In this installment of Scams & Vents, ReelGuru founder, Catrine McGregor answers your questions about scams. Also, a reader writes in to share a nightmare experience he had with his agent!
I saw a casting call listed online, but when I sent to submit to it, the site required I subscribe before I could submit. I was told you never pay for an audition. – Sherry L., Phoenix, Arizona
Catrine: You’re right—you should never pay for an audition or to “get” a job. That said, there are legitimate (and illegitimate) casting call software sites. The ones that are reputable, such as Actors Access, Casting Networks, and those offered by Casting Calls America, all require that actors create a profile then have the profile submitted through their software so the casting director can receive and review all the submissions in a single place and format. Those that simply list a casting call and give you access to an email are more often than not illegitimate, and in many cases the casting director is unaware their casting call is even listed. So yes, paying to use a casting call listing site is a very legitimate and mostly necessary expense for working actors, but be sure to stick with the legitimate ones as described above. In particular, Casting Calls America offers access to regional casting opportunities, whereas many sites offer casting calls that are completely out of your area.
I went to an audition that I found online, and when I pulled up to the address, it was a private home so I left. Was this a scam? – Trevor H., Mobile, Alabama
Catrine: I can imagine that a situation like this would create red flags – understandably so. I would recommend when you get an address for a casting session, that you Google it to see exactly where it is. I would also research the casting director. Some casting directors have garages, a small studio attached to their homes, etc. where they hold their auditions. I personally would never want to have my office and home tied together, but that’s a personal choice. If I were an actor in a situation like yours, I would not only do a little research but I would also use logic. Is the audition at 9:00pm in a private home? Is the audition for your minor child and you can’t go in? These last two circumstances would especially concern me, but although a situation may seem strange, at times, it can be legitimate. Use your head.
Hello there, I want to vent about an experience that I just had. I was with my previous agent for a year or so and I’d experienced a time of high number of auditions and had a few dry spells, but I went for months without hearing about any new auditions (the longest I’ve ever gone).
I was at a get together with people in the industry the other month and a director came up to me and said he was sorry I couldn’t be in his latest project. He said that he was looking forward to seeing the project that had kept me away from his project. I nodded along, because I didn’t want to say that I wasn’t working!
The next morning I contacted my agent and a friend that is also with my agent about putting a few pieces of information together. I found out that the director had called the agency and asked for my availability and so forth, but my agent told him I was busy and recommended someone else! I wasn’t busy! I literally sat by my phone waiting to hear from my agent about a job!
I thought the agency I had was treating me well! Needless to say, I’ve left them and I’ve gotten a new agent – one that I did much more homework and research on! -Frog N., Toronto, Canada
Have you been scammed or need to vent about an experience you had? Write in!
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Last modified: August 1, 2017