Open Castings... with a Grain of Salt
They're currently on a model search to find the #FaceOfTruworths for 2015 and although I went to the same casting last year, I wanted to do it again so I could write about it here and share a little of the experience on my Snapchat (add me- @frameambition).
So I put all my snaps together in my first Youtube video/vlog/ Snapchat short film ;P
First things first, what is an open casting? And how is it different from other castings?
In simple terms, an "open casting" is where a designer, brand or maybe a publication will invite any and everyone who has heard about it to try out rather than reaching out to agencies to send some of their models. Sometimes agency representation and prior experience in modelling will be preferred, sometimes not. Sometimes they'll ask you to bring a portfolio if you have it and specify a dress code, sometimes not. In this case for Truworths x Boss Models, it was wide open for ladies and guys with or without experience and dressed however they liked.
Which brings me to:
How do you prepare and what do you take with you?
As mentioned above, if you haven't been given direct instructions, use your own discretion. MAKE SURE YOU READ THE REQUIREMENTS OVER! This is where the clues will lie. For Saturday for example, we had a time-frame (10am-2pm), age bracket (14-22 years, I believe) and height restrictions (min. 170cm for ladies). So first thing is to check that you're even what they're looking for.
Secondly, there was no dress code so what's best is that you show your unique style and your body shape in flattering but simple/clean clothes. I went for the ever-faithful black leggings and a blue/green tank top combo. PLUS my new silver septum ring :D :D Wait for the the video for more ;)
My preparation consisted of just making sure my skin and hair looked its best with lots of water in the days before- I try and drink 2-2.5 litres a day (this is something I have to remind myself about constantly, so hard!)- putting on a moisturizing mask for my face and hair and getting lots of rest.
What happens when you get there?
I went alone so didn't have anybody filming or taking photos of me while I actually got photo'd by the official photographer (which I doubt they would have allowed anyway) so I just did some quick clips before and after.
The casting itself was literally two minutes long. You got there, filled in the form above with personal info and physical specs (height, shoe size, bust-waist-hips measurements), all of which you needed to know off-head. And then the photographer took a headshot of you holding up the form, some full-length shots, maybe another of your face and your time was up!
So what happens after?
After all this, you pretty much just wait.
At the same time though, you need to try and be as realistic as possible. I went to this specific casting to speak about it on the blog, but honestly don't expect much out of it.
I say this in the most positive way possible and particularly for this kind of open casting because:
1. This is a major nationwide search in four cities and open to plenty of people so my chances are already slim statistically.
Furthermore, I didn't witness any on-site height or body measurements being taken, or ages being checked to make sure people met the decided-on criteria. This is actually a great thing, opening up this huge opportunity to different ages and sizes. But it of course only increases the number of entries and decreases one's chances.
2. I tick all the boxes aside from height (I'm 5'6" which is around 165cm), and generally have come to realize that I may not be well suited for commercial/runway modelling for this reason.
3. These sorts of model searches which are closely linked with social media are mostly brands waking up and realizing how important it is to reach out to the younger generation ie. their target market and by opening up their casting process like this, advertising it online and holding the casting in-store, they're doing major marketing for their brand.
Although a possible contract with a reputable agency is at the end for one winner as well as massive exposure for a year as the face of this brand, it's important to read all the terms and conditions and see if you feel it's worth trying :)
Still though, if the phone rings, I won't chase them away ;)