Exploiting Actors: A New Low

blinded to the lines

An alarming article, “Actors: ‘It’s So Easy to Exploit Them’ in the April 8th Hollywood Reporter sheds light on a disturbing and accepted new practice in our morally ambiguous industry. Actors are now paying thousands of dollars for the privilege of auditioning in front of casting directors — aka “taking workshops” — with ‘students’ “landing jobs everywhere from ABC to Hulu.”

According to the HR,

“More than two dozen companies offer more than 450 sessions of these “workshops” in a month’s span during pilot season – that many in the industry presume the practice is entirely aboveboard.”

Is The Casting System Ethically Sinking ?!

It’s not above board. In California exchanging money for the prospect of employment is I L L E G A L !

The Krekorian Talent Scam Prevention Act outlaws workshops and casting directors from charging or attempting to charge an artist for an audition or employment opportunity.

Why is Everyone Looking The Other Way?

Why isn’t anything being done? Why are SAG-AFTRA and the Casting Society of America powerless? Why are cost-conscious networks and studios cutting their casting allowances and allowing this illegal practice to flourish?

According to the article, “alumni” from the “workshop” Act Now! boasted in February (2016 Pilot Season) that their alumni booked parts on: How To Get Away With Murder, The Mindy Project, New Girl, HBO’s Silicon Valley. Apparently at the Actor’s Key, “students” pay an average of $50.00 a session to audition for shows that include CBS’s Code Black, NBC’s Days of Our Lives” and ABC’s “Modern Family.”

OMG! It makes me not want to ever watch any of these shows, much less audition for them!

Actors feel demoralized enough by the audition process. Making Actors pay for the privilege of auditioning is truly a pathetic practice. And the fact that everyone is going along with it is beyond disgusting!

Sorry, but I can’t find the funny in this. It’s sick and it’s sad.

P.S. My friend Jason (an actor who gets occasional guest star roles) told me he tried a  “casting workshop” once, but when he could smell liquor on the breath of the “uninterested double-dipping CD”  he paid to “audition” in front of, he felt totally scammed. Soooo UGH!

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