Modeling Agency Open Calls & Go-Sees
Tips to Succeed at Modeling Agency Open Calls & Go Sees
So, you’ve gathered up your courage, put on your makeup and a great new outfit and you’re now ready to attend some modeling agency open calls; sometimes called go-sees, auditions or casting calls. In addition to looking great it’s important to follow some simple guidelines to help you ace your interview.
Be on Time
Being on time is a MUST! Being late for your interview or for modeling jobs is the kiss of death for a 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 for a model not to know exactly where he/she needs to be and to be there on time.
Bring Current Photos
Whether you submitted your photos to the agency beforehand or the agents are seeing your photos for the first time, you must look like you do in your photos. It is okay if you don’t have professional modeling photos, snapshots are just fine. Agents would rather see you in simple snapshots than in professional photos that are old, out-dated or where you look totally different.
Be Organized and Prepared
Always bring a pen and notepad to take notes or be able to quickly jot down notes in your phone, iPad or Blackberry. 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 Contact Sheets or Outtakes
No Boyfriends, Friends or Children
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 reputable modeling 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. Having said that, if you are unsure who you are meeting or you are meeting with 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 okay 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.
Meeting with an agent at an agency versus meeting with a client who has contacted you for a modeling job through the internet is a completely different thing.
Understand Your Market & The Agency
Whether you are a commercial model, editorial high-fashion model, petite, plus-size model, or mature model it is important to understand your market and the focus of the agency you want to meet. Be sure to check whether the agency represents your type before you show up at their open calls – if you are a female commercial model showing up at male modeling agency then you’ve wasted both the agent’s and your own time.
Bring a Swimsuit
If an agency is interested in you they will often ask to take snapshots of you and take your measurements while you are wearing a swimsuit. Bikinis are preferred over a one-piece. Male models can wear boxers.
Don’t Sign a Contract at the First Meeting
I know, you’re excited about the prospect of signing with an agency. But, don’t make the mistake of signing a legally binding modeling contract based on emotions rather than good business sense. Unless you’re being offered a contract by IMG Models, Elite Models, Wilhelmina, New York Models, Storm or one of the other top model agencies do not sign on the dotted line without knowing exactly what you are signing.
Update Your Voicemail Message
There are a lot of things that a new model can do or not do that will make the difference whether an agency will or will not sign them. Every agent has one or two pet peeves that models might inadvertently do that will make an agent crazy. Having worked as model agent for 35 years I can tell you that my #1 pet peeve is unprofessional voice mail messages. If I had a nickel for every model who made me listen to five minutes of Snoop Dog or Van Halen before I could leave a message….well, don’t get me started. When I call a new model who makes me listen to a ridiculous or too long outgoing message I hang up and never call back. Agents are too busy to mess around. Do yourself a favor and update your voicemail message to a simple, short and professional message – your agent will thank you for it.
Don’t Second Guess the Agency – Accept Criticism
Being a model also means having a thick skin. You could visit 20 different agencies or 20 different clients and receive 20 different evaluations of your potential or suitability for a particular job. Agents and clients are evaluating your look to determine if it is right for their particular needs, it is not an evaluation of who you are as a person. This is not the time to argue with an agent or client or try to convince them that they are wrong. You will never win this argument. Granted, some agents and clients can be harsh – you need to suck it up and carry on. Don’t let them get to you. Take their criticism with a smile and move on to the next agency or client.
Relax and Smile
Agents and clients understand that you are nervous, it’s ok. Remember that they really are happy to see you. Agents and clients can’t do their jobs without models and they really want to work with you if they can. So relax, have fun and remember to smile!