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How to get your foot in the door at a modeling agency  

Breaking into the modeling business starts by gaining entrance into the heart of the industry – your friendly neighborhood modeling agency. But what’s the best way to get your foot in the door? Every aspiring model has a different method for success, but here’s a quick look at the top ways you can get noticed by modeling agencies large and small, local and worldwide.

The Dry Call

The adage “there’s safety in numbers” may apply to many walks of life, but modeling is not one of them. When you send your heads shots into an agency unsolicited, you are joining the thousands of other aspiring models who have chosen the same point of entry. The potential problem with the dry call is that no matter how great you look, your head shot is likely to get lost in the shuffle. And that shuffle is likely being overseen by the overworked, cynical intern – not the dream-maker who sits in the corner office of the agency. While there ARE dry call success stories, don’t expect a call 3-5 business days after your head shots hit the mail.

Pros: Cost-effective, allows you blanket many agencies at once, you’re limited only by your postage budget.

Cons: The volume of dry calls a modeling agency receives in a given day makes it hard to stand out from the crowd.

The Walk In

Nothing says, “I’m ready to work” like showing up at a modeling agency is glorious 3-D. Walk In appointments give you a chance to show your portfolio to booking agents, be interviewed and just generally strut your stuff. Walk-ins must be scheduled in advance over the phone. When you arrive at the agency, always be dressed professionally and maintain a positive mental attitude. This is your chance to shine beyond your photos – take full advantage of it.

Pros: A one-on-one opportunity to make an impression on modeling professionals. Unlike the open call, you probably won’t have to wait in line with hundreds of other respondents.

Cons: Much like the dry call, you can never be sure that the results of the walk in won’t end up in the world’s largest backroom filing cabinet. Still, the fact that the agency has had a chance to see you in person and experience your personality gives you a leg up!

The Open Call

Firmly planting yourself into the good graces of a modeling agency means being there when they want you (and not just when you decided it was a good time to drop them a line). And that is where the open call comes into play. An open call refers to that special time when an agency places an ad looking for talent. The process is simple: you show up – they love you – you become famous! OK, maybe it’s not that simple, but the open call generally produces the most success because you as a model are filling a need at the agency. When you do a dry call or a walk in, you may be great, but there’s no way to gauge the hiring climate at the agency. With an open call, you’re there because they want you there!

Pros: The open call is a signal that the agency in question is looking for new talent. There’s no better time to get your foot in the door.

Cons: You’re not going to be the only one who reads the modeling agency’s ad. Be prepared to spend a large portion of the day waiting to be seen by the right people.