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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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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The "Check Avail" Reply in Modeling--What It Means

(This post was inspired by an anonymous reader's question. Anonymous wrote:

Hi there. Can i ask what is the difference between casting and checking of availability?)

The modeling industry is full of its own lingo. However, clients and agencies often throw out these terms without giving any thought as to whether or not the model they're addressing even knows what it means. Sometimes it's easy to just "assume" that models--regardless of experience level--know such things.

Out of the model jargon out there, one term you may or may not have run into yet is what's commonly referred to as the "Check Avail." This is short for "checking of availability. Traditionally used in the acting world, it's slowly made its way into regular conversation in the modeling industry. By definition, it's a basic request for information as to what your schedule looks like for a specific time frame.

It is important to understand what check avail means because not knowing could lead to false hopes. Okay, let me set the scene so that I can put this concept into an easy to understand manner...

- Let's say you've got a casting for a catalog. You attend, submit your headshot and the client takes a few snapshots of you to keep for their records. That's the end of the casting and you go back to your everyday life/routine.

- A few hours or days later you get a call/email from the client (or your agent, if you have one) and they want to know your "check avail" for a certain date and time or multiple dates/time frames. You let them know if/when you're available and they thank you and say they'll get back to you.

By this point, you're probably wondering, did I get the catalog gig or what? The answer is technically "no." BUT getting a check avail request is a GOOD thing because it shows the client is leaning towards possibly using you for the project. However, they can't tell you whether or not you've actually booked the gig because they're still working things out.

Putting together photoshoots, fashion shows and other related modeling assignments takes a lot of time, planning, production and involves a number of different people all working to make everything happen. Sometimes they can't confirm hired models until they've got all the logistics and details worked out--and that doesn't always happen by the time the casting occurs. When this happens, clients typically review the models that have attended the casting and then request check avails to see who is available on which dates and during which times.

Knowing that info further helps them fit the final pieces of the puzzle together. Once that's accomplished, they can take one final look at who made the cut so far and then actually confirm the models they'll use in the final shoot/project.

So if you get a check avail request from a client or through your agent, one of two things will happen afterwards:

1) They'll contact you again at a later time (before the shoot date obviously) or right away to let you know you're confirmed for the gig.

2) They'll contact you again and say that you are no longer being considered for the gig.

Either way, they'll keep you in the loop, which is a lot better than just not hearing back. A similar situation that also applies to models is known as being placed "on hold." If a client knows you're available but can't quite confirm you 100%, they'll put you "on hold," which basically means make sure you don't have plans on the day(s) when the gig is supposed to take place. In most cases, you'll find out if you've been hired or "released" from being on hold within a few hours or a few days. FYI: being "released" means you didn't get hired.

It may seem like a mean thing to do to a model by keeping them in limbo but many times it can't be avoided--and it is done in a businesslike manner. Clients and directors have to plan and account for everything and sometimes that means keeping people up in the air until important decisions have been made and things can go forward. Just go with the flow and keep your fingers crossed that you'll be confirmed.

Word to the wise: whenever you get a check avail request, be sure to have any and all days they ask for completely open in your schedule. The more flexible your availability is, the higher your chances will be of getting hired over whoever else they might be considering.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Dania! I've wanted to be a model for quite a while, given my tall slim body and unique look. The problem is, i'm not very photogenic. But i've got a strong runway walk, so i was wondering if it was possible to just be in fashion shows? or is there a way i can make myself become more photogenic? thanks bunches dania! xoxo

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Anonymous! You'll find the answer to your question in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #388," 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!