So what is a ‘Casting’???
Essentially a ‘Casting‘ is an audition for a job. The job could be any matter of thing from a showing, Fashion show, photo shoot, event, TVC (Television Commercial) … anything.
There are a few different types of castings you can get.
A request casting is when a client has contacted your agency and either requested you by name or has given the agency an idea of the type of model they are looking for, which you happen to qualify for. The odds of getting a job when you have been personally selected are higher than your chances if you just fit into the style of girl they are looking for.
An open casting is client saying “Hey I need a model, send me all the girls you think are fitting with my brand” or “I need a model, send everyone”. The odds of getting the job from this style of casting is a lot less than at a request casting as there can literally be hundreds of girls turning up to cast. The odds are still there that you may be lucky enough to be the girl (or boy) who snags it.
How to Prepare for a Casting
When going for a casting some clients will request that you look a certain way or dress in a certain thing. Otherwise there is a standard way to look that is most appropriate.
The aim is to look radiant and polished, without being too done up.
At a photoshoot casting, a client is looking for a face or body or both. You are best to be wearing something simple and flattering. Be sure to show off your best assets. Nothing to revealing or too short. Aim for casual and cool. Makeup should be done within the ‘no makeup’ realm. Try having clean moisturised skin with a slick of mascara, a touch of concealer on any red bits, and a coat of a tinted lip balm . Designers/clients want to see you looking as natural as possible.If you are too dressed up or have too much makeup on clients may ask you to remove it or they will just thank you and send you on your way. dried or blow dried hair is also your best option, try to avoid straightening or curling it unless otherwise instructed by your agency- they know whats best for you.
At a Show casting a client mostly wants to see the shape of your body and what your runway walk is like. You must always bring a pair of heels and avoid wedges as some clients won’t even let you cast in wedges (it doesn’t prove that you can actually walk in a stiletto). Wear something short that shows off your long legs and slim frame. Take the time to practice, practice, practice your walk, in the mirror and in front of other model friends. You need to perfect it, if you don’t have a strong enough walk it won’t matter how tall, slim or beautiful you are, you won’t get the job.
General Tips for Castings
SMILE! Be friendly and be approachable, clients want to work with models who are fun and confidence. If you are too shy they may think you don’t have what it takes. The best thing to do if feeling intimidated and terrified? Fake it ’til you make it. Your nerves will disappear in no time!
Plan your day ahead. Chances are you could have 0-10 castings a day if you model full time. You want to be prepared and make sure you plan your day so that you will make it to all of your castings. Some clients won’t even cast you again if you don’t show up to their casting the first time. Its very easy to get lost and be late if you don’t know where you are going next and how to get there.
Pack a Power Pod for your phone. Seriously do it. You will feel like an idiot when your phone dies and you can’t see what your next castings are, where they are, how to get there and you can’t even cal your agency to tell them you can’t make it.
Call your agency if you are going to be more than 15 minutes late. That way they can call and explain to the client so that the client doesn’t get annoyed and so that you can be sure the casting is still going. Sometimes the castings will end on the dot at the specified time. Turning up late will mean no one will be there and you just wasted all your time getting there, and you might now be late to the next one.
Wear Sneakers or flats and carry your heels. Unless you are a magical fairy model, you can’t walk all day in your Louboutins (and that would ruin them), instead invest in some comfortable flat that will fit in your bag after you swap shoes outside the building before walking in. Trust me most models do this, and sometimes the train station is a 20 minute walk from your casting.
Go digital. Most countries and agencies are accepting and in fact prefer an iPad to an old school portfolio. For good reason: You can have a few different books on your iPad, ad cater them to different clients. You don’t need to pay for prints (they are actually really expensive). They weigh so so much less and are easier to fit in your bag.
Stock up on Comp cards. They are like you business cards, it is so embarrassing when you run out and its less likely that you will book the job because you seem a bit less responsible and without the card the client may forget certain details about you.
Be prepared for everything. Take an Umbrella if its going to rain. Wear light comfortable clothes if its hot you want to minimise your sweating. Take a bottle of water so you don’t get dehydrated, you want to look fresh. Pack some snacks to keep you going if you are out all day. Keep your train/bus pass topped up so you aren’t running late because you had to top up. Pack some baby wipes so you can freshen up in-between castings and remove your makeup if you need to.
Wear matching undies or pack a bikini, just in case. You won’t always know if a client wants bikini digitals, and if you didn’t pack bathers its easier to have matching full coverage underwear then only be wearing a teeny, tiny, lacey, g-string. Oh My!
A backpack is your friend. Carrying a handbag full of heaps of heavy stuff is just a drag, you might look cool but you can’t fit all the essentials you need and your shoulder is really going to ache. Just get a backpack.
You can never really be fully prepared for a casting but if you follow all these pointers you will be well on your way.
What do you do before a casting? Do you have any good tips for other models? Please write a comment below, I’d love to hear from you!