When you get the chance to meet with an agency, being prepared and professional is key to having a successful interview. In this previous post, I went over some tips on what do when meeting with an agent. In this post, I will go over some things to not do when you score an agency meeting.
Don't be unreachable.
Once you submit to an agency, you need to make sure that you are reachable and available if and when they try to contact you. Before you even hit that “submit” button, you need to double-check your email and phone number to make sure they’re correct. They won’t chase you down, so if you’re not responsive when they reach out to you, they will quickly move on. Not being reachable lets them know that if they do offer you a contract, you will be hard to reach when potential bookings become available, and that’s not a model they will want on their roster.
Don’t be late (or too early!).
This is a major pet peeve of most agents and casting directors. Lateness is not tolerated, and if you’re late to your first agency meeting it immediately sets the tone for the rest of the meeting. If your meeting is virtual, make sure you have your pace set up ahead of time, and test your computer or phone connection so there is no delay when your meeting time starts. If you’re meeting in person, confirm the address of where you’re meeting and plan your route, giving yourself extra time to accommodate traffic or lack of parking.
While being late is unacceptable, being too early is also an irritation to agents. They may have other appointments or meetings scheduled before you, so if you arrive too early you may interrupt what they’re doing. It’s best not to enter the agency for your appointment more than 5 minutes early. Because being late is an absolute no-no, I usually arrive quite early and will sit in my car or somewhere down the block to wait for an acceptable time to walk into the meeting.
Don't forget to dress the part.
An agency meeting is a business meeting, so you want to make sure you show up looking professional. You also want to dress the part. If you're more of a commercial model, you don't want to show up looking like an edgy editorial model, and vice versa. You also don't want to show up with a ton of makeup on and your hair in an intricate up-do. They agencies are going to want your hair and makeup to be minimal, so let your natural beauty shine through!
Don’t bring friends to your appointment.
This is no time for a social gathering, this is a business meeting and needs to be treated as such. Unless you’re a minor or feel uncomfortable going to the location by yourself, come alone or have the person accompanying you stay outside. The same goes for virtual meetings. Make sure there is no one hanging out in the background or sitting with you for the meeting. Unless you’re a minor and your guardian needs to be present, you should be attending virtual meetings alone.
Don’t look different than your submittal photos.
This seems like common sense or a silly thing to mention, but I can’t tell you how many times I hear about (and have seen myself when I assist with castings) models who submitted images of themselves and then show up for a meeting looking totally different than they did in their submission. If you submit photos to an agency, make sure they are current and do not change your look prior to meeting with the agents. If you do happen to change your look, you should re-submit with new images.
Don’t forget to follow up.
If an agency is interested in you but it may be bad timing on their part, they may request that you follow up again with them in a few weeks or months. Or, they may schedule a meeting with you and give you some feedback or suggestions on things to change/improve on and then to follow up again after you do that. If you’re asked to follow up, do not forget to follow up! You would be shocked at the percentage of models that don’t do. This is a huge missed opportunity, because if they tell you to follow up with them it means there’s an interest there. Be sure to follow up, they are too busy to chase after you!
Don’t use your portfolio as a folder.
When an agent asks to see your portfolio, make sure you’re not using it as a storage space for extra comp cards or less than amazing image prints. Agents tend to flip through portfolios pretty quickly and the last thing you want is stuff falling out of your book as they’re turning pages, especially if it’s images you’d rather they didn’t see. Make sure your book is free of any loose items before meeting with an agency.
Don’t be unrealistic about your market.
Be realistic about where you fit in the modeling market. If you’re a 5’4”, you should not expect to score a meeting with an agency that only caters to the high-fashion/runway clients and only signs models that are 5’9” and above. Do your research and find out which agencies in your area sign models that fit your niche, and don’t waste time submitting to agencies that don’t.
Don’t take anything personally.
The modeling business isn’t for everyone, and that is ok! It’s an industry full of criticism and you need a strong sense of self to not let any of it get to you. Sometimes, agents can have a harsh tongue or be very dismissive. Modeling is a business and often agents will look at you as just another body to possibly make them money. You can talk to many different agents and each one of them will have a different opinion about you, good or bad. None of the negative comments have any reflection of who you are as a person or your self-worth. Listen to what they say but, but only take away constructive criticisms and leave any rude or dismissive remarks in the agency office. If an agent passes on you, don’t question them or try to argue your case, simply thank them for their time and move on to the next appointment. There are plenty of other opportunities out there!