In an editorial in the May 2, 2002 issue of Backstage West, editor Rob Kendt makes some very strong and important statements regarding the workshop issue.
"I think it's flat-out wrong - yes, even illegal - for casting directors to accept any money for showing up at events whose express (if not sole) purpose is to showcase/read actors. If casting directors are scouting for talent, which is a job they're paid to do by studios and production companies, they shouldn't get a dime, either directly or indirectly, from prospective employees, i.e., actors."
He goes on to say that the exchange of money in "showcasing/reading situations distorts the casting process and is often indistinguishable in practice from outright exploitation."
Rob makes it clear that casting directors who teach ongoing classes, with a lesson plan, where they "talk at least as much as actors get up and perform", and ideally, offer classes as an "integral part of a full acting training curriculum taught by qualified teachers" should be compensated for their time and expertise.
Rob's editorial is the strongest statement made so far by the magazine which has become the industry standard for actors. We hope that the casting community takes his words to heart and recognizes their responsibility as professionals, and makes the same commitment which Rob and BSW make in his letter's closing, and that is:
"We stand with the actors."
Good for Rob and good for Backstage West.
M a i n P a g e
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