I had a conversation with a client this morning about a potential fashion show casting gig. To be honest I went into the conversation prepared to say "Unfortunately I can't take this assignment". I love the client but I'm bored to the bone by the politics of bookings. I don't want to talk to bad bookers. I don't want to explain or complain or justify or coax or convince. If you feel it let's swing. If you don't I will respect that and move on. I tried to be honest about my misgivings...which was this. Booking shows now is one big , nasty, snarling cluster-fuck. Everything stumbles over everything itself. The agents and models make no money despite all the noise and drama.It's all conflicts and cancellations and callbacks and "reconsiderations" when girls your client dismissed at an earlier go-see shows up in someone else's show. All of a sudden she looks "right". That is precisely what I've come to despise about the job. We always seem to be waiting for the approval of someone else's tastes . But then I said to myself..."Don't let negativity drive your viewpoint. You've survived these 10 years because you always kept your clarity " and I found myself writing down the words:
I mused aloud " I wish we had a budget to fly in 21 girls that no-one has ever seen before and put them back on a plane the following day, never to be seen again. That is the perfect casting in my mind for Spring 2011."
My client got excited by that outrageous idea and suddenly I think I find myself committed. Flying 21 unknown girls in and out of NYC is not a financial option (besides there are houses in other cities that have pretty much mastered that trick already) but the idea of looking for a new proposition in models is a valid challenge. The great hope for that probably lies in just not talking at all to jaded bookers, cynical bookers, burnt out bookers or neurotic bookers. That would be the first step of the edit. And maybe that's where the exorcism for all the negative energy swilling around the modeling industry lies. Thankfully these days because there are too many models (and willfully so) a client can easily walk away from a bad dialogue. So to turn a dark moment into a challenge my dream is for a re-direction of the SS11 booking traffic into those venues where agents still burn with passion and hunger and drive. I find myself obsessed with the board at Silent for instance, where the idea of privacy, mystery and silence has a pointed meaning. I noticed that Ford NY has dimmed down the ceaseless hype around their New Faces and have taken to a policy of containment. I very much like the sustained scouting that Next has been doing in keeping its momentum humming. I have continued faith in IMG for being unerring in their guidance of breaking faces like Jac and Joan Smalls but also I'm going to give full respect to quiet, hardworking boards like Muse or Major where a stunning girl just might surface. So there it is, the love-hate relationship with the thing I do. I wonder how the body of those star making casting directors like Marsh , Lee and Brokaw will solve the redundancy of a model formula that has been burnt down to fatigue? I'm praying for the explosion of a new proposition.