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GUEST POST BY ANNE WOODS: On Color Psychology for Actors

May 4, 2012

Please welcome our newest guest poster, Anne Woods, to the blog today! Anne is a cheerful actress in Oregon, who has plans to make the big move to L.A. soon! Today she’s sharing with us how different colors can have a huge impact on what you say about yourself without words.

Color Psychology for Actors

Do you ever notice how a bright red shirt someone is wearing affects you? Or perhaps a completely black outfit? Colors innately affect human beings psychologically, plain and simple. It’s important for actors marketing ourselves in very specific ways to understand how the colors we wear in headshots and auditions are influencing those who want to hire us. All people, including Casting Directors, Agents, Managers, and Producers, have an internal unspoken response to the colors we wear (whether they are aware of it or not).

Some of the way the below colors affect us may seem obvious, but others maybe not so much. Use this to gear how you represent your personality and market yourself in your auditions, headshots, on your website, business cards, postcards, and even resume (if you decide to go a bit bold with some color; ooh fun!). And don’t fret if you need to play around with different shades and color schemes before you feel a solid representation of you develop. We are all in constant progress and cycles, and that’s okay.

I have geared these descriptions toward how the average Western Hemisphere (North American primarily) person is psychologically affected by colors. How have different colors been working for you?

BLACK — Authority, Mystery, Intelligence

Black can be such a complex color. On one hand, it represents power, strength, and class. On another hand, black can imply evil, mourning, and mystery. Black can also easily convey intelligence, sexuality, and grace. Having so many options is where a lot of fun comes in: when you get to play with colors to figure out what best represents you. Pair your personality and the way you are marketing yourself with a color, and a very unique person emerges.

WHITE — Purity, Innocence, Cleanliness

White is based in goodness, innocence and youth. It is considered to be wholesome, noble, and honorable, full of humility and simplicity.

GRAY — Timeless, Security, Modesty

Gray is a color that can be easily utilized to represent one who is practical, conservative, and mature. Be careful to use it in a way that doesn’t suck your energy.

RED — Romance, Intensity, Energy

Red is very bold and distinctive. It is the very essence of our life, our blood. It can signify romance, excitement, and love. Different shades, for example lighter reds and pinks, can suggest flirting or teasing, and deeper reds like maroon generate comfort and warmth.

ORANGE — Vibrance, Enthusiasm, Courage

Orange is such an expressive color. It reflects lots of energy, excitement, and happiness, and when used in the right way, can signify sophistication.

YELLOW — Radiance, Laughter, Idealism

Yellow just bursts of joy and optimism. It’s a perfect way express hope, happiness, and an overall positivity about life.

GREEN — Renewal, Health, Generosity

Green is definitely my favorite color. It is so cooling, calming, and harmonious. It is also the color of growth, i.e. trees and grass. Use this color to show wealth, health, and your coolness factor 🙂

BLUE — Serenity, Truth, Unity

Blue is a very calming, sophisticated color to wear. It indicates loyalty, wisdom, and tradition. In addition, blue is characteristic of the focused and confident.

PURPLE — Respect, Wisdom, Exotic

Purple is an age-old representation of royalty, wealth and prosperity. It is often a color of ceremony, spirituality, and respect.

BROWN — Security, Friendship, Warmth

Brown is very earthy and natural. This is for people and characters who are very stable, reliable, and value simplicity.

I have recently been doing a great deal of research and learning in regards to how I want to market myself, with color psychology in mind (Hehe). I have found bright blues to really compliment and burst forth the color of my (blue) eyes. Blue also uncovers my calming, focused energy; a wonderful comparison to my current headshot. In my next headshot session, I plan to have more of a focus on the colors I know work for me.

The shirt I wear in the headshot I use most often, included in this article, is a bold orange with a hint of red. This is a super fun, accurate representation of my excitement and positivity toward life, and it shows that I am able pull off bold choices easily. Perhaps a similar affect could be pulled off with yellow, but I have noticed for some reason that lots of yellow, for example a solid yellow shirt, doesn’t jive with my energy as well as other colors. And that’s okay! This is where we actors get to try on different outfits and feel what works best, what we discover (through trial and error) reflects who we are and what roles we are targeting.

Find more about Anne Woods on Twitter, IMDB, and YouTube.

Thank you so much for sharing your insights, Anne! Please be sure to leave her a comment below sharing your thoughts on color psychology, and how you use it to your advantage.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. The Reflective Artist permalink
    May 4, 2012 9:10 am

    I **LOVE** this post, and now want to go shopping right away. Thanks, Anne!* 🙂

    *Please note, that was my consumerism thanking you, not my bank book.

  2. The College Theatre Dork permalink
    May 4, 2012 10:06 am

    LOVE this post! I have headshots scheduled for tomorrow, what shall I wear? Maroon’s my usual go-to favorite color but I’m leaning towards blue now 🙂

  3. May 4, 2012 12:12 pm

    Haha you’re welcome, Reflective Artist! And writing this also made me want to go shopping. Probably gonna have to happen soon 😛

    Theatre – I LOVE maroon…. perhaps it’s time to venture out? Depends, as I said in the article, how you want to market yourself. What pieces of yourself are you aiming to bring out in this headshot session?

  4. May 6, 2012 11:55 am

    What an awesome post! Thanks so much for sharing it with us, Anne!


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