After an investigation into the casting workshop business in Los Angeles by the Hollywood Reporter several casting directors face scrutiny, jail time, and now class action lawsuits. The investigation, trial and possible jail time is a lot to take it for anybody regardless if you are in the entertainment industry or not. Aforementioned is not only mentally exhausting for someone this can also be financially exhausting.
It all started after the Hollywood reporter investigated into pay to play acting workshops. According to the report, these acting classes are connected to nearly every broadcast TV show. In fact, many new actors are paying $1500 a year to pay for two or three workshop classes a month. The goal is to obtain a day player role that pays only a little over $600 for a days work. Also, casting director Dea Vise claims that over half of the people that are on network television today paid for their job interview. It is necessary to point out that in California it is illegal to exchange money for the possibility of getting a job. It is illegal thanks to the Krekorian Talent Scam Prevention Act of 2009. The law outlaws workshops and casting directors from charging or attempting to charge an artist for an audition or an employment opportunity.
Following the report, actors started petitions to crack down on illegal casting director workshops. Actors throughout Los Angeles pushed the LA City Attorney Mike Fuer and the city's chief of investigations to look into acting workshop businesses. Then last February, the LA City Attorney filed charges against five casting workshops involved in a budget pay to play scams.
Feuer argued, "Aspiring performers who pursue their dreams should be treated with respect and never be exploited for profit."
Now Jason Kennedy, an organizer for the “Casting Community Defense Fund” and CSA casting director, has launched a fundraising campaign to raise money for the legal defense fund for casting directors involved and charged in the alleged pay to play crime. Their goal is simple, to raise funds to help pay for the initial legal expenses for the casting directors.
“The goal of this defense fund is to help pay for our colleagues' initial legal expenses, showing them that they are not alone and we stand by them in this fight.”
Kennedy argues that it is a right for casting professionals to teach classes for actors. He argues that artists benefit from the educational value of workshops and classes conducted by casting professionals. His goal is to raise $45,000 over the next 30 days and so far he may even reach his goal. At the time of writing this article, the Cason community defense fund has raised nearly $20,000.Related: