Model Search Tips

May 2005

Modelresource recently attended the Model & Talent Search Canada event in Toronto, where we sat in on the swimsuit competition, the agent's question period, the open call, and the callbacks. While watching the swimsuit portion, we recognized a lot of opportunities for potential models to make a better impression.

First off, some explanation: There was more to MTSC than what we attended, so please don't think the MTSC only involved what we covered. We weren't there for the seminars, the runway competition or any of the talent components.

The focus of this piece is not MTSC - it is to prepare potential models that may find themselves in similar situations. Modelresource appreciates MTSC's help in educating potential new models.

While on the runway...

  1. Walk with energy. The scouts want to see you are interested in being there. They are looking for a combination of personality and enthusiasm, in addition to your physical qualities.

  2. Smile. Some models are intent on having a tough, serious look. Unless a DESIGNER tells you to adopt a hard exterior, don't do it. If you don't have perfect teeth, the scouts are going to figure that out before agreeing to sign you, and will talk to you about future dental plans/options. In the interim, give them a sense of your positive personality.

  3. Enjoy yourself. Leave the impression you are easy to work with and happy to have the opportunity to be seen. Scouts are way more interested in personality and confidence than attitude.

  4. Don't over-pose. Making a bunch of ridiculous gestures at the end of the runway might get you attention - but not the kind you are hoping for. The scouts are looking for models, not posers.

  5. Don't sing along with the music. The scouts don't care if you know the words, and don't need the distraction.

  6. If you are in a swimsuit competition, don't cover up. Wraps are fine for the beach, but if you aren't comfortable with the way your hips look, you probably shouldn't be in a swimsuit competition.

  7. Don't dance while you're waiting in line. Any gestures that distract the scouts attention from the runway are not going to leave a favourable impression. You want to be memorable on the runway, not a distraction away from it.

  8. Avoid distracting accessories. Again, the scouts are there to see YOU. You will have a chance to show off your sense of style in the callbacks - on the runway you should wear something that flatters your figure so YOU stand out. This means watches, odd piercings, earrings, chains and obvious hair accessories should be left behind.

  9. Avoid distracting logos or writing on your clothing. You will likely be wearing a numbered badge that identifies you. Let the scouts see it clearly.

  10. (hate to have to say this, but...) don't draw attention to your crotch. Putting anything in a spot that is less than tasteful doesn't impress scouts. Not even a bit. If you have so little faith in your modelling potential being noticed, why would you even enter the competition?

  11. PRACTICE. Usually a prospective model will know well in advance whether they will be attending a model search. There is almost never a good excuse to look completely unprepared. You may be nervous. That's fine. But as is true with almost anything in life, you are going to be a lot less nervous if you are well prepared.

  12. Wear your hair off your face. For nearly all models, hair is secondary. Scouts are looking to see your true beauty and may change your hair if and when they choose to represent you. Pull your hair off your face and let them see your features.

  13. Wear extremely light make-up. Often you will be asked to wear no makeup whatsoever. Usually though, you are best off wearing a bit of foundation to smooth your complexion, a bit of eye-liner to accentuate your eyes, and some lip gloss. If you do get callbacks, there is a very strong chance you will be asked to wear no makeup at all.

  14. If you make a mistake, keep going, and have a sense of humour about it. Every model makes mistakes. Everybody, in any career, makes mistakes. The sign of a true professional though, is someone that can recover from their mistakes and move on without looking distracted by it.

  15. LISTEN. Usually at model searches, someone (or several people) associated with the event will tell you in advance what to do, and what not to do. If they mention something different than what we're telling you (maybe they want you to see your sense of style and will ask you to accessorize) do what THEY say. Our guidelines will help you in a general sense, but unless Modelresource is doing the scouting take the advice of those present at your particular event.


MTSC Agent's Panel (2006)