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Billy DaMota's letter to CSA re:workshops Login/Join
 
Denzel Washington
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You can do whatever you want with your money, but don't tell me that the only ones who will be hurt if workshops go shut down would be actors. The main ones hurt would be the people running the workshops, followed by the CDs and associates who make thousands of dollars out of it - STEADY INCOME. I understand there might be other valid point of views out there (though I haven't seen them yet), but why would you say such nonsense as "the only ones hurt"...
 
Posts: 64 | Location: Los Angeles | Registered: June 12, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jack Nicholson
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quote:
Originally posted by Jack Travern:
Lol oh man, this thread has become hilarious. Such vitriol for how others want to spend their money on things that have actually helped them.

Like Cinnabon Monster, maybe Im one of the few who has been able to get co star roles and guest star and recurring role auditions through these. If that's the case so be it. My investment has more than paid off in credits and cash

In all honesty The only ones who will be hurt if workshops got shut down would be those coming in behind myself and others that have already booked recognizable credits. Also many Casting Associates. Jeff Greenberg, Bruce Newberg and Junie Lowry Johnson Im sure will be just fine.

What cracks me up is that many bitching about these things are the same actors that pour hundreds every month into class after class with teachers that tell you that "you're almost there" or "you're ready". Or go create these cheesy web series that only 2/3 of your facebook friends up watching. Or do plays in theaters where 10 guest show up

And if any of u think shutting down the workshop circuit is gonna magically open this door for you to now get generals left and right with every casting office, ur nuts! This aint 1988. TV CDs work fast, and they will continue to call in who they know because half of the talent pool here is literally crazy, angry, entitled or all 3
so ur saying dont continuously spend money even on classes? i feel the same way about a lot of teachers; just cranking money out of students who are never getting better.
 
Posts: 339 | Location: LA | Registered: June 04, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Glenn Close
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quote:
TV CDs work fast, and they will continue to call in who they know because half of the talent pool here is literally crazy, angry, entitled or all 3


Holy sh$t, that's astute. lol.

And I agree.

Mae
 
Posts: 223 | Location: Midwest | Registered: March 11, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Kevin Bacon
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OK, I'll chime in one more time before this dead horse has been beaten into another universe.

Workshops DO work to occasionally get work. Cinnabon Monster is a VERY specific type and a good actor - two factors that help an actor move forward - regardless of whether or NOT you decide to pay for a relationship.

But for the majority of actors who do workshops, the results are dismal. The fact is that workshops are like an industry pyramid scheme. The Cinnabon Monsters or the few others who rave about their grand successes (who can forget Kathryn Joosten's incessant cheerleading for the workshop lobby?), there are 98% who walk away with nothing. Absolutely nothing. These "losers" are the ones who lay the foundation, paving the way by funding the workshop scheme so that the few winners can succeed.

But is that the point?

The conversation here reconfirms that actors are paying for consideration for work when they attend workshops. Although there's an occasional nugget of wisdom from Muffy or Buffy, paying a casting assistant in a workshop to "demystify the casting process" is like paying a hooker to learn how to juggle. Dude, we know why you're there. Even if the percentages of workshop successes were astronomical and all the money you paid to a casting assistant resulted in a job, you're basically be paying a bribe for that opportunity.

And that's against the law.

The conversation here is important because it reconfirms that workshops represent a racket where actors pay millions (not hyperbole) to be considered for acting jobs and casting associates are paid hundreds of thousands of dollars (not an exaggeration) to consider these actors. And the winners in this "arrangement" are not the actors, although the workshop industry would have you believe that's the case. The clear victors in the workshop racket are the casting associates of Hollywood and the brokers who sell to access to those people.

There are alternatives to paying casting clerks for recognition. But as stated in this thread, there are not nearly enough. The chilling effect that workshops have on seeing actors in any other way that doesn't include writing a check is profound. Theatre, acting classes, graduating showcases...general interviews? What used to be the industry standards for actually scouting new talent have disappeared and have been replaced by paying to be scouted.

But here is a truism that will exist long after workshops are shut down and the biggest offenders are frog marched off to prosecution.

Casting directors will always need good actors. And - trust me - if workshops go away, they will still find them.
 
Posts: 28 | Location: Glendale, CA | Registered: June 05, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nicholas Cage
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Billy DaMota is right in that casting workshops have indeed become the primary source for casting folks to find actors. It will be very unlikely that it will be shut down anytime soon because all workshop facilities are by law to state that they do not guarantee employment or auditions. I'm curious to see if there can be a definite way to prove that they are illegal because from a few lawyer folks I spoke to, it is considered "networking". Then again, they may not be wrong. Who knows.

It is true casting folks can earn a whole lotta moola by doing this, so for them to stop doing them would almost be similar to chopping a cash cow into bloddy bits.

If we were to take away casting workshops completely, casting folks would have to attend plays, comedy shows, standup routines, watch the hottest YouTube videos, and etc. Compared that to just attending a workshop and getting paid for it? I feel the overwhelming majority will go for the latter, like Billy said.

This is indeed a dead horse being beaten over and over. I highly doubt we'll see any changes because we will always have new actors who will take these workshops, the actors who think it's a good idea to take as many workshops as possible without even remotely thinking about their marketing or understanding that diligent professional followups are required.
 
Posts: 361 | Location: Los Angeles, CA | Registered: January 15, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Denzel Washington
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When did he say that?

And can we get rid of our agents now?

quote:
Originally posted by Cinnabon Monster:
Billy DaMota is right in that casting workshops have indeed become the primary source for casting folks to find actors.(...)
 
Posts: 64 | Location: Los Angeles | Registered: June 12, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nicholas Cage
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quote:
Originally posted by Trillian:
When did he say that?

And can we get rid of our agents now?

quote:
Originally posted by Cinnabon Monster:
Billy DaMota is right in that casting workshops have indeed become the primary source for casting folks to find actors.(...)


Maybe not the exact words PRIMARY, but defacto
 
Posts: 361 | Location: Los Angeles, CA | Registered: January 15, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Denzel Washington
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I thought he said the majority of actors get nothing from it, but eventually some actors do get work. And those are actors that are good and would be found whether workshops exist or not. That's a very far concept from saying workshops are a de facto method to find talent. I feel like I'm beating a dead horse, which I really don't want to do, but what Billy said was very sensible and now it's being totally distorted.

quote:
Originally posted by Cinnabon Monster:
quote:
Originally posted by Trillian:
When did he say that?

And can we get rid of our agents now?

quote:
Originally posted by Cinnabon Monster:
Billy DaMota is right in that casting workshops have indeed become the primary source for casting folks to find actors.(...)


Maybe not the exact words PRIMARY, but defacto
 
Posts: 64 | Location: Los Angeles | Registered: June 12, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Kevin Bacon
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quote:
Originally posted by Trillian:
When did he say that?

And can we get rid of our agents now?



Yes, you can almost get rid of agents, especially when your agent or manager suggests you attend workshops to "network". If my agent demanded I take workshops (as many do), I'd pay them no commission on the jobs I booked via workshops.

And sadly, casting directors are not far behind in terms of early extinction. The irony of celebrating Marion Dougherty in the amazing documentary CASTING BY is that the casting profession is lauding a woman who set the standard for what casting should be - and which is nearly non-existent in today's entertainment industry.

And Cinnabon, what happens in most workshops is not "networking"; it is paying to perform (audition) for the same people who can hire you. If you take the performance aspect out of workshops and made them simply seminars or networking events, I'd have less a problem with them. But that's not gonna happen because the INTENT of workshops is to allow casting people to evaluate your talent via a performance. And that's the legal definition of an audition, which is an actor's job interview.

If there were ever an investigation - a real, in-depth look at what happens in workshops - it's pretty apparent what they'd find.

And just so ya know, the wheels of justice are definitely turning - albeit slowly - and there will be enforcement soon.
 
Posts: 28 | Location: Glendale, CA | Registered: June 05, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Denzel Washington
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quote:
There are alternatives to paying casting clerks for recognition. But as stated in this thread, there are not nearly enough. The chilling effect that workshops have on seeing actors in any other way that doesn't include writing a check is profound. Theatre, acting classes, graduating showcases...general interviews? What used to be the industry standards for actually scouting new talent have disappeared and have been replaced by paying to be scouted.
With all due respect, I don't agree with that at all. I certainly wouldn't claim to know everybody, but I don't think I know a single 20-something to early-30s working actor who has had anything remotely resembling sustained success who got his or her first break from a CD workshop or would even be caught dead near one. OTOH, I know an awful lot who first got them through graduating showcases followed by being seen doing theatre and through teacher referrals. Of course, an agent or manager has usually been the first step through whom they were introduced to CDs, but there were no shortage of casting people at my showcase a few years ago.
quote:
Originally posted by Lonni Delane:
quote:
These places are known to be the provinces of desperate losers, nowhere hacks and other assorted not-ready-for-prime-time types by the powers that be - including many of the CDs who run them.


That is some really twisted logic - like the high school girl being called a "slut" by the same guys who are taking advantage of her. Pots. Kettles. Good grief.

It's all about perception I guess. "Acting" in a Cinemax After Dark movie gets you a reputation. "Acting" in Monster's Ball gets you an Oscar.
It's really closer to mean girls in middle school. Smiler The funny thing is that when the crackdown finally happens and as Billy says, "the biggest offenders are frog marched off to prosecution," the frog marchers will become Pariahs and those who are just as guilty but weren't busted will most likely express righteous indignation that anyone would exploit newbie actors like that. Crazy town ...
 
Posts: 92 | Location: La La Land | Registered: March 28, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jack Nicholson
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lol it spread to florida:

"actors link florida"
https://www.facebook.com/glenn.berger.18
 
Posts: 339 | Location: LA | Registered: June 04, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Kevin Bacon
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quote:
Originally posted by makemefamous:
lol it spread to florida:

"actors link florida"
https://www.facebook.com/glenn.berger.18


Totally aimed at kids. The traveling workshop circus. Shameful.

TY HARMAN presently working on TWO NEW PILOTS... SMART ALEC FOR NICKELODEON and SUPER AWESOME KATY FOR DISNEY.

COST:
$239 for 4 hours with Ty on either Saturday or Sunday.
$289 for 4 hours with Ty on both days for a total of 8 hours with both days.
 
Posts: 28 | Location: Glendale, CA | Registered: June 05, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jack Nicholson
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I can get a whole month training with a real acting coach for that.


"Its the struggle that makes it great"
 
Posts: 45 | Location: Los Angeles, CA | Registered: August 04, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Kevin Bacon
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From last night's Artios Awards, where Linda Lowy accepted her well-deserved Hoyt Boyers award.

Roll backwards? Indeed.

This is the textbook definition of IRONY.

≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈

In her acceptance speech, Lowy compelled her fellow casting directors to focus on raising the next generation of casting directors.”How do we preserve the truthfulness of the art? We need to encourage the next generation to go to the theater, to know what’s happening outside of L.A., to read, to seek out the classics,” she said. “To truly understand the text and speak not just to who will play the part but to the overall story, genre, tone. To have some knowledge of film history. I don’t know about you, but I’m seeing these things fade. Working in the shadow of great mentors reminds us that we can teach young minds to trust their vision amidst the ever-growing maze of distractions. Without that, we start to roll backwards.”
 
Posts: 28 | Location: Glendale, CA | Registered: June 05, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Morgan Freeman
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quote:
Originally posted by TRUTHTELLER59:
Scott David and Jeff Greenberg demand close to a grand per night.

Associates make around $250-300/night. Jamie Castro advertises going to 12-13 workshops per month so she rakes in $3000-$3900/month on top of what she's making already.


Scott David is just a crook. I've heard he's never been that involved with casting on the show's he's worked. The guy is seedy, and a little nuts, so he's decided to take his little knowledge and go out and rip off actors. DO NOT do Scott David workshops. EVER!!!
 
Posts: 323 | Location: Los Angeles | Registered: May 18, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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