As a model, casting calls quickly become a routine part of the job. Essentially, casting calls are like job interviews for models. Models meet with a client, company or designer to choose an individual to represent them. Casting calls happen virtually every time before securing a job. British Model Alliance has extensive experience working in the fashion industry and helping new models successfully launch their careers. Our experts have provided a guide outlining what to expect from casting calls.
Do Your Homework
You would never attend a job interview without familiarising yourself with the company first. The same applies to model casting calls. Prior to attending, read the brief provided by your agent. Briefs may contain crucial information about the brand or how to prepare for the specific casting call. For example, if you are meeting with clients regarding a bikini shoot, you will need to prepare your skills and body differently than you would when attending one for a runway show. Additionally, be sure to confirm the date, location and time of casting with your agent.
When you know which company or brand you’re attending the casting call for, researching is imperative. Reviewing their website and social media platforms allows you to get to know their personality and the types of models they typically hire. Identifying a brand’s specific tone of voice also educates you on which types of poses are best to do on the day.
Casting calls, especially for new models can be an extremely daunting experience. However, they are vital when it comes to kick-starting your modelling career. In order to appear professional, the British Model Alliance highly recommends attending casting calls alone. Arriving at a casting call accompanied by a friend or family member does not present well. You would arrive at a job interview unattended, and the same thinking must be applied to casting calls. Furthermore, showing up early makes a great first impression to clients and casting directors. It shows them you’re dependable and take this opportunity seriously.
Every Casting Call is Different
Castings happen in numerous locations. Sometimes, they take place at an agency office or photography studio while others can happen at a hotel. Working in the modelling industry, it’s likely you will attend casting calls at all different locations. Even so, every opportunity should be taken serious as this is a chance for you to show clients your modelling talents.
Depending on the brand and what they’re looking for, casting calls range in size. When casting calls are small, models may spend only 2-3 minutes there. However, a larger casting call may leave models waiting between 2-3 hours. Once you’ve attended various castings, you will learn how to judge the size immediately. Typically, if models are sitting on the floor, it will most likely take a longer period of time.
No matter the amount of waiting time during a casting call, British Model Alliance strongly recommends never walking out of the casting without following through with it. Though every meeting will not be successful as different clients are looking for many different looks, castings aren’t just about landing a job. They help build a model’s confidence and increase their industry exposure. If you are unsuccessful one time with a client, this does not mean that they will not need your look in the future.
What to Wear
At a casting call, casting directors and clients want to see the shape of a model’s body. Therefore, your your clothing should be simple with neutral colours. The experts at British Model Alliance suggest attending in a little black dress or high-waisted skinny jeans and a fitted vest. Whichever look you decide to go with, be sure to wear plain high-heeled pumps, preferably black. Avoid platforms or boots. Your make-up should be extremely natural. However, it’s recommended to show up without any on. Additionally, it’s always wise to bring a hair tie to make it easier for clients to see your facial structure. For men, British Model Alliance recommends wearing skinny jeans, a fitted plain t-shirt and semi-smart shoes. All models must be well-groomed with clean hair.
Essentials to Bring
Casting calls provide an opportunity for models to show clients their personalities, talents and also showcase previous work they’ve done. For this reason, British Model Alliance reminds all models to bring their portfolio and Z-card. For models who have digital portfolios instead of printed ones, bring an iPad. Distributing your Z-card allows you to leave a lasting impression with clients and casting directors as these cards contain the model’s contact information, statistics and best images.
Every casting call differs. Some are done only in front of a photographer and client while others require you to audition in front of all attending models as well. No matter the setting, British Model Alliance encourages all models to remain extremely confident. Stay relaxed and be yourself. Clients invited you to a casting call in order to observe your personality and talents. If you present shyly, it will be difficult to show them your strengths and what sets you apart from other models.
Depending on what the job casting is for, you will have to display different strengths. For example, at a fashion show casting, a client mainly wants to see your walk. As there typically isn’t much time allocated to every model, you will only be asked to walk 1-2 times. Remember to keep your shoulders back, head up and walk tall.
Sometimes casting directors ask models to try on clothing before showing their walk. Other times, models may be asked to do specific things – like dance or play an imaginary game of tennis. These tasks completely depend on what the casting is for and the type of movement clients need to see from models.
During a casting call, photographers also typically take your photo. British Model Alliance suggests starting with a standard, straight up and down pose. The following shots should consist of a few small poses. Posing may last 2-5 minutes. At this time, casting directors and clients are able to assess how you move.
After Your Casting Call
Once the casting is complete, it’s imperative to be polite, even if you feel your audition wasn’t the strongest. Reputation is everything in the fashion and modelling industry. Remaining professional throughout your entire casting call leaves good lasting impressions with clients. Be sure to thank everyone involved and leave with a smile on your face.
British Model Alliance advises getting in touch with your agent at the end of your casting call to let them know how it went. They will then follow up with the client. Decisions are typically made very quickly. It’s common for clients to choose the successful models on the day of the casting. Your agency will inform you if you are successful.
In the modelling industry, it’s easy to become discouraged if you do not land a job. However, this should not deter you. With our combined experience, the British Model Alliance team knows the industry inside out. It’s important for new and established models to realise that you’re not going to be the right fit for every single casting. With the number of brands, designers and companies in the fashion industry, sometimes your individual model style isn’t what a client is looking for.
Throughout your career, you’re going to get a lot more casting calls than actual jobs. What sets successful models apart, however, is their determination to continue despite being turned down. British Model Alliance encourages all serious models to stay focused and continuing following your modelling dreams.