So the first question is what interests you. After you determine that then you can take an honest look at your body and your skills and what you need to do from there. Your body does not define your career path. A perfect example of this is Lucy Liu. She is a Chinese American. She could have told herself that all she could play was the social stereotypes of Chinese American females. Yet, she was a Charles Angel, a badass assassin and played Watson on Elementary. Watson is written for a man. So do not let your ethnicity or body shape define you. Look at all the ways that has been broken. But don’t ignore it either. Play to the strengths that god gave you and use your moral compass to determine if you want to play into stereotypes. I know several African Americans who would never play a thug and Latin Americans who would never play a gangster. And Muslims who would never play terrorists. That choice is up to you. But if you have a latin look, even if you aren’t latin, learn Spanish and work on the accent. It is a part of how you could be cast if you like the story to be told. These are the gems of knowing your casting.
Define for yourself the following:
What kind of stories do I want to tell?
What do I enjoy doing?
What am I good at doing?
From there you have your start point. If you want to tell comedic stories, you need to work on comedy skills. If you want to do drama you need to work on drama skills. If you answer “I want to do everything” at least nail it down a flavor to start with. You can do that by answering these questions for yourself.
What actors careers do I respect or want?
Is Reese Witherspoon your favorite actress? Why? What about her roles interest you? Even if you aren’t a blond blue eyed Texan you can figure out the types of stories you want to tell from this. With her career you have romantic comedies, charming yet strong women, the sweet character within a dark world. The underestimated. There are layers there that you can take a bit out of to shape your casting.
If you named (keeping it on women for good comparison) Toni Collette, why? What about her roles interest you? Serious, broken, broad range characters, gritty raw real people with a touch of human comedy. These shape your goals differently. Do you see that?
If you are more of a Reese Witherspoon fan than a Toni Collette fan your headshots will be polished and light, even the dramatic theatrical shots will be polished and light. You will present yourself warm and kind and you will work on your comedy skills as well as the skills to be natural and real.
If you are more of a Toni Collette fan you will focus on drama and layered undercurrents in your field. Your headshots will be more dramatic. Even the softer headshots will bend to the way of broken more than sweet. Your theatrical shots will need an intensity under them. See what I am saying?
Next ask yourself: What TV shows and Films would I love to have been in? What character would I have played?
You need to approach this with a slice of reality. Obviously if you wanted to play Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible and you are a middle aged balding man with a beer gut and a fear of heights you might want to cut out leading man in an action film and think of all the other roles that are available in such films. Either that or hit the gym, get over your fear of heights, and shave your head to have a more fierce look than a donut eating cop look. Let’s say you would love a role like William H. Macy in Fargo. That is gritty dark comedy. Your focus would be on character development. The quirky weird characters. Learn to play awkward and and unsure of yourself. I doubt William H. Macy is awkward and unsure of himself in real life, but man does he know who to play it and we all love him for it.