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Casting Society of America casting workshop Guidelines

According to several sources, including casting directors who received them and casting workshop owners who were made aware of them, these guidelines were released after a conversation between a team from CSA and Mark Lambert, Deputy Los Angeles City Attorney. It appears the no-headshot rule was discussed and approved by the CSA. Except for that requirement, these guidelines seem reasonable to us.

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:

  1. Member in good standing of the Casting Society of America; or
  2. 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 also 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.

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 C.S.A., S.A.G., AFTRA and the S.A.G. Foundation for more details.

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2 Responses

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  1. Terra says

    I think the majority of this ruling is stupid, unenforceable, and did I say stupid? It overreaches and is poorly written.

    Speaking to the clauses —

    #1 — what is the CD/CA going to teach me? Seriously. Inform me, yes. Teach me, generally not. Maybe I’ll be educated a bit on improving my auditioning or thoughts on tweaking choices, but that is generally so unique to the CD’s point of view and office, as well as the cold read at hand, that again it is more informative. 95% of CD’s are not teachers. Stupid, stupid language here.

    #2 — unenforceable period. The majority of these CD’s are going out to find new faces and to inform about their offices and how the casting system works within their purview as a business networking opportunity. And the vast majority of the CD’s at workshops write notes on actors’ headshots — this is both helpful to the CD as well as the actor. To change this simple and practical way of cataloguing what you see at the workshop is dumb. Dumb.

    #5 — lesson plan? Refer to #1. Stupid. I guess the CSA is an educational institution now? Please tell us who is the Dean of Instruction there and the recommended syllabus and curriculum guidelines from that Dean so that all syllabi can be approved.

    #6 — so the CD/CA’s credits aren’t his/her own? Gees! Stupid. Stupid. As an actor, do I have to get permission to promote the fact I’ve been on House, CSI, or Day of Our Lives each time I do a round of publicity or a media interview? Look out actors! The city attorney might be after you next!

    #7 — make me laugh. How many poorly written clauses can this ruling have!! So, basically this says to me, you can be a member NOT in good standing and do workshops if you’ve been casting for 18 months. Oh brother.

    Sounds like the CSA is more worried about being sued by the city than being reasonable.

  2. Jimmy Walker Jr. says

    I am so sick of people trying to shut down workshops. Personally , I have got auditions and booked roles from them and do not care who knows it or don’t like it. I spend my money as I see fit. For those who do not like paid workshops, DO NOT GO !!! Times have changed and we must change with them. THEY DO NOT DO GENERALS ANYMORE AND EVERYBODY IS NOT REPRESENTED BY APA,GERSH,UTA, ETC. If Mr. DaMota and his group were that interested in actors careers then they would be offering Generals. I have been in this town and been represented for 13 years and have yet to been called in for a “General” by him or anyone else in his group.



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