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Pay to Audition: Valuable Feedback or Yet Another Scam?

No one ever went broke prying money from the hands of would-be actors:

    The state of California is clamping down on the practice of “pay to audition” workshops, in which actors pay to be seen.

    California Labor Commissioner Arthur Lujan is ready to announce a new set of guidelines making workshop operators liable for lawsuits if they’re found to be taking unfair advantage of thesps.

    Lujan is finalizing an agreement to spell out legal operating guidelines.

    He plans to announce as early as this week that workshop operators have agreed to the rules, which are in the form of a stipulation for declaratory judgement — i.e., the regulations are designed to have the weight of state law.

    Lujan had proposed last month that workshop operators sign a consent decree, but spokeswoman Susan Gard said the switch was made to give more weight to the potential punishment.

    “Our thinking is that the threat of a suit is stronger than a contempt-of-court order,” she added.

    ….Details of the stipulation were not available. But the agreement is likely to include several key provisions that were part of last month’s proposed consent decree:

    = Casting directors attending workshops will be unable to take actors’ pictures and resumes from the workshop.

    = Workshop attendees will be required to sign a disclaimer stating that workshops are intended as educational opportunities only.

    = Casting directors who choose to attend workshops will be required to submit a written curriculum to be kept on file and be made available to all workshop attendees upon request.

    = If cold reading training is included as a part of the workshop, significant individual feedback, critique and performance adjustment must be provided for each actor attending a workshop by the casting guest.

    = Workshop may not include in any advertising the use of testimonials about the success of workshops in getting interviews, auditions, callbacks or acting work.

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: Twitter@amhaunted, Facebook.com/amhaunted, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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