Tuesday, April 5, 2016

"Pay-To-Audition" Workshops - Opportunity & Access vs. Cost & Value

The dreaded pay-to-audition workshops are in the business of acting news again in the current edition of The Hollywood Reporter. We address this every semester in my Emerson College Los Angeles Business of Acting class. 
While there may be "pros" to this endeavor (some of my clients and past students have participated and actually benefited from the experience), there are just as many "cons" (other clients and other past students have participated and felt otherwise). Like in any service industry, there are good players and there are bad players. Vetting is crucial. How valuable might it be to pay to see anyone? That depends both on the results of the research you do (IMDB) and how legitimate the provider is.
I have never been asked to participate in one of these workshops. But I have agent and manager friends who have -- and have actually signed actors they have met as a result. 
Assignment 1: Actors ... Know what you're buying before you commit. Have realistic expectations of the experience. Be sure that the person you are considering paying to meet is worth the investment (some are; many are not). 
It's an important discussion to have. Have you paid to play before and what was that experience like for you?
You can read a related story here, also from The Hollywood Reporter: