You’ve always dreamed of bringing home the bacon using that flawless face, but first you need to learn how to prepare for a modeling audition. The goal is to make a stellar first impression that won’t cost a fortune. These guidelines will put you on the runway to a fashionable life.
- Your first photos. Check out the photography department at the fashion institutes or regular colleges in your area and connect with students who are looking for models to shoot (which means free photos). Get one great headshot, body shot (swimwear), casual look (jeans with a T-shirt or tank top) and upscale look (suit or dress).
- Enlarge your pictures. After you’ve downloaded the pictures to a disc or flash drive, take them to a photocopy shop and have an 11×14 color laser copy of each one printed up. Agencies use this size for their models’ portfolios.
- Make a composite card. A composite card is what you’ll leave with the client that’s holding the modeling audition. At the copy shop, have someone format your headshot onto an 8×10 sheet of paper, leaving enough white border space around the edges to have your name printed at the top, centered, in upper-case letters. The bottom border is for your statistics (height, eye color, hair color, suit/dress size, shirt collar and sleeve length, waist, bust and hip, inseam and shoe size) all on one line, using lower-case letters. Put a phone number on the next line down. You can also do this on your computer at home, if you have the right programs. Print up ten copies to start. Don’t waste money ordering card-stock comps at this stage of the game. Do that after you’ve found an agent; she’ll tell you which pictures to choose.
- Get the right portfolio. Purchase an affordable, black portfolio book with non-removable pages that will accommodate your 11×14 photos. These can be found at art and photo-supply stores or online. Avoid the ring-binder styles. Insert the pictures as follows: headshot, first page; swimwear, second page; jeans shot, third page; upscale, fourth page. This is all you need for a modeling audition or agency’s “open call” for new talent. The clients will immediately know if you fit the bill when they see you in person.
- Runway assignment. If the casting is for runway, use your favorite search engine to find videos of top-designer fashion shows and study how the models strut their stuff; then practice your walk at home.
- Wear the “model uniform.” Stick to the “model uniform” for all your auditions: jeans, T-shirt (slim-fit) and sneakers. It’s that simple. If it’s a runway casting, women should wear heels. Fashion clients want to focus on your face and body with no distractions. They’ll have you try on their own clothing—formal or casual—if they need to see you in it. And your photos will illustrate your different looks. There’s no need to wear anything special in order to impress them.
- Less is more. Natural hair with no addition of styling products is a must for males and females. Women should use little or no makeup. It’s all about bare-face beauty that can be molded into whatever vision the client has in mind.
- Arrive early. Many modeling auditions are “cattle calls,” so arrive early in order to be one of the first people seen by the casting people. They’re in a better mood at the beginning as opposed to the end of a long day of flipping through portfolios. Every little bit counts in the budding stages of a modeling career.
- Be personable. Always remember to smile and be personable, no matter how poorly your day may be going, when you go on a modeling audition. Clients judge what spending a day working with you would be like by the few minutes they share with you at the casting. Their criteria for choosing you are based on personality as well as beauty.
See you on the catwalk!
What Others Are Reading Right Now.
Acting, comedy and strong spirits converge in Speakeasy. When host Paul F. Tompkins interviews entertainers—Key and Peele, Alison Brie, Rob Delaney, Zach Galifianakis—about all sor …
25 Enlightening Quotes About Being a Gentleman
What’s your definition of a perfect gent? LL Cool J, Lea Michele, Andy Samberg and friends weigh in.