Having worked many years as a model both in the U.S. and Europe, I still remember the insecurities I had when I first started out. I had no idea what was expected of me, but knew that I wanted to be in front of a camera. Like most newbies, I fell victim to scams and paid for pictures and useless modeling classes. Today, I consider these just parts of the learning process. Once I was able to get a reliable agent, I had to deal with go-sees. These are the auditions that models are sent on. I had no idea what to expect, but was desperate to book jobs. If you’re a newbie like I once was, maybe knowing what to expect at a go-see might help ease your mind a little.
When your agent calls, texts or emails you to inform you of the go-see, he’ll include information pertaining to the job. He’ll let you know what you’re auditioning for, what the job pays, when you have to be there, what to wear, how your makeup should look (if any) and even where to park. After going over the information and considering whether you want to go to the go-see, you have to let your agent know so he can confirm your call-time for the go-see.
Most of the go-sees I’ve been on, especially in the U.S., are cattle calls. Many models show up to audition for the same job, and although you’ll end up waiting a while before it’s your turn to be seen, being on time is essential. If you show up late, they might refuse to see you even if there is a wait. Modeling go-sees differ depending on what the job is for. If it’s for a runway show, the casting person might ask you to walk back and forth, and if it’s for a photo shoot, they might look at your portfolio with photos of your previous work. Often they’ll take a Polaroid on the spot just to see what you look like naturally. Go-sees often only take a minutes or two, because many models need to be seen. This rushed pace can sometimes make you feel insignificant. You might have to go on 10 to 20 go-sees to book one job, and that is if you’re very lucky.
The Call Back
If the client likes what they see, they might call you back in together with the other models they liked. This is the call back, which brings you a step closer to getting the job. Of course there are many times when you don’t hear back from casting, because they weren’t interested in seeing you again. This can really affect your self-esteem if you take it personal. I often wondered “why not me?” and “What’s wrong with me?” You need thick skin to deal with the many rejections in this business, and luckily today, rejection doesn’t even face me anymore. I just move on to the next go-see. The client is often present at the first or second call back. They want to see you in person so they can decide whether you’re the right person for the job. If they like you, they’ll contact your agent to book you for the job. If they don’t think you’re the right model for the job, you won’t hear back from them. Overall, I look at go-sees as playing the lottery. You can only win if you play the game; some you win and some you don’t.