Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I agree with Lana, watch out for the ol' bait and switch'

Has this ever happened to you? You're perusing craigslist, your favorite source of 'get what you pay for' classifieds, then there you spot it: 'Feature Film Production Seeking Female, Male and Child Talent'. You immediately cut and paste the address to your e-mail New Message field, with a professional head shot and a lot of la dee da about your supporting role in a high school production umpteen years ago. Finally, your big break is coming! This part is tailored for you and you alone. All you need to do is show up at the agency advertising the gig and sign a contract for Union wages and residuals. You call, make an appointment and spend several hours deciding on what to wear, make up and hair accessories. You arrive, even a bit early for your appointment and ring the bell. After a few nerve wracking moments, you are led by a young girl in heels she can barely walk in to the 'Manager', who immediately starts to explain how important professional pictures are. 'Everything from the lighting to the brand of make up must be right or the casting directors won't even look at you. Now all you have to do is put down half and...' Before you know it, you have signed your life away and not even the slightest hint of any film role or project has come into the conversation. This is what is called the famous 'bate and switch' technique. Its one of the oldest and most successful albeit dishonest sales tactics in the history of man. In my next post I will discuss ways to avoid being suckered into something you're not sure of and questions you should ask when approached by unsavory types. Also, I'll answer the question: Are professional photos needed?

For more information and actual cases to read go to Casting Director, Lana Veenker's website at: and click on Press:

Bye now, and always stay tuned for more Drama.

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