Sam: 2008 Gap Casting Call Finalist
Though I just kind of fell into posting about the Gap Casting Call Contest by accident, it just so happens that out of the nearly 1 million entrants in last year’s contest, I happen to know a parent of one of the finalists. Shaina, mother of Sam, who was a 2008 finalist in the Boys category, was kind enough to answer a few questions over the email. Read our exchange below:
Bumpershine: How many photos did you submit when you entered the contest? Were they professional photos or just candid shots?
Shaina: Just one picture. It was a candid shot that I took myself.
Bumpershine: Which photo was the one that got you to the finals?
Shaina: This is it:
Bumpershine: Reading over the comments in my blog, everyone seems to be very concerned about two things: 1) How do you find out your kid is a Gap Casting Call contest finalist and more importantly, 2) when you find you out. First of all, did they call you or email you, or both? Second, because everyone really goes bonkers over this, do you remember exactly when you were notified about being a finalist? (Last year, potential finalists were supposed to be notified on or about November 1 and everyone seemed to start frantically emailing and calling the Gap around that time.)
Shaina: We found out on Halloween [October 31, 2008], at about 4 pm, someone from ePrize called me. I actually thought it was a practical joke.
Bumpershine: Did your son have any modeling experience prior to entering the Gap contest?
Shaina: No, he didn’t have any modeling experience.
Bumpershine: Did you use any social media tools to promote your son in the contest after the nominations were made public? Not that I’m suggesting sour grapes on your part, but do you think better PR campaigns had anything to do with the kids who won last year?
Shaina: We used facebook, we put flyers up at his school and our local Gap, our local paper ran a story about him and we were also on a local radio station. I’m not sure if more PR would have helped him win.
Bumpershine: It looked like you formed some cross-promotional alliances with the parents of children in other categories, do you think that helped at all?
Shaina: Perhaps… Kellen won in our category.
Bumpershine: Can you tell us a little bit about the finalists photo shoot? Did you sense any feelings of competitiveness, or was everyone just happy to be there?
Shaina: The photo shoot was a great experience, we had a “fitting” the first day, where they measured the clothes they had chosen for Sam and tailored them specifically for him. He also got a (great) haircut that day, and they shot a video of Sam and myself. The next day we went back for the photo shoot itself. The staff was amazing with him and all the families that we met were very friendly!
Bumpershine: Has your son done any more modeling since the Gap contest? Does he have an agent?
Shaina: No, and no.
Bumpershine: Is there any advice you’d like to offer to people entering the contest this year? Do you think there a specific “Gap Look” they are looking for?
Shaina: I did this totally on a whim, the children I met at the photo shoot were all beautiful, and did not fit any certain mold.
Bumpershine: What’s the secret to winning to the whole thing?
Shaina: Good question!!!
Thanks for your time Shaina!
Also, since it appears that people have been experiencing a lot of difficulty entering this year’s contest, I reached out to a representative from the Gap to address some of the concerns that people have been commenting about here. Here’s the statement I received from the Disney Family team:
We apologize for any delays Casting Call entrants have experienced. The response and number of entrants to the Casting Call website has been very strong and as a result some site guests have experienced delays during the entry process. Our team is working to address technical issues related to the entry process and we expect all issues to be resolved shortly. Note that any delays will in no way hinder an entrant’s ability to participate in the contest.
The Disney Family Team
Yes, I know. It’s less than what I had hoped for as well.