Model’s Guide for Do’s and Don’ts at Audition


You passed the photo selection and now called for an audition.
But do you know what you do there?

This time, we will talk about its basic flow as well as touching on real sometimes embarrassing stories from managers.

You never know what opportunities whether they be fashion model, CM, TV drama or movies, come along your way and that’s why it is important that you are equipped with knowledge.

Welcome to Mutsumi Takahashi’s Model Bible.
This time in our ninth article we discuss Model’s Guide for Do’s and Don’ts at Audition.

First, Photo Selection

We are looking for one caucasian female and one black female in their 20s that can dance for our upcoming commercial shoot for Company A.

Agencies receive casting calls like this all the time.
Once they receive a casting brief, managers make a list of candidates matching the criteria and submit it the production.

We need composite cards for this.
They are usually made of a few photos as well as your body measurements. They serve as a profile sheet for a model and is usually prepared by the agency.

Your composite card will go to the production team and they do the photo selection process.
You can only attend auditions if you pass.

In other words, you can’t make it to the audition if you don’t have a good composite card.
Photos are very important but this is a story for another time.

How an Audition Usually Goes

Your agency confirms the location and time of the audition with you.
Be punctual as always.

Make sure to bring anything that has been specified in advance as well as your “book”.
It is a nice idea to bring elastics if you have long hair.

What is a “book”? Your book is like a photo album with photos from your past work that can show a wide range of different look you can give.
In many cases, your agency prepares one and provides it to you so that you can take it to different auditions.

Lately, some people are using their iPads instead of a physical book. If you like to do that, don’t forget to charge it before you go.

It is not so often that you are told in advance what you will be doing in the audition.

Sometimes, you are given a specific role such as mother or businessman. If that is the case, please make sure to dress properly for the role you are going for.
That will help the production team to visualize which increases your odds of winning it.

If you have given lines, please have them down by the time you arrive.

It is wise to keep it minimal if you like to get changed at the venue. Audition venues are usually not big spaces and it will be very crowded if everyone is trying to get changed.
If you are asked to wear swimwear, it is wise to wear it underneath in order to keep it as simple as possible.



A lot of girls come in flat shoes and change into heels when they arrive.


1: Audition Sheet

Once you arrive at the venue, you will be handed an “audition sheet”.

One of the staff members will take polaroid photos of your full and upper body which will be attached to your audition sheet. You will then fill out the rest like name, body measurements and past experience.

Sometimes, they give you the storyboard to help you get ready while you wait.

If you have your manager on site, they can help you along that process.

One thing you have to keep in mind is that the storyboard or your lines need to be kept confidential.Taking photos and posting it on social media or disclosing about it to third parties is strictly prohibited.

On top of it, the very fact that you are attending an audition with the name of a particular company is considered confidential information because it may reveal that the company is planning to launch a new advertising campaign.

Once your name or number is called, then it is finally time to set your foot in the audition room.
Sometimes you go on your own, other times you go in as a group.
Your manager may go in the room with you to help with the language as well as your promotion if they are permitted.

Step 2: Hand Over the Book and Self-Introduction

This is just an example. Be sure to keep in mind auditions are slightly different to one another.

Once you are in the room, you will hand over the book to one of the staff members.

First, you hold your audition sheet in front of you and then briefly introduce who you are to the camera.
「Hello, my name is XXXX. I’m from FreeWave. 」
Usually, it goes like this with your name and which agency you come from.
You may choose to do it in Japanese if you can but in certain cases, English may be preferred.

Next, they take profile shots of your both upper body and full body.
Front, side, and back. You slowly turn around 360 degrees where you are standing.
Usually, you do it twice for each shot size.

It may be a good idea to tie up your hair at this stage because it is important that they can see your face from sideways.

They are looking at you on the monitor instead of you in person because they are more concerned about how you look on camera.
Do not be so nervous just because they are watching you.

Step 3: Scene

Next, you will be given a piece to perform.

If you have lines, you may be given in advance or may be given on the spot.

If you are at the audition for a commercial, you will be given a circumstance something like shopping in town.

If you have lines, sometimes you will be given in advance, sometimes you will be given on the spot. However, if a foreigner has Japanese lines, it is most likely that they will give them to you beforehand.

You never know what you will be asked to do. It could be something like,
“Dance seductively to the camera”
“Laugh hard”
You may get nervous until you get used to it but the important thing is not to be shy and enjoy it.

It is always nice to show a variety if you can.
Laughing can take so many different forms.
They are looking for something different every time.

There are cases where the director attends the audition.
They are most likely to give you detailed instructions and it will be a great chance to show what you’ve got.

A common thing in especially group auditions is that people are affected by those that performed before them.
Just because somebody did it doesn’t mean it is what they are looking forStick with your own instincts instead of doing what others do.
Some people simply don’t watch what they do for this reason.

Step 4: Once It’s Over

OK, thank you very much.
That usually marks the end of your audition.

You have your book returned and walk out of the room with a nice smile.

It is more important than you think.

It is a small world and you will end up seeing the same people over and over again.
It is nice that you leave them a good impression.
Even if it doesn’t work out, it will lead to future opportunities.

Step 5: Wait for the Result

Once you are done, you simply wait for the result.

If you get the role, the agency will tell you what to do next.
If you don’t, you can now forget about it and focus on the next one.

You need to pay attention to your schedule.
If you have already given 1st keep for the shoot day, you can’t book something else just because you think you didn’t do a good job.

You also need to pay attention to your physical conditions too.
While waiting for the result, you need to stay how you were in the audition including hair, body measurements, facial hair, etc.
The production team is making their decision based on how you looked in the audition and that’s what will be expected of you if you get the role.
Even if it’s a month ahead, you need to be looking like how you were there.

Everyone will freak out if they find out on the day your beard is gone or hair is now much shorter.
The shoot may be called off and you will face a serious consequence for it.
You need to stay tight until you are notified of the result even if you feel like going for a new style.

Among them, facial hair could be the trickiest.
We have had a situation where the model needs to shave for another job that was on the day before which ended up in a big problem.

You may be prompted to say you can shave when they ask you if you can but you need to wait and see if you actually can because other jobs scheduled around the same time may be asking you keep your beard.

If in doubt, please contact your manager.

You didn’t make it? Don’t take it so bad.

The important thing is that you don’t take it so seriously because you didn’t get the role.

I did my best but I still couldn’t make it
I thought I’d done it perfectly.
Maybe I am not good enough to be a model.

Everyone feels this way at the start especially if it was that one job you really wanted to get.

However, the thing is that there are so many factors other than how good you did.
What the production team is looking for is someone that matches what they had in mind.

There are often people that ask their managers the reasons but we cannot give you any definitive answers.
An audition can see a hundred applicants and the production is not going to tell 99 people why they didn’t get it.

In school, you might have got an A+ if you’ve done everything perfectly.
This world is different.
You don’t get the role just for perfect performance if you do not match what they had envisioned beforehand.
That’s the difficult part of it.


Even the most successful models only get one of ten opportunities.
You need to keep thinking about what’s ahead of you even when you fail ten.

Things That You Cannot Do at Auditions – Real Experience

Now we discuss real stories from managers about things you cannot do at auditions.


“I hate it when someone tells me at the venue that they want to go earlier because they have another audition later. They are usually the same ones. Audition slots are set so that it works with everyone’s schedule. You can’t change it just for your reason”


Make sure to let your manager know beforehand if you have anything planned later so they can adjust the time slots.

Negative Comments

“I sometimes see people talking behind people’s back as well as discussing the rate which is not received well in Japan while they are waiting. You may think they don’t understand English but there are a certain number of people who speak English or other languages.



“I once saw someone who came in miniskirt and heels when they’d been told that they were going to put their legs up for a dance audition.

“A guy biked to the audition venue and they were sweating bullets”

“A woman came in with deep red lipsticks when she was going for a teacher role. Inappropriate!”

“Please let us know if you don’t have a set of appropriate clothing. The agency can prepare something for you”



“I am very confused when I see people show up without knowing what audition they are attending.”

“I once someone who showed up without learning their lines.”

“There was one person who claimed she could do ballet but she couldn’t.”

“I told her that she needs to come without makeup but she came with full of it. Let us know if you can’t take it off because of things that happen prior.”



“I’ve seen someone at the audition for a commercial while their contract was still on with another company with a restriction”

“I saw people I knew was shady with their visa”

“I was so shocked when I saw someone that brought their boyfriend/girlfriend to the audition”

(Reference:Four Reasons Why You Want to Be a Exclusive Model (Restriction, Promotion and More Opportunities


“Don’t cheat your age too much. I saw someone put their age that’s ten years younger. I know, you would not understand why people would even ask how old you are when what is actually important as a model is how old you look.”

“Don’t be shy. Make sure to show 100% of what you’ve got. You only have one chance.”

Auditions Are Your Time to Shine

Are you now clear on what to expect when you go to an audition?
As long as you keep a couple of things in mind, all that’s left for you is to show them everything you’ve got.

Next, you finally get to the shoot after getting a role.
Again, there are certain things that you need to keep in mind

Please feel free to contact us if you’d like to know more about auditions or anything else.

高橋 睦実(Mutsumi Takahashi)


President of Free Wave Co., Ltd.
Born in Mito, Japan. In 1989, appointed as the Head of Japan office of Star Dance Connection. Established Free Wave Co., Ltd. which represents and manages international dancers and models later becoming one of the top international model agencies in Japan. She likes jazz and cats. She is also working towards saving animals from cruel treatments