The casting details read:
GORGEOUS FEMALE HANDS
CAUCASIAN, ASIAN, OR HISPANIC
Come in with clean nails, no polish or jewelry
This morning I ran to get a manicure, I like to get it done fresh the day of a casting if possible. I had done a very, very, very light pink, one coat. Very clean. It looked basically clear.
I was surprise when I arrived at the casting and would be sitting among a handful of giraffe models.
As I shut the door, one giraffe chick was handing the casting associate her comp card with her fashion-editorial images on it. The casting associated took once glance at the compcard and said, "We don't need your comp card unless it has an image of your hands on it."
The model looking dumbfounded...like "what should I do now?"
As a parts model, of course I had my parts modeling comp card with me and signed into the casting, filled in the casting sheet...measurements, all that and waited my turn.
Maybe 3 models in the room of the 8 of us were parts models with parts experience shown by the images I observed discreetly on their comp cards.
Anyways, these giraffes were obviously fashion editorial models or print models from fashion agencies who looked all under the age of 21...I spied some of their ages when I was glancing at their casting sheets.
I also discreetly observed the hands of the other models there. This was a hand casting afterall. Might as well check out the competition. There wasn't much. The others were not parts models, it was obvious by the sight of their hands. They seemed like they were at the wrong casting, these lanky, young griaffes probably being bossed around by their agents and told to show up at a casting for hands when their hands looked monsterous. Most of these giraffes had huge hands with colorful nail polish. Weird I thought. When I was told to have clear or no polish.
(btw, most hand models are not tall giraffes, so this is something a shorter girl could pursue because in hand modeling long fingernails and soft pretty looking hands and pretty clean nails are wanted. Usually short girls have these things, wink, wink)
One of the giraffe models names was called, but the moment she went over to the set the casting photographer looked at her hands and said to the giraffe: I can't shoot you like this. Do you have any nailpolish remover? The client wants to see hands without polish. You can go to the store and get some nail polish remover and come back.
Giraffe: But I just had my nails done yesterday?
(they were some vibrant bright color, pink, blue or yellow)
Casting photographer: I'm sorry but I can't shoot your hands like that. The shots will be close ups of the finger nails and if you have calcium deposits or something, the client wants to know and see your nails.
Giraffe: My nails look normal.
Her words for it wasn't enough proof.
Casting photographer: We will be here till 5 is you want to get some nailpolish remover and come back later.
Another giraffe who also had colorful nails had to leave as well. For not being prepared.
They had waited at least 20 minutes because she was there before I was, and I waited about that long.
For nothing. She couldn't even do the casting shots, all because of her nailpolish being hot pink or blue or whatever color they were...besides being clear which was what was requested.
Usually for a hand modeling casting a client will want to see your nail-bed, your fingers natural, no rings or jewelry marks, and even the casting director told these-giraffe models that the client should have told the agency these details beforehand, and it makes me wonder: Is this a fault of the agency? The model? Who?
Are modeling agencies becoming desperate to book their models work, it seems so when they send models to castings who aren't prepared for what the casting involves.
Are the models not paying attention to what the casting involves? Perhaps, so.
The point is: Get your shit together. It's amazing how many girls would love to work with high fashion agencies but yet how these high fashion agencies send their clueless models to castings where they don't even know what the client is looking for?? WTF!
Know what the casting involves beforehand, girl. Had these girls known that it involved clear polish maybe they wouldn't have wasted their time and been kicked out of the casting.
Dear Agencies: make sure your models know what the casting involves and how they should look when attending the casting.
Dear Models, if you agency isn't filling you in with these details, ASK!
And, if the castings you go on have anything to do with hands don't show up with rockstar colored polish unless it is for a rockstar themed project.
P.s: for more of my on the job experiences and stories check out my book Short Stuff: on the job with an x-small model which is in print and also an ebook!