One question that new model moms – well, no, not just new model moms – ask is, “What exactly is a request (go-see/casting)?” The simple answers is: a client sees pictures (and stats of kids), sees your kid, and requests that your kid (and probably others) come in for a go-see. Sounds pretty straight-forward. And, it also sounds flattering. Like, they wanted to see my kid!
Here’s my insight on requests. I can boil it down to one word: whatever. I’ll say it again: whatever. It doesn’t matter. I’ve been to requests in which my daughter was the only kid requested for a certain outfit in a certain campaign (I might even call that an “unpaid fitting”) and I’ve been to requests that were hundreds of kids. Whatever. It really doesn’t matter. A client needs kids, a client sees kids, a client books kids. A client can see one kid or fifty kids that fit your kid’s breakdown – sure, your odds of booking might be better – but no matter what, the client is going to book the kids the client wants at that moment in time.
Here’s the scenario to imagine. A client emails an agency and gives a set of breakdowns. Let’s just assume these are the standard sample sizes (see my earlier post about these). The agency puts together a package of their kids who fit the breakdowns and the client looks through these and chooses some kids to see at a casting. This is what one might call the typical “request.” Great! Your kid caught the casting director’s eye. Yay! Cool! You get an email from the agency with the specifics of the casting (where and when), the dates of the shoot (to make sure you’re available) and the rate of pay should you book the job. Some agencies send these as soon as they get the info and some wait until the day before. Then you go to the casting, maybe try on clothes or just have a couple of pictures taken, and you’re on your way.
The opposite of the “request” is a “cattle-call.” Picture a ton of kids and parents trudging along a line to be seen. Picture waiting in a narrow hallway, bumping into people and strollers, and maybe waiting outside in the cold rain for two hours. (Sounds kind of Soviet, doesn't it?) We picture a client saying to the agent, “send us all of your size 3, 5, and 8 kids.” Every kid in New York shows up, it’s a mess, and you spend a fortune on parking. Little kids will get restless and cry. Ok, I’ve been at this over three years and I’ve been to exactly one of these…and it was pretty soon after we started. Fortunately, I didn’t really know any better, and for all I knew, that could have been every casting.
I have to say that I think most agents and clients have worked together to reform the “cattle-call” style of casting. Through a combination of timing and specific casting parameters, I rarely hear of anyone having that awful snake-around-the-corner experience anymore. Most (I won’t go as far as saying “all”) castings are pretty well-run, pretty efficient, and mostly painless. Maybe you’ll wait half an hour or occasionally a little more from time to time, but I think the days of those crazy “cattle-calls” are behind us. The ones with the longest wait seem to be the ones where kids try on clothes and the photographers take a good few minutes with pictures for each kid. At least when you wait through those, you feel like your kid got a decent shot. At that casting I described earlier, they literally took ONE photo of my kid. (She didn’t book that round, but it was a client who books a good number of kids, so it makes sense that they saw a lot of kids.)
So, the nature of a “request” can range. One kid, ten kids, fifty kids… “Send me 5 ethnically-ambiguous boys, 40”-43”…” or “Send me every size 5 kid you have and stagger their times over two hours.” My agency does not even specify whether or not it is a “true request” or mega-casting. Every email my agency sends says “Go-see request” and that is fine by me. We’re going to go – what difference does it make how many kids are going to be seen? The only thing that matters is timing, but even that is a crapshoot. The go-see we went on Saturday was seeing hundreds of kids over a few days and we were there for five minutes. You might wait forty-five minutes for three kids to be seen some other place. In fact, I think almost all of the big name castings over the past month saw a ton of kids and I really haven’t heard any horror stories about wait times. Some were more organized than others, but isn’t that the way of everything?
Now that you know my treatise on castings, hopefully you understand my “whatever!” attitude. I don’t really know when my daughter is specifically requested or not, and that’s ok! Just go, meet some people, make it fun, and roll with the process. Go in with a good attitude and don't be like that troll I met in Target. You’ll either book…or you won’t.
At some point, when the mood strikes me…I will take on the subject of holds. Let’s just say I have a similar philosophy.
What did I leave out? Any questions? Add a comment here, on my facebook page The Bizzy Mama, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org …I’m also on Instagram at TheBizzyMama. Don’t forget to share the love by clicking on the brown icon below…I want to become a top-ten Mommy Blogger! I think I’ve made it to the top 50!
|This was a "true request": one kid, one outfit. I went in a blizzard. I was crazy then. And, NO, you don't get to keep the clothes!|