Saturday, October 17, 2009

how models can prepare for go-sees and castings

I posted an article I wrote for BuddyTV, where I give a petite perspective each week and share modeling tips for shorter girls. You might have caught it, but if you didn't here is insight on Model Go-sees 101:

During the Petite Ninja Warriors episode of America's Next Top Model this week, the girls had a go-see challenge. In groups of two, the eight hopefuls were sent to five different castings in a four hour span, in an effort for each of them to live the life of a real model.

This challenge inspired me to share a Go-see 101 with you, since the show didn't go into detail on the real go-see "day in the life." There is more to a go-see than just showing up!

What happens at a go-see: You are sent to "go-see" if you fit for an editorial, ad campaign or commercial, and must present yourself and modeling portfolio to a casting director, art director, editor, or marketing professional in hopes that your look and personality will work with the concept for the modeling job. Sometimes the go-see is more about how you wear or use the product. For example, at jeweler Neil Lane, when Sundai tried on the jewelry she looked more scared than into the idea. Kara, without her ears pierced, immediately blew it, and if she had an agency, the agency would have been a fool to send her to this go-see. Brittany, however, commented on how pretty the jewelry was and showed she was "into" the whole idea.

What to wear: I wear typically jeans, boots or heels, and a tank or t-shirt; however, depending on the go-see, I style my clothing based on the vibe of the brand I am visiting, sometimes even changing in the bathroom before and after if I am between go-sees. I try to dress the part, look like the girl who could model in that ad campaign for that product. Typically a print model is going to go-sees for brands that are not as fashion forward, so you don't have to go into overdrive when it comes to styling yourself. Makeup should be simple, don't over enhance the lips or eyes. No heavy, dark eyes! Hair should be out of face for beauty and skincare go-sees, but use the hair as an asset for a clothing go-see or lifestyle product. Jennifer got told at a go-see she had too much makeup on, Kara came across as a disheveled mess with greasy hair--both go-see no-nos!

How to prepare for a go-see: It is best to know something about the brand, magazine, or client you are about to visit. Is it a cell phone company, cosmetics, or a shoe brand? What is the vibe of the brand? Are they eco-friendly? Is it a high-end product or more commercial? What have their previous campaigns looked like? It is smart for a model to know something about the personality of the brand before the go-see, so that you can better prepare to fit the vibe of the brand. I wish the America's Next Top Model girls were prepared a little better about which brands they were going to visit before their go-see rat-race.

Arranging your portfolio and presentation: If you are going to a casting for a shoe company, then put shots of you modeling shoes at the front of your portfolio and point them out. Also, show up to the casting or go-see looking the part. If it is for shoes, then know ahead of time what type of shoes, heels, sneakers, sandals, or boots, and show up wearing a pair. I am not saying go out and buy a pair of Stewart Weitzman boots for a casting, but show up wearing something of a similar vibe. I've had casting for Nine West shoes and Guess shoes and I try to show up wearing the brand if possible. Whether it is watches, earrings, handbags, skincare, or cosmetics, showing you are relatable to the brand, that you like it and can comment on it in a positive way, can help you book the job sometimes. This also shows you understand the brand, and that you can pull off the concept for the campaign or commercial. Although the job might just entail posing a certain way or walking or wearing a garment beautifully, you still want to show your personality. Erin lacks in the personality department and appears timid, even though the designers at the go-see admired her walk. Laura was told she showed a lot of range in-front of the casting directors and designers, and being able to bring forward your diversity and ability to work with different products is a plus in modeling.

Be prepared for the unexpected: I went to a hand modeling casting for Vaseline, but after the casting director saw on my compcard that I also did full body modeling I was asked to take some back shots. However, I did not have on the underwear I would have preferred. That day I was wearing boyshorts instead of the normal tan or black thong I wear to go-sees and at modeling jobs. I did the shots but didn't felt as prepared. The moral of the story is to expect the unexpected, keep in mind what your compcard shows, and always remember that even if the casting is for one thing--from a hand shot to a shoe--it could involve other aspects. For example: If you go to a casting for shoes, try to make sure your hands also look prepared and polished because for many shoe campaigns the hands are seen putting on the shoe. At ad agency Wongdoody, the mini-models had to read a script with an accent. Luckily some of the girls had one from their hometown or could wing it, but Sundai didn't have one, so she gave the persona of a shy-girl--which wasn't far from the nerves she showed, anyway.

Other tips for model go-sees:

•Know what kind of go-see it is: Most modeling open-calls can be disastrous, long lines and many, many people ahead of you, and unless you show up early, you should be prepared for a long wait. Also be cautious that it is not a scam, as there are many modeling scams out there with the Internet these days.

•The extra effort for the right opportunity can pay off: For a Macy's commercial go-see I hiked out to Brooklyn, for Victoria's Secret I traveled to Long Island City in Queens, and I booked both jobs. Despite having small hands for the Macy's job, and wearing a size six shoe for the VS job, I showed up with a friendly smile despite the commute, which helped me book the job.

•Have manners and be gracious: It might sound simple, but being gracious and courteous to the product you are modeling does get taken into account. If you try on clothing, jeans, or shoes at a go-see, be kind to them. Hang the dress back up, and put the shoes in a nice row on the floor. Brittany was rightly scorned for placing her shoes on the table during the go-see challenge. Put everything back where you found them, neatly and with respect.

Above all, a go-see is just the model version of an interview. Having confidence, high self-esteem, and the ability to quickly show how well you mesh with the atmosphere and concept of the product or campaign can help you nail the job.

Now go out and put your best foot forward!
Isobella Jade

More of my tips can be found here on BuddyTV:


Golden Silence said...

Those are more tips than given in thirteen seasons (sorry, "cycles") of ANTM combined. Great tips!

I hope girls who are trying to get into modeling heed your words.

Susie Q said...

I second with the above comment :)

Also, I was wondering where you find these Go-See listings? Are there certain sites that list them? Just wondering because it is very difficult to find them in my area.

Unknown said...

But mainly you need to work with a print modeling agency. That is how you will be sent to go-sees and castings,


Unknown said...

This is also a podcast segment where I talk about go-sees, castings, how to prepare and more, enjoy!