Tips for landing your first StarNow gig
Posted by Christina Arathimos on 19 Dec, 2016

Tips for landing your first StarNow gig

I'm Christina, a 28 year old woman living in Wellington, New Zealand. I work in marketing for an awesome company by day, and browse Facebook and watch Netflix by night. I'm also a member of StarNow.

So this is how it started… I was browsing my StarNow matching jobs and stumbled across a listing that needed people my age for a paid stills photo shoot. I read the brief, and it didn't require any prior modelling experience, they just wanted real people. 'That's me!' I thought. I had a face, so I wrote a nice application message and hit the apply button. What did I have to lose?

Later that day I received the excitement-inducing email from StarNow titled 'Great news Christina! Your profile has been viewed by the owner of...'. It was for the gig I applied for!

I had entered the hopeful stage. I started thinking 'Please, please like what you see! Did I woo them with my application message? I did say I was reliable. I should really get some new photos for my profile.'

I clicked to view my StarNow profile and scrolled through it pretending I was a casting professional judging it. I really hoped they would pick me.

I received a message from the casting professional. They asked me for some high res copies of my head shot and said they'd put me forward for the job. It still wasn't confirmed, but the photographer would decide if I was the right fit for the role. More excitement was followed after reading this, I thought I might really get this! I sent the photos right away, and waited...

It was a couple of days before I heard anything back. During this time, I'd decided they didn't pick me. They needed a mixture of people of different genders, ethnic backgrounds etc. Maybe I was too 'plain white girl' for them? Perhaps, but then…

I got the job! I received an email letting me know the dates and times of the shoot and a bunch of forms to fill out. I was ecstatic! Naturally, I called my Mum to let her know, and broadcasted the news to my work colleagues “I got it, I got it!".

Then I entered the overthinking stage. 'Oh boy, I got it. But what if I turn up and I'm not what they expected? I mean, my headshot has some really great lighting. What if I'm shorter than they thought? And what about the giant zit on my chin? That wasn't in any of the photos on my profile!' I reminded myself that they wanted real people, and that real people have zits and that gave them character. This made me feel marginally better.

It was shoot day. I made it there on time and was greeted by Sarah, the friendly lady that had been emailing me. We were at an appliance store and I would be playing the role of a consumer. The photos were going to be used on a government website in the consumer law section. Sarah introduced me to the photographer, and the chap playing the staff member.

We started in the hair dryer section. We were briefed and then the shoot begun. I pretended to ask about the features of the hair dryer and “the staff member" proceeded to tell me all about it. Sarah swooped by with a comb and perfected my hair and adjusted my jumper. I was basically feeling like Kendall Jenner by this stage.

Christinas pictures

We stood and exchanged fake dialogue while the photographer moved around capturing different angles. “So, this looks like a great hairdryer" I said. “Oh yes, it is an excellent hairdryer, you can use it to bake cakes, fly kites and even dry your hair", the staff member replied. We enjoyed the wacky banter as we pointed and gestured towards the on-off switch and smiled at the cord together.

Ten minutes or so passed and we moved onto a cake mixer. I was at the counter explaining a fault to the staff member. More fake dialogue followed. I explained that the mixer had electrocuted me several times and I'd started seeing dead people, while looking concerned and gesturing towards the appliance. The photographer was giggling by this stage.

A couple more scenes and ridiculous banter later, it was a wrap! They were happy with what they'd captured, we were thanked for our great work, and we were off on our merry way. I toddled back to work (the StarNow headquarters) with a spring in my step. 'I stepped out of my comfort zone and did something new today' I thought, and I felt quite chuffed. Plus, it had just paid for my flights to Queenstown for a holiday. That was a win!

I also walked away with a new appreciation for what models do. They have to give the camera a sultry look and strike a flattering pose, I just had to stand and smile at an electrical appliance for 45 minutes. Even this came with its own challenges, I still had to watch my stance, relax my mouth and 'smize' (smile with my eyes).

It's certainly not as easy as it looks, but I think this is the start of something new. Watch out world, I'm off to apply for some more StarNow jobs!

Tips for getting the job

Christina's top tips!

  • I personalise every application message to suit the job I'm applying for, it's SO important they know you're not just applying for the hell of it, you actually want THEIR job!
  • Be quick to reply to messages from the Casting Professional, I kept an eye on my emails and replied as soon as I got one
  • Have a nice head shot. I had a friend take a picture with their good camera, it's so much better than a blurry iPhone photo
  • Make every interaction with the Casting Professional easy, friendly and professional - they will remember you for future jobs.

So what are you waiting for? These jobs aren't applying for themselves, get applying now!

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