Misleading Casting

Hi all!

I recently applied for a casting (not on CCP) which listed the character description as "Lady who uses her charm and intelligence to prove her innocence" in what was described as an "enthralling thriller unravelling towards a dramatic conclusion". After being invited to audition I went back and read all the details again (there wasn't much else other than some filming dates, location etc). Maybe I was naive, but I took “charm and intelligence” as a character driven role…

At the casting the warning signs began: Bizarre, in-the-sticks location; I was the only person in the waiting room and I had to wait an hour to be seen. All this I didn't mind so much, such is casting sometimes.

When I eventually got seen I was given a synopsis of the film, which, in my opinion, equated to little more than soft porn. Every scene featured gratuitous sex surrounding very little plot. The character I was auditioning for needed several nudity scenes and performed a variety of sexual acts until the "dramatic conclusion"... a threesome.

Now, I'm no prude, but had the character description read "will need to be nude, has lots of sex scenes" etc, I would not have applied in the first place, thus wasting nobody's time.

What is the point in not disclosing information that may put off actors once they're there?

There were several other incidents throughout the whole process which didn't ring professional and made me feel uncomfortable, so I've written off the whole incident as experience. It annoys me that (a lot) of my time was wasted and that I was made to feel difficult by stating bluntly after reading the story that I wasn't prepared to do what was necessary.

I know people don't want their whole script broadcast to everyone pre-casting, but essential information (such as getting your privates out!!) is surely a necessity?!


  • 4 years ago
  • 5,627
  • 16
Julie Hoult
Actor

Non disclosure - you said it - and they should be absolutely....too many fighting words to share on CCP!!
I just want to also share that there was an advert in which I was cast etc and was very pleased to get it and at the last moment the finalized details came through, in fact the day before the shoot and I said 'NO' simply that job/credit/character was not going on my CV - Equity has been contacted because this company needs to be taught a lesson, also to retrieve loss of earnings - A casting is not a guessing game what I mean is that the important outline should be divulged right at the beginning from the comapny and not written as a tease to lure you in! Your audition was totally unacceptable and you should have walked the moment your gut instinct talked to you and for them to leave you waiting for an hour before being seen...You are a business lady like me and I would never expect you to wait an hour to see me....! Best to you


  • 9 years ago
  • 1

That is in no way acceptable. From their description of the character I would not have expected what you were then faced with in the script at the audition.
To me it smacks of deliberately keeping the sex part of the film quiet in the hope that anyone who came to audition would then be coerced into accepting the role, especially as you say you were made to feel that you were being difficult about it.
Personally I think you should inform both CCP & Equity of this "production Company" & their methods of listing castings & handling auditions. As who knows how many other poor young ladies were put in that unpleasant situation.
I personally have no issue with nudity or sex in a film so long as it is pertinent to the story & adds something, but as you say this sounded simply like soft porn, but regardless of why the nudity/sex is in a scene it should ALWAYS be mentioned in the casting breakdown.


  • 9 years ago
  • 2
Heather Rome
Actor

I agree with everything Julie has written. I recently auditioned for a short film that will include some fairly graphic-appearing sex scenes. It was stated at the outset that this was part of the script, that every effort would be made to keep the situation professional and the actors comfortable.

Professionals know that other professionals need a certain amount of information to make informed decisions in whatever profession. The entertainment industry shouldn't be any different but alas, it does lend itself more easily to this kind of stuff. If in doubt, ask lots of questions beforehand. If they get snotty or impatient over that, just imagine what it might be like to actually work with them! And always have you "exit" strategy mapped out. Try not to rely on someone giving you a lift to a train station, etc.


  • 9 years ago
  • 3
Dan Gregory
Actor

I also think that in Jessie's case a friendly call to the police would not be out of order.


  • 9 years ago
  • 4
Rob Talbot
Actor

Back to the original question:

"What is the point in not disclosing information that may put off actors once they're there?"

Simple answer to that, probably: they are not paying for your time and travel to the auditions.

The one that grates me the most is when, on arrival, an assistant discloses "The shooting dates will now be dd/mm/yyyy, are you free?"


  • 9 years ago
  • 5

CCP might not let you name and shame o here but I think people would like to know who to avoid and you could use BAN (British Actors Network) on Facebook.

Glad you got out of it safely.


  • 9 years ago
  • 6
User Deleted
This profile has been archived

It's a waste of everyone's time if they have a misleading casting and they should have stated the nudity aspect. There are enough performers who are very happy to work with nudity if it is stated at the time of application.


  • 9 years ago
  • 7

I was also invited to this casting, however not though this site. I completely agree the brake down was completely miss leading. I wad Invited by e-mail and somthing didnt sit right, do i did some googleing of the company prior to the casting, and didn't like what I saw/ lack of internet presence, so I did'nt go. im so sorry you had this exprince this. Deffeitly get in touch with equity, just to keep them aware.


  • 9 years ago
  • 8

P.s sorry for bad spelling / grammar I'm dyslexic not helped by phone


  • 9 years ago
  • 9
Sean O'Neil
Actor

Jessie:

Sorry to hear of this experience. Hopefully it wasn't a complete waste of time as you've likely learned something from it.

Just a suggestion, I tend to avoid general, non-descript breakdowns that provide little information beyond a confirmation that somebody is making a film. You can glean a lot through omission, primarily (for myself at least) that you probably don't want to work with people who can't even be bothered to put out a decent breakdown.

Also, even when things sound about right on the breakdown, when I apply I always ask to see a script if it's available. Aside from giving it my consideration as a potential project, it also tells you something about the status of the production. When someone has a good script, they're confident enough to provide it to interested parties. When their script is a mess, incomplete or non-existent, they are less likely to provide it.

All the best in acting and in life.


  • 9 years ago
  • 10
Keith Hill
Actor

@Dan: I absolutely share your outrage on Jessie's behalf, but I don't at this point see any criminal offence made out; though several possibly down the line. Did you have anything specific in mind?

Generally, I supsoe we can all learn from this. In ervy case research, if in any doubt get advice, and alweays make sure your agent knows where you're going.

Jesie: so glad you got out of it safely.


  • 9 years ago
  • 11
Vicki Glover
Actor

Sean - do you often get sent scripts when you ask? I have had experiences in the past where I have asked for one after having been offered the role and not been sent one! In some cases people have wanted me to sign up for the film and commit myself before they will send me a script. I have also been made to feel like I'm being awkward when I ask for one. I find it difficult because I of course don't want to be 'the awkward one' but I see no harm in asking for a script, especially as I usually say I'm happy to sign an NDA if necessary :( and it makes me uncomfortable to be asked to commit to something when I'm not 100% sure what I'm committing to. A synopsis is not enough as it doesn't give you a proper feel for the script and characters.

Re the original posting - drives me crackers. I kind of work on the basis that I won't be 100% sure whether I'm comfortable with the content until I've seen the script, because nudity/sex scenes/whatever are different dependent on the context. That said, I expect anything potentially controversial to be disclosed at application stage. I went to an audition a while ago and the first thing they asked me when I walked in (before I'd done my monologue or read the script, and after driving for around 2 hours to be there) was "By the way, are you comfortable with nudity?" I explained that it wasn't a deal-breaker but I would need to see the script before I could commit one way or another, but in my head I was thinking, "Well, nudity isn't a definite deal-breaker - but the fact that you've waited until I've travelled all the way here to mention it may well be..." It also totally threw me as I wasn't expecting it.


  • 6 years ago
  • 12

Hi Vicky,

Any decent director or casting director would send you the script after you've been offered the part, so don't feel guilty asking for it. Don't feel guilty either asking for more information about the character, theme and story before auditioning because London is not cheap; committing to an audition means time and money since almost always you'll have to pay for transport and there is so much bad writing out there that it is imperative you have as much information you can before auditioning for them

I would say only about 5 to 10 percent of auditions posted in the Opportunity section are really worth it so if they never reply to you after you have asked for more info then don't even bother.

Jessie,

Alarm bells should be ringing from the moment you read the character description; that sounded like someone trying to make a splash and not really interested in characters.


  • 6 years ago
  • 13

Hon - this absolutely sounds dodge. Completely. I had an experience like this right out of drama school. I reported them to spotlight, equity, the stage and the casting website it appeared on pronto.
Please do the same.
Sorry you had to go through that.
x


  • 6 years ago
  • 14
Vicki Glover
Actor

Thanks Sebastian :)


  • 6 years ago
  • 15
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