Nothing will make your heart jump out of your chest faster than being told you need to lose weight for a role. Some actors might be outraged when told this, but the costumes, wigs, and makeup can only take you so far.
However, actors are also often asked on an audition form if they are willing to cut/color their hair, and, if cast, they are requested not to materially change their appearance without prior approval from the director. Sometimes this is also included in a contract. So fill out those audition forms carefully and read the entire contract before you sign.
At the first rehearsal of Beautiful Thing, our director John Nasca addressed all of the actors regarding their physical appearance. (This is the moment you try to remember what you agreed to on the audition form!) John asked Patrick (Tony) and Kiah (Leah) to grow out their hair. Kiah was actually relieved that she didn’t need to cut her hair; at first she thought he asked her to cut it, which made her clasp onto her hair for dear life. Charlie (Ste) was asked to bulk up a little bit, which he seemed totally cool with. We also talked a little bit about how Charlie and I should have our hair cut, but nothing final was decided. And that was it; nothing for Michelle (Sandra) or me (Jamie), aside from the hair.
Nevertheless, after seeing the publicity photos, I realized how much weight I have put on in the recent months and it made me slightly ill. About a year ago, I lost 30lbs; it took approximately 12 weeks and I looked and felt great. I maintained it for months, until I fell off the wagon hard and ran for comfort food. After having a conversation with my director and getting his approval, I have decided to jump back into my workout regimen and drop a few pounds before opening. The director just asked that I proceed with caution and not lose too much weight. I should point out that I am doing this not only for the show, but primarily for my health, as my body and mind function so much better when I work out. So starting Monday, I hop back on the workout regimen that helped me lose 30 pounds a year ago.
P.S. This is not going to turn into a fitness/workout blog. However, I will keep you posted on my progress.
On another note, one of our actors has been nominated for an Emmy Award. Check back tomorrow to find out who it is and what they have been nominated for. Until then, have a beautiful day!