One thing that any new model may quickly notice about modeling is that scheduling is an afterthought and castings, jobs, fittings, etc. can all be scheduled on a whim. With that said, it is suggested that anyone seeking to become a successful model keep an open schedule; whether it be the liberty of creating and or dictating their own schedule, working a later shift in order to make it to castings and jobs during the daytime, or someone who just has a great understanding with their company or boss and is able to make up missed time at their convenience. The idea is that whenever an opportunity presents itself that the model be available.
There have been many situations where I was not the original model selected for a job, but since the other model was not available, I was the one picked. I had no problem with being the runner up because at the end of the day I was the one doing the job and making the connections. Often times, by doing a good job I was able to make them repeat clients as well. One personal example of keeping open schedule was the time I modeled for Levi’s. Being a full-time model I spent most of my days going to castings and hopefully working as well. I remember heading to a bunch of castings one day and the last casting we went to I wasn’t even told what it was for. The honest truth was I didn’t even care. I was tired and wanted to go home. Once at the casting, I was asked to strip down to my briefs while they took pictures. Kind of weird now that I think about it but like I said, I was tired. Time went on and I didn’t hear anything back. Suddenly one morning I was told that I had a job the next day. I thought, cool which one of the million castings did I book? They told me it was a big print ad for Levi’s! I had no idea that I had even gone to a casting for Levi’s! They finally reminded me of the casting and I nailed the job. I can’t emphasize it enough, be available.
If you really want to be a great model, then you need to be able to go to numerous castings and these can be at any time of the day. Some are in the morning while some are at night. Typically there will be more than one so you can sort of work it out within your schedule. But if you have a full-time job that does not allow you much flexibility, you will likely miss out on some opportunities. Even great models need to keep open schedules because the modeling industry moves fast. It takes a lot to coordinate clients, directors, make-up and stylists, production assistants, models, and so on. Once things are set, they move quickly and if someone drops out, they will often rush to replace them. So it is only in your benefit to have some sort of flexibility in your schedule to allow for these quick changes and opportunities. You may be sitting on your couch on a Thursday none-the-wiser and modeling for a magazine cover on Saturday.
One of my greatest jobs was modeling for Dolce & Gabana sportswear. I went to the casting and roughly two days later I was shooting for them. I also have jobs where they call and ask if I can make it tomorrow for a show or print ad all because someone had to drop out at the last minute. Bottom line, I was always ready to go.
Also, many jobs may not be right outside you doorsteps either. In fact, unless you live directly in the city, many jobs will require at least some type of travel. If you are in NYC, this may mean nothing more than catching a bus or the subway. But if you are modeling in a smaller city some of your jobs may be a few miles away. This is no problem for most, but the point is that you will need to stay flexible and be willing to travel some. I always enjoyed the travel. This meant that I got to see some incredible things and do a lot of sight-seeing along my modeling journey and hopefully you will too!
Now don’t go quitting your beautiful job of 10 years to gain some flexibility and trying to become the world’s greatest model. All I am saying is that if you can manage it, try to keep things open. Without a doubt, once you begin modeling a bit you will experience some of this tumultuousness. Clients and agents will call you last minute looking for a replacement or ask if you can make a casting the next day at 8am. Don’t feel obligated. But if you can maintain a flexible schedule, this may be just the opportunity you have been waiting for. Always keep your schedule and eyes open and God’s great opportunities will find you.