Sunday, January 2, 2011

Model Casting Confessions: beauty casting

A recent experience from a casting for a beauty company.

"Hey how'ya doing?" I said to the man behind the desk, he says "hi" and asks for me name. I tell him and he scans his sheet and finds my name, then he tells me to sign-in, and take off any jewelry and to pull my hair back into a ponytail and that I shouldn't have any eye-shadow on. I wave my head around my face making a gesture like a magician and say, " Ok cool, I just have on some powder and mascara." He tells me, and also the room, that outside there is makeup remover pads.


I take a seat and take off my heavy winter coat and hat and gloves. I take off some of my lip-gloss with a tissue, and wait my turn.

There are a bunch of models already waiting, I notice one Hispanic girl has a lot of makeup on, the rest are pretty Asians, with their hair pulled back, some lip-gloss and glowing skin. I go to the bathroom and take off some powder on my cheeks and under my eyes with a makeup remover pad.

The door of the casting room flings open and another model scurries out and the casting director aka the Lady who is running the casting asks for our attention. She stands in front of us like a college professor sharing an important detail for a test, she wants to tell us what will go on in the casting room so we can prepare, know what’s up and basically be as a fast as possible.

She scans the room and tells a couple girls who have too much makeup on to take it off more. (Side- thought: models who are no teenage fashion models, often have a difficult time taking off their makeup, seeing their raw face without anything at all) The casting director lady tells us that we will be applying eye-shadow; the eye-shadow case doesn’t have a mirror so we will be pretending to be facing a mirror but facing the camera and putting on the eye shadow. I smile, and nod, basic enough. (In my mind I am imagining putting on eye-shadow without looking in a mirror and carefully finding my eye lid and the shape below my eye-brow.) She shares that our hands are important for this (maybe it’s the reason there are not any tall models here? Because hands, like hand models, are important for this one?) I have nice hands and got a manicure that morning so I am all set there, the lady goes on to tell us about the facial expressions we will be doing. She wants a smile with teeth, without teeth, and a look of surprise and a growl face, like a cat with claws. Ok that’s cool.

The next model goes into the casting room and in a few minutes another goes and another.

While I waited my turn I go check my face and since I got my bangs recently cut I make sure they look pretty. While I look at myself in the mirror, I hear the guy at the desk call my name, telling me I am next, on bat, I go back to the mirror real quick and a girl comes up to me and asks if I am Isobella Jade, I say yes, and during the next couple of minutes she told me how she read my book Almost 5’4” and graphic novel Model Life and told me she was so glad to have met me and shared with me about her modeling pursuits. Then my name is called again, it's my turn, and I go into the casting room. I slate my name, smile with teeth, smile without, give a growl, give a profile and put on the eye- shadow. Thanks for coming. I collected my stuff and head out and into to the cold.  No matter if I get the job or not, that moment when that girl came up to me and told me that my efforts and hustle and bustle and not giving up meant something to her made my day.

~Isobella Jade

P.s: I've been asked previously "what happens at a model casting" and here is another casting confession here and here.  At a model casting you only have a few minutes to present yourself and prove you are best for the job. If you enjoy interviews and public speaking, as a model this can be an asset for model castings.  Also being perceptive and able to understand the concept of a campaign, what the client and casting director is looking for, being able to do it in one shot is best, of course you will be nervous I mean shit what if I dropped the eye-shadow applicator, that would not have been good, but castings are mostly quick and easy, smile, thank you, next! Your agent sent you because something in you has a shot for booking the job but sometimes involve complex moments and being confident and being positive is best. Also it is a good idea to bring a hair-tie with you, often for beauty jobs you need to pull your hair back out of your face.

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