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What you need to prepare for General Casting / Open Casting Call

Updated: Sep 12

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, here are some pointers I can share with you:

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!

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