The stereotype of all models being pretty but dumb is finally starting to drift away, with high profiles names who are working hard to make the industry look better. People are starting to understand that it takes a lot of work to become and then stay popular in the modelling industry, and that you can’t be totally dumb if you manage it.
You can throw all of that progress away by make some key mistakes, however, and they are very easy to make. At least that’s how it seems to me, as I see these mistakes being made time and time again. If any of these sound familiar to you, it might be time to up your game. You don’t want people to think you are dumb. Avoid that by making sure you don’t fall into these traps.
1. Not reading the casting details properly
I always make sure to put the proposed time and date, location, theme, and compensation for a shoot in a casting call. How many messages do I get asking about those details? Too many to count. Honestly, it puts my back up right away. I don’t have time to babysit anyone on a photoshoot, so if you can’t grasp simple information, that’s a
worrying sign from the beginning.
2. Writing in chat speak
I know it’s quicker to talk the way you speak (or text). But you know what it isn’t? Professional. And it makes you look dumb. Like maybe you don’t actually know how to use the English language. I can’t express enough how much I hate it when models use chat speak in emails and private messages on modeling sites.
3. Not spell checking or proof reading your messages
Before you hit send, please, take a moment to read over what you’ve said. If you have problems with spelling, run a spell checker. It’s a simple professional courtesy and it means that you will come off in a professional light, rather than sounding a bit idiotic. Whether you have a very good excuse or not, you should check what you write before you send it.
4. Having a silly email address or username
I don’t want to email XxPrincezzDymundxX@hotmail.com, and I don’t want to contact Miss Shinee Modelle on a modeling site either. You should use either your real name, or a (sensible) stage name. Your email address should preferably match. If you don’t have a simple firstname.lastname@example.org address, make sure that you set one up. It’s important for job interviews as well as for modeling.
5. Failing to respond in a timely manner
If we have only a week before the shoot or the audition date, it’s really important that everything gets organised as soon as possible. If you do not respond to emails quickly enough, then chances are I will cast someone else in the meantime. Once you apply to a casting call, check your emails and messages as often as possible. What’s even worse is models who respond weeks or even months later, stating that they had some time off. You should have notified me at the time.
6. Not realising you can’t make the date until you have already committed
When you’re organising
shoots, get a diary. Write everything down. And that means everything – including non-work commitments, like your sister’s wedding or your best friend’s hen night. Do not go through the whole process of booking a shoot in only to then realise you can’t make the date (or travel to the location). Figure these things out before you waste someone’s time.
7. Turning up late to the shoot or audition
You arranged the time beforehand, and you also discussed the location. You therefore have all of the information that you need in order to turn up early, not late. Do not waste this opportunity by getting the wrong bus, missing the train, or sleeping late.
8. Having a poor excuse that is obviously fake
If you are late, or you can’t make it, make sure that you have a solid excuse. Here’s a tip: if it sounds like an excuse, or it is something that really wouldn’t be a good enough reason, then don’t say it. I’m not going to encourage you to make up something good – really, you should not need to use an excuse at all – but please don’t make up something bad. It won’t do you any favours.
9. Not being fully equipped for the situation
If you have been told to bring something, bring it. Attending a casting or audition in person means you need suitable clothing, as well as something to identify yourself by – headshots, polaroids, or business cards. In some cases you will need a portfolio with you too. Don’t be the idiot who didn’t bring anything with them. If in doubt, ask what is required of you.
10. Dumbing yourself down to fit in with others
Lastly, if everyone around you is acting like an idiot, don’t do the same on purpose. You may well want to fit in with the crowd, but standing out from them is what will get you the work. There’s not much to be gained from deliberate stupidity – especially when it becomes obvious that it’s just an act.