Model? I wish!
So how exactly did I end up in an Adidas commercial promoting running, fitness and achieving your goals? Well, I think it happens to be luck, but I’ll let you decide for yourself.
A Dutch Casting Agency, when in need of native-English speakers for voice-overs or to participate as extras in film, often reaches out to the North American Women’s Club in Eindhoven for a pool of potential actors. Several months ago, the casting agency sent an email looking for American, female athletes for a commercial for their anonymous client.
Hopefully you can help me with the following?
I’m looking for a native American speaking female ATHLETE to participate in a commercial. I was wondering if you know a female which is an athlete and speaks American? (The sport isn’t an issue but the female must be very fit).
Thank very much for your help!
By reading the email, I got the sense that the casting director was not necessarily interested in my participation but was inquiring if I knew anyone more fit than myself. However, since I’ve moved abroad I’ve been leading with ‘yes’ when presented with opportunities. So I responded to the email… what did I have to lose?
A few weeks ago we had contact with each other about the fact that I was searching for American native athletes. Finally I have a more information from my client.
The client is Adidas and they want to shoot a online commercial which shows several woman running. These women also have a few lines of text in front of the camera while they are running.
Client have seen your pictures and would like to see you on a audition before they decide to choose you for the shoot.
An audition!? Okay, I’ve never done that before, but what the hell, let’s go for it. Besides the brief explanation about what to expect at the audition, I was given an address to a photography studio in Amsterdam and told when to show up. So I took the 1hr+ train from Eindhoven to Amsterdam on a July morning and followed google maps to the address. The building was a large industrial building in the Pijp area of Amsterdam. I had some issues finding exactly which doorbell to ring because there was no photography studio listed, only a modeling agency. Just when I was starting to feel a little sketched out about the situation, I ended up finding the correct doorbell for the photography studio.
July 6, 2016
The photographer, a very nice and kind man with a full sleeve of tattoos on both arms, introduced himself and led me to his small photography studio in the building. One part of the room is set up for taking photos, and on the opposite end of the room is a couch and his personal workspace and computer. In this moment, I am laughing to myself that this cliche scene felt exactly like what one should expect on an audition — I am alone with this photographer and have literally seen no one else in this building (no witnesses 😐 ). I am seated on the “casting couch” and this person I just met and am expected to trust is going to take some pictures of me. I kept reminding myself that the casting agency is a trusted one and a few of my new American friends have also worked with in the Netherlands. It also helped that the photographer and I got along well, had easy conversation, and he explained to me everything we would do.
First he took some pictures of me in my normal clothes. Since I’ve never done this before, I had no idea what I was doing and I’m trying my best to play it cool. Do I smile? Don’t forget to stand up straight! Shit, I should have learned how to Smize. Where do I put my hands? Maybe I should have binge watched a few seasons of America’s Next Top Model before this.
Then I changed into my running clothes. We took a few more pictures and then the photographer explained to me that we will go outside and take a short video of me running and also talking while running. He explained he would be on his bicycle, filming me on his iPhone with a selfie-stick (this is professional photography?). During the video he would speed up a bit and encourage me to continue talking. The purpose of the video is to see how I run and also make sure I can speak clearly while running at a fast pace. We took a spin around the block while I jogged and talked about myself. To be honest, I felt I was a bit awkward. I did not get to see any of the photos or video that I shot at the audition, so I just had to hope that the people in charge at Adidas would take a risk on an novice.
The photographer and I chatted a bit on the way back to the photo studio. He told me that more about the commercial. It would be shot in Amsterdam (Adidas Marketing HQ is in Amsterdam) and used for the U.S. market, and broadcast primarily online. This explains the reason for seeking native English-speaking females but why take a chance on an amateur actor? He explained that while there are plenty of models and actresses in the Amsterdam area, if these women are not athletic and with some degree of endurance, they would end up looking awkward on camera and unable to speak clear lines while running. The commercial would not feel authentic to the customer. As we parted ways, the photographer told me he would send my audition photos and video to the client and that hopefully I would hear soon.
A few hours later, I received a call from the Dutch Casting director. Though it was not confirmed I would be selected, he wanted to make sure I was available on the dates of shooting. I felt this was a good sign…but then a few more emails and a bit more waiting.
July 8, 2016
Client have not decided yet. This Thursday there will be a final decision by Adidas.
July 12, 2016
Great news, you are finally selected for the Adidas shooting!
Please make sure that you are available (whole day/ morning and evening!). The final times will be announced next week.
It’s important that you already download the Adidas Train&Run app. Please use it this week if possible. Because you also will use it during the shoot.
July 15, 2016