mattered. How had I booked so many with such horrible teeth? Maybe..maybe, they weren’t so terrible? They’re not so terrible. Im not so terrible. Actually my smile is kind of nice. If only I had believed this about myself, and not relied on an outside source of a booking rate to convince me, maybe I might have had more fun in the process.
And that’s the Solution. What’s the point of being in this business if we’re not having fun? If we are constantly trying to hide from the camera? The camera sees all, so it is our job to celebrate it all. And if you can’t celebrate it, change it. Probably less expensive than reconstructive dental surgery is to notice your thinking behind your perceived imperfection. Keep in mind, you’re not fooling anyone. You smile tightly to keep your teeth from showing, people unconsciously pick up on that cover up and begin to tense themselves. So, relax. Enjoy. Even if you had perfect teeth, you have no control over how people judge your teeth. There are commercials for every body type, height, weight and yes, teeth. Sure, I’ve never booked a toothpaste commercial, but somebody has. And good for them. The next milk and Coke is on me!
TRY THIS: Take a note on how you feel about each part of your body. Positive or negative. Why? Where did you learn it from? Who did you learn it from? If it’s a negative thought, is it really true? Try thinking the opposite just for a moment. “My nose is beautiful.” Try it again. And again. And again.