So we’ve already established that castings are the equivalent of job interviews in the modeling world. During the casting the client can to take a look at the girls in person (and go through each of their books) in order to choose the one that most fits the requirements of the job, whether it’s a catalogue, showroom, fashion show and so on. When a client organizes a casting, the first step is to contact several model agencies and send over a description of the characteristics they are looking for. Like this the agency does a first round of selection because in theory the models that get sent to the casting should respect a minimum set of requirements specified by the client (even if that’s not always the case…)
The initial brief of the client sound a bit like this: “I would like to see around 20 girls, 1,80 height, light colored eyes, dark hair, fair skin. Casting tomorrow from 15:00 to 18:00 in xxx street”. Unfortunately the client doesn’t always tell the agency what those basic requirements are so this main turn out to be a problem.
We recently had a chat with some models in town and got them to tell us some funny stories from their casting experiences.
Just a reminder: the must have items for a casting are: book, high heels and composit.
Book… à la menthe
My bag is a reflection of my personality… chaotic. Paper napkins, hand sanitizer, umbrella (you never know), make-up kit for quick pre-casting retouch and of course the book, composit and heels which cannot miss. A flea market is way more organized compared to my bag and because of my messy style I created a disaster… almost. So the day of the casting, I’m there on time… perfect! Then comes my turn to go see the client. I open my purse, take out the book and… surprise: I see that the chewing gum pack had opened and there was gum all over my bag and my book, total mess. But I couldn’t waste any time because the client was waiting. I stick off the gum from the book with complete calm and hand it to the clients who had seen nothing”.
“Such a lovely minty scent”, he remarks. “Thank-you! You know, I like to pay attention to details” I answer.
“With one witty remark I got myself out of trouble and even got the client to think that I’m extra careful with details so much as to perfume my book with mint flavor. You don’t really think it was an accident?! It was planned aaaall along!”
So what is this “book”? For those of you who don’t know, the book (like the English word) holds a selection of pictures showing some of the jobs that the model has done in the past. Carrying it around all day long is not so easy because it’s pretty big and heavy. You know when you see a model on the streets when you see her with the unmistakable book in hand displaying the modeling agency’s logo right on the cover.
Ooops, we were looking for blondes…
“First casting of the day: I ring the bell, they open. I hear a voice from further away that sounded like a record that played over and over again: – second floor on your right -. I go in through the door and I already find the line… This meant that ahead of me I had 2 floors of girls standing in line, just like me. My first thought was: that’s just a great way to start my day… Some hour later I find myself in front of the client. I hand him the book, he opens it and takes 2 composites … the last two I had. Dramaaaaaa! This meant that all my schedule for the rest of the day was messed up because now I had to pass by my agency to get some new ones before going to the next casting
So I was already browsing through my mental map of the city in order to try and calculate the fastest route to the agency. Then I thought that there’s some good in all of this because if the client took 2 composites it could mean that he’s really interested. But my dreams were quickly shattered… I hear the client’s voice after a full minute of contemplation: – sorry honey, but we’re looking for blondes and you are a brunette -. At that point I thought… ok, something’s not working here. Why?! Why did you tale 2 composites then!? One wasn’t enough? Are you collecting composites just for fun, like action figures and then you go swap them with your friends?! My anger level rises… my mind is all over the place… I wanted to say a thousand things but the only thing that came out of my mouth was… Ok, thank-you – with a smile on the side obviously”.
So what is a composite? It’s basically the business card of a model. A piece of cardboard A4 size showing one ore several pictures of the model alongside the measurements (bust, waist, hips and shoe size) and very important, the name and contact details of the model’s agency. The client uses it in order to remember the model he or she has seen during the casting and then contacts the agency in case of interest. Both book and composite are provided by the agency.
Walking around on high heels
“Here I am. Ready for another casting day. Perfect makeup, straightened hair and my new shoes that I’d just bought the other day… I’m feeling really good!
After about half an hour of walking I realize that my new leather snickers were not such a great idea after all (walking around all day with new shoes can get you some nasty blisters). I take out the plasters from my bag and try to contain the damage but it was kind of late already.
After some minutes I feel my feet hurting again and the patches that are slowly slipping off. I only have one casting left for the day… can’t give up now! So I decide to take the least “harmful” way out and put on my high heels. The streets full of bumps, the metro bustling with people going home after work and me on trampolines in the middle of all this. In the end I get there, I get myself together and put on my best smile.
Once back home I collapse on the couch and start talking to my roommate about how my day went. I hear the phone ring. On the screen the name – AGENCY -. What do they want from me this time!? (I say to myself). – Hi dear! We have some great news: you know the last casting you had today? You booked the job and you start on Monday! Aren’t you happy!? – And happy I was! Closing the day in glory! “