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Monday, November 25, 2013

It's a racket, not a workshop...Casting Directors can only offer their opinion and not train actors or promise future work

Another gem from casting director Billy DaMota. The photo says it all and I couldn't agree more:

"The casting director workshop racket (even the word "workshop" is a joke) has taken over the role of providing access to casting directors, at least in Los Angeles. Nearly every TV casting office is involved in the scheme, with workshops having become the defacto route to access to all casting offices. They call them "classes" or "education", and while there may be a sliver of insight gained from paying the same people who can consider you for acting work, we all know what actors are paying for and why casting people are charging."

… "Actors pay because there's no other way. However...the more they pay, the more they bury any and all possibility of casting directors meeting actors in any way that doesn't involve paying at the workshop tollbooth. The way to make workshops go away is for actors to stop paying, but that's an unlikely scenario in today's Hollywood (and now in NYC). HUGE casting offices have allowed their associates to hop on the workshop gravy train (one casting associate - working for the number one medical drama on TV - has dozens of workshops scheduled over the holidays). Because actors are subsidizing the casting assistant/associate workforce in Hollywood, the days of FREE general interviews or consistent theatre attendance or just plain scouting talent in every venue possible without charging the talent to be scouted, are pretty much ancient history.

...CASTING BY, the epic documentary which lauds a woman - Marion Dougherty - who set the standard for discovering talent. The irony is that she would barely recognize the profession today.

If casting directors - and I include myself in this group - want to be considered and recognized by the Academy for their ultimate award, something has to change.

Billy DaMota CSA"

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