Friday, 4 January 2013

Casting Doubt

'We can pay for any cosmetic surgery she may require for the movie.'

I know I keep saying this but it constantly amazes me that casting calls can still surprise me. But this is definitely up there in that little elite group that leave me staring in shock at my computer screen for a good few minutes before I tell the world about it on Twitter. There are some seriously worrying casting calls out there and it leaves me wondering what the process is when these adverts are submitted.

I know I make fun of a lot of these casting calls on Twitter but some of them, like the one above, are seriously damaging. Ones that ask you to change yourself or others that tell you that performers willing to appear naked are preferred are not only hugely unethical but actually very dangerous too. I’d like to think that even when I was starting out that I might be able to ignore these castings but with acting work being at an all-time low, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there were people going up for these roles. When all you want to do is act, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you have to do whatever a director tells you otherwise you’ll be seen as unwilling and clearly not serious about your career. Of course, this isn’t the case but especially when you’re new to all this, that can be how the industry seems. The acting profession, despite its nature, can actually be very lonely and if you don't have other people to ask or if you're just a bit desperate to make your mark then you may find yourself going up for these parts.

The casting above is of course a very extreme example of how terrible casting calls can be but it’s the perfect example of why this industry still needs a lot more regulation. That casting has now been removed but it was posted a week ago and I’m sure actors have applied for it. This unfortunately means that the casting process is probably well under way and some poor actress is now being told all the things she has to change about herself just so she can match the ideals of a team who wouldn’t know a real woman if they deservedly smacked them in the face. This could be an actress who is entirely new to the profession and thinks that changing yourself because someone else says you need to is perfectly acceptable. Just like the casting that said they may want their actress to eat less so they are more suited to the role, casting websites need to prove that they are vetting these adverts before being put online. If they’re not vetting their castings, which seems to be the case with some of the larger sites, then this is deeply worrying and shows a disappointing lack of commitment and support to the actors that are paying fees to keep their website running. We actors are expected to pay to be able to access these casting calls but sadly it sometimes leaves us questioning exactly what we're paying for. 

As usual, we actors have to look after ourselves so the only solution at the moment is to keep reporting these casting calls and hope that eventually, these websites will take notice and start taking a bit of responsibility too.   

No comments:

Post a Comment