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'Vampire Diaries' Casting Director Cancels Classes After "Illegal" Workshops

The Vampire Diaries casting director has cancels $185 workshops following "illegal" acting workshops controversy.

The Vampire Diaries casting director Greg Orson, who is most known for his GO Casting workshops, has cancelled a series of workshops later this month Georgia, where the popular TV series is filmed, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Related: ‘Criminal Minds’ Casting Director Fired After “Illegal” Workshops

Orson, who has been with The CW’s hit drama since its start, had been advertising under the banner of his own GO Casting Academy a slate of three-hour classes on Apr. 29 and 30, at $185 per student, to be held at Get Scene Studios in Atlanta. (Prices on the so-called “roadshow circuit” traversed by casting directors around the country are typically much higher than the market rate average of $50 per class in the Los Angeles area.) Applicants were asked to submit a “current headshot and resume” and told that they “do not need to prepare anything for class. Material will be provided for you.”

The remainder of the syllabus – which included “audition techniques and the audition process” – was tagged with a standard workshop disclaimer that “the presence of a casting director is neither a guarantee or a promise of work.” The advertisement was topped with a promotional image of The Vampire Diaries, and then followed by similar publicity shots from other shows Orson has worked on (The CW’s upcoming Containment, TV Land’s Younger).

Orson pointed out that he had already decided to cancel the workshops following "a death in my family over the weekend," according to THR. Here's what he had to say regarding the cancelled acting workshops.
“I have 25 years of experience casting various shows, and I feel that the information provided in an educational setting has been extremely beneficial for actors who are trying to navigate the business,” he says. “There is a lot to learn other than just auditioning, and our classes have helped numerous actors book roles on other casting directors’ projects.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, many actors claimed they have gained opportunities on The CW network after attending his workshop but, Greg Orson argues that he’s “not hired one actor on The Vampire Diaries from any of my educational classes.” It's hard to deny the fact the amount of power Greg Orson has on the Atlanta film industry. He controls the casting process for one of the biggest TV shows currently filming in the ATL. While it's hard to determine if Greg Orson cancelled the acting workshops because of the "pay-to-play" controversy but, it does demonstrate that acting workshops are quickly becoming a part of the past. This news comes after an investigation into casting directors' "acting workshops" whereby the prevalence of "pay-to-play" auditions started to increase in the film industry, which allegedly led to  the high-profile firing of popular casting director Scott David from the hit CBS series Criminal Minds. Apparently, the casting director director Scott David was fired on last week only a day after The Hollywood Reporter published an investigation into “Workshops” that encourage actors to pay for access to potential speaking roles. Scott David started his own acting classes called The Actors Link “which charged those seeking roles on his show and others for audition classes taught by those concurrently in a hiring position on network, cable and streaming shows.” It’s important to highlight the fact that exchanging money for the possibility of getting a job is illegal thanks to The Krekorian Talent Scam Prevention Act of 2009, which outlaws workshops and casting directors from charging or attempting to charge an artist for an audition or employment opportunity. However, since the law was passed seven years ago, there have been no prosecutions. Related: Are Casting Director Acting Workshops Illegal?

“Half the people that are on network television today paid for their job interview — the one-liner roles.”

This problem is so wide spread that the actor’s union, SAG-AFTRA and the Casting Society of America are worried about the workshops. But, they are left powerless unless city officials act or even prioritize the issue. Things are slowly changing in Hollywood... Via: The Hollywood Reporter

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