Every profession has words which are indigenous to the field, and go-see is one of those “modeling” lingo terms that qualifies and therefore needs some explanation.
The whole basis of being a model is competing for jobs. Just because an agency signs a model on, doesn’t mean she is going to just sit back and wait for someone (i.e., her booker) to call and tell her that a job has come in and where to report for modeling duty. The whole “getting work” and “looking for work” and “competing for work” is a big factor in scoring a modeling job.
An agency signs a model, takes in on in hopes that she will book work, but each job is its own project and in such has clients and requirements.
A model is not the employee of an agency… they act as a broker for her and she must show up and meet with the client, show them the tools of her trade (her portfolio, her composite card, her personality and herself) in order to be considered for the job.
Yes, sometimes clients just want to see a model’s portfolio or will take an agent’s recommendation on whom they should book. That does occur, especially if the model is well known or becoming so.
But more often than not, the agent gets a call from a client who is either based in the city where the job is to be done, or is visiting there with the sole purpose of meeting models face to face and seeing if something other than their portfolios can spark an interest. That is, in essence, what a go see is and where its name comes from.
The model literally “goes to see” the client, brings her book, a comp card to leave behind and physically meets the client up close and in the flesh.
That way the client gets to see the model in person, see how closely her everyday look matches her spruced up portfolio image, and if the client likes something about the model’s whole aura that they may have missed by merely hiring them from a card or taking an agent’s recommendation.
A go-see is a mini-interview, in other words, and should be treated as such.
Many times I have seen models assume that their portfolio is more significant than they are or speaks more volumes about them because it shows how they photograph. Nothing could be further from the truth, and only goes to prove, that the client realizes that pictures and agent’s opinions only go so f