Everything You Need to Know About Model Castings
A model must constantly work to market themself and open doors of opportunity. Being signed by an agency isn’t enough and doesn’t guarantee work; models must attend constant interviews with brands and prospective clients to see whether they are the right fit for a specific job.
Castings, then, are vital for a model’s success. A model must know how to make an excellent first impression to impress casting agents and bag future jobs.
Here’s everything you need to know about model castings.
What is a Model Casting?
A ‘casting’, also known as a casting call, is another term for an interview. It can refer to an interview to join a modelling agency, or an interview to work with brands and companies.
All models, including successful models, must regularly attend castings. It is never guaranteed that a model has a specific job, and only the most successful supermodels can sometimes skip the casting process for certain modelling jobs.
What Happens at a Casting Call?
A casting call will vary depending on who you are interviewing with:
For an agency casting call, the model will have been in contact with the agency by either applying online or by being approached by the agency.
The agency will contact the model and ask them to attend a casting. A casting can either be for many aspiring models to attend at once, or it may be a singular event for a specific model.
Regardless of whether you are attending a casting with multiple models, you must try your absolute best to make a good impression. The agency wants to see whether you are a good fit for them. They will want to know your measurements, personality, and how well you walk. You may be asked to model certain clothing and perform your walk in heels.
Some agencies may request you to bring specific items, such as heels or nude underwear. You must read your instructions carefully as forgetting something vital will not impress agency managers.
You must ensure you make it in good time. You may have to wait a long time to be seen if the agency is seeing multiple models in one day. It’s a good idea to bring water, snacks and something to keep you occupied while you wait.
You must bring your modelling portfolio with you to castings in order to show your experience and flexibility as a model. If you have yet to complete any professional photoshoots, it’s a good idea to hire a photographer and get some high-quality headshots and full-body shots to put into your portfolio. Your portfolio must be updated constantly. There’s no need to put every photo in – choose the best ones that showcase your expertise as a model.
A brand casting call with be arranged by a modelling agency if you get signed by one. Freelance models must arrange for brand casting calls themselves. This can be very time consuming as many brands don’t tend to advertise and instead go directly to agencies to find suitable models.
You may receive a document detailing what to wear and bring to a brand casting. They may ask you to wear your hair in a specific way or wear minimal make-up. Whatever they ask, ensure you do it to give yourself the best chances of being selected. A model who comes unprepared will not make a good impression.
It is likely that many models will be interviewed at the same time for brand casting calls. This means you will be in direct competition with many other experienced models. Don’t let this intimidate you; this is a common situation that all models must quickly become comfortable with.
All models will face rejection during their careers as it is the nature of the job. Don’t take it personally; a brand will have a very clear idea of who they are after and no one is going to fit every criteria for every brand.
How Do You Get Invited to a Casting Call?
Getting invited to a casting call is half the work; being chosen at a casting call is the other half.
To be invited to a casting call, you need only wait if you are signed to an agency as they will do all the work for you and contact you when a job you may be suitable for comes up.
To get signed to an agency, you need to apply.
- Research modelling agencies and choose which ones you want to apply to (you can apply to as many as you like).
- Visit their website and read their application request thoroughly.
- Ensure you fill out the application form accurately. They will want to know your height and measurements as well as your shoe size and hair colour.
- They will ask you to attach some photos. Ensure these photos are high-quality and professional.
After your application is sent, you must wait. It can take a number of weeks before you hear back. If you are unsuccessful, you may not hear back at all. Remember, agencies get hundreds of applications each week. If they have no vacancies, it is unlikely anyone will be selected.
You can apply to the same agency as many times as you wish, but don’t pester them. It’s a good idea to create an excel sheet to keep track of who and when you approached specific modelling agencies. If you don’t hear back, apply again in 6 months.
How to Prepare for a Casting Call
It’s vital that you prepare for a casting call to give yourself the best chances of success.
If you have received a brief, ensure you read this thoroughly in plenty of time. Each brand will have different requirements; for example, if it is for a bikini brand, they may request that you wax for the interview or bring a bikini.
It’s a good idea to research the brand/company beforehand so you know the type of look and the target audience they are marketing for. Knowledge of a specific designer or brand will also impress photographers and casting agents.
Ensure you are aware of the time, date and location of your casting. If you are unsure of the location, check a map and ensure you can get there in plenty of time. It’s a good idea to get to the area early in case you get lost. Do everything you can to avoid being late – a late model is not likely to be rescheduled.
Ensure you get plenty of sleep beforehand. Try to avoid drinking alcohol or late nights the night before; you want your skin and eyes to appear bright and clear.
If your hair is dyed, make sure your roots aren’t showing and you don’t have split ends. It is worth a quick trip to the hairdressers to ensure hair is well maintained and healthy.
Don’t get a facial the day before. Facials can cause blemishes to appear immediately after. If you want to book in for a skin treatment, make sure it is at least a week before your interview.
Don’t forget the details; ensure nails are neat and clean, that make-up is minimal but effective, and that you are well-hydrated for clear skin.
Don’t bring friends or family with you to the interview (unless you are under 18, in which case a parent or guardian must legally be with you at all times.) A model must be comfortable being on her own and can’t expect to bring people with her everywhere she goes.