In 2010 a number of us received letters from Carmen Trutanich the City Attorney of Los Angeles regarding Casting Directors and Associates teaching Workshops. To have a clear understanding of what the letter required and the restrictions it could impose upon the Casting Community, members of the CSA Board of Directors met with Mark Lambert of the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office and staff members from the office of City Counsel Member Paul Krekorian, who were instrumental in the creation of the California State legislation “The Krekorian Talent Scam Prevention Act of 2009.” The meeting was very positive and paved the way for continued co-operation between the City Attorney’s Office and CSA. As a result, we updated the 2002 Workshop Guidelines as written below.
****Note: These rules are for the State of California only, however we encourage all of our members to use The Workshop Guidelines as a model.****
The most valuable thing that came out of the meeting was how Casting Directors and qualified Casting Associates can continue to teach under the new California State Law. The following is a sampling of rules that must be adhered to:
-- Classes taught by Casting Directors and Associates must be for instructional purposes only and not a “paid audition.”
-- The workshop must clearly post that taking part in the class you are teaching is not a guarantee of employment.
-- Casting Directors and Associates should pay strict attention to the 2010 Workshop Guidelines as they stand now and teach only for companies who have secured a Bond with the City of Los Angeles. A letter from the City Attorney requires a Workshop Owner (not a Casting Director) to post $50,000 Bond which costs a Workshop Owner a small and reasonable percentage of $50,000.
-- Casting Directors and Associates should be aware of how the Workshop Company advertises the Casting Director’s participation – especially on the Workshop’s website. A Casting office’s current projects must not be advertised.
-- Sides must be from past projects or material that has already been cast but can not be from projects currently being cast.
-- Headshots from the actors in the class cannot be collected and taken at the end of the class.
-- Casting Associates (and Assistants) must follow the guidelines and obtain a letter of approval to teach from a Casting Director they have worked for within the last 18 months.
The CSA Board of Directors
CSA STATEMENT ON CASTING WORKSHOPS
The Casting Society Of America fully supports the teaching guidelines that govern casting directors and casting associates in the state of California.
These guidelines were created by the California State Board Of Labor, the Casting Society Of America, the Screen Actors Guild, the American Federation Of Television And Radio Actors, the City Attorney's Office Of Los Angeles and the Independent Casting Workshops Of Los Angeles.
In brief, the guidelines were created to provide an instructional environment taught by qualified professionals and eliminate "paid Auditions."
The guidelines are listed below. If you require any further information please feel free to contact me through the CSA Office.
President, Casting Society of America
California Workshop Guidelines
Guidelines issued May 2010
RULES for CASTING DIRECTORS and CASTING ASSOCIATES
PARTICIPATING at WORKSHOPS where ACTORS PAY
WORKSHOPS SHOULD BE CONDUCTED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND IT IS PERMISSABLE FOR CASTING DIRECTORS / CASTING ASSOCIATES TO RECEIVE A STIPEND FOR TEACHING SUCH WORKSHOPS IF THE FOLLOWING GUIDELINES ARE ADHERED TO:
1. The Casting Director/Casting Associate (and Casting Assistant) (CD/CA) may not use workshops for the purpose of auditions, "pre-reads" or suggestions of future employment. The workshop may not be structured so that the majority of actor-participants are given the opportunity to perform a scene, and provided only simple redirect or feedback. The workshop shall be a real teaching experience and not resemble an audition.
2. The CD/CA may not retain a student/actor’s headshot, résumé, business card, reel, DVD, other electronic media, other promotional material, or any links thereto.
• All such promotional material may be provided for use during the workshop only and must be returned to the student/actor at the conclusion of that day’s workshop. (For workshops conducted online, the CD/CA may not retain a copy and must delete it from his/her computer’s hard drive.)
• At the beginning of the workshop, the CD/CA shall read the following disclaimer to the class - exactly as written:
“This workshop is a learning experience. It is not an audition or employment opportunity. As such, when this class is over, I will not be taking home, nor be given access to your headshot, resume or any of your other promotional materials.”
• The CD/CA may not participate in any workshop which provides, or advertises that it will provide the CD/CA with a student/actor’s headshot, resume, profile etc. (other than for use during the workshop only)
• The CD/CA may not participate in any workshop which provides, or advertises that it will provide the CD/CA at any time with an electronic link or other access to the student/actor’s headshot, resume, profile etc.
• The workshop may provide a worksheet with thumbnail photos of the actors and space on the worksheet to make comments, but is not required. The worksheet may not have any contact information other than the name
(Note: No sooner than 24 hours after the workshop is completed, the CD/CA may request the workshop provide the contact information (name, phone number, e-mail, agent/manager) of a student/actor on an individual basis.
However, this may not include a headshot, resume, profile or other promotional information.
Also, the CD/CA and workshop may not publicize this to the class at any time.
3. The CD/CA must inquire whether the workshop has a bond posted with the State Labor Commissioner as required by Labor Code section 1703.3(a), and may not participate unless it does.
4. The CD/CA may not use sides or materials from any show the CD/CA is currently casting or hired to cast, except if the roles being read are already cast.
5. The CD/CA must provide the workshop and the students with a specific lesson plan and the CD/CA must retain the lesson plan on file. The CD/CA should demand the workshop prominently display the lesson plan in its advertisements, including but not limited to internet websites, email, Facebook pages, Twitter, etc.
6. The CD/CA may not permit the use of the name, project information or likeness in any manner of a current production she/he is casting without first obtaining written permission from that production.
7. The Casting Director who teaches at a workshop must have one or more of the following qualifications:
• Member in good standing of the Casting Society of America; or
• Eighteen (18) months of experience as a Casting Director;
The Casting Associate who teaches at a workshop must have one or more of the following qualifications:
• Member in good standing of the Casting Society of America; or
• Eighteen (18) months of experience as a Casting Associate consisting of active participation in auditioning and presenting actors to producers and directors.
• Additionally, the Casting Associate must have written permission from a CD that they have worked for within the last eighteen (18) months to teach a workshop and the workshop facilitator must keep this on file.
The Casting Assistant who teaches at a workshop must have the same qualifications as a Casting Associate, and must also have written permission from a CD that they have worked for within the last eighteen (18) months to teach a workshop. The workshop facilitator must keep this on file.
8. Prior to the workshop, the participating CD/CA must access the workshop’s website (or Facebook/Twitter etc. if there is no website) and use all reasonable efforts to determine how the workshop is promoting that event. The CD/CA may not participate in any workshop whose advertisements/representations are deceptive or otherwise violate the following guidelines:
• The workshop’s advertisements must conspicuously disclose the following:
(For websites and similar electronic advertisements, this disclosure must appear on the home page):
“This workshop is a learning experience. It is not an audition or employment opportunity. When the workshop is over, the casting director/casting associate/casting director (whichever is applicable) teaching this workshop will not be taking home nor be given access to your headshot, resume or any other of your promotional materials”
• The workshop’s advertisements may not state or imply that attendees have had success in gaining auditions, interviews or employment as a result of meeting a casting director through a workshop, nor that any CD or CA has a preference for hiring attendees at a particular workshop.
• The workshop’s advertisements may not state or imply that the CD/CA is using the workshop to audition actors, using phrases such as “currently” casting, for example. It may otherwise list the CD/CA credits, including current projects.
• The workshop’s advertisements may not use the name of a current production without written permission from the CD (who must have written permission from the production company)
• The workshop’s advertisement may not be misleading about the credentials of the CD/CA participant
9. The CD/CA who participates in paid workshops is strongly encouraged to also participate in workshops that do not charge actors a fee. Contact the CSA, SAG., AFTRA and the SAG Foundation offices for more details.