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How to prepare for a Model Casting Call

Updated: Oct 23, 2023

Ever feel like you want to star in an advertisement someday? Or if someone you know, a family or friend, one of your children you might feel are talented, pleasant to the eye, and an attention grabber.


As my experience as a talent as an ad model, here are some pointers I can share with you so you know how to prepare for a Model Casting Call:

1. Dress Smart Casual to start with, something that represents you. Don't overdo it, first time round is basically to record your introduction and to get your profile. Not to win Miss Universe or head into a job interview.


2. Head to the Casting House, and when you get there, expect to be asked to fill in a Talent Form.


3. Talent agencies usually have their own studios in their offices, where they shoot the preliminary shots and recordings to present to the Production House stages. In Toronto in contrast I have found that the agents merely acts as intermediaries, and you will have to get your own photographer to get your shots, and head straight to the Directors Studios to do your casting. If the case is that you need to find your own photographer such as in Canada, then meet your talent agents and discuss the arrangements, and compare it to industry norms. A good reference point would be ACTRA, the union representing performers in the film, radio, television and new media industries.  


Get yourself ready. Once you've filled in your details, which may also include your stats such as these below, so it may be worth measuring and storing the details in your phone. Otherwise there is usually a measuring tape right there.

  • height

  • chest

  • waist

  • hips

  • shoulder

  • collar

  • pants length

  • shoe size

  • size S-L

4. So you then head into the casting room, either a basic set-up where you have privacy in a room with just you and the Casting Director, or it could be a more open set-up.



5. First up is your video introduction

  • State in your open introduction your: Name, Age, Height, Hobbies & Special Talents. Casting Director will cut when done.

  • Then you will be required to face the camera, turn 45 degrees then 90 to the left, back to camera, 45 degrees then 90 to the camera. Then one full turn, and smile.

  • Then cut. You will now be asked to demonstrate your expressions. So practice them in front of the mirror first beforehand if you want to prepare and rehearse a little. But when you're there, just be yourself and try to exude a natural emotion and expressions. You may be cued to look:

    • Happy

    • Surprised!

    • Angry

    • Shocked!

    • Amazed!

    • Bored Sample casting video below:

Once you're done with the video, next are your mugshots:

  • Face shots

  • Mid shots

  • Long shots


You may want to practice your pose before you head in. Generally the main poses are:

  • Standing straight

  • Hands crossed

  • Hands on hips

  • or anyway that makes you feel natural, OR fabulous

Once the Casting House has your shots, they will then match it to market needs, and hook you up with the Production Houses. If selected, then off to shoot you go!


Other tips:

Preparing for a model casting call is essential to make a positive impression and increase your chances of being selected for a modeling opportunity. Here are some steps to help you get ready for a casting call:

1. Research the Casting Call:

  • Understand the specific requirements and details of the casting call. Know the client, the type of project, and the style they are looking for.

2. Wardrobe Selection:

  • Choose your outfits based on the casting's requirements. Bring several outfit options, including basic and versatile attire, as well as any specific clothing requested in the casting call details.

3. Grooming and Hygiene:

  • Ensure you are well-groomed and clean. Nails should be tidy, hair should be clean and styled as appropriate, and makeup should be natural or as directed.

4. Portfolio and Comp Cards:

  • Bring your professional portfolio and comp cards if you have them. These materials should showcase your best work and demonstrate your versatility as a model.

5. Confidence and Personality:

  • Exude confidence and a positive attitude. Casting directors not only assess your appearance but also your personality and professionalism.

6. Punctuality:

  • Arrive on time or even a little early to the casting call. Being punctual shows respect for the client's time and professionalism.

7. Photographic Memory:

  • Familiarize yourself with the client's vision and mood board. This will help you align your expressions and poses with their desired style.

8. Basic Modeling Poses:

  • Practice your basic modeling poses, such as standing, walking, and turning. The casting directors may ask you to demonstrate these during the audition.

9. Communication Skills:

  • Be prepared to answer questions about your experience, measurements, and availability. Clearly and confidently communicate this information.

10. Stay Flexible:

  • Be open to adjustments and direction from the casting team. They may request changes in your poses or expressions, so adapt and showcase your versatility.

11. Professional Attitude:

  • Approach the casting call with a professional demeanor. Maintain a positive attitude, even if you face rejection.

12. Business Cards:

  • Consider having business cards with your contact information and portfolio website, in case the client wants to contact you later.

13. Follow-Up:

  • After the casting call, send a thank-you email to express your appreciation and reiterate your interest in the project.

14. Keep Records:

  • Keep a record of all the casting calls you attend. Note the date, location, client, and outcomes to track your progress and follow up as needed.

Remember that casting calls are highly competitive, and rejection is a common part of the modeling industry. Each casting call is an opportunity to learn, improve, and gain experience, so approach them with a positive mindset and dedication to your modeling career.

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