Last week was very exciting: I took my beautiful daughter Laura to a casting call – otherwise known in the industry as “go-see”. Once you’ve got yourself on the books of some successful and reputable child modeling agencies, you’ll find yourself being sent on these casting calls fairly regularly. It’s these child modeling casting calls that open the door for you to start getting paid work and see your beautiful child featured in advertisements or products!
You’re done the first bit of hard work (you found out how your child becomes a model and how to join child modeling agencies). Now comes the next hard bit: success at the casting calls.
What To Expect At Casting Calls
The child modeling casting calls to which you’ll get invited come in a couple of different types: open casting, or request casting. Both are worthwhile and might get your child some modeling work, but they can be quite different events.
Open casting calls are the most common type of go-see, and these can be tough competition. This type of event has a rough set of requirements, and the child modeling agencies involved simply send all of the child models on their books that come close to matching these outlines. This means that there will be a lot of children in attendance, a lot of waiting around, a long wait for your child to be photographed. You’ll need to sit around for a long time in noisy, busy rooms with other parents and children. Patience is critical here, so if your child can’t handle a period of sitting around with nothing to do then perhaps it’s best to avoid these or find a good way to distract them!
This type of casting call is the most frequent, and there’s so much competition that your successes will likely be few and far between. But open casting calls are often the easiest way to get yourself and your child known in the industry. Don’t turn too many of these opportunities down, as they’re the primary way in which you can build your child’s brand. Go along wherever possible, show your strengths, show that you can be a great team to work with, and make sure people remember your child for the right reasons.
Once you’re better known to the child modeling agencies or if your child fits some requirements perfectly, you might be lucky enough to get called to a request casting call. This is miles better than open casting, because only those children who are already known to be suitable will be invited. The client will have an excellent idea of what their child models will look like – thinking about age, sex, hair color, eye color, etc. – and so the number of attendees will be limited. These request casting calls are very well organized and far more relaxed that the competitive and busy open casting calls, and you won’t be expected to wait for long.
How to Prepare For Child Modeling Casting Calls
It’s really important that when these opportunities arise you make the most of them and really try to maximize the chances of success. Even if you don’t get paid work from the go-see, you can get yourself known and that can be a valuable day out. To make your day as successful as possible, there are only two golden rules:
Keep it simple! Simple clothing, simple hair styling, and no make-up or hair products. Your child should be as natural as possible so that the casting call directors can match your child to their requirements. Wearing anything too over the top or coming to a go-see caked in make-up will make it really difficult for the client to tweak your child’s appearance to their needs.
Be happy! Make sure your child has their favourite toy or pastime to keep them occupied during the waiting periods, and make sure that you’re both happy for the duration of the day. Clients want to work with parents and children who are easy to manage and make their lives easier – so make it easy for them to say yes to you!
How To Succeed At Child Modeling Casting Calls
It’ll be a busy day, and there will be a lot of children to see at these casting calls – maybe even hundreds! That means that casting directors, make-up artists and photographers need all the help they can get. If you follow my golden rules above, you’re already showing up looking happy and natural. You’re already on the road to success. Now, on the day:
- Be punctual! Show up on time – it’s better for you to be kept waiting than it is for you to keep them waiting. Value their time, and they will take note.
- Make it easy for them! Be polite, follow instructions quickly and simply. Tell the photographer the easiest way to make your child smile, then stay out of his/her way.
- Let your child shine! Don’t smother your darling, but let them show their strong will and confidence. Let them have a little freedom (as long as they are well behaved).
- Be natural! Don’t force small-talk or chit-chat, and encourage your child to just be themselves – no need to pose and try too hard!
- Relax! Stress rubs off on both your child and the professionals with whom you’re working. Play it cool, and enjoy your day out. It’s a learning experience, not a test!
Follow these tips and my golden rules and you’ll have plenty of success. Patience is the name of the game, but if you’re already following the above advice then you’re miles ahead of the competition and the child modeling agencies will take note. Now go and shine!