Everything You Need to Know About Casting Calls

  • Melissa Keen

Casting calls are a huge part of a model’s life. Even top models and actors are expected to attend auditions to secure a role. Those represented by an agency will organise the castings for you. However, freelancers must find out about potential jobs alone.

Attending as many as possible will increase your chances of building a portfolio of regular work so your performance at modelling casting calls is crucial. It’s therefore important that you are clued up on what to expect on the day.

If you would like to make a great impression at a casting register with us today to build a professional portfolio.

Prep Before You Attend the Casting

It’s not about just rocking up to auditions unprepared and unorganised. There is a lot of work that goes into the casting before you even turn up. 

  • Read the brief supplied by your agent. It may include information needed for the casting. For example, a bikini shoot might need for you to bring a swimsuit and to be waxed.
  • Research the company so that if you’re asked you can give an honest, informative answer. It will go down well with the designer or photographer. Simply look on their website and at their social media profiles to get a good feel about what they are about, and read up about the history and company ethos. Being able to draw on a campaign will spark conversation and make you stand out from other models.
  • Note the time and location carefully. The last thing you want is to turn up late or in the wrong place. Look up your route and set an alarm. Make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to get to your destination and get ready in the morning. It doesn’t hurt to leave early just in case of traffic or other unforeseeable circumstances, too.
  • Do not go out drinking the night before. Heavy bags and spotty skin will not be a good look on the day. Get an early night and make sure you drink plenty of water.
  • Do not bring friends with you. Go alone unless you’re under 18, in which case you are required by law to have a parent or guardian with you.

The Dress Code for a Casting

Do not overdo it when dressing for a casting. Keep it simple with clothing that fits well. The key is not to distract the directors from you as a person. Skinny jeans with a basic white t-shirt are perfect. Be sure to invest in some properly-fitting underwear to show off your physique and give you a great silhouette underneath your outfit.

Bring a pair of heels that you feel comfortable in and are able to walk in. Wear your hair down or in a simple ponytail, and keep your make-up flattering and natural.

What to Expect at a Casting

A Long Wait

Although you’re expected to arrive on time, there will be a long wait to be seen.

On arrival, you will be given a number which indicates your position in the queue. Bring something to occupy yourself like music and a book or magazine. There may not be enough seats provided so you may find yourself sitting on the floor; it might be worth bringing a small cushion to sit on if you find sitting on hard surfaces uncomfortable.

Keep hydrated by bringing a bottle of water and a snack with you. A lot of castings don’t supply any catering, so you’ll want to make sure you’re fed and watered while you wait.

Never leave the venue during the wait as you may miss your number being called. Casting directors are busy and you will not be given a second chance. Your name will be crossed off the list and they will move onto your rivals.

Always be on time. No one will be patient enough to listen to your excuses even if it is not your fault. Always plan your route the night before and leave extra time. It is better to show up early than late.

The Process

  • You will be given a form to fill out. Usually they ask for your age, size, agency and their contact numbers, so make sure you have this information.
  • Each model casting is unique. Some may ask to see you alone or in a group. In a group casting, it’s important to stand out from the crowd. Show off your personality and don’t be afraid to speak up.
  • Once called in front of the casting directors you will be asked a few questions. Be confident and friendly. It is a daunting experience but with some practise it will become a lot easier. They will ask you to show your walk, try on clothes and will likely take a few snapshots. Begin with a straight up and down shot and then continue to move through a few poses that you have prepared each time they shoot.
  • After the long wait, the actual audition is usually over after a few minutes. They know what they are looking for, so there won’t be any time-wasting.
  • You will then be free to leave and will have to wait for them to get back in touch with your agent. There are usually three outcomes; the rejection, an invitation back for a second casting or a successful outcome.
  • Always ring your agent after the casting and let them know how you have got on.

Don’t Be Disheartened by Rejection

Models will attend a multitude of castings; it is the nature of the industry. It can feel upsetting to not be accepted and it’s easy to take it personally. You need to remember that the photographers and designers have a specific look they are searching for.

There are many top models who have experienced rejection who then find work elsewhere. Even if you are accepted by one casting, it does not guarantee that you will find the next successful. It is all down to opinion and the vision they are looking for.

In the modelling industry, it is vital that you build a thick skin that is able to cope with the ups and downs. If the casting did not go well always be polite as you never know who you will meet again during your career.

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Posted by Melissa Keen

Melissa's experience in the beauty and fashion world as a writer and blogger spans over five years. Her other interests include reading, yoga and music.