Superstar casting director Julia Samersova is back!
You might remember our first interview that we did in August, which was chock a block full with great tips for child models and their parents.
Well, she’s done it again!
Julia is a major player in the industry, and has been at the top of the game for years; she’s generous and hilarious, and I’m thrilled she is sharing her insights with us.
Thank you so much, Julia.
About Julia Samersova
Julia Samersova is the Founder of Cast Inc., a full service casting agency based in NYC.
Cast Inc. casts advertising campaigns, fashion shows, and commercials for many of the biggest names in the industry, and specializes in models, athletes, dancers, kids, real people, and fitness experts. Cast Inc. was founded in 2004.
Castings & Tips for Kids in Entertainment
I do these interviews in part because I get so many great questions from parents during headshot shoots.
I figure, who better to inform parents than the industry experts themselves!
I send out interviews, as well as castings for modeling and acting in my Kids In Entertainment Newsletter.
Not on the list?
And to read past interviews, my what to wear guide, and more resources for parents click here.
Without further ado, here’s our second interview:
What’s something you wish people knew about modeling?
It is a real job. You have to be professional, on time, courteous to everyone on set, and don’t forget to have fun! It is a multi-billion dollar global business and highly competitive.
What’s something you wish people knew about casting directors?
Most of us care about not hurting people’s feelings and egos. However, modeling is a highly subjective industry and we are judging humans based on physicality. Also, we are human and we do need a 20 minute lunch break. If I had a dollar for every time a stage mom (or dad) ask my staff why we need to break for lunch in the middle of a 12 hour casting…. Shake My Damn Head!
What’s your favorite part of your job?
Meeting and connecting with all different types of people, sometimes even making new friends! Discovering brand new raw talent on the streets of different cities and making a kids dream come true overnight!
My absolute favorite thing is casting a child who has been picked on or bullied in school, or has low self esteem, and seeing them come out of their shell and BLOSSOM in front of the camera! I imagine these kids going back to school and showing those bullies who gets the last laugh!
What’s the hardest part of your job?
Breaking hearts and killing dreams.
How does modeling differ from other extracurricular actives for kids? Is there more pressure?
Modeling is not just an after school sport or hobby. It’s a full time job. There is money at stake. It is not based on a talent you can practice. It’s something you are born with (looks and personality!).
Should parents direct their child during a shoot?
Absolutely Freaking Not!!!! Better yet, leave the studio if your child is old enough! There are enough creatives on a shoot to direct your child. Don’t confuse your child. You are solely there for emotional support and hugs!
What should you do if you are running late for a shoot?
Call your agent and let them know!
What makes for a great headshot?
Less is More. Good lighting. Don’t go heavy on artifice!
What makes for a great audition?
Confidence. Manners. Respect.
What is an open casting call, and why do some brands have them and others don’t?
Open call is when you invite the entire world to your casting. It becomes completely unmanageable in my opinion. I like to PRE-select who attends my castings. This way you don’t waste my time and I don’t waste your time. I know specifically what my client is looking for!
What do you think of modeling opportunities that pay in clothing, versus jobs that pay with money?
I think it should be illegal. You can’t pay the rent with a sweater! LOL
What, if anything, do parents need to do to prepare for a casting?
Take a Xanax. Kidding (kind of). Parents should not project their own insecurities and anxieties onto their children. They should tell their kids to have fun and enjoy the process!
It seems like it’s helpful for adult models to have their own unique brand, is this something that’s relevant to kids?
Not really. Being a brand is overrated and so last season 🙂
How often do castings directors find kids directly on social media?
In my experience, it only helps if I am actively seeking a certain type of kid. For example, gymnasts or kids who do parkour, or special needs.
Is there anything that might set a child apart at auditions (aside from being the best fit for the role), and is this something at which kids can improve with experience?
Charisma cannot be taught.
Thank you so much, Julia. Until next time!
About Daisy Beatty
Daisy Beatty is a portrait and headshot photographer in NYC.
She specializes in eye-catching portraits or families, newborns, and maternity, and winning headshots of models, actors, entertainers, and executives. Daisy Beatty Photography now offers personality reels for actors and models.
Her portrait studio is in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, and she works on location in NYC, the Hamptons, Westchester NY, Hoboken NJ, and Fairfield CT.