How to tell if a company is legitimate
As actors we are lucky enough to live in the current age, where technology makes it possible for anyone to make films and the internet means we are able to communicate easily with a diverse range of people who share our interests. Unfortunately, as the internet has made the world smaller so too has it made it easier to fall into a dark alley, with a dodgy man offering shady deals.
Unfortunately, as it can be so difficult to make a career out of the arts, there are many companies attempting to exploit optimism, by offering opportunities which seem too good to be true.
This exploitation can take a range of forms and it can often be hard to tell genuine companies from scams. However, whilst the internet is a source of this problem, it is also the best solution. The internet makes it easy to do checkups on companies before you ever have to meet them. A quick glance at a website, a showreel or a Facebook page can give a massive insight into the legitimacy of a potential employer.
Furthermore, if there doesn't seem to be any reviews, it is easy to seek them out. The internet is full of networks of actors, from Facebook to Casting Call Pro, don't be afraid to ask your peers if they have ever had any dealings with a specific company. The majority of people will be only too eager to assist and can massively help to put your fears to rest or give you the benefit of their experience in which companies to steer clear of.
The best advice for telling if a company is legitimate is to use your instincts, the old cliche that if it appears to be too good then it probably is, have a look at their online presence and then finally, seek out reviews from your fellow artists.
Remember, if you decide to take a risk, always be safe and let someone know where you are, and remember that you are perfectly free to walk away if a company makes you feel uncomfortable or attempts to take advantage of you.