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Holy Headshot!: A Celebration of America's Undiscovered Talent Paperback – October 28, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Not since the young Norman Mailer returned from World War II and penned The Naked and the Dead has a first book delivered such a powerful portrayal of bravery in the face of unimaginable horrors. A profound and disturbing insight into the human condition, and a clarion call for reason in our troubled culture. Borelli and Gorenstein may be the next titans of American letters." -- Todd Hanson, writer and editor, The Onion, America's Finest News Source

"This is a strange and beautiful gallery of brave dreamers; their pictures are like the illustrations in a dictionary in which every entry is "HOPE." And even when the wardrobe is very bad, or the facial hair regrettable, or the poses inexplicable, these people deserve your appreciation and applause." -- John Hodgman, author of The Areas of My Expertise and contributor to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

"Why must we laugh at others in order to feel better about ourselves? Oh, right -- because it's fun. Enjoy this fun book!" -- Triumph, The Insult Comic Dog

"This book is amazing. I can't believe how many people I know in here. You'd expect a few because of my connections to the Wiccan community and my early forays into puppetry and competitive snake breeding, but still I was shocked at how many people I recognized. I found a ton of ex-girlfriends, one roommate, some former collaborators, and even my third grade teacher -- who knew she had a tattoo there?" -- Matthew Diffee, New Yorker cartoonist

"In acting, the Meisner Technique is based on living truthfully under imaginary circumstances -- what Meisner neglected to say is that there are some imaginations that just shouldn't be tapped. Holy Headshot! tapped and bottled it!" -- Karith Foster, Imus in the Morning

"Holy Headshot! only increased my appreciation for such actors as Pete Traina (Angry Man in Balcony in The Last Dragon) and Dale Greeber (Angry Farmer in the industrial film Pork: Know the Dangers). It also made me destroy every headshot of me in existence." -- Andy Borowitz, The Borowitz Report

"Flawless skin and a winning smile? BORING! Tall, dark, and handsome? NEXT! As a casting professional, one of my greatest workplace joys is to come across the kind of headshot gems found in Holy Headshot! Now you, too, can experience the magic! Welcome to my world, World!" -- Anne Harris, Comedy Central Talent Executive

"I cried myself awake after reading this book. Truly amazing headshots." -- Cecelia Pleva, Late Night with Conan O'Brien Casting Director

"Holy Headshot! has earned a rightful spot in my vast, temperature-controlled library of leather-bound classics. I cannot wait for the audio version!" -- Jimmy Fallon

"There has never been a good headshot of Human Giant. Look at this dumbass picture of us on a bike. It sucks. It's not cool to laugh at other people's crappy headshots. Not cool at all." -- Human Giant, MTV
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (October 28, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416591125
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416591122
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.5 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,021,553 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Riley0091 on October 27, 2008
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Did you ever snicker at some hapless bride who trips and falls into her wedding-cake on America's Funniest Videos, only to feel guilty about finding humor in someone's humiliation? If so, then you might want to pass on this book. But for the rest of us insensitive jerks, HOLY HEADSHOTS will provide much more than a dirty little chuckle.

Collected are one hundred diverse, starry-eyed hopefuls with hunger and desperation on the breath, all-waiting for their big break. And for the lucky few, it comes in the guise of an extra on a afternoon soap opera, a local commercial pitchman, the lead in a community theater production of 42nd Street, or a supporting role on a direct to video horror flick. (While thumbing through, I did recognize some the actors from various projects; so now I have names to put to that faces in the crowd scenes on Law & Order and NYPD Blue.) Included with the 8x10 glossies are the actors' resumes, and some will give you chilling insights into their hopes and dreams (I'm looking at you Clement Dyer on page 34!)

This book is a must for anyone who ever dreamed of fame but woke up and got a civil service job.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Martin A Hogan HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on November 7, 2008
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The two guys who put together this book (Patrick Borelli & Douglas Gorenstein) looked at over 50,000 headshots to choose these 100 headshots. Don't be fooled into thinking (as I initially did) that this was a collection of freak shots of D-list actors tossed together for amusement. Far from it.

Along with photos (some zany, some serious, all unique) there are `resumes' ranging from the basic of weight and height to the details of special skills, interests and acting history. They could almost be all your neighbors acting out in their wildest ways; they all look so average (or not normal). As David Cross says in the foreword, "In life you only get one chance to make a good first impression".

Trivia: Meryl Streep was cast in "Sophie's Choice" once the director saw the headshot wherein she was wearing what looked like a prom gown, sucking on a lollipop, and making "crazy eyes". After reading that, I had an entirely new perspective and respect for all these "Head Shots".
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Esther B. on October 30, 2008
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I laughed, I cried, I considered getting my own wonderfully horrific headshot. One of the funniest books I've had the pleasure of reading in a long time. Once I got it I couldn't put it down--it was like not being able to turn your eyes away from a really bad car accident. I started by just flipping through and looking at the headshots. And oh, there are some headshots in this book. Headshots that will make you feel good about yourself in a way Oprah Winfrey never could. Next, I read the resumes that went along with said headshots. I recommend paying particular attention to the handwritten ones--they're by far the best of the lot! This book will have a prime space on my coffee table in my living room for all of my friends to see. Maybe they, too, can discover the marvelous wonder that is Holy Headshot!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ronzon on October 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
I'm a former actor, and was startled to see what people were willing to put out there as representations of themselves- and that they were then willing to give the authors access to their pictures, which -obvious from the title of the book- were not the most flattering.

My amazement turned to empathy as I realized how much HOPE these actors were putting forth and the amount of Belief they had in themselves.

I plan to send this off as a gift to several of my clients as I think it's a perfect coffee table book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lulu Magoo VINE VOICE on November 12, 2008
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book is truly is a celebration of undiscovered talent. The premise of this book is that the authors (editors?) looked through over 50,000 headshots and resumes of people looking for work in the entertainment industry.

They bypassed the "normal" glamor shots, and instead focused on the unique, interesting and bizarre. Most of the images included in the book manage to stand out in some way, and many actually show the actor in an unpleasant light - and I have a feeling, that oftentimes this will probably work to their advantage. Because there can only be so many leading men and women in Hollywood. We need all those interesting, geeky, quirky and average folks to make up the secondary casting. We need the "character" actors that show up in everything (Like a Stephen Tobolosky) but whose names you cannot place.

Second to the headshot comes the resume...or lack therefore of. Many of these people have no acting experience outside high school, or local community theater. Some go so far as to write "letters" instead of a resume - explaining why they should be given the chance at an acting role, or an explanation on how/why they decided to get a job in the industry. "I was on-line looking up different websites when I came across explore talent's web page and I thought it would be an excellent opportunity for me so I signed up for it." or "I had always wanted to be in film and television but saw myself as having a face for radio and a voice for silent movies."

And lastly, I couldn't stop giggling at the different kinds of "special skills" that people would list on their resume, such as:

Quiltmaker
Yard Work
I can grow a beard quickly
Above Reproach Table Manners
Speed Reading
Can Snap Fingers Off Anything
Loves Boxing

I love this book. It gives me hope.
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