Nervous Wreck? How to Keep Calm at Your Next Modeling Open Call

A model shows her book to judges during casting
••• Scott Barbour/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Finally gathered up the courage to attend some modeling open calls? Great! Open calls (also called go-sees, auditions, or casting calls) are the perfect way to get your foot in the door with a reputable modeling agency. But as the big day approaches, you may notice that your excitement has turned into fear. And the more you think about it, the more nervous you become.

Relax. Take a deep breath. No matter how much experience you have as a model, it’s totally normal to be nervous. In fact, being nervous can be a good thing! You just have to learn how to harness that energy and turn it into a positive experience. So the next time your nerves are getting the best of you, remember these simple tricks.

Do Your Homework

The more prepared you are for your casting call, the more at ease you’ll feel. Plus, demonstrating your familiarity with the company is a huge sign of respect.

So before you do your makeup, put on your best outfit, and head over to the agency, do a little research first. Find out everything you can about the agency, including their history, their recent projects, who they represent, and who you’ll be interviewing with. And of course, don’t forget to take a few snapshots you can leave behind if need be. If you have a modeling portfolio already, just make sure it only contains your photos and comp cards, not contact sheets, negatives, or worst of all, a list of appointments with other modeling agencies.

Don’t Focus on Booking the Job

It might sound strange, but it’s actually better to not focus on getting the job. Instead, make it your goal to have a good time.

This trick is used by many professionals, including Aaron Marcus, a commercial model, actor and coach with decades of industry experience. He says that by taking the pressure off yourself, you’ll lose that gray cloud of desperation and instead fill the room with positive energy. This will allow your true beauty and personality to shine, which is exactly what modeling agencies are looking for.

Treat It as a Learning Opportunity

As Aaron also says, if your first goal is to have as much fun as possible, then your second goal is to treat your audition as a learning experience. Take note of everything you did right and everything you wish you’d done differently so you can become more and more confident with every audition you go on. You’ll be a better model—and person—because of it. Booking the job is just the icing on the cake!

Shake It Off

One last quick tip from Aaron Marcus: Before you head into the audition room, try getting rid of some excess nervous energy. Shake your hands, jump around, run in place, or do whatever it takes to calm your nerves a bit. Be sure to do it where agency staff can’t see you and try not to totally squash your nervousness because it can bring more life to what you’re doing!

Get Scouted Online

If you can’t quite seem to shake your nerves, you can always submit your photos online from the privacy and comfort of your own home—no scary auditions necessary. is a great place to start and offers a legitimate and affordable way to be seen by over 150 of the industry’s top international modeling agencies. By creating an online profile with just some simple snapshots, you’ll have the opportunity to be evaluated by respected modeling professionals across a range of specializations (fashion, runway, commercial, etc.), giving you the confidence you need to push past your nervousness.