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How to Deal with Rejections

How to Deal with Rejection as A Model

I once asked a casting director about the average volume of applications they receive for the modeling projects they cast. Without hesitation, he said that they typically get close to a thousand applications within 24 hours of the casting notice going live, even if they are looking for only one model.

This is the case if they are looking for a highly competitive genre and age group mix such as female models, 18-30 years old. For other roles targeting different age groups or non-female models, the volume may not be that high but there would be still hundreds of models to compete with. This means there is a high chance of getting rejected in every type of modeling work.

If there is a model call for a runway show, you may see dozens of models lined up at the call time. If it’s an audition for a commercial or editorial shoot, the waiting area is likely to be filled with numerous models trying to get the part.

When the demand is huge but the available opportunities are limited, it’s inevitable for the majority of the models to be turned down. However, not being able to book work doesn’t have to be a painful process.

How to Handle Rejection

Rejection is a hard feeling to cope with. In his bestselling book, Rejection Proof (one of my favorite books), Jia Jiang shares the results of his research and unique experiments on the topic.

He says that there are two sides to every rejection: Rejectee and Rejector. Most of the time, the rejector turns down the rejectee, not because of the qualifications of the rejectee, but because of the mood, culture, environment, and other factors the rejector is in. So it’s important not to take a rejection to the heart.

For example, the rejector might be having a bad day because of his sick child. He may not be able to focus on judging your talent fairly at that time. Another example: If it’s a model call for a runway show, they may not cast you because of not having any designers looking for a model with your appearance, not because of your walk or look.

Keep Going

It is crucial to know that the rejection you get is not a unanimous decision of the universe. It’s the decision of one person who is influenced by numerous factors that you can’t control. Rejection is an opinion. And most of the time, it’s based on factors you can’t control.

If you apply for an agency and they tell you that you are not a good fit for their client requirements, it doesn’t mean all agencies think the same about you. It’s just not a good match for that one agency you applied to. Having that rejection might be even a good outcome if it leads you to find an agency that is a better match for your modeling career.

Numbers Game

In the entertainment industry, they say that you are successful if you get one YES for every 50 NOs. If you apply to 50 modeling jobs and you book one of them, you are successful. This is how competitive the modeling industry is especially if you live in a city popular among models such as Los Angeles and New York.

Each rejection has a number: The number of times you should apply before getting booked. So it’s important to keep applying for jobs and continue improving your modeling skills. Remember, even the best models don’t book every project they want to be a part of.

When it comes to finding an agency, it’s important to apply as many high-quality agencies as possible. Find A Modeling Agency makes it easy to apply to agencies worldwide.


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Blogger and fashion enthusiast for 20 years. Experienced runway and commercial model located in Los Angeles. I love creating helpful content and sharing with the world. Reach me out for any questions or feedback.

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