What about Modeling Conventions and How do they Work?

Personally, I have no problem with modeling conventions.  I know some people who will tell you that they are scams and a waste of time, but to tell you the truth, I got one of my very first agencies from a convention.  It was held in Chicago and though there were about 200 other “want to be models” such as myself, I got my number called by one of the last agencies there.  This was the beginning of a long incredible journey for me.  See this is how it works.

There are companies out there such as ProScout that specialize in finding “talent” all across the country.  They find the talent and put them in front of big time modeling agencies and casting directors.  They hold massive conventions and invite agencies from all over the country to meet these aspiring actors and models.  Usually the convention is held in a larger city where talent and scouts can all gather conveniently.  The idea behind these companies is to screen the talent and help the agencies find new and upcoming talent.  This works great for both the model/actor as well as the agencies who are looking for new faces.  It is a common meeting grounds for aspiring actors/models to get noticed by numerous talent agencies.

The only downside to conventions is that you are not alone and it does cost a bit of money.  There will be literally hundreds of other models/actors there looking to do the same thing, get noticed.  The companies (i.e. ProScout) may even bunk you up with another model.  They will ask you to walk a runway in which you will do so in front of the many scouts there.  They will assign you a number and that will be your number for the weekend (conventions usually take place on the weekends).  Next they may ask you a few questions individually, and finally, you and the rest of the talent will walk single file and meet every one of the hopeful scouts for a very brief moment before you move on to meet the next.  This is basically your last chance to impress any potential scouts or agencies.  They will most likely have guest speakers and put on a little show for you to make it seem fun and worth your time if you do not get selected.  At the end of the weekend, they will gather everyone into a room and agency by agency will call off the numbers of the talent they liked enough to call back.  Some people get numerous call backs (meaning the scouts are interested in meeting you again, this is a good thing), some get none.  I got one.  It was from an agency called Traque modeling management, my very first agency.

So there you have it, now you know what to expect from a modeling convention.  You will probably be asked to walk a runway, answer a few questions, and give it one last attempt as you walk single file from scout to scout in a last-ditch effort to get noticed and represented.  I believe conventions can help out a lot of people, if they can afford them.  There is no other way to get your face in front of fifty to sixty modeling agencies and casting directors at one time.  Even if you do not get selected, you may end up networking and make some great connections regardless.  Modeling conventions come in handy if you are having a hard time getting noticed or are in a small town and looking to take a chance on a bigger market.

2 Comments

  • Bryce Buell

    Reply Reply April 12, 2012

    My thoughts on the matter…
    I have a LOT to say about this subject. First off- while I was “discovered” on the street by freak chance, I had also signed up for a modeling convention, “Model Search America” just before that meeting and since I had already paid, decided to go anyway. In addition, years later, I was on the other end – as a scout at a few of these conventions.
    1) Jonah is 100% correct on all accounts. I went there and was picked by a good share of agencies so had I not been “discovered” on the street I still could have made it in the industry. They are a great gauge to see if you have what it takes. If you don’t get picked by any – there may be a couple reasons that I will explain below.
    2) It is a great place to meet some great people and contacts. It is at Model Search America that I met my good friend, model Chris Comfort, who I considered the top prospect there (by the number of agencies that picked him, I was correct!) and he and I would later travel the world together.
    3) I won’t say all, but the vast majority of agencies there are good agencies and where else could you go to one place to see so many? Great concept.
    Here is what to consider if you decide to go to one…
    Many of these agencies are top agencies – you may have a good “look” but they may not want to develop you if you come across as too raw and have no skills. Here is how you should prepare…
    This is a job interview in many ways and you paid big bucks to be there – take is seriously.
    Arrive tan, fit, clean and as absolutely perfect as you possibly can.
    Dress in fitted clothes (Jonah wrote about this for castings).
    Practice walking beforehand. You may not realize you walk like a donkey but they will so think tall, confident and elegant when you do your runway presentation, which is really the only time agencies get a really good look at you.
    DO NOT CHEW GUM while walking the runway. Obvious, but you would be shocked how many did – probably out of nerves.
    Arrive with a few of the best pictures of you that you can get.
    You will probably be nervous but do your best to control tension in your hands and face. You may not notice you are walking with clenched fists and eyeballs the size of saucers but the scouts do.
    DO NOT JUDGE OR TRY TO COMPARE YOURSELF TO THE OTHER POTENTIAL MODELS THERE – a huge waste of time, energy and it’s annoying. You are not competing again anyone – this is not a contest. Any particular scout will either like you for their agency or not. Some agencies will pick 50, some will pick 0. Don’t be a douche. Better yet, it a great opportunity to stand out and be confident and friendly to everyone.

  • admin

    Reply Reply April 12, 2012

    Haha, as always I appreciate Bryce Buell’s input and Bryce is right, If you do decide to take this route, take it seriously. You paid good money to see many top agencies so take the time to practice and be confident. Practice will GIVE you confidence. This can be a great way to gain exposure and get recognized as well as a way to gauge whether or not you have what it takes.

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field