Tips to avoid Casting Scam
Across a lot of websites there’s been an increase in the number of internet scams targeting actors and models. At the end of this article you’ll find an example of a recent scam to be on the lookout for.
So when looking at casting calls on any site, or when receiving messages from casting personnel you haven’t worked with before, please keep an eye out for the following 11 warning signs:
Bad Grammar & Strange Emails :
The majority of casting scams are from foreigners with a bad understanding of English and entertainment-industry terminology. It’s also common for scammers to write out their email addresses in odd ways, such as using spaces, parentheses, brackets, or other special characters. For instance, they might format their email address like casting [@] example [dot] com. Beware of any casting calls using that technique. And these scammers may also use nonsensical job titles and obviously fake names (e.g., “Jimmy Freelancer”), etc.
No real project will offer to pay you upfront before you’ve actually done any work for them. Scammers, however, will frequently offer to pay upfront to try and gain your trust (but you’ll never get any real money from them) or to try and trick you into revealing your banking details, or to try and talk you into wiring them some money back in return, etc.
Check Sent in the Mail
False Identities :
Scammers will sometimes use the names of real people and real companies. They may even link to the real websites of the people they’re pretending to be. But if you check the scammer’s email address, phone number, and project details against the details of the real people, you’ll find they don’t match up.
The majority of casting scams are for modeling gigs. Although there are lots of real model casting calls as well, be extra cautious when considering modeling opportunities.
Casting Without an Audition :
Although some real projects will also cast actors online without meeting them first, it’s more common among scammers to claim they want to hire you without even meeting you first.
No Locations :
Casting scams will often say they’re “shooting near you” without being specific about the state where the project is taking place. Or they’ll even change the state to match your location if you tell them that you’ve moved.
Address Requests :
Scammers will often imply that you’ve been hired but ask you to send them some additional info first, including your home address. A real project wouldn’t usually need your full home address upfront.
Wire Transfers :
Scammers will often come up with a variety of excuses for why you need to wire them money. They’ll even offer to pay you extra in exchange for wiring some money back to them. Unknown to you, the money you wire will be picked up by the scammers’ associates using a different name, likely in a different country, and then they’ll disappear with the money. Never wire any stranger money, ever.
No Casting Notices :
Although some scammers will try to post a fake casting call online to supplement their scam emails, most scammers do not bother to take this extra step. So if someone you’ve never heard of before emails you out of the blue offering to cast you in a project and they don’t have a casting notice that they can link back to for more details, then you should be suspicious!
Nudity & Inappropriate Requests :
If a project asks you to send them anything you’re not comfortable sending them, or if they ask you to do anything at an audition or on set that you’re not comfortable with – such as an unexpected request for nudity or any other unusual, strange, unprofessional, or innappropriate requests – don’t be afraid to say “no.” Trust your instincts, and walk away from potentially bad situations.
Unexpected Fees :
If an opportunity requires any sort of legitimate payment from you to participate (e.g., a membership fee to join a community theater, or an entry fee to enter a talent competition), then the fee requirements should be clearly spelled out in their original listing. However, if fees were not mentioned in the original casting call, and then the producers surprise you with unexpected fees or other dubious obligations, then be wary. This could be a case of a pay-to-play or bait-and-switch scam.
What Soft Skills Do You Need to Succeed in This Career?
The ability to listen carefully to directors and fellow actors is essential.
You must be able to speak clearly and express your feelings orally.
You will have to conjure up emotions and motives of the characters you portray.
Actors must be able to memorize lines.
This is a competitive field. It is more likely than not that you will have to repeatedly audition and deal with rejection often.
A director or producer will discover you:
If you sit around waiting to be discovered, you will most likely remain a starving artist. If you want to work, you will have to go out and audition.
You will be rich:
The median wage for this career is relatively low. Many aspiring actors make ends meet by working unrelated jobs, for example waiting tables.
You will be a star:
If you are hoping to become a celebrity, you will be disappointed. Become an actor because you love acting, not because you want to become famous.
All you need is talent:
If all you needed was the talent to land roles, there would be far fewer unemployed actors. Not only must you be talented, but also those in charge of casting must consider you “right” for the parts for which you audition.