I've been lucky enough to avoid the more shady stuff that happens within the entertainment industry of LA. My agency sifts through all the commercial AND print jobs and only sends me on legit castings, but sometimes it's hard for them to know what happens at every single casting studio in LA.
Usually, if I know I don't fit the part, I won't go. Lingerie jobs are something I've never booked and will never book because I don't have boobs that fill out bras. I'm more likely to be in an ad for training bras than Victoria's Secret.
This particular casting I received via email on Friday for a Monday afternoon casting. I usually skim through the description and confirm I can make it without really paying attention. I read this one because the casting studio was at a place I had never been to. It looked like it was in a residential neighborhood in Beverly Hills, which was very unusual. I read through more of the description:
It was paying $1,200 to be a "spokesmodel" who interviews celebrities. Not really my thing but you never know with castings, which is why it's important to attend all of the ones where I don't think I'll be murdered and sent home to my parents in jars.
Then I clicked the link for "Sides and Documents" to see if there was any dialogue I needed to know. All that opened up was an image of (this sounds totally fake, but I swear it's true) Drama from "Entourage" standing next to six hot girls in sexy golf uniforms. Now I really wanted to go out of sheer curiosity. How could I pass up an opportunity for a potentially super weird experience?
I was immediately skeptical because of the audition notes: Models were asked to bring bikinis for "casting purposes only" despite this being a "hosting" job. Why would they need to see me in a bikini if I was just going to be interviewing celebrities? That sounded a little fishy.
I Googled the event and found some interesting details. It's a traveling golf event. Golfers can register at $1,500 a person to participate. Here's what you get with that money:
Not one, not two, not three, but FOUR parties! That sounds exhausting! Only one round of golf though? Isn't this a GOLF event? And exactly how much "a lot more" are we talking about?
I found another part of the website where anyone could submit herself to be a "model." They were casting models from agencies in LA, saying the rate is $1,200, but girls could submit themselves online and be paid $250 for the event. Here are the guidelines:
Nice loophole to get girls of a certain size registering by saying you only have outfits that will fit them. Also, you had to submit photos of yourself in a bikini and give all your measurements, just in case you're lying.
So, what I've gathered so far is this is a traveling "golf" event where they hire girls in each city to hang out at weekend-long parties with dudes who pay $1,500 to attend. This is not a modeling job, this is a borderline Playboy Mansion-type event.
I decided to go to the casting, but I was not going to bring a bikini. I know my body type isn't desirable for these kinds of jobs.
I drove 20 minutes through Beverly Hills and get to a gated community where I had to show my ID to enter.
I later Googled the streets and found out Magic Johnson and Mark Wahlberg both live in the area. I should've stopped by Magic's for a game of one on one.
I reach my destination and saw a ton of cars parked out front, and a valet. This is the first casting I've ever been to that had a valet. No one hires a valet for a casting.
The house was stupid big:
I walked around back and the first thing I saw was a couple of parrots. Only fancy rich people have parrots hanging out in their backyard. I was expecting it to say, "Hide the model's body before the cops get here," purely based on how many times it's probably heard that sentence.
There was a lovely pool of course:
I heard one of the random guys working the event say, "no pictures please," but that means nothing to me unless I have to sign something, which I didn't. There's no way I wasn't going to take pictures of this ridiculous "casting."
I walked over to a table to get a size sheet and a number.
The guy sitting behind the table said, "You can change into your bikini over there." He pointed to the pool house behind me.
"I didn't bring a bikini." I said.
"Why?" He was so confused.
"It didn't seem necessary for the job description."
"Oh, OK, who's next?" He avoided talking to me and moved on to the next girl.
I sat my bag down in a chair and looked around. here were about 50 girls all standing around in bikinis and heels, a photographer, a round table of 6 people who looked like they were some type of event organizers, and about 5 random dudes walking around asking girls if they needed drinks. Oh, and there were servers bringing out snacks. This was not a casting, this was a party.
Of course I felt immediately out of place and uncomfortable. I was searching around for another girl who was just as skeptical as I was, but I saw nothing. Girls were checking their makeup in their phones and making sure their bikinis looked good. Was I the only one who knew this wasn't an actual "real" job, or did the other girls not care?
When it was my turn for a photo, the photographer asked where my bikini was and I told him I didn't bring one. He looked confused and took my photo anyway.
"Now turn to the side, okay now turn around and look back over your shoulder." He directed me.
I was wearing a skirt and tank top, so the "Turn around and look back over your shoulder" wasn't really necessary for me, since you couldn't see my butt. I started to feel sorry for the girls in bikinis. Random dudes were walking around ogling them, and they just wanted to get a job.
My number was called and I walked over to the bar. Another girl wearing a dress looked at me like, "What are we doing here?" She came over and we both said, "What is happening?" She said she only does hosting jobs and wasn't sure why her agency sent her to this one. I'm glad there was at least one person feeling me.
A guy working there walked me and my new friend over to a table. Six people were sitting there amongst piles of headshots and drinks. Two women, with boobs so large that if quizzed I would guess they were purchased from a free-thinking doctor, didn't look up from their phones. Another older guy was preoccupied with a cute girl in a bikini, and the other 3 guys were staring at me and the girl next to me.
"Here, say this." A guy handed me a piece of paper.
"Umm, both of us together? Or just me?" I asked.
"Just read what's on the paper." He didn't answer my question.
I handed the paper to the girl next me. "You can go first I guess."
She looked up to make sure the 6 organizers were paying attention; nobody was. She cleared her throat and no one acknowledged her. She just started talking anyway.
"Hi, welcome to the golf tournament. My name is Ashley and I'll be your host. Let me know if you need anything. Have fun!" I thought she did a lovely job.
No one said anything, so I clapped and said, "Great job, Ashley."
It was my turn. I read the dialogue as enthusiastically as my body would let me, smiled, and walked off. I heard a faint, "They were cute." as I walked toward the couch where I had left my bag. I changed back into my flat shoes and got the hell out of there. I won't hold my breath for the callback.
Later that day I had an audition to play a vampire. That casting was in a building that was attached to a Petco and I had to park 5 blocks away. Without the help of valet or parrots, I nailed that one. When it comes to being miserable, pale and fully clothed, it's in the bag!