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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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Answering a Reader Question #255

Kat Wrote:

hi Dania, congrats on getting signed to your agency:). I have a question about finding auditions. I am an aspiring model/actor and I want to know how to find auditions. I don't have an agent so how do i make things happen on my own. i determined to succeed in this industry and i want a smart, and safe way to do this. i currently live in California but i plan on moving to NYC soon i'm excited and i want to hit the ground running when i get there so how do i do this. also i have another question i understand that i will not be living lavishly as a struggling artist so what type of day job do you suggest. it would have to be a job that is flexible so i can go on auditions when i need to. 

Hi, Kat! Thanks so much for the congrats--much appreciated! I don't know where in California you live but below are sites you should check out to get notifications about modeling/acting gigs:

- SF Casting (www.sfcasting.com): This is a casting website that allows you to set up a profile, upload photos, video clips and post your resume of experience. You'll receive email alerts with projects that are currently casting and will be able to submit yourself directly to them. You don't need to have an agent to have your profile through this casting site. There are also two "sister sites" for the Los Angeles (www.lacasting.com) and New York market (www.nycasting.com). They are exactly the same, just for different locations/markets.

- Model Mayhem (www.modelmayhem.com). There are people that love this site and people that absolutely hate it. I will say that professionally, it's been great for my career in terms of networking and using their Casting section to submit myself for projects. Plus, it's free to set up a membership/profile. In addition to modeling gigs, there are also acting opportunities that get posted there from time to time.

Once you move to New York, I would recommend checking out the casting sites below:

- New York Casting (www.nycasting.com). I mentioned this casting agency above already but wanted to drive the point home that they should be among the first companies you set up a profile with.

- Sylvia Fay Casting (http://sylviafaycasting.com/)

- Barbara McNamara Casting (http://www.barbmcasting.com/)

- Central Casting (http://www.centralcasting.com/)

It is important to remember that casting agencies are not talent or modeling agencies so you will not have a contract through them, nor will they take a commission. They merely act as the middleman to help connect you with projects that are looking for models and actors.

As far as jobs you can hold down while pursuing the entertainment industry, here are a few of the most commonly held jobs for people in your situation:
  • Server/Waitstaff
  • Bartender
  • Night shift jobs (working stock for a retail company, for example)
  • Security (you're probably not interested in that but I thought I would list it anyway, lol)
  • Restaurant/Bar cocktail waitress
  • Receptionist
  • Dog walker (hey, it's a job and generates booming business from all the dog lovers/owners in New York)
  • Art gallery assistant
Hope that helps and good luck with your big move to New York!


Kat said...

thanks Dania for answering my question. i don't have any professional pics so can i use snapshots for these sites, also what does is mean by union and non-union, I've done a lot of theater but no on camera work so can i still apply for these sites. and also are there other ways to find photographers besides model mayhem because I saw the requirements to be a member on the sire and i don't think i qualify so i was wondering if there are other ways to find photographers possibly ones that will consider TFP= time for prints

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Kat! I'll answer your questions directly through here instead of in another post. :-)

Usually, casting agencies want professional images since that is what you'll be submitting to projects/clients. So you'll have to set that up first and then upload your pictures. You would be considered "non-union." Unions are for actors (models don't have them). They make sure projects pay the correct rate, pay actors overtime when it applies, etc. If you belong to a union, you get higher pay but also have to pay dues for being a member. But if you have any issues with a client or project, the union will represent you to handle the issues and make sure you're being treated fairly. Pretty much like labor unions that blue collar workers belong to. SAG is one of the most well known unions that many actors join once they meet the requirements. But for now you don't have to worry about that since you're starting out.

Have you tried posting a casting call for photographers in your area to shoot your photos? Posting your own casting allows you to connect directly with photographers that are okay with shooting TFP. The other option would be to post on Craigslist but I wouldn't recommend that for obvious reasons, lol. You could try doing a regular online search for photographers in your city/state, where you'll find their official websites but most times they'll charge for their services. Model Mayhem is the best way to find affordable/TFP photographers. If you're not already on Model Mayhem, try submitting yourself anyway to see if you could get approved. You don't always need professional pictures to set up your profile on there...snapshots like you'd send to agencies should be fine until you get time to get more pro ones to add.

You can apply to casting agencies regardless of whether you have previous experience or not on-camera.

Anonymous said...

A film or TV producer, screenwriter, novelist, make-up artist, fashion designer, comic artist, photographer, video game creator, journalist, film or TV special effects designer, interior designer, audio engineer, DJ, etc. are also other jobs that you can hold while you're pursuing a modeling or acting career because they seem pretty related and are helpful.