Open-calls are simply interviews and mini-meetings between you and the potential client or agency for them to see if and how you may qualify for the opening they need filled. Much like with a resume, they look over your portfolio and comp card to get an overview of your previous experience and abilities. After a few questions and maybe a test/trial run, they may take head shots or a few photos for their reference. If they feel they want you for the casting, you will get a call back… just like for a regular job.
Usually after your career is jump started, you will start to experience open-calls (also known as casting calls and go-sees). The reason for this is simply because you would need a little experience before you can be considered for serious booking inquiries. While there are some companies who might be willing to take a chance on a rookie, this is rare nowadays. With finances and budgets decreasing all around, establishments want to know they are compensating you to get the job completed successfully. Generally speaking, only after you have established a portfolio, comp card, and credentials should you seek to attend open-calls – but there are always exceptions to this rule.
Since the career field of modeling is international, there will be valid open-calls anywhere and everywhere. It all depends upon the demands or needs of the industry and various companies and agents at that time. Some of the most popular locations for modeling include New York City, Los Angeles, London, Paris and the UK. If you are truly looking to get your career off the ground, staying put in local or small towns and cities will not help you get the job done. You must be able to travel to where jobs will circulate the most.
While it is great to know people and have connections, most of you will get there simply by the good graces of your hard work and through word of mouth – word of mouth for your talent, drive and work ethic that is! Be very cautious about how you go about getting to the next level. Also be safe and smart. Rejection is not always a dead-end, but simply motivation for your next efforts. If this is something you are truly passionate about, giving up is not an option either!!