And they don’t even know it.

I came out of a production meeting. We’re looking for a particular type of leading lady. And despite me wanting to be all about giving chances and being diverse, we had to cut out a few outliers. This was a complete cliche of a producers’ meeting: This one? Too old (34!). This one? Too feminist, we wouldn’t want to alienate the general audience. This one? Too serious, we want a bubbly personality. This one? Not sexy enough.

I completely get both sides. On the one hand, we want to make something that sells, and since it’s our first big endeavor, we can’t afford to take the chance and be provocative. It has to sell far and wide, internationally even. On the other hand, I do want to audition diverse people and be pleasantly surprised by someone I never expected to be perfect for the part.

So, what do you do if you’re an aspiring talent in the show business? My advice is this:

  1. Put stuff online. Seriously. It’s the great equaliser. Put yourself out there, just grab your phone and do something. We wanna see you narrating a book, doing an interview, being silly, dancing, singing, acting, reviewing a product, showing us around during your holidays. Don’t worry about quality if you don’t have it, just put stuff out there. WE WILL SEE IT if you get shortlisted. It’s not stalking if it’s for work.
  2. Get a platform. Choose the social media platform you genuinely enjoy and be active in it. We will definitely choose a talent with an active social media following over another if they’re in a tie. You never know who might stumble upon it.
  3. Don’t worry about your career and whether the above might hurt it, like you hear with errant tweets and whatnot. If you’re at that early stage, you probably don’t even have a career to speak of. Tough words, I know.
  4. More tough words: Start a fitness regime (says the chubby guy.) You don’t need to be ultra-skinny, but a tiny bit helps. You’re the one who wanted to get in front of the camera, sorry.
  5. If you’re unique, own it. Angel Giuffria said she started finding work as soon as she put her prosthetic front and centre instead of hiding it.

I’d very much like to experiment and cast diverse and interesting people with talent. Perhaps later on when I have the clout to do so. We’ll see. For now, I’m just doing what every cliche producer does. Watch this BBC clip about the ridiculousness of this deal, it’s spot on:

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