I just read a couple blogs about a new California (CA) law: the ‘Krekorian Talent Scam Prevention Act’ and want to add some thoughts from a non-union actor to the ring.
First, what is this law addressing?
A number of things, including, pay to play aka pay to work or pay to possibly get work in the future.
“Actors feel that they can’t be seen by casting directors and associates unless they pay to go to the (casting director) workshops,” L.A. Deputy City Attorney Mark Lambert said. Source: Backstage
What organizations support the law?
- The Walt Disney Co.
- The Motion Picture Association of America
- The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists
- The Screen Actors Guild
- and other industry players
In my opinion, this CA law is leveling the playing field for the privileged (w/money) and underprivileged (w/o money). Full disclosure, I have not read the law.
A SAG Foundtation rep (Rufino Cabang – firstname.lastname@example.org) states in a comment on the Backstage blog that:
“…our program of free workshops for SAG members, has found tremendous support from the casting community since (the Casting Access Project) launch in 2004. Visiting our workshops in both L.A. and New York to meet and work with Guild members at absolutely no cost to the actor…”
SAG members have access to SAG workshops for free. Kudos to them for supporting their members, but what is a non-SAG member to do?
The question of ‘general’ auditions was asked in the Backstage blog comments. It’s a great question. What has happened to the general auditions. When one is announced actors swarm like an ant colony to a picnic left unattended. But why aren’t there more picnics? 😉 Picnics can take place in-person and online.
Not on Twitter? Check out: http://freeheadshotadvice.info/ to receive someone’s very honest opinion of your headshot and/or reel. He says on the page:
We are not trying to sell you anything or pitch any services or fool you into buying something you really don’t need. “It takes a lot of money to be a starving actor!” We believe that casting directors should give back to those who have provided us with a career.
That’s you. The Actor. Without you, we don’t have a job.
Don’t have your own computer and/or Internet connection? Visit your local public library.
Legitimate casting directors want/need to make money just like everyone else. Actors want to be seen and given suggestions on how to succeed in the business.
Instead of ideas, most responses I’ve read about the law are complaints. We’re in the entertainment world aren’t we?
Actors, casting directors, unions… Be creative! Try something new. Use the web to network, ask a friend what they did, ask a stranger, e-mail a cold ‘ask’ for help, etc.
Let’s break the cycle of privileged and underprivileged, create a healthy, open, welcoming environment, and work together not against each other.
Complaining is easy. Fixing something isn’t.
Comment questions suggestions for you to respond to…
- How should the law be changed, if at all?
- Is the entertainment world a privileged class?
- How can the underprivileged succeed?
- Do you consider yourself privileged and/or underprivileged?