It’s sad but true: the casting business can be pretty shady. If you’ve ever gone online to look for parts, you know there are lots of casting websites out there, and it’s hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys. But here’s one rule you should always follow: Never Pay for an Audition. Ever.
Paying for auditions is one of the oldest scams in the books. It’s unethical – and illegal. Here’s why … and how to spot a scam when you see one.
If a casting director is legitimately looking for talent to fill roles, there should be no reason for them to charge for an audition. They are paid by the producers of a project to find the best talent … that’s their job and they’re already getting paid for it. If you encounter a casting director who also charges you for an audition, guess what? They’re not a real casting director.
The same is true for agents. Agents get paid a percentage of what you earn when you book paid work. They are not paid upfront. If an “agent” offers take you on as a client but only after you pay a fee, guess what? They’re not a real agent.
Likewise, there are lots of folks who reel you in by offering legitimate services and then claim to guarantee to get you auditions, but only if you pay. This is especially true in the modeling industry. Sometimes a headshot photographer will claim to guarantee you modeling jobs but only if you pay for an expensive headshot package with them. Guess what? No one can guarantee you work, and anyone who promises you to is not legit.
So are there any legitimate players in the casting industry? Of course there are. You just need to know what you look for.
If you are applying to a casting call, make sure you know who is casting the role. Search for them online. Are they representing a project, or production company, or agency, you’ve heard of? If it’s a casting director, you can check and see if they’re a member of the Casting Society of America (www.castingsociety.com). Even if you’re applying to an unknown entity like a student or indie film, you can still check out if it’s affiliated with a legitimate film school or up-and-coming filmmaker.
If you’re thinking of joining a casting Website like ClaimFame, use your common sense and look for clues: Does the Website design look professional? Is the owner clearly identified? Are they clear about what you get if you join? Is there evidence of other members who have had success using the service? If not, be very careful about where you share your credit card.
Here at ClaimFame, we are not just committed to helping actors with real services, but we’re also eager to steer our members away from the scams. Sometimes people ask us why we charge for ClaimFame Pro. Throughout our site, we are very clear about what we are and aren’t. We are not an agent or a casting agency. We do not host auditions. We do not guarantee you will get parts. So what do our members get for our premium service? We offer the tools and information you need to craft your own success. That means full application information for hundreds of casting calls, a gorgeous talent profile you can use to build your fan base, and coaching sessions with our amazing casting coach.
In the end, only you can decide where to invest in your career. We hope you’ll give ClaimFame Pro a try, but even if not, we really hope you’ll use these tools to steer clear of the scams and give the bad guys a run for their money!
We’d love to hear from you!