Your agent will not have time to explain entertainment biz terminology, but with this simple guide, you won’t be left in the dark. Save yourself some potential anxiety or unwarranted excitement by familiarizing yourself with the language of the modeling industry prior to getting your first audition.I’ve included a few of the most basic terms commonly used by agents when communicating with both models and actors. Although there can be a lot of overlap if the talent (you) is represented in both the print and on-camera divisions of theagency, but for our purposes here, I am specifically addressing the model.
Print: Models and actors often both have the opportunity to do print work. This is simply an ad for a product or brand. It can be featured in a variety of ways, such as on packaging or billboards, and magazines or websites. It generally pays extremely well for the work and time spent.
Breakdown: This is the detailed description of the job opportunity, which is originally received by the agent only. They will usually forward it to you prior to your casting, but not all agents are so diligent. A breakdown includes all of the specific requirements of the casting such as age, character qualities, audition/callback/shoot dates, client/brand information as well as pay (rate), and usage.
LookSee: For runway and fashion models (think “America’s Next Top Model”) this can also be referred to as a GoSee. My unknowing friends and family always ask “So, how did it go?” after I have a LookSee. I usually want to give a drab, semi-sarcastic response, especially after I’ve repeatedly explained the routine, because the only thing required at this type of casting is getting your picture taken. The photographer will give you a few instructions before taking a small handful of snapshots, and that’s it! If there is no line of people or long wait due to the competition numbers, this type of audition goes by very quickly. They are simply trying to find the type that they want, and to see how you “look” on camera without photo-shop, etc.
Callback: The first time I was told “You got a callback!” I nearly jumped out of my seat with excitement. Although it sounded impressive, I actually had no idea what it meant. A callback means that the client (whoever you are representing in the advertisement) wants to see you again, and that they’ve narrowed it down to a select few, but haven’t made a final decision yet. So you will have to go back and audition a second time. Getting a callback means you are a finalist for the project.
Booking: Now, if you get a phone call saying “We’ve got a booking for you!” you can officially get excited. This means you got the job, and you can now exhale, smile, and fantasize about all of the potential opportunities and notoriety that may come as a result of the work.
Staff Writer: Holly Lowe Jones