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There is more to the modeling world than the media lets on. If you want to find out what it really takes and how to manage your modeling career, then you've come to the right place! This blog is dedicated to the aspiring and already established models who live to defy the standards and stereotypes in order to make a place for themselves in this crazy industry.

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Tips for Attending Open Casting Calls

Looking for agency representation can be exciting and stressful all at the same time. However, it is important to know that not all agencies are the same or look for the same things. During your search make it a point to submit yourself according to each agency's preferences. Doing otherwise will more than likely send your submission into the trash.

When it comes to open casting calls, it is especially crucial to follow the rules in order to put yourself on the agency's good side. Remember, part of being a good model is having the ability to follow directions. If you can't fulfill the requirements for an open casting call, this makes a bad first impression and could lead the agency staff to believe that you don't follow directions well.

Don't know what an open casting call is? Check out my post on the subject so you'll be up to speed:

Casting Calls

Okay, now on to the tips!

1. Make Sure the Agency Holds Open Casting Calls: Surprisingly, not all agencies have open calls available. The best way to find this information is to check the official website for the modeling agency. Any details about casting calls will be listed if they are offered or the agency may state that they don't hold open casting calls. If there is no mention at all, that's more than likely a sign that they don't do casting calls.

2. Read All the Info & Follow Through: Again, good models follow directions. Never blindly attend a casting call. Always, always, always check the website of the modeling agency to find out how they conduct their open calls, when, during what times and note what you will need to bring. Following the instructions for an agency's open casting call will put you ahead and make things much smoother for the agency. Tons of model hopefuls show up to casting calls and only the ones that are properly prepared will be given some time with the agency staff.

3. Make Sure You Show Up on the Right Day During the Right Times: Each modeling agency has its casting calls on certain days of the week. If you are planning on submitting to more than one agency, you'll have to be extra organized to make sure that you go to the right casting call at the right time. Some agencies have casting calls 1-2 days a week, once a month or even less frequently. The time frame for most casting calls is two hours.

4. Go Early Rather Than Being on Time: Casting calls are typically held during specific time frames and if you happen to be considering a prominent agency, you can expect a lot of people to show up. Being right on time or late will put you at the end of the line and if you don't make it into the agency's office by the time the casting is done, you'll be turned away--even though you were already there. So save yourself the hassle and get there early...you may get lucky and attend on a day when there aren't many people attending or at least you'll be ahead of the pack. However, being early (example: the casting doesn't officially start until 3pm and you show up at 2:30pm) does not mean the agency will see you right then and there. You'll have to wait until the actual casting process has started.

5. Don't Bring a Group of People With You: If you are under the age of 18, then you must have a parent/guardian with you at the time of the casting call. No exceptions. Bring only one parent (make sure to leave any babies or younger siblings at home or with a sitter). Model hopefuls 18 years of age and older should arrive to the casting call by yourself or with one additional person who will not be a distraction. The person you bring will not be able to go into the actual casting with you (sit next to you while the agency asks you questions, etc.). There will more than likely be a lobby or other type of waiting area where your guest will have to stay until you are done.

6. Dress Wisely: Attending an open casting call is your opportunity for the agency to meet you as you are. The purpose is for them to get to know you briefly and evaluate your potential. You are NOT there to show off your favorite haute couture threads or other fancy outfits. Some agency websites give advice as to what male and female models should wear to casting calls. If such information is available, follow it!

If not, then you can't go wrong with dark skinny jeans, heels and a solid colored, form fitting tank top or t-shirt (for the ladies) or dark, comfortable jeans, clean shoes and a form fitting t-shirt or tank top (for the guys). 
Arrive with your hair out of your face and a clean complexion with little to no makeup.

7. Be Prepared to Wait: I've attended casting calls where there was hardly anyone there and I was seen pretty quickly, however, that is rare. In general, expect to run into a group of people at the casting calls you attend. Since it can take a while to get through everyone, be prepared and bring a book or something simple to keep you occupied. Word to the wise: there is a difference between being "occupied" and being "distracted". Complex texting, playing games on your phone, talking on the phone, doing homework, etc. should be avoided since they tend to draw all of your attention, which could allow you to miss an important announcement, hearing your name/number being called or any other part of the process. Additionally, you want to show the agency that they have your attention--doing otherwise may make you seem like you've got better things to do than be at the casting call, which makes for a very negative first impression. I've seen models so engrossed with their life on their phones that they missed being called and the agency simply skipped over them and went on to the next person. Always be alert and ready for the agency staff to evaluate you.

8. Have Fun: The most important tip of all...being in the office of a modeling agency is exciting so use that positive energy to show the staff a bubbly, outgoing, genuine personality. Don't be a kiss up or overwhelm them with "OMG" statements about how much you love their agency, their models, etc. The casting call is for you to shine so listen to the agency, answer their questions to the best of your ability and smile! The experience will fly by so enjoy every moment.

19 comments:

Paul said...

Dania,
You are an amazing writer. I really envy the way you are able to communicate so clearly with your words. Reading what you have written is a breeze. You are providing your readers with so much valuable information that you are going to be rewarded by the person that matters most. I am truly fascinated by your experience as a black female and I wish you all the best in your endeavors.; I hope you realize that you are helping so many aspiring models that may have lost hope in their dreams of becoming a model famous or not.

One day I will be able to provide you with a dream job.

Talentzee said...

Nice post to every one.Thanks for this.I like Dress Wisely.

adriuhnahh said...

Thankyou so much for the tips! Now i have less to worry about haha :) Does it matter how high the heels are? I was thinking of wearing black skinny jeans but they sort of have a leathery look to them, with a blue skin tight singlet and blue pumps, does that sound good?

Dania Denise said...

Hi, adriuhnahh! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #538," which can be found on my new blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

adriuhnahh said...

Thankyou :)

adriuhnahh said...

Sorry I wasn't sure how to comment on the link you gave me, turns out my blue pumps are 6inches high but i do have a black 4inch heel with a peep toe front, does that sound fine? Sorry to be a hassle just nervous ahah!

Dania Denise said...

Hey, Ariuhnahh!

No worries, you're not a hassle, lol. The shoes you described sound perfect. :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Dania,

First off, thanks for all the tips and information you share! This blog is amazing :)

I finally made up my mind and will go to my first open call at the age of 24 (I hope I'm not too late!) and being 6 feet tall, I wonder if I should just stick to heels that are 3-inches high max or is 4 more of a standard? The higher it is, the longer and thinner it makes your leg look after all. Also, does it matter if it's open toe or pointed or etc. I want to leave a very good first impression so I'm getting lost in details :)

Thanks so much!

E

Dania Denise said...

Hi, E! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #594," which can be found on my new blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

Serin said...

Hi Dania,
Thank you so much for taking your time to write out all these wonderful tips. I recently received an email fro Ford models agency asking to meet with me next Thursday. I'm pretty nervous but your blog has helped so much!
I do have a question though, I sent in my photos via email and I only have photos on my iPhone to show them. Do I need to bring separate photos? Or can I just show them pictures on my iPhone? or should i print them out?
Again, thank you so much for your tips.

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Serin! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #601," which can be found on my new blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

Ashley Carter said...

Hey I'm Ashley! I got a casting call for modeling acting and talent & I would really like some tips! Im only 13 so do I have to wear heels and I also have neck length hair and its in layers so I usually don't wear my hair in a pony tail! What should I do?

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Ashley! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #645," which can be found on my new blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

Dania, thank you for your cool blog. I am an experienced NYC male character print model with a good portfolio. I'm coming back to biz after two years away. There are a couple of layers to my situation. I attended an open call. They are not interested. How soon should I go back to that agency? I don't want to go back too soon or wait too long either. What do you suggest? That's one aspect. The other is, I used to be sent out by this agency and the same agent works there. I emailed him last week with no response and decided to attend the open call as a follow up. Even if I had no prior working relationship with this agency, I would still like to know a good time frame per my first question. Thank you.

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Anonymous! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #751," which can be found on my new blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Dania for your nice response to me, #751. Can you tell me...should I take it personally that this print agent who once worked with me succesfully was non responsive this time around? We hadn't been in touch for a couple of years during my hiatus. My feeling is, I should just go back to the open call in 6 months as you've suggested and not take it personally. He may want to work with me again when the time is right. Or should I not bother anymore with that agency while he is there? We had a good, genial, professional working relationship during a two year period in the past. Thanks again.

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Anonymous!

You're very welcome!

A lot can happen in 2 years and while you don't still have the same working relationship with that particular agent, I think it is perfectly fine for you to go back in 6 months to try again.

I don't know the details as to why you left the industry and how you left things with your agent at the time but maybe he feels slighted that you didn't keep in touch over the years. It takes two but it wouldn't surprise me if he took your leave personally instead of professionally. But I could be totally wrong, lol. Regardless, it is all about timing. Was he there when you attended the open call?

Definitely explore other print agencies in the meantime and see if there's an opportunity to foster another great working relationship with a new agent if the other one ends up not working out the second time around.

Kerry Foland said...

Hi, I have a 9 year old who thinks she is destined to be a model and has big dreams of being a hard working, sought after model! Can you give me any tips on how to get her started or ways to introduce her to what modeling is really like so we can decide if it is really something she wants to focus her time and energy on? Also, if we are able to find any open casting calls for kids in our area I'm assuming they will want her to look like a kid right? Skinny jeans and tank top seem appropriate but not heels can we replace the heels with flats or sandals?

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Kerry! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #756," which can be found on my other blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!