#ModelMonday : Modeling Open Calls, Go Sees, Castings & Auditions
We are working our way through the month of June! Let's keep the motive of this month going by focusing on some of the general things you should know and utilize as a working model. This week and next week we are tackling a two-part article focusing on model calls. by Vannessa Helmer.
Whether you call them Open Calls, Go-Sees, Castings or Auditions, one of the ways that modeling agencies find new faces, and clients find models they'd like to book for modeling 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.
Modeling 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 modeling 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.
Sometimes, however, being late is unavoidable. If you are going to 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 three-hour 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/or Recent Photos
If you are meeting with an agent for the first time it is not necessary for you to have professional modeling photos. It is helpful, however, if you bring a few simple snapshots that you can leave with the agent if they ask. Most agents will take some "digitals" of you if they are interested, but it is nice to show the agent that you are prepared.
If you have a modeling portfolio (your "book"), always bring it with you.
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 modeling 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 judgment as each interview is different.
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 modeling agencies rather than working freelance on the internet.