Daily Variety Posted: Thurs., Jun. 13, 2002
State to hold hearing on casting workshops
Meeting to help guide operators with new laws
By DAVE MCNARY
Five months after cracking down on "pay-to-audition" operations, the state of California has scheduled a July 9 hearing to examine casting workshops.
"We will be looking for guidelines that will help operators comply with the state law and operate legitimately," said Thomas Kerrigan, regional attorney with the Dept. of Labor's standards enforcement division. "But we are not looking to change the state law."
The all-day sesh at the State Building in Van Nuys is being designed to include all views on workshop issues, Kerrigan added.
The division found in January that the "pay-to-audition" practice was in violation of state law banning payment in exchange for applying for employment, triggering the issuance of cease-and-desist orders to more than a dozen Los Angeles workshop operators.
Kerrigan said in a letter last month to the Casting Society of America that some operators were continuing to violate state law by offering so-called cold reading workshops for a fee. He added in that missive that classes in how to succeed in cold-reading interviews were not necessarily illegal, but he stressed that it must be clear the session is not "a disguised paid audition."
Casting director Billy DaMota, who founded and operates Web site donotpay.org to publicize the pay-to-audition issue, said, "The state simply needs to enforce the existing law."
© 2002 Reed Business Information © 2002 Variety, Inc.