Monday, February 8, 2010

I am not a dirty hand model but I don't wear gloves

There were about 3 people ahead of me when I got there. I sign-in, and give the casting assistant my comp card. After I sit down, she asks my last name. I tell her. I guess I was writing messy today. She clips my comp card to my sign in sheet and hands it back.

On set, a man is setting his hands the way the photographer asked, stretching out his arm showing the camera his palms and front of his hands. He is holding a something, and the photographer was trying to adjust the thing in his hand perfect.

Photographer: Let’s hide those other fingers.

Male Hand model: Hide my hand!?

Photographer: Just those other fingers.

I moisturized my fingers, take off my cardigan button sweater thingy, and rub a bit more lotion on my arms, and my elbows. You never know what will be photographed at a casting like this. They say Hands but it could be your elbow, upper arms in the shot, no clue. So I am sitting in my DVF short sleeve brown dress I love and wear often and I am a little cold. The window is open and it is 20 degrees out, it is ok though I mean I don’t want to be a pain in the ass and ask to shut it. I stand up and go towards the other side of the room, leaving my bag, and wait my turn.

When another hand model enters the casting I go to my chair again and take a seat, a seat is valuable at a casting, sometimes there isn’t one at all.

I listen to the ladies around me, and the older men prepare their hands and chat. A few recognize each other from other jobs, probably. One lady is taking about a divorce and started up a chat with the casting assistant that is pregnant, but model-looking. The casting assistant wasn’t sure how to spell her name from the sign in sheet…they go into a long spelling of names conversation.

The other day on I was asked about age, and I am reminded of the question when I sit among these hand models at this casting. They are not young. I am the youngest one actually.

On set I hold my sign in sheet with my number on it, number 12.

When it is my turn I am glad. Castings involved often a lot of waiting. It is best to bring reading material, a journal to write in, I also play with my iPhone, downloading an app or reading an ebook.

Lately my agents have been direct booking me (which means there is no casting and you are hired off your photos alone), and those situations are very nice. Or, sometimes I’ve mailed my portfolio to offices, editors, ad agencies, etc.
And I have experience as a hand model, but I don’t consider myself a die-hard, hand model. I am not a dirty hand model but don’t wear gloves purposely. (I always seem to lose one of my gloves anyways.)

It’s my turn.

When I am in front of the camera, I focus on what the photographer is trying to capture and look often at his eyes and my fingers.

I slate, which today means holding the sign-in sheet so the photographer can take a shot of my number, 12.

Next I stand on an Apple Box and stretch out my right arm, and he takes a shot of my hands fingers apart, the front and back. And then the other box and the other arm.
The photographer pulls a paper clip out of his pocket. (If I had to keep track of a paperclip, I’d probably lose it in five seconds, but of course I don’t tell him this.)

I know my fingers, and how to make them look pretty, how to hold a paper clip upright so it stands tall, and hold it firmly between my thumb and forefinger at the same time, so it doesn’t go flying across the room or fall in a crack on the floor, but soft enough to make it look good.

There is real focusing that goes on during it. I hardly breathe. It takes a bit of finger balance, and also it involves arching the fingers, sort of like arching the body, to make them look longer sometimes. Tension in the fingers creates red and white at the tips of the fingers, which isn’t attractive to the camera. So like posing full body, breathing and relaxing your hand is essential. Using my thumb and forefinger to balance and hold the paperclip and keep the rest of my fingers out of the shot is the shot completely. I point the rest of my fingers upward and bend them back by stretching them towards me, away from my forefinger and thumb which is the only thing in frame. IT is like Yoga for your fingers.

We change finger angles about 10 times, always holding the paperclip, and I can tell the photographer thinks I am young in the sweet way he speaks to me while I move my fingers or maybe he just is like this with everyone, but one thing is for sure I have the youngest hands in the room. Which can be a good thing. We’ll see. I try to get in, get out, and move on, I don’t dwell on castings, years of this has made me blasé about it.

After the casting shots, I head to my stuff on the chair, a lady is sitting in the chair and she says “Don’t worry I am not sitting on your coat.”

I say, "Don’t worry, you are not the worst thing to touch the coat compared to what touches it on the subway.”

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