The modeling industry can be a tough one to break into. Many aspire to be a part of it, but only a few have what it takes to thrive in the cut-throat industry. But a basic experience all models share, whether they're new in the industry or have been in it for years, is attending casting calls.
If you've been watching America's Next Top Model ever since you were a little girl, you probably already know what a go-see is. It's another word for castings, and it's one of the most stressful challenges the models in the series have to face. But in case you didn't know, a go-see is basically an audition for models; you go in hoping to get booked for fashion shows or campaigns. And as easy as that might sound, it takes so much more than just showing up to score a modeling job. Plus, when you're up against a sea of other viable candidates, you really have to find a way to stand out.
That said, we asked two of the most active local models today—Danielle Daza and Siobhan Moylan of IM Modeling Agency—to share some tips they've learned from going to countless castings. You might have already seen their faces in billboards across the metro and on several fashion campaigns—Siobhan has modeled for local fashion brand Oxygen and designers Carolina Herrera, Patricia Santos, and Boom Sason; meanwhile, Danielle has worked with clothing brands like Penshoppe and For Me, as well as designers Sassa Jimenez and Paolo Miguel Jaafar.
5 Casting Tips for Aspiring Models:
1. Don't wear too much makeup.
Your face will be the first thing casting directors will see when you walk in, even before you can introduce yourself. So your makeup is crucial.
Danielle says it's smarter to go the minimalist route with your beauty look. "Wear minimal makeup. Clients want to see your natural face and they can’t see that if it’s hidden behind makeup. A model's face is a canvas and casting directors will need to see a blank canvas before they can make any decisions. You can wear makeup but limit it to concealer, lipstick, blush, eyebrows, and mascara. Typically, wearing eyeliner during castings is frowned upon."
Siobhan also shares the same sentiments, advising to go as natural as possible. She says, "I wear light makeup. Most of the time, I won’t put foundation on or I’ll just use something with a light coverage like the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer. I also bring some makeup with me to the casting for touch-ups before I meet the casters or clients."
2. Do your research.
Supporting the statement of castings being more than just something you show up for, smart models know that researching is very much important before going in to meet clients. Siobhan says that simply looking them up on Instagram can be your edge from other models. "I always look the designer up on Instagram to see what they’re looking for. This also helps when I do my makeup before going to the go-see, so I can decide whether to do a more natural look or a heavier makeup look." Danielle also shares that this can help you prepare for how you should dress for the casting. "Research on the client the casting is for. Dress according to that particular brand's style."
3. Dress simple.
Speaking of what to wear, Danielle and Siobhan both agree that contrary to the idea of wearing a very "fashion" outfit, wearing something not too flashy might actually be more advantageous on your part. "Wear basic outfits and dress for the type of client. Outfits with solid colors that hug the body and show the model's shape is generally preferable. Extravagant patterns and extra bright colours might distract the client from assessing the face and body. My favorite casting outfit is black high-rise pants or a mini skirt, tank top, and small block heels or flats," explains Danielle.
Siobhan also agrees that simple is the way to go. She says, "Wear an outfit that isn’t too distracting. Something simple like jeans and a crop top or tank top."
4. Show versatility and be prepared.
As a model, you can't just rely on your looks. You have to be able to show that you can be transformed into what the brand or designer need you to be. Danielle says, "A model's job is to be put into many different looks and styles. Good models can work every style and look, even if you may not like it."
"Always bring heels," Siobhan adds. Bringing something as simple as a pair of heels shows that you are prepared to handle whatever challenge they may throw at you.
5. Make a good impression.
Last but not the least, your personality counts. You may have the skills, but always keep in mind that clients are people too and would rather hire someone who is easy to work with. Siobhan's advice? "Be kind and patient. Be confident and showcase your personality."
Danielle also gets candid: "Make an impression and be nice. Clients don’t just hire people based off of looks and skills. They want to hire people that will be pleasant to work with and worth their money. Be professional. Don’t act like you’re at home. Castings and go-sees are also work so you have to act like you’re at work. Casting directors evaluate the model as soon as they walk in the door, not just during the go-see process itself. Sit up straight, be alert, and don’t shut people out by being on your phone or having earphones in."