A modelling casting call is another term for a modelling audition or interview. Also known as a ‘go-see’, the casting call is usually the time when a model can really showcase their skillset and experience – basically proving why they should be selected for the job.
If a model has a successful casting call, they will be selected and hired for the job – so it’s important a model stands out by making a great first impression.
How Do I Find a Modelling Casting Call?
Usually, a model gets invited to a casting call/model casting either by applying to get signed to the agency online, or by a brand wishing to work with the model who would like to meet in person. It will then be decided if you are the right fit for the role.
When you get signed to a modelling agency, you aren’t guaranteed work; you still have to attend casting calls to secure work.
Open Casting Calls
An open casting call is the name given to casting calls that don’t require an invitation; they are open for anyone to try their hand. That means anyone – including complete novices with no modelling experience – can attend.
Casting calls can be found on agency websites, on news sites and in local newspapers, and on social media platforms like Facebook.
These are usually incredibly competitive, with hundreds of applicants trying their luck and usually only a handful getting selected.
Open casting calls allow aspiring models the chance of success. Unfortunately, these rely heavily on luck, so it’s important not to get your hopes up. While it’s tricky to get selected, it’s good experience for those with no previous experience in the fashion or modelling industry.
You will likely be seen in a large group, so it’s important you dress to impress and ensure you speak up when given the option – an agency will be looking for a person with personality as much as looks.
You may be required to wait for long periods while they see other groups, so make sure to take a book or something to keep yourself occupied with. You should also take water and snacks.
What to Expect at a Casting Call
A casting call is an interview, but you don’t have to dress up in a suit; agencies will be looking for someone with style and natural charm.
A casting call is run by a casting director. You will usually hear from them or their assistant beforehand so you know where the casting call is taking place, at what time and if you need to bring anything specific.
Try to arrive in plenty of time – you don’t want to be late. If you are given a brief, ensure you have read and followed it thoroughly. They may ask you to wear nude underwear so you can try on their clothing, for example, or they may request that you bring some heels so you can show them your runway walk.
You may need to do a mini photo shoot so they can take some polaroid photos of you and see how well you photograph.
You will be asked to fill out a form with your contact information and modelling measurements. Be sure to fill this in as accurately as possible.
You will be invited into a room with a group of people present. While each agency will do things slightly differently, the concept is the same; this is when they want to assess your appearance and personality and decide whether you have the ability, looks and presence to do well as a model.
Be polite, professional and warm. Don’t forget to bring your modelling portfolio – your file containing lots of photos of you modelling. If you don’t yet have any modelling photos, you may want to think about hiring a photographer for the day so you can get some great photos and include them in your portfolio.
How to Prepare for a Casting Call
Make sure you research the agency as much as possible before your casting call.
Most brands and agencies are located in major cities like London, Manchester and Liverpool, so be prepared to travel to casting calls, interviews and jobs if you don’t reside in one of these places.
Pack a small bag with your essentials. These should include:
– Phone and charger
– Modelling brief
– Modelling portfolio
– Water and snacks
– Book/magazine/music to keep you occupied if you have to wait
– Nude underwear
– Heels you can walk well in
Make sure your hair is clean and styled neatly but isn’t overdone; they’re not interested in seeing elaborate hairstyles, they want to see your natural beauty. They may ask you to take your hair down or put it up so they can assess your facial structure, so don’t spend ages styling it perfectly.
Choose natural make-up that makes the most of your features and emphasises your best bits.
If You Don’t Hear Back
If you have been unsuccessful, don’t worry; this is incredibly common in such a competitive industry. Just because you haven’t been selected for a specific job or agency does not mean you have no future in modelling.
Keep your head held high and apply to as many agencies as you like – with persistence and luck, you will soon find yourself hearing back from an agency.
Increasing Your Chances of Success
Here are some expert tips to help increase your chances of success at a casting call:
- Do your research and know the agency (as well as models they have previously worked with)
– Understand which niche of modelling suits your style best – are you petite or plus-size? Do you want to be a glamour or lingerie model, or are you physically better suited to fitness?
– Keep updating your modelling portfolio and ensure it is as strong as possible
– Keep an eye out for modelling jobs and apply for experience
– Think about getting a z-card (aka comp card); these are a handy way to network