Being a model is not easy and the market is tough out there. There is a lot of competition, there is a lot of poorly paid jobs, there is a lot of rejection. We know, we understand, we are all in this together and even if we are working from a different side of the industry, we are still in the same industry. But don’t make it harder on yourself, your reputation is at stake and a name is easily tainted.
This week we have been casting female models for a shoe campaign that we will be shooting soon. Hundreds of models applied, but only about 10% matched the criteria specified on the casting call. So we were forced to go through almost 500 applications from which only 45 more or less matched what we were looking for according to our ad. Why would you apply for a casting call where someone is looking for a shoe size 4 girl if you are a shoe size 7? We all need the money, and cities like London are really expensive to live in, but you don’t want to look desperate. Nobody wants to cast a desperate person. And it is also disrespectful, because basically you are telling us that you don’t mind wasting our times at all.
This is why my blog post today is about some best practices to take into account when applying to casting calls:
1. Matching the criteria is important: if we are looking for a shoe size 4 girl, what makes someone think that we are going to cast a shoe size 7 person? How are you going to manage to shrink your feet to make them fit into the shoes? Or if we are looking for a black girl and you are asian, how are you going to manage to change your race for the job?
2. You can’t fit all the sizes: we were casting shoe size 4 and shoe size 6 female models. One girl said that she could fit shoe sizes 4, 5, 6 and 7. Literally.
3. Geography is important: we were casting only female models living in London. If you live in Australia, why would you even apply?
4. The dates are set: if the shoot is on X day and you know that you will not be available on said date, why apply? We are all working to produce a campaign shoot with a date in mind and it is very unlikely that we would change this date because one of the applicants is only available a week later.
5. Show that you care: after filtering the dissapointing amount of almost 450 applications, we were left with a group of suitable applicants from which we shortlisted around 20. We sent emails to all the girls and almost half of them haven’t responded yet. So you are telling me that after all that we have been through to shortlist you now you are not going to even care to reply when we tell you that we want to meet you in person? If you are not available anymore, please have the decency to let us know. Don’t burn any bridges.
6. Show up to the casting: one of the shortlisted girls sent us a text saying that she couldn’t come to the casting day we had given her and asked to be switched to the following day. We let her come the next morning. The next day she sent us another text asking if we could see her in the afternoon instead. We let her come in the afternoon. In the afternoon she texted again to see if she could come a few hours later than we had agreed. Obviously we didn’t cast this girl. If she can’t even come to the casting what guarantees us that she will come on the day of the actual job?
From this casting call we only selected one girl out of 500 applicants. Thankfully, one that we are really happy with. But for the second girl we had to call someone who had worked with us before to see if she was available and luckily she was. So this here is our last piece of advice today: if you are professional and do a great job and leave a good impression, you might get called back for another job again in the future.
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