I received an email Monday morning from my agency in Toronto. They were asking if I could come down for a few days, to go on castings for "the shows" in October.
I thought about it for about a minute, before replying: Of course, I'll come into town. Besides, I always need a good excuse to head on down to Toronto. I love it here so much.
I hopped on a bus yesterday morning at 7am, and arrived in Toronto around lunch time. So far, I've been on three castings - one for a very well known, Canadian luxury department store and two others for local, Canadian designers.
However, show castings always drive me a little bit insane. Unlike catalogue and editorial castings, where photographers/client look through your book, and take some snaps to see how you photograph, show castings actually require a model to "perform" i.e. walk.
It all sort of reminds me of my old ballet days. You need to be dressed in proper attire - tight, black miniskirts or dresses so the client can see the shape of your body. Hair tied back, in a high ponytail. "No makeup" makeup - just a bit of concealer and some lip balm.
Proper shoes are crucial - ideally, a model needs to be wearing the highest heels possible, yet still be able to comfortably walk. It's absolutely amazing how high heels can affect a model's walk - literally make it or break it.
I found this our the hard way, at my first casting. I had bought a new pair of black, platform high heels a few weeks ago. I hadn't spent a lot of time walking around in them before my first casting, and definitely felt a difference in my walk. They were not "broken in". I wasn't nearly as confident or as strong when I strutted my stuff in front of the client. My shoes were too big, too wobbly. Fortunately, the agency let me borrow another pair for my castings. These shoes were shorter in height, but tighter around my ankles. Needless to say, my walk improved greatly after switching shoes.
Runway castings can be such a crap shoot - I can never tell whether or not I have it in the bag. The casting itself usually involves waiting around for a long time, then walking for ten seconds in front of the client, who finishes the session with a curt "Thank You."
Runway shows are also one of my favorite things to do. It's such a cool feeling, wearing clothing that no one else has seen before. Hanging out and talking with other girls, of all ages (most of them are in high school!) Meeting and talking with the designer. The hustle and bustle of backstage. The music, the lights. The rush you get right before it's your turn to step out and "go". The walking down a catwalk, looking and feeling like a million bucks.
It's that addictive feeling, the purely fifteen seconds of fame, that spotlight that's yours as you strut, one foot in front of the other, bathed in the flashes of the cameras, towards the end of the runway.
It's the most incredible feeling in the world. It's why I'm here, spending the week in Toronto, running around from casting to casting, in hopes of booking a few Fashion Week shows.
Also, the sushi here is pretty darn good too.