What is a Casting?


* Image sourced from The Daily Telegraph.

The best way to describe a casting is to compare it to a job interview. This becomes a large part of a working Model’s schedule and there is no escaping it unless you are Miranda Kerr! So whats involved? On average, you have about 5 minutes to impress the client. So within this small time frame, you are expected to leave a lasting impression by building a rapport, showcasing your body of work (portfolio) and you may also be expected to… a) show off your runway skills b) get your photos taken or c) improvise/ present live to camera depending on what you are casting for.

Remembering the whole time you are judged on your appearance! Sometimes you may be up against a handful of Models for the job and other times there may be hundreds going for the same role (when this happens, it’s known as a cattle call. I bet you are thinking that is a terrible word to describe a large scale casting!) When you don’t get the job and you have done the best that you can, all you can do is brush it aside and recognise the fact, that you just didn’t fit the pre-determined criteria of the clients expectation. This is what separates the thick skinned Models that last in the industry to the ones that give up earlier on due to taking rejections to heart.


* Image sourced from The Weekly Review.

Trust me though, when you do get picked as the Model that fits the bill, especially on the larger scale campaigns, you really do appreciate all the work that goes on between the agent and the Model, even before you get to the castings!

Here is a little story…

This is a picture of beautiful Natalia Ko, the first professional Model that I met at my very first casting, 12 years ago. I was in awe as I thought she looked immaculate. Ko has represented many major brands including Nike and Garnier in Asia.

Funnily enough, we were cast in a scene together for a Reflex Paper TV commercial. Picture this, my first ever casting and there I was acting out a scene as though I was fighting between Natalia for the attention of a guy, all this while only dressed in our bikinis. Talk about an introduction to the industry!

So after the casting that day, we both ended up hanging out in Chapel Street together and to this day is still a dear friend. Thank you for taking me under your wings when I was a newbie and showing me the ropes. For that, I am grateful.

– Shirlene Lai Allison xo


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