For models, castings are the most natural thing on earth. For runway shows, commercials or online shops. But overall for big clients and campaigns, clients require them. At castings, people involved like photographers or managers, marketing and sales can evaluate who fits perfectly into the look of the campaign. For bigger castings, there are casting agencies hired. One of the most famous casting agency in United States would be Rolf Scheider. He is known from the TV show “United States’s Next Topmodel“and many other television appearances. One of the important persons of the fashion world, you might get to meet when making it to the bigger castings.
Castings! Your daily business in cities like NY, Paris, London and Shanghai
Dates for castings will be done in two ways. Either way that as many models as possible can attend or that only a selected number of models may attend. The bigger the job, and the more exclusive and small the pre selection is. The best jobs are only booked by the best agencies, when casting agencies are sure that only the best professional models will attend the casting.
In general castings will always take place centrally. In the United States, a lot of castings are in Los Angeles and New York. This is also where the big agencies are located. And therefore, it makes sense for models to move to these cities at a certain stage. Appointments can be really time consuming and castings may take a couple of hours. And if there are thirty models ahead of you, you have to get used to spending time with your smartphone. Be patient and wait. Lots of models even learn for school or university while waiting at castings or jobs. E-castings are more comfortable and easier. They are also done for bigger jobs.
So, let’s have a look at the different types of castings:
Types of castings
In general, you can differentiate between two categories: live castings and e-castings. Selected models send a self-made video for an e-casting, which has to comply certain requirements. That saves traveling, expenses, and organization. Live castings are more challenging. At model castings’, usually lots of different types are on location, not only models but also the team. Bigger castings are also full of helping hands and editors of magazines. You have to deliver what they ask, if it is a text you had to learn, dancing or acting. Gosees are the shortest form of castings. It doesn’t matter which casting you attend: every model wants the job and every model has a great book. You have to keep your self-confidence and charisma and doing all this without being nervous is really a challenge for younger models.
Gosee: The short type of castings
At gosees you have to capture the people with only a little effort. At castings, it is always about showing a natural image of you. You should not wear any makeup or too much styling when attending a casting. At gosees it comes down to your look and your measurements. You only get a few seconds to convince them. Even though you might bring your book or sedcard, at gosees that doesn’t really matter because there is not time to have a look at them. Therefore, it is important to be perfectly prepared. From being on time at the location to perfect clothing. And of course, never forget to be friendly and smile when introducing yourself. If you are meeting several people at the same time, look for one person that is standing towards you. Many models focus on one person in the jury that is directed towards them.
If somebody likes you and smiles at you and others might not be interested, just focus on the person that likes you.
Note > if you are standing in front of the jury: never greet them by handshaking. Nobody likes to shake the hand of forty of fifty people.
Castings are mass events. In particular for new faces, castings are always a reality check. From twenty to two hundred models – castings are a real competition. You feel as model yourself, that they are very attractive, have a perfect body, are talented and are nice models. So, if you are not getting the fitting or job after a gosee, don’t be so hard on yourself or sad. Gosees are mostly for runway jobs and agency model castings. It is a chance to compare a high number of models within a short period of time and to get a quick result. For clients and jobs, castings are better. At live castings, you will have to play scenes with other models and at e-castings you will l have to say some lines for a commercial.
Live casting: It’s up to you
If you are invited from your agency to a live casting, you have good chances of getting the job. You have already been recommended as model and the client has already made a selection. With this invitation, you have already passed the pre-selection. Live castings consume time and money, and only models that have convinced the clients with their pictures will be invited. The clients now want to see you live. At live castings, you get the chance to show more of yourself. Usually it is your acting that they want to see, whether it is for photoshoots, of you playing a role with other models, for commercials and even saying some lines. Maybe a shoe company wants you to speak about the shoe for two minutes and tell them about your day. Another wants to see some sporty posing. Another casting would be you at a party, having fun, dancing although it is early in the morning. You have to be able to deliver all that when requested at all times.
E-casting: Do it yourself
If you participate in an e-casting it is mostly about campaigns that are big. For example, an international company is looking for new faces and that is why they do castings worldwide. Usually within the capitals of the respective countries in Europe, but also worldwide. You will get clear instructions by your agency on how to prepare the video and how to make it.
The quality of the video is not so important here. Perfect light is more important than an expensive camera. You might have to make videos in the short-term or between jobs. You have to introduce yourself by name and as already mentioned describe your acting talent. The video will be sent to the client as onetake (without any editing) and he/she will make a pre-selection. E-castings are for bigger and/or international campaigns, but also commercials, shootings etc. With e-castings both sides save money and time. The final selection will then be booked or invited to a regular casting.
Preparation for your next model casting
How can you prepare yourself for a model casting? With gosees or live castings it is about convincing them of you – fast in order to get to the next round or fitting. For gosees or live castings a basic preparation is enough. Before we look at the details of your casting you should pay attention to these 9 bases and know them: simple clothing, no styling. For women a white top, black heels, simple jeans and bikini or nude underwear. Clothing has to be fit and tight so that the jury will see your body directly. That includes high heels, which you will put on before the casting. No make-up or styling. Men wear black pants, white shirts, and also no styling for our male models here. Bring your sedcard and model book with you. If you already had your first photoshoot your agency might have already printed sedcards and you should bring them. If you are standing in front of the jury you can leave your sedcard with them. When doing the selection later they will easily remember your face with the sedcard. Of course your book is also a pro, so bring it with you! You might not get the chance at every casting to show it to them (especially with gosees), but usually the clients take at least a few seconds to look at some pages of your book, at least the first ones. Read our checklist for the next casting: 9 important things for your next casting.
Briefing and dates: Make a checklist
Before you leave for your casting you will get an address from your agency. So always plan your travel in advance and you will not experience any bad surprises on the way and be on time. Again, we are getting back to being on time, like at the beginning of this book. Professional models always make a route planning. Clients and agency will expect you to be on time and trust is that is always paying off for you as model. Go to bed early enough so that you are fit and awake the next day. Grab a little snack before the casting so you are full of energy.
So now you know what to expect from a gosee or casting. With the right and proper preparation, you will increase your chances of getting the job. Which means, being fit and well rested, prepared, on time and bringing all the necessary stuff with you: clothing, sedcards and modelbook. The procedure is always the same. You will enter the room, there will be a jury sitting somewhere, you introduce yourself and wait for instructions. At the end, you leave your sedcard, say thank you and leave the room. The more castings you do, the higher the chances of getting the jobs for photoshoots, campaigns and so on. In the next chapter, we will take a look behind the scenes of a modeling agency. How are enquiries handled? How is a selection made? Enquires, scouting and booking: here you will see again how important it is to work well and to collaborate!