I decided to write this post on Casting Director Workshops to re-kick off the Moviepreneur blog in 2012.
I think there is a lot of confusion being falsely created by opponents of Casting Director Workshops for actors. We’ll get to the bottom of this and finally figure out if casting director workshops for actors are the real deal or not.
Let me start off by explaining what a casting director workshop is for those of you that don’t know.
Basically, here’s how it works.
The actor wants to learn and audition
Jimmy the Actor wants to learn more about audition technique and at the same time showcase his skills to someone in the industry that could one day remember him and maybe even give him a part (the casting director).
The casting director wants to teach and see talent
Mike the Casting Director wants to teach actors how to do better audition in this competitive environment (so he can do his job better) and at the same time get a chance to see a lot of actors perform for him. Maybe one day an actor will submit for a part and this casting director will remember that actor’s performance from the workshop. And if he remembers his performance, he probably has an opinion on that actor and could call him to audition instead of someone else, whom he has never seen perform.
A platform is created for the actor and casting director to each get what they want
Susie the business savvy person sees that there is a desire and need from both sides and sets up a platform for the casting directors to teach Casting Director Workshops for the actors. Everyone gets what they want. The actor gets to learn and audition, the casting director gets to teach and view talent, the business person gets a fee for connecting the two, and the casting director usually gets a fee for teaching.
The controversy comes in because the actor usually pays for the workshop
This is where the controversy comes in. Actors typically are not the wealthiest of individuals when they are in the early stages of their careers, and most are just dead broke. People feel like actors are being taken advantage of because they are paying for these workshops. Personally, I disagree because it’s something that most actors do as a means of marketing themselves (remember, marketing is a tax write off) and they are potentially furthering their careers while learning at the same time. People will still argue that these workshops are setting it up as a job interview and making big promises. For the record, most are not setup like job interviews. I have personally been to dozens and dozens of these workshops and I’ve never once felt like I was at a job interview or paying for a job interview. It’s just not the case with any of the ones that I’ve been to. Maybe there are some shady ones out there, but I certainly haven’t seen them.
Are casting director workshops legit or not?
I can say with a lot of certainty that 100% of the ones that I’ve gone to (and returned to) are very legitimate. Sure, there are probably some shady ones out there that make false promises on that they could never deliver on, but that’s just life. There’s always a bad guy out there trying to take advantage of people. In general though, I don’t see them as shady in any way. And, if you ask most actors that go to these, an overwhelming percentage will tell you that they are effective in getting them what they are seeking and of course worthwhile.
For the record, I have had a lot of success using them as a marketing tool to market myself to casting directors.
So which casting director workshops are legit?
All of the ones that I’ve been to are very legit. I wouldn’t go otherwise.
My favorite is: Connect Studios LA – They have the best prices and best atmosphere that I’ve seen. The casting directors seem to regard them higher than some of the other studios that just accept anyone.