How to Recognize a Casting Scam

Hey everybody! I was just thinking about something that happened to me when I first made the decision to pursue acting as an actual career. At that point I put myself out there I mean I REALLY put myself out there, I answered any casting call, any cattle call, any auditions that I could get my hands on and I really tried to get myself into the industry. One time I actually fell for a scam, actually almost fell for a scam.

I was so excited when I received the invitation to go audition and it was this huge "open casting"  for singers, dancers, actors, models. I should have seen the red flag when they were advertising that they could put you in movies like for Disney, Nickelodeon or ABC Family etc. And I wasn't really aware at the time that there were people out there trying to scam us, people were out there preying on fresh meat preying on hopeful people with dreams of breaking into the industry. It breaks my heart to see that it's still happening. With the technology that we have now, it seems that those scams have multiplied and they are everywhere. So anyway I wanted to create this blog just to let you know that there are people out there, there are "agencies" out there that are preying. They are waiting for you to go on Google, to start asking Google "how to become an actor", "how to get cast", "how to make it to Hollywood" to just be careful on what pops up.

Golden rule 

If that "talent agency" or "manager" or whatever they call themselves are asking you for some sort of money up front, that's a red flag. They will tell you that you have to audition for them, they will make you jump through hoops, they will make you want it even more like they did when I attended that fake casting call. They audition you back to back to back and when you finally make it at the end they tell you "OK you have what it takes, now this is what it's going to cost you to go to our workshops" and it's "$1,000 dollars" and then on top of that you have to "pay $400 for headshots that we have to do through our special photographer" then "pay for the resume", and then you have to "pay this as much to do your video reels or video auditions".  Huge red flag - Scam Alert!- don't do it. They will also push, workshops classes, hair and makeup lessons, things like that. Don't fall for those.

Too Good To be True?
If you ever find something that is just too good to be true, more than likely it is. However, if you don't want to feel like you're missing out on something that could potentially be honestly good then go ahead BUT ask around, dig deeper. Do some fact checks, try to see how long the company's been around. Nowadays you can Google certain companies and ask if it's a scam. People will tell you if it is a scam. Luckily now that we have the Internet people go online make their complaints. It's not easy to hide the scammers now, you just always have to do your research.

If you are applying to be represented by agents go ahead and do the research too. Even if those agents are legit they may not have the same goals as you do. Look for an agent that matches your goals. You want to make sure that you can work for your agent and your agent can work for you. Another thing about that is agents won't ever charge you up front. They take their percentage based on your job. If you get you a part in something, they represented you, they got you a part, usually, they pay you directly after they collect their percentage. They have to get paid for their time. If you don't get the part they still tried to represent you and help set you up on auditions but nobody pays them for the time that they put into you. So make sure that if you do have an agent do your research and work for them. Keep training. Just because you have an agent does not mean that you can stop taking classes. It doesn't mean that you can stop submitting yourself for independent films or student films just keep going.

Young Actors
If you are a younger person reading this blog, always have your guardian or your parent with you. There are so many people out there preying on younger people, they are preying on our dreams and our hopes and that is just wrong. Please be careful out there and don't ever give up on your dreams, don't let people like this take away what you are working for.

I hope this blog helps you recognize a scam and walk away from it. And if you come across a company and you aren't sure if it's a scam, go ahead and send me a message or leave a comment below. I'll try my hardest to find out for you if they are a scam or not. And I will have a list of links to places where you can look for casting notices, hopefully, that makes it easy for you to navigate and start your acting career without getting tangled up in a web of lies. Please let me know if you already know of scammers so we can post it on my page and warn the others.

Thank you so much for reading and have a great day!

nancy valdez