Modeling Open Calls, Go-Sees, Castings & Auditions

Tips for Putting Your Best Foot Forward

One of the ways that modeling agencies find new faces, and clients find models they'd like to book for modeling jobs, is to hold an open call, go-see, casting or audition. There was a time these appointments were even called "cattle calls," but thankfully that term is rarely used anymore. 

Modeling agencies will usually hold open calls or go-sees for a few hours once a week, allowing aspiring models to simply walk in without an appointment and meet with an agent. If you don't live near one of the major markets, it can be difficult for you to attend an open call.  In that case, a model scouting website can be helpful.

Clients will hold a casting or audition at a specific time where numerous models from a variety of agencies meet with the client in person so the client can make their final selection of models.

How you conduct yourself during and after one of these appointments can make or break your modeling career.  Here are five tips to help you succeed at your next interview.

Be On Time—ALWAYS

Models lined up for a modeling audition
Wendell Teodoro/Getty Images

Nothing drives an agent or client crazier than a late model. Time is money and lateness is never tolerated by agents, photographers, or clients. With the advent of cell phones, GPS, and Google Maps there is no excuse not to know exactly where you need to be and to be there on time.

Plan your time wisely and make sure you show up for your appointment time 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.

There are occasions when being late is unavoidable. When it happens, always call your agent or the person you have your appointment with and let them know when you expect to arrive. 

Agency open calls are a little more flexible, usually running within a two- or three-hour time frame. It's still best to arrive early to open calls rather than wait until the end because you might find yourself interviewed by a tired and cranky agent.

Bring Your Book or Recent Photos

If you're meeting with an agent for the first time, it's not necessary for you to have professional modeling photos. It is helpful, however, if you bring a few simple snapshots that you can leave with the agent if they ask. Most agents will take some "digitals" of you if they are interested, but it's nice to show the agent that you're prepared.

If you do have a modeling portfolio (your "book"), always bring it with you. 

No Contact Sheets or Outtakes

If you are bringing your book, be sure it only contains your very best photos. Never put contact sheets, outtakes, personal papers, or anything in your book that isn't your very best work. Agents and clients will ALWAYS look in the back of your book, so be sure to keep it clean and tidy.

Be Organized and Prepared

Bring a pen and notepad to take notes or quickly jot down notes on your phone or tablet. 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 Boyfriends, Friends, or Family

A model kissing her boyfriend goodbye in front of a brick column
Shestock/Getty Images

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 well-known and established agency then this guideline is doubly important. Just like you wouldn't bring your boyfriend, friends, or child to a job interview, you shouldn't bring them when you meet modeling agents or clients.

However, if you are meeting an unknown agent for the first time it's best that you don't go alone for safety reasons. You can have a friend come with you, but they should only come as far as the lobby or front door. It's ok 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 judgment as each interview is different.

If you were booked through the internet by someone you have never met, you should ​​NEVER go alone, this applies to male models as well. Accepting a job through the internet that has not been vetted (screened) by an agent is extremely risky and you should be incredibly careful. It is always safer to get your bookings from reputable modeling agencies rather than working freelance on the internet.  ​