MODEL CASTINGS – THE JOB HUNTING PROCESS FROM THE INSIDE
Have you ever heard about models going for castings but you don’t really understand what casting is and what it looks like? Let’s first explain what CASTING is, the process of attending, and the difference between a regular day-job and modeling career.
Most people who are in search of a job go through the regular process of sending in their CV, waiting for a phone call and eventually meeting for an interview. The person who is looking for a job goes to a few interviews and hopefully gets the job that they will stay in for years to come. It’s a different story when modeling is in question. Models usually do interviews almost every day – this is what we call in our language ‘castings’.
The process is a bit different than looking for a normal job. When the model is based in a certain city, then their agency sends her portfolio, which is a collection of pictures from the jobs that the model did before; like a photographic resume. The client checks all of the portfolios that they received and then makes a selection of which models they want to see. Then they inform the agency who calls those models for castings. This is called “Preselected casting” which is a much better version. You wonder why a preselected casting is better? It just wouldn’t make sense for every type of model to go to a casting if the client only wanted blond girls who weren’t any shorter than 177cm. It would be a huge waste of time for let’s say a brunette who was under 177 to book this job – 0% chance! I remember casting for Dolce & Gabbana in Milano, it was a preselected casting but regardless there were still four big waiting rooms full of models! Now imagine what would happen if they didn’t have any pre-selection? I guarantee you that all of the models, who were in town at that time, would have been there; and instead of four hours it would have taken at least ten hours.
Another type of casting we can loosely call ‘general casting.’ This is when the agency gets information from their client that they are organizing a casting event but they will not say which type of model they need. Typically what happens is that the agency sends all of their models in hopes that one of them will book the job. If the agency has a preexisting relationship and is familiar with the brand then they will send models better suited to their tastes. Client gets to see all the people and choose from the ‘pile’ who they think will fit their brand or concept best. It’s not always easy to know exactly what the client wants as trends are changing and brands must always be adapting to show something unique and different.
Modeling is a totally unpredictable job and if the agencies, agents, scouts, and models don’t follow and stay on top of what is going on every season, they get lost in the business!
When the agency gets information about castings, and when they decide who they would like to send, they typically inform the models the evening before the casting by sending a schedule via email or group chat. The schedule usually has the name of the brand, time of the casting, address and sometimes extra information if it’s necessary. The format of the schedule and information that model gets depends on the agency. The model’s job is to show up to the casting on time and looking perfect. The more information for the model, the better! For example, knowing which brand, when the job is, what kind of job, etc. Then the model can check the brand out well before the casting and try to match the client’s needs.
We as models have to understand that every casting is like an interview for a different job and it is another chance and we have to give our best no matter if it’s one or ten castings per day! In normal life, people attend their interviews, book the jobs, and then mostly get in the comfort zone. Well, forget about it in modeling! You can’t be nervous and insecure, but instead you really have to be passionate and motivated all the time. Some jobs are more or less important, but you have to just try and think that every one of them is as equally important, and remember to always give your best!
Sometimes clients set up different times for every single agency, and the casting should go really fast. But what ends up happening is that all of the agencies show up at the same time and then the waiting begins! The first thing that you, as a model have to do is to put your name and the name of your agency on the list. When it is your turn, they will call you up to go into the room/shop/office (depends where they organized it). Sometimes it’s just one or a few people sitting there doing the casting. It can be also be a photographer, stylist, designer, etc…anyone except for the client.
When you enter the room this is your time to shine and get this job!
You greet them and give your portfolio so they can see what you did before and what your ability to transform is like.
Transformations are the most important part of any model and you have to be really good at that. Basically, you have to be like a Chameleon!
The client will check your book, maybe ask you some questions and if they like you usually they give you clothes to try and see if you can fit. They may also ask you to take some pictures and see how good you are in front of the camera but usually, they just check your book and take your model card.
BUT WHAT IS MODEL CARD?!
The model card is something like a business card for people who work in companies, with the fact that model card has few pictures of the model, information like the name of model, measurements, eye and hair color, the name of agency and contact of the agency. Your model card does not have your personal contact information on it, but the contact information of your referring agency, because everything goes through them! If the client likes you and wants to book you for a job, they will call your agency and inform them.
Well, usually the evening before or during the week if you are going to the agency, you ask to check your schedule so that you can see on which day you have a job, which kind of a job, for which brand, and how much you will be paid.
Does the number of castings per day depend on the market, season, agency and type of model? Sometimes I have ten castings per day, and I am running around the city all day long to make it all; but sometimes it also happens that there is just one or even none. This is something that we can’t control. The model can’t have a lot of castings if there aren’t many jobs in that period of time or if the season is not so good. It works like that always in life – law of supply and demand.
Being a model you have to be very patient and aware of all of those variables. On the other hand, you also have to always be ready for an urgent casting! Castings can happen on the weekend, your birthday or even holidays! A model has to always be kind of ready to attend them. I would be honest with you being patient is the hardest thing for me but I am working on it!