The Vampire Diaries casting director Greg Orson is being barraged with a flurry of criticism after The Hollywood Reporter revealed he is allegedly conducting "pay-to-play" interviews and charging young hopefuls $185 for the privilege of auditioning.
Orson placed an ad under the banner of his own GO Casting Academy for a syllabus of three-hour classes on April 29 and 30, but according to THR this is a front for what is essentially an audition that you have to pay for be a part of.
The Hollywood Reporter claims that the expense of the auditions (much more expensive that the market rate of around $50 a class in LA) and the fact that applicants were asked to submit a “current headshot and résumé” points to the fact Orson is part of the growing problem of expecting young actors to pay from their own pockets for their chance to shine in the spotlight.
Other evidence that Orson was using his workshops as a way to find new talent who had paid for the privilege include testimonials from multiple students who were ecstatic that they had been called in for roles on The Secret Circle after participating.
Orson, who claimed to have cancelled the workshops as the result of “a death in my family over the weekend," as opposed to THR's claims, defended his workshop and told THR that it was:
"An educational experience, and not an audition or employment opportunity.“
He went on to tell interviewers that he believed he was offering a positive experience to aspiring actors:
"I have 25 years of experience casting various shows, and I feel that the information provided in an educational setting has been extremely beneficial for actors who are trying to navigate the business. There is a lot to learn other than just auditioning, and our classes have helped numerous actors book roles on other casting directors’ projects.”
Orson went on to state that he had never employed any Vampire Diaries actors from his classes. The CW has declined to comment.
Do you think making new talent pay for auditions is wrong?