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So you want to be a model or actor? You put on your makeup and a great new outfit and you’re now ready to attend some modeling agency open calls or a go-sees, audition or casting call. In addition to looking great it’s important to follow some simple guidelines to help you ace your interview! Check these out for some great tips on how to be successful in the biz! 

BE ON TIME:

Being on time is a MUST! Being late for your interview (or modeling jobs) is the kiss of death for a model. Time is money and lateness is never tolerated by agents, photographers or clients. Plan your time wisely and make sure you show up for your appointment time at least 10 minutes early (no earlier). If you find yourself arriving too early wait outside or in the lobby until it’s time for you to be there. With the advent of cell phones, GPS and Google Maps there is no excuse for a model not to know exactly where he/she needs to be and to be there on time.

BRING UP-TO-DATE PHOTOS:

Whether you submitted your photos to the agency beforehand or the agents are seeing your photos for the first time, you must look like you do in your photos. It is ok if you don’t have professional photos, snapshots are just fine. Agents would rather see you in simple snapshots than in professional photos that are old, out-dated or where you look totally different.


BE PREPARED AND ORGANIZED:

Always bring a pen and notepad to take notes or be able to quickly jot down notes in your phone, iPad or Blackberry. Never be caught fumbling for a pen or paper during your interview. Put these tools in a place that you can access quickly and easily – it will show the agent that you are professional, organized and respectful of their time.

NO CONTACT SHEETS OR OUTTAKES:

Less is more! Two or three great shots are much better than 10 mediocre shots. Don’t fill your modeling portfolio with contact sheets or outtakes just to make it look more full. What a lot of models don’t realize is is that you are only as good as your worst shot! Make sure you are only revealing your best photos. Also, agents will always look in the back of your book – NEVER put anything in the back of your book that you don’t want them to see such as contact sheets, outtakes, your appointment times to meet other agencies, modeling contracts and the like.

NO BOYFRIENDS, FRIENDS OR CHILDREN:

If you are over 18 years of age there is no reason for you to bring anyone with you to your interview. (Under 18 years should bring one parent or guardian). If you know that you are meeting with a reputable agency such as Elite ModelsFord ModelsWilhelminaIMG ModelsNew York ModelsL.A. Models or a well-known and established agency in your local area then this guideline is doubly important. Just like you wouldn’t bring your boyfriend, friends or child to a job interview you wouldn’t bring them when you meet modeling agents. Having said that, if you are unsure who you are meeting or you are meeting with an unknown agent for the first time it is best that you don’t go alone. You can have your boyfriend or friend come with you, but they should only come as far as the lobby or front door. It is ok that the agent knows they are there and they are waiting outside for you. A legitimate agent will not be bothered by this, but use your best judgement as each interview is different.
Meeting with an agent versus meeting with a client who has contacted you and booked you for a job through the internet is a completely different thing. If you are meeting a client for the first time that booked you through the internet you should NEVER and we mean NEVER go alone. In fact, accepting a job through the internet that has not been vetted (screened) by an agent is extremely risky and you should be very, very careful in this regard. We always recommend that models get their bookings from reputable modeling agencies rather than working freelance on the internet.

UNDERSTAND YOUR MARKET AND THE AGENCY:

Whether you are a commercial model, editorial high-fashion model, petiteplus-size model, or mature model it is important to understand your market and the focus of the agency you want to meet. Be sure to check whether the agency represents your type before you show up at their open calls – if you are a female commercial model showing up at an all male agency then you’ve wasted both the agent’s and your own time.

BRING A SWIMSUIT:

If an agency is interested in you they will often ask to take snapshots of you and take your measurements while you are wearing a swimsuit. Bikinis are preferred over a one-piece. Male models can wear boxers.

DON’T SIGN A CONTRACT ON THE FIRST MEETING:

I know, you’re excited about the prospect of signing with an agency. But, don’t make the mistake of signing a legally binding contract based on emotions rather than good business sense. Unless you’re being offered a contract by IMG Models, Elite Models, Wilhelmina, New York Models, Storm or one of the other top model agencies do not sign on the dotted line without knowing exactly what you are signing, even then we recommend a cooling off period of a couple of days, Don’t be afraid that the agency will lose interest if you take a couple of days to sign its contract. If you are offered a contract on Monday, I guarantee the agents will still be interested on Thursday. With that in mind, don’t take more than a week to make your decision, any longer will give the message that you are indecisive.
If you’ve been offered a contract and don’t know what to do the experienced and knowledgeable agents at ModelScouts.com can help. Feel free to contact us any time if you need guidance on contract matters.

UPDATE YOUR VOICE MAIL MESSAGE:

There are a lot of things that a new model can do or not do that will make the difference whether an agency will or will not sign them. Every agent has one or two pet peeves that models might inadvertently do that will make an agent crazy. Having worked as an agent for 30 years I can tell you that my #1 pet peeve is unprofessional voice mail messages. If I had a nickel for every model who made me listen to five minutes of Snoop Dog or Van Halen before I could leave a message….well, don’t get me started. When I call a new model who makes me listen to a ridiculous or too long outgoing message I hang up and never call back. Agents are too busy to mess around. Do yourself a favor and update your voicemail message to a simple, short and professional message – your agent will thank you for it.

DON’T SECOND GUESS THE AGENT – ACCEPT CRITICISM:

Being a model also means having a thick skin. You could visit 20 different agencies or 20 different clients and receive 20 different evaluations of your potential or suitability for a particular job. Agents and clients are evaluating your look to determine if it is right for their particular needs, it is not an evaluation of who you are as a person. This is not the time to argue with an agent or client or try to convince them that they are wrong. You will never win this argument. Granted, some agents and clients can be harsh – you need to suck it up and carry on. Don’t let them get to you. Take their criticism with a smile and move on to the next agency or client.

RELAX AND SMILE:

Agents and clients understand that you are nervous, it’s ok. Remember that they really are happy to see you. Agents and clients can’t do their jobs without models and they really want to work with you if they can. So relax, have fun and remember to smile!
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