What to Expect at an Open Call

  • Amy Bebbington
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Modelling agencies regularly hold open calls to allow for hopefuls to see the agents directly. They are also known as go sees and walk ins depending on who you speak to in the industry. Models regularly use this service to receive a direct answer face-to-face rather than waiting to hear back from an application. It is also a chance for agencies to see new fresh faces, which is crucial to their success. Join us as we explain what an aspiring model can expect.

What Is an Open Call For Modelling Like?

They are an opportunity to visit the agency and get an honest, quick response. It cuts out the waiting time of an online application where some models may not hear back at all due to the amount of applicants. It is a very quick process and can be really daunting for an aspiring female and male model. Standing in front an agent whilst they decide if you are right for the company is intimidating yet if the answer is yes, it is really worth your while. It is also an opportunity to gain experience as the more you do, the easier it is each time. The modelling industry does demand a certain amount of guts and confidence to survive as the competition is fierce and the rejection can be brutal at times.

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How to Prepare for a Model Casting Call

Many will feel intimidated by the prospect of going to an open call yet face to face interaction is beneficial. Hiding behind the comfort of a computer screen is easy yet will hinder your progress. The industry is all about how you look so getting yourself out there meeting as many people as possible is advised.

To prepare for stepping out in the real world it is encouraged to be as organised as possible. Find out when the open call is and make sure you plan your journey to arrive on time especially with public transport delays. Leave extra time to avoid rushing or joining the back of a long queue. Get ready early, planning your outfit in advance so that you look your best on arrival. Practice your model walk in case they ask for this and have professional shots taken prior to the go see. When you attend an open call make sure that you are confident and enthusiastic.

What to Wear to a Go See

Wear a flattering yet basic outfit that allows for the agent to see your physique. A simple black dress or jeans and a tee is perfect. Natural, minimal make-up is advised complimented with natural hair. Do not over do it as the agent needs to see the real you to make a decision. Heels are advised especially if you have to show your model walk. These can always be worn just before you enter the open call if you don’t want to wear them on the journey in. If an agent ever asks for you to remove any clothing or go nude politely decline. This is highly inappropriate unless you wish to specialise in lingerie modelling, which may require for you to pose in your underwear. 

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What Happens at an Open Call?

Agencies host walk ins on specific times and days of the week. This is a set time for potential models to meet the agents and varies from agency to agency. Make sure you check the time and days on their website to avoid a wasted trip. You may have to wait to be seen depending on how many models attend the open call. Take a book or magazine to read to pass the time whilst you wait.

The actual meeting is very quick with the agent making a decision in 30 seconds. They may ask to see your portfolio so make sure you have professional photographs ready. The agent may ask for you to walk for them and take a snapshot so they remember who your are. Overall, the process will be very quick. With a lot of models to see, agents work fast and know what will work in their niche of the industry immediately.

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The Result

If you hear ‘you’re not right for us at the moment’ it is not as upsetting as you may think. The modelling agency may have a model who looks exactly like you, which means they don’t need to sign someone with the same features, hair colour and physique as you at this moment. It could also be interpreted as they don’t think you are right for modelling but remember that is one persons opinion and you should definitely keep striving to achieve a successful modelling career.

Go to more than one go see to keep your options open and higher your chance of being signed. All agencies are looking for different types of models and each individual has a different perspective on beauty. Remember this if you are rejected. Don’t let one disappointment stop you from going to more go sees as rejection is a part of the industry and is a feeling that you have to get used to. When you are signed to an agency and start going to castings, a similar process and knock backs will happen. The earlier that you get used to this the better.

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How Do Open Model Calls Work?

If the agent is impressed with your look they will ask for you to return for a meeting to discuss potentially being signed to the agency. The appointment is an opportunity to ask as many questions as possible and find out about the company. It is important that you are happy with the agency and comfortable with all aspects. When signing a contract make sure you completely understand each point. Read thoroughly and raise any concerns before signing. Bring a parent or guardian with you to help you make the decision and to meet the agency. For those aged under 18 years, it is essential that you have your mum and dads consent as they need to approve of you signing to the agency. This goes for accepting photoshoot and runway offers also. Anyone who doesn’t follow the correct procedures is not to be trusted.

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Posted by Amy Bebbington

I express my love of fashion through writing, blogging and styling. My creative personality ensures that I produce unique and original work. I am a keen knitter and enthusiatic dancer.