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August 22nd, 2017

    Tips for Attending Open Casting Calls

Looking for agency representation can be exciting and stressful all at the same time. However, it is important to know that not all agencies are the same or look for the same things. During your search make it a point to submit yourself according to each agency's preferences. Doing otherwise will more than likely send your submission into the trash.

When it comes to open casting calls, it is especially crucial to follow the rules in order to put yourself on the agency's good side. Remember, part of being a good model is having the ability to follow directions. If you can't fulfill the requirements for an open casting call, this makes a bad first impression and could lead the agency staff to believe that you don't follow directions well.

1. Make Sure the Agency Holds Open Casting Calls: Surprisingly, not all agencies have open calls available. The best way to find this information is to check the official website for the modeling agency. Any details about casting calls will be listed if they are offered or the agency may state that they don't hold open casting calls. If there is no mention at all, that's more than likely a sign that they don't do casting calls.

2. Read All the Info & Follow Through: Again, good models follow directions. Never blindly attend a casting call. Always, always, always check the website of the modeling agency to find out how they conduct their open calls, when, during what times and note what you will need to bring. Following the instructions for an agency's open casting call will put you ahead and make things much smoother for the agency. Tons of model hopefuls show up to casting calls and only the ones that are properly prepared will be given some time with the agency staff.

3. Make Sure You Show Up on the Right Day During the Right Times: Each modeling agency has its casting calls on certain days of the week. If you are planning on submitting to more than one agency, you'll have to be extra organized to make sure that you go to the right casting call at the right time. Some agencies have casting calls 1-2 days a week, once a month or even less frequently. The time frame for most casting calls is two hours.

4. Go Early Rather Than Being on Time: Casting calls are typically held during specific time frames and if you happen to be considering a prominent agency, you can expect a lot of people to show up. Being right on time or late will put you at the end of the line and if you don't make it into the agency's office by the time the casting is done, you'll be turned away--even though you were already there. Save yourself the hassle and get there early...you may get lucky and attend on a day when there aren't many people attending or at least you'll be ahead of the pack. However, being early (example: the casting doesn't officially start until 3pm and you show up at 2:30pm) does not mean the agency will see you right then and there. You'll have to wait until the actual casting process has started.

5. Don't Bring a Group of People With You: If you are under the age of 18, then you must have a parent/guardian with you at the time of the casting call. No exceptions. Bring only one parent (make sure to leave any babies or younger siblings at home or with a sitter). Model hopefuls 18 years of age and older should arrive to the casting call by yourself or with one additional person who will not be a distraction. The person you bring will not be able to go into the actual casting with you (sit next to you while the agency asks you questions, etc.). There will more than likely be a lobby or other type of waiting area where your guest will have to stay until you are done.

6. Dress Wisely: Attending an open casting call is your opportunity for the agency to meet you as you are. The purpose is for them to get to know you briefly and evaluate your potential. You are NOT there to show off your favorite haute couture threads or other fancy outfits. Some agency websites give advice as to what male and female models should wear to casting calls. If such information is available, follow it!

If not, then you can't go wrong with dark skinny jeans, heels and a solid colored, form fitting tank top or t-shirt (for the ladies) or dark, comfortable jeans, clean shoes and a form fitting t-shirt or tank top (for the guys).

*Ladies, you may want to take the extra step of either wearing a two-piece, solid colored swimsuit under your clothes or bring it in a small bag to change into. Sometimes agencies will want to see you in a swimsuit in person so having it handy just in case will go a long way in making a good first impression during an open call.

      The Truth About Modeling Expenses

Expenses are an area that seem to create the most confusion and misunderstandings between new models and agencies.

Modeling agencies often hear new models say "Well, if you liked me you would pay for everything". Unfortunately, the talk surrounding modeling agencies having to pay for expenses is exaggerated and often wishful thinking on the part of new models who don't understand how the modeling industry really works. Understand that models have been told "don't pay an agency to represent you" or "don't pay for a booking" - that is true. But that is much different from investing in your own basic start-up costs that don't involve the agency, such as photoshoots, website profiles, composite cards, etc. These are services you need from outside sources such as photographers, scouting services, web developers, stylists, printers, etc.

Agencies that were willing to finance the careers of new models, such as Ford Models, Wilhelmina, Next, andElite Models and IMG Models.

Agencies May Advance but Never Finance

Modeling agencies soon learned that financing the careers of new models was more costly than profitable. Many agencies lost hundreds of thousands of dollars each year when new models were unable to fulfill their obligations for a variety of reasons that were of no fault of the agency. Young models may have found they couldn't handle the stress, they didn't like being away from home, their looks changed, they were difficult to work with, or any number of reasons that would send a new model packing and the agency holding the bill.

Today, many agencies expect to be repaid for advances even if the model does not work. Some agencies have gone as far as taking legal action against models who have outstanding debts. These days over 90% of models working with top agencies in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Paris, London, Milan, etc. did not have their initial expenses advanced and they worked long and hard to get where they are.

Models Are Independent Contractors

As a fashion model you are a self-employed, independent contractor. You are considered a sole proprietor in your own small business, you are not an employee of the agency’s, in addition to basic start-up costs, it is required to cover all of your own promotional expenses such as composite cards, website profile, agency books, headshots, couriers, etc. These promotional expenses can run anywhere from $500 - $1200 per year to post photos on the agency website, $1,500 - $2,500 per year for composite cards, in addition to couriers, postage, working visa's, legal and accounting fees. Professional models understand that this is simply the cost of doing business and it is standard in the industry for the model to cover these promotional expenses.


 I know this industry is very hard, frustrating and you will have difficult times never give up and keep your head held high. You will hear NO a lot but there will be other oppurtunity’s meant for you. Trying to find a good agency that is reputable is so important because they will help you with casting’s and work. The Agencies I have worked with is Ford, Willamenia and Click. You must have a portfolio and resume before walking into any agency. Beware, there are agencies that will ask for money up front for you to join and you must use their photographer’s, makeup artist’s and fashion stylists that cost a lot of money. It is your choice to decide who you want to use. Sign up for Model Mayham and start your page. You will find Photographers who will do TFP which mean’s time for print. They have modeling and acting casting’s which you can apply to. You should do a lot of TFP’S and non- paying jobs to get started on your portfolio and resume, this is a must!                                                                    Social Networking                                                                    I am an Independent Model right now, I have more control over what job’s I take, who I will shoot for and what companies I am willing to work for. I had to get new pictures for my portfolio, made a website, and set up every social media site that is very popular. My favorites are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumbler, Blogger, Pinterest, Flicker, Linkedin and Google +. Google Agency’s in your area and check out their reputation, that will save you time and frustration. You are going to have to learn to be your own makeup, hair, wardrobe and fashion stylist to save money. Posing for photoshoots are important, look at magazines, to help with this go to (You Tube or Pinterest).                                                                                                                                                                           PLACES TO SHOP FOR SHOOTS                                       I used to work for MAC and worked for a hair salon and went to fashion school so I do everything. My favorite places to shop is Sammy Dress (they are in China), Charlotte Russe, Miss Sixty and every city which I have worked in I bring a lot of stuff home. The only way you can be successful is to be reliable, honest, and have fun. Your building your reputation, do not ruin it, word does go around. Good luck and I wish you the best! If you still have questions go to my website: model-aimee-muyres.com.