Even having a great agent, building a strong relationship with a CD through workshops better your chances of getting called in everytime that CD casts something.
Casting couch: you sleep with someone in the hopes of getting an acting job.
Workshops: you pay someone in the hopes of getting an acting job.
You are right, they are not exactly the same. But they both prey on false hope. It's pay-to-play. You pay with your body (or mouth), or pay with your wallet.
Pointless to argue this because those who do it understandably don't like to be criticized for it.
I don't understand why some actors say that without paid auditions they wouldn't have opportunities to meet CDs. I don't understand it because CDs need good actors. Their livelihoods and reputations depend on it. If actors stopped paying for auditions, CDs wouldn't stop needing to find new talent. Wouldn't they go back to their previous practice of seeing more shows and showcases? I've seen CDs and agents say things like, "I don't go to as many shows as I used to because why would I if actors are willing to pay me for workshops?"
@donquixote, while I'm not a fan of "workshops" / paid auditions, I can't get behind your analogy. Everyone pays for things with their wallets, and most advertisers prey on false hopes. A similarity in sentence construction doesn't equal a similarity in reality. In my opinion, saying that workshops are the same as the casting couch weakens your argument.
I made a target list of five CDs I wanted to see. Went to a workshop with my first one. Got called in for my first pilot audition from that CD a few weeks later for a small co star role on a major network. I was asked to come back to read for a large guest star role. Booked it. Best $30 I ever spent. Didn't feel like a scam to me.
You're missing the problem. The auditions being real doesn't make it ok to charge for them. Would you say that it's ok to charge for job interviews as long as someone who paid the fee was hired for the job? Of course not. Your post solidifies the point that these aren't workshops, they're auditions. It's not ethical to charge for auditions.
I think you might be missing the point. For actors that do not have strong representation there is very little that can be done to get seen and that is where workshops become very helpful. I did not pay for an audition, I STILL had to audition separately for that part but I never would have gotten that audition if I didn't go to the workshop because that CD would never have known I existed. Yes, we are paying to perform and get feedback on those performances as well as our headshots but we are also paying for the information that is given out about the casting process which is why it is a workshop. As far as your comparison to a job interview,that just doesn't hold water because that would mean that everybody there that paid for the workshop has paid "the fee" and would get hired. Workshops are a way for actors to take a bit of control, learn about what is going on in casting and to show their work to influential people. Why shouldn't CD's get paid for their time?
I believe that this is a side effect of the paid audition process itself. CDs have an inherent economic incentive to find talent. If workshops didn't exist, they would find other ways to look for talent. This is their cost of doing business and is not something that the talent should pay them for.
You're saying that you paid for a general, which is my point.
These were not the reasons you previously gave for the workshop being valuable.
I don't understand what you're saying here. Not everyone who interviews for a job is hired.
Again, these were not the reasons you gave previously about why you felt that your workshop experience was valuable.
If the value being imparted by the CDs at the workshops is mostly educational (eg, how to audition, how to slate, what not to do), then CDs should get paid for their time. If the value is primarily having the opportunity to be called in to audition for a role, then it's a general, and CDs should not be paid by the actors for that time. I just ask you to be honest about which it is, and I point to your previous post about why the experience was valuable to you.
My wording wasn't clear. I should have said, "Would you say that it's ok to charge for job interviews as long as they're real job interviews?"
I have to admit that I haven't tried this program yet, but a friend recommended it to me, and it might help with the original question. They compare all the workshops in town in one place as well as keep reviews on the different companies. http://theworkshopguru.com/
What a racket! We actors pay for enough damn monthly services. How many suckers actually subscribe to this?
I don't see this website as much of a necessity but a decent perk to have. I recommend splitting the $97 annual fee with a couple actor buddies and just share an account.
Spending $20-$30 for access is worth it imo.
$35 at JBCN (Cold read)
$38 at Dominion (bring prepared scene)
$29 at Acting Bridge $10 yearly membership
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