I’m a newbie screenwriter and started to wonder if my appearance will come in to play as I try to pitch and sell my script. I was having a total femme moment and thinking of dying my hair with bold red streaks and then thought, “Would this speak to my creative side or would it convey too much whimsy?”

I know actors have to worry about appearances but do writers have to worry about too bold of hair color or the like…and when it comes to meetings do you dress semi-casual or do you have to suit up?

–Cheryl Laughlin 

In my first Hollywood meetings, I always overdressed. I was uncomfortable, and the executive was uncomfortable. Gradually, I realized that the writer should always be the worst-dressed person in the room.

Not by much, mind you — you don’t want to look homeless or sad. But if the executive is wearing a suit, you want to wear a sweater. If he’s wearing a button-down shirt, you wear a polo. Just going one step more casual puts everyone at ease.

Obviously, women’s clothes are a little harder to gauge, so you’re a bit on your own. I’d say, wear whatever the assistants there wear: professional, but probably not a suit. If you dress like you’re working at a nice store, you probably won’t go wrong.

As far as your hair, do whatever you like. You certainly don’t need conservative hair to make it in the business.