How it Works
Whether you call them Open Calls, Go-Sees, Castings or Auditions, one of the ways that modelling agencies find new faces, and clients find models they'd like to book for modelling jobs, is to hold an open call, go-see, casting or audition. There was a time these appointments were even called "cattle calls" but that term is rarely, if ever, used anymore.
Modelling agencies will usually hold open calls or go-sees for a few hours once a week where aspiring models can simply walk in and meet with an agent - no appointment time necessary. If you don't live near one of the major markets it can be difficult for you to attend an open call. If this is the case for you then a model scouting website can be helpful.
Clients will hold a casting or audition at a specific time where numerous models from a variety of agencies meet with the client in person so the client can make their final selection of models.
How you conduct yourself during and after one of these appointments can make or break your modelling career. Here are 12 tips to help you succeed at your next interview!
Be On Time - ALWAYS!
Nothing drives an agent or client crazier than a late model. Time is money and lateness is never tolerated by agents, photographers or clients.
Plan your time wisely and make sure you show up for your appointment time at least 10 minutes early (no earlier). If you find yourself arriving too early wait outside or in the lobby until it's time for you to be there. With the advent of cell phones, GPS and Google Maps there is no excuse not to know exactly where you need to be and to be there on time.
Are You Driving Your Modelling Agent Crazy?
Sometimes, however, being late is unavoidable. If you are going to be late always call your agent or the person you have your appointment with and give them a time when you expect to arrive.
Agency open calls are a little more flexible and agencies usually run open calls within a two to threehour time frame. It's still best to arrive early to open calls rather than wait until the end because you might find yourself interviewed by a tired and cranky agent and that is never a good thing.
Bring Your Book and Recent Photos
If you are meeting or speaking via phone with an agent for the first time it is necessary for you to have some recent photos to show them. Most agents will send you after the first meeting or call to have professional photos taken and start building your portfolio.
No Contact Sheets or Outtakes
If you are bringing your book be sure it only contains your very best photos. Never put contact sheets, outtakes, personal papers, or anything in your book that isn't your very best work. Agents and clients will ALWAYS look in the back of your book, so be sure to keep it clean and tidy.
Be Organized and Prepared
Always bring a pen and notepad to take notes or be able to quickly jot down notes in your phone or tablet. Never be caught fumbling for a pen or paper during your interview. Put these tools in a place that you can access quickly and easily - it will show the agent that you are professional, organized and respectful of their time.
No Boyfriends, Friends or Family
If you are over 18 years of age there is no reason for you to bring anyone with you to your interview. (Under 18 years should bring one parent or guardian). If you know that you are meeting with a well-known and established agency then this guideline is doubly important. Just like you wouldn't bring your boyfriend, friends or child to a job interview you wouldn't bring them when you meet modelling agents, and never, ever when you meet a client.
However, if you are meeting an unknown agent for the first time it is best that you don't go alone. You can have your boyfriend or friend come with you, but they should only come as far as the lobby or front door. It is ok that the agent knows they are there and they are waiting outside for you. A legitimate agent will not be bothered by this, but use your best judgement as each interview is different.
Modelling Jobs on Craigslist - Legit or Dangerous?
If you are meeting with an agent or client who has contacted you and booked through the internet this is a completely different thing. If you were booked by someone you have never met, through the internet, you should never and I mean never go alone, this applies to male models as well. Actually, accepting a job through the internet that has not been vetted (screened) by an agent is extremely risky and you should be very, very careful. It is always safer to get your bookings from reputable modelling agencies rather than working freelance on the internet.
Bring a Swimsuit (Women)
If an agency or client is interested in representing or booking you, they will often ask to take snapshots (digitals) of you and take your measurements while you are wearing a swimsuit. Bikinis are preferred, but a one-piece is fine. If you don't have a swimsuit then a good quality matching bra and panty set is fine.
Accept Criticism and Advice
To be a successful model you must have thick skin. Don't let an agent or client's criticism affect you. If you met with 50 different agencies or clients you'd likely receive 50 different evaluations of your look or suitability for a job.
This is just the nature of the business.
Yes, sometimes an agent or client can be rude and insensitive, but don't waste your time and energy trying to convince them they are wrong, it's just not worth it. Besides, if you rise above it and behave like a professional even if the agent or client is not, you may find that the same agent or client books you for a job in the future. I've seen it happen time and time again.
How to Stay Positive When Starting Out as a Model
Have a Professional Voice Mail Message
Remember that as a model you are essentially a self-employed contractor running your own business. Just as any business would have a professional voice mail message on their phone so must you.
Keep your outgoing voice mail message simple, short and professional. Nothing drives an agent crazier than having to listen to five minutes of Lady Gaga or Metallica before they can leave a message; many will just hang up and move to the next model.
Are You Driving Your Modelling Agent Crazy?
Reply to Phone Calls Promptly
It is important that you reply to phone messages promptly. You'd hate to lose a booking because another model got there first. Set up your phone so that you get texts or other notifications when someone has a left you a message.
Relax and Smile!
It's okay to be nervous when meeting an agent or client for the first time. Agents and clients expect this and will do their best to make you feel comfortable. Remember that agents and clients can't do their jobs without you so they really are happy to see you.
Relax, have fun and SMILE!
The Most Professional Model Always Wins!
When you attend an agency open call or an audition with a client you will likely be one of many beautiful faces. So what separates one beautiful face from another? It's PROFESSIONALISM!
Agencies and clients don't always choose the most beautiful or handsome model but rather the model who they believe is the most professional, easiest to work with, and prepared. Follow these 12 tips and you will be on your way to succeeding at your next open call, go-see or casting!