What not to do on a talent interview

Freelance Orlando Makeup Artist tells us about a gosee gone bad.

Q: What is a gosee?

A: A gosee is the term used for a modeling interview and is the equivalent of a job interview. Using analogies, models are employees or self-contractors, and agents, photographers, companies, etc. are like employers / clients. To obtain a job, one typically submits a resume and attends an interview wherein the potential employer asks questions to get to know the candidate. It is professional to take your resume to an interview and ask questions.

Q: Why is a gosee or job interview necessary?

A: An interview is necessary to see if the employee will be well suited with the employer.

A male model who has been modeling part-time for three years asked me what is a gosee and why it is necessary. He also said that I may obtain all of his information from the internet. I asked, "Do you tell all of your potential employers to find your information online?"

He said, "Yes. I have never been on an interview."

Upon entering the location, he said, "You can smile." I really enjoy, as a potential employer / client, when a contractor / employee gives me permission to smile. His demeanor was not outgoing. It was obnoxious. I tried to set aside my perception of him to see if he could prove me wrong. He brought no samples of his work except for some photos on a digital camera. I explained that I would not be able to keep a paper file for him for future referrals.

"What's a paper file?" he asked.

I proceeded to explain it to him: it is a file with paper documents such as photos, resumes, references, etc.

He inquired, "Why would you keep a paper file?"

I explained that I know people in the industry that often ask me for referrals. I have a friend in Los Angeles who runs his own modeling publication / magazine. I have a friend that is a video producer / film maker in Maryland. People are continually asking me for referrals and to assist with casting. I have worked with small businesses who do not have a lot of advertising funds but offer tear sheets as compensation for models who work for trade. With a paper file, I can copy and distribute, with the talent's permission, to other industry professionals and those who are less technologically inclined. Additionally, as I can be considered "tough," a referral means I endorse someone's behavior, attitude, personality, professionalism, etc. As Dawn said, I am not "tough," I am someone who knows what needs to be done and how to get it done. Strictly business. Other industry professionals make me appear as Mother Theresa in comparison.

He inquired as to why I do not keep a website or online portfolio, then, after giving a tutorial on how to use his very low-end, pocket, consumer digital camera, he proceeded to argue with me and tell me how to use the internet, why I need to use it, and, well, it continued. I have assisted many people without SLR cameras, so I think I am fairly competent, as well as being a photographer, to know how to push an arrow button without explanation.

He then asked, "What do I need to get this started?"

"I would need to see photos depicting your range and depth, facial expressions, to know I will not be working with Zoolander."

"What is range? Depth? What facial expressions?" he asked as he turned to a teenager when they both saw my stoic facial expression.

After I explained what range, depth, and facial expressions are, and after seeing his blank, glazed over facial expression, as if I had lost him at the train tracks while he was stuck at a red light, I said, "These are things models know. One is either born with the talent or goes to school to learn it."

He responded, "I need people to tell me what to do. Photographers have to tell me how to pose and look."

As many of you know -- especially if you have watched "America's Next Top Model," which is a great representation of the type of modeling industry with which I was involved as opposed to promotional modeling or "consumer modeling" as I call it -- industry professionals will not waste time training or directing models. Models must move fluidly and PRACTICE!

After discussing the alcoholism and suicide project, he started to tell me how he should be posing, the scene setting, how I should compose the shoot, where I should stand, and how I should, basically, do my job. As I attempted to convey the project purpose is to capture alcoholism in a way that those who are not alcoholics typically see it, he started interrupting and arguing with me. The project is not looking for things we would expect to see. No one expects to see someone hungover at a park in the day or a teenager drinking at a bus stop. Alcoholism can affect anyone of any age and any lifestyle. He asked, "And you know about it?"

"To an extent."

"What makes you qualified?"

"I have a degree."

"In alcoholism?"

"That was a certificate," I replied.

His tone and manner were very condescending and arrogant. Finally, as he was leaving, his parting words were, "Have a better day." While I really do appreciate a potential contractor giving me permission to have a better day, my day could not have been any better unless I won the lottery. I really do value that he has the qualifications and intelligence to somehow magically know I was having a not so better day considering my day was as good as it typically is.

In this case, a gosee proved the talent unprofessional, unprepared, and difficult with whom to work. Therefore, Zoolander would be expected, as well as a diva type attitude on the shoot.

Professionalism is about attitude, demeanor, behavior, manner, etc. It is not strictly how long one has been in any particular industry.

Please learn from the above interview and try not to tell employers (in or out of the entertainment industry) or industry professionals how to do their jobs, run their businesses, or what they should do! This is not professional nor does it exhibit etiquette. While it is good to ask questions, try researching online as well.

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