Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I Hate Being the Guinea Pig

I am one of those models that makes it a priority to arrive early for everything: castings, go-sees, auditions, shoots, etc. Oftentimes I'm there before the actual client or they'll be surprised that someone actually did show up early and they won't even be ready. In most cases being the early bird has greatly benefited me but recently this seemingly good habit ended up backfiring on me. Since I want to keep it real with my readers I'm going to share my experience that may not be a big deal to some but for me it still makes me cringe. lol.

I was in Los Angeles for a casting for a beauty editorial shoot. It was an open casting from 10am-2pm, which meant I could attend anytime I wanted. Of course I wanted to be there early since I was not sure how many people would be there and also wanted to make a good first impression.

The details of the casting I received in the email were pretty straight forward: the casting director and photographer would be doing test shoots as well as videotaping each model in order to get an idea of our personality. Simple enough, right? Well, the casting started at 10am but I actually got there at 10:45am. I was the only model at the place so I signed in and waited for about 20 minutes because the casting people weren't even ready. So I patiently waited until they called me. One guy had the camera for the test shoot while the other guy (I'm assuming he was the casting director) had a small camcorder to record the casting. I figured they would do the test shoots and then ask me a couple of questions on camera. Nope. Instead, the casting director had the camcorder on while the photographer was taking my test shots. He asked me to play with my hair, which I did. But apparently it wasn't what he wanted so he clarified by saying that he wanted me to mess up my hair and look all wild and raw. Ooookkkaaay.....totally not what I was expecting but hey, nothing's run of the mill in modeling sometimes, right? Well, needless to say, I was caught off guard so I did my best to mess up my hair...based on my modeling pictures on my blog you all know I don't have THAT much hair to work with lol so it was a bit tricky. I did my best but if I had known I was going to have to demolish my perfectly curled and brushed coif, I would have put in some extensions to have more to work with.

Although my facial expressions and poses were "workin' it" inside my head I was totally panicking and completely felt thrown off my game. It was one of the most awkward castings I'd attended in quite some time. To make matters worse, when I was done and thanked them for their time, I turned around to find about 8 models in the sitting area who had been watching me the entire time. Ugh. It was one of those situations where being first wasn't beneficial for me. For one thing because the casting team didn't seem too sure of what to have the models do for the casting and the whole "mess your hair up and pose" idea seemed like something they just came up with. Second, being first meant that my casting is more than likely going to be the weakest, whereas the next models throughout the day will be better. And third, because the other models were present they were able to prepare ahead of time and I'm pretty sure they did a better job than me. What sucked even more was that on the drive back from Los Angeles, I thought up about half a dozen poses I could have done. Argh!

Eh, you win some, you lose some. I don't think I booked that particular gig but I have learned a lesson: it's best to be early when you've actually booked the shoot but if it's an open casting call where I don't have an appointment time, I'm totally going to go in later and cheat off of the competition. LOL. Ah, this crazy industry!

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