Do you honestly know your child’s measurements off by heart? I don’t and I have to fill out forms probably weekly with them on. So for this post I am just going to run through the sort of measurements that you will need to know when you are going to castings, costume fittings, your Spotlight Profile, CV and filming.
I have been a ‘Casting Mum’ for around 10 years now and I am still learning. There are things that crop up that I didn’t think of or know about, but I take note (literally) so that I am prepared for the future.
Know your child’s height?
The one that I get asked for ALL the time and is probably the MOST IMPORTANT is ‘How tall is your child?’. It will be needed for your Spotlight CV and at most castings that you will attend. So Height is a really important measurement to know. Record your child’s height in centimetres and Feet & Inches, because you don’t know which one they will want.
Keeping up to date records on your CV is essential, to make sure you are not wasting the Casting Director’s time or your own. It would be super embarrassing for everyone if your child got selected for a casting for a job, you have paid for your travel, possibly taken a day off of school and work to take them, arriving at the casting to realise your child has grown 3 inches and is too tall for the role. They may not even get seen! It is true and can happen.
Keeping up-to-date records of your child’s measurements is YOUR responsibility as a parent/guardian (NOT THE AGENT’S).
Don’t we need to keep records of other sizes?
YES! If you can then do it! Believe me, it saves SO much time and your own sanity when you are at a casting filling in forms (sometimes there are several forms to fill out).
As a regular ‘casting parent’ you may have even experienced one of ‘those’ castings where there is a tiny waiting area, 100 children and parents waiting and no space. You are standing juggling a clipboard and all of your luggage and child (sometimes children) trying to fill out those damn forms.
Make life easier on yourself and keep a little book with them recorded in and/or in the NOTES section of your phone.
What records and measurements are you talking about?
Ok I am going to just do this in a list for you. Archie has recently just done some work on a Feature Film and these are some of the measurements we needed to know.
- Height (Cm and ft/inches)
- Inside Leg (This is probably just for boys)
- Clothing size in general
Please don’t panic if you are heading to a casting and you are reading this enroute and haven’t got a clue the measurements of your child or yourself (this stuff applies to adults too).
At the casting stage you may be ok to just put down height on the form. If you are selected and booked, they will probably be called for a costume fitting, or will call/email you to find out more sizes.
Carry a tape measure…
If in doubt then carry a tape measure with you. My husband laughs at me an awful lot for my ‘Mary Poppins bag of tricks’ (look out for a future post about casting bags), but I love it when I have to pull out my tape measure in a casting room to help others in need. In fact, despite the fact that I have Archie’s measurements noted in my phone now, I STILL carry a tape measure with me. (Just in case…)
Children grow at an extortionate rate. They can be stagnant and not grow for months and then BAM they have grown 2 inches or gone up 2 shoe sizes. YES! This has happened to me. Going back a few years at the start of the summer holidays I purchased new school shoes for Josh my middle son (who is now 17). We tried his new shoes on a couple of days before he went back to school and they didn’t fit! When we took him back to the shoe shop his feet had grown 2 sizes in 6 weeks. The pattern is normally their feet grow and then the body shoots up (In our family that is the pattern).
I know this has been a long blog post, but today at a casting I had to help 3 parents/guardians who were experiencing form filling for the very first time. I am a veteran and am more than happy to help which is why I am posting this. If I can save you some time based on what I have learnt on my ‘Casting Mum’ journey I will.
- Spend some time measuring your child
- Record them in a notebook or on your phone (Put a date beside it for your own record)
- Buy a tape measure (Just in case)
- Check your online CV to make sure all the measurements are the same
- Every couple of months re-measure everything
I really hope this post is of use to some of you. I know I have talked about children a lot, but that is because I am a Mum of a child actor. This post totally applies to adult actors too. Be organised and save yourself time.