When first breaking into the business, every opportunity for any aspiring actor, model or singer is a gamble. The road to being in the spotlight is filled with gigs that aren’t exactly what they seem. Anyone in the entertainment biz needs to educate themselves on all the scams they may encounter before they hit it big.
Hollywood Scam Artists
Casting calls are equivalent to coveted job interviews. A posting on the Internet, a flyer stapled on a telephone pole or an ad in the local newspaper announces a new reality TV show is searching for undiscovered talent. The producers ask for a headshot, resume and a fee. Be warned: some casting calls asking for a payment may be phony auditions for parts that don’t even exist. These unscrupulous casting calls come under different guises—some may use scripted shows, others use game shows or movies. Or, they say a new show needs to hire an initial cast or there’s a rush for immediate auditions, according to backstage.com. Some scammers hold fake auditions for shows that are already on air or movies that are already in production. Others may inflate casting calls by taking details from a show or, they may simply recycle old notices and change the dates. Also, any fee charged for a chance to meet and read for casting agents and directors in a classroom setting may be a violation of SAG-AFTRA Rule 11.
Play a Proactive Role
Before unlocking any access to potential scammers, those seeking stardom must practice their own due diligence. Researching and being in-the-know of underhanded practices can stop any future A-lister from being the victim of a scam. Here are a few more things to watch out for:
- The business, manager or casting agency asks for an upfront fee. Casting agents are the ones paid to look for talent—not the other way around. Managers should only be paid commission based on the work they secure. Be warned of producers promising roles in exchange for funding the project. You must learn to protect yourself from situations like this. LifeLock’s identity guard can be a preventive measure if one unknowingly shares sensitive financial information to a dishonest party. The company’s multi-faceted, online approach to identity theft and fraud protection can give anyone looking for their big break a sense of security knowing their hard-earned resources are being received by the appropriate audience.
- Companies advertising for inclusion in a national database of pictures to be used in future projects that film in different parts of the country, generally where SAG has no background jurisdiction and where filming rarely takes place. These companies charge a fee to be listed, stating those in the database will be notified if a film is coming to the area. Some companies may request money be sent to ‘hold’ a place in the film.
- Casting call scammers claiming to be affiliated with a network, organization or Better Business Bureau. Double check the BBB site to verify any rating or accreditation. Research the casting website or agency online—Google it, ask others in the industry, go on Yelp. If it’s a scam, chances are there are warnings about it.
- Companies that don’t have professional websites. Check the production company’s website. Shows in development may not have a dedicated website, but the production company working on it should. Verify show details and staff names.
- Other red flags? Agencies requesting professional photos being taken only with a specific photographer, requests for payment via cash or money order and calls being accepted until late in the night, according to the FTC.
If you’re like me and you work behind the scenes in Hollywood and you’re not in a union or work for a large TV network, you most likely are not being provided employer funded health care. Up until now, if you did have any insurance, you were probably paying more than $250 a month at least, just for basic coverage as an individual. That’s a lot of money to shell out per month, especially if you’re only making $500 to $800 a week. Most people I know that are floundering in the ranks of pa’s and production coordinator status, most likely don’t even consider having health insurance as an option, it’s just too expensive for people like us.
But guess what, the ACA is the perfect program for the rank and file of the Hollywood entertainment industry. If you’re making less than $44,000 a year the government will subsidize a large portion of your monthly health premium. Let’s say you only make $17,000 a year as a PA. Being one myself for a long time I know that’s a possibility your first few years in the biz. Jumping from job to job and having long spats of unemployment can make for some lean years when you’re just getting started. But you still like to have fun don’t you? You still go snowboarding, hiking or biking, but what happens when you get injured when you have no insurance in those early days. You end up putting it on a credit card or borrowing money from friends and that just make’s life harder going into debt so soon in your Hollywood life.
If you make less than $17,000 a year the government will subsidize roughly 80% of your monthly premium. So, basically that means if you get a policy that costs $250 a month the US government will cover $200 of it, leaving you with a monthly bill of $50 for full health coverage. You can’t beat that. You may not like Obama, but you should like the Affordable Care Act. You have until Mar 31st, 2014 to sign up for this year, otherwise you will be fined around $99 bucks when you do your taxes for 2014 and you won’t be able to requalify for government funded cash subsidies again until Oct. So what are you waiting for, there’s free money on the table and it’s all yours for the taking. Get covered today. Whether your making less than $17,000 a year or less than $40,000 a year there is cash available to you to help with those monthly health care premiums.
Check out what you can save at https://www.coveredca.com/
Grant it, there are certain cases where Obama Care is having a negative effect on individuals and families who already have quality health insurance, but that’s not us. Obama Care was designed for people like us, individuals who are struggling financially because of an uncertain job market and or are being left behind by employers who don’ give a crap about their employees because they are money grubbing whores. That’s Hollywood life in a nutshell, so hop on the ACA train and get some peace of mine by letting someone else pay for a portion of your health care. I promise, it feels good to be a taker for a change and by the way, it’s the law…
Hollywood careers are projected to grow due to strong public demand for film and television content, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While you can get started in many exciting Hollywood careers without a college degree, you should have a high school diploma. Begin a high school online degree program as a way to quickly finish your high school degree if you did not graduate. Having your diploma will earn you both more respect and more money—$338,000 more according to Peen Foster—in these positions. Then you’ll be ready to move to the land of the stars and start job hunting!
Hollywood image by sfxeric via Flickr.
1. Production intern
Interning on a TV or film set as a production intern gives you a good eye for what it’s like to work with Hollywood types. If you know you want to be in the entertainment industry but aren’t yet sure what job you really want, this can help you narrow your focus. Identify opportunities by looking on job boards, or by approaching people you know in the industry to see whether you can help out on one of their next projects.
2. Stand-up comedian
Hollywood has a thriving comedy scene, and you never know what studio bigwig will be in the audience looking for fresh new faces. The stand-up scene has sets the bar low bar for entry, but you must be willing to get up on stage and bomb. Write and rewrite jokes until you feel they’re funny, drawing on your own life, national events and pop culture for material. Next, practice your material on your friends and family members, seeking advice on delivery and timing. When you feel ready, attend open mic nights at local comedy clubs and do your act. As you improve, you’ll be invited to come onstage and given more stage time, building a presence and recognition. Stephen Merchant found success, and recommends budding comedians keep writing to stay sharp.
3. Stunt double
If you’re an adrenaline junkie, you could Continue reading »
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Display your Demo Reel on our Hollywood website for $5 for a two-week showcase.
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We have an exciting opportunity for you here on the Hollywood Oracle website. See the ‘Get Discovered’ section on our sidebar on the lower right side of every page of our site. We’ll, do you wanna see your demo reel there for the whole world to see? Now’s your chance! For a limited time we will be offering you a opportunity to showcase your talents for two-weeks at a time for only $5. That’s right, I said only $5. Imagine telling all your friends that your work reel is on a Hollywood entertainment website for all to see.
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DID YOU KNOW THAT ALCOHOL MIXED WITH DIET SODA RAISES YOUR BAC LEVELS FASTER THAN REGULAR SODA?
Wondering why and how your BAC levels were so high when you got that DUI awhile back? Did you ever Consider that maybe it was because of the mixer you were using for your drink. A recent medical journal article just published cites a recent test that was conducted on this very subject. The results are pretty amazing and scary.
The study found an 18% variation in BAC levels when using one or the other. That’s a difference of blowing a .o77 or a .091. That’s the difference of getting a DUI or not getting one..
For more on this study and the reasons why this happens check out the complete article over on www.dui-colorado-dwi.com or you can just click the story link here… Diet Soda DUI’s : Diet Soda Can Cause Inflated BAC Levels Up To 18% Higher
It has been said that only a musician will pile $5,000 worth of equipment into a $500 car to drive 50 miles for a $50 paycheck. They do it for the love of performing, and when the music bug bites, these talented performers have to follow their muse wherever it takes them. Regrettably, not all those chasing the muse have the requisite talent for the race, and a career in the already competitive music industry may seem way out of reach for many. If the music industry beckons, but you don’t have the talent to make it on stage, there are still any number of musical career options open to help feed your need to join the entertainment industry. Indeed, it’s possible to carve out a niche within the industry that can lead to careers earning six figures or more, or you might be able to chase your passion by participating in a related industry that has you hob-knobbing with your favorite stars without needing to be able to decipher a musical note.
While entry level positions as a recording engineer don’t command envious salaries, if you have the requisite skills to collaborate with an artist, it’s possible to earn well into the six figures once you have carved out a name for yourself. Sound engineers have the ability to use electronic equipment to record, preserve or improve the musical sounds that are used on CDs, at concerts and on radio and television productions. Indeed, sound engineers play a critical role in ensuring that the music gets made and sounds great.
Disc jockeys spin the tunes that get the room hopping and set the mood that only skillfully selected music can create. If you enjoy delivering the music that stirs up a crowd, you may like a career in musical broadcasting. As a DJ at your local radio station, you will entertain listeners with a blend of music, commentary, reporting and more. DJs have the opportunity to engage the public on a daily basis and their position puts them into close proximity with the musical stars that they admire so much.
If you have the skills to make a splash in the music industry, but perhaps not the presence to be a headliner, the worlds of session musicians are available. While not typically a permanent member of a musical ensemble, session players provide critical support in live shows and recording sessions. The need for session players transcends musical genres and openings can be found in such varying fields as rock, jazz, classical, reggae or more.
Learning Your Craft and Building Your Skills
Earning your stripes in the musical world can be difficult, but whether you’re classically trained in the performing arts or your experience was built on the back of your high school garage band experience, there are plenty of places to burnish your musical resume. From Juilliard School of Dance and Music or PinnacleCollege.edu music engineering program, it’s easy to get the training you need to live your dream of working in the musical industry.
Not Unlike The Ming Dynasty of the 1600’s, the Laker’s Dynasty of the Late 90’s and that Tv Series Dynasty in the 80’s, all good things must come to an end. Or in this case, implode on itself in such a fashion, many people may be left scratching their hillbilly beards and wondering why in the hell was I watching this crap show in the first place.
In case you missed it, Phil Robertson, the family patriarch was quoted in a recent interview with GQ magazine making anti-gay remarks. Remarks that are so severe I think they will cause the down fall of one of Tv’s most watched shows in A&E’s history. I wonder which advertiser will jump ship first. At least have the intelligence God supposedly gave to you to wait till after the holidays. You can’t walk by an aisle end-cap in any store these days without being forced to look at those 3 hillbilly’s hocking some piece of merchandise. Good luck selling that crap now!
Good bye duck whistle, duck t-shirt, duck hat, duck book, duck mug, duck chia pet and my favorite, duct tape. That’s right, these idiots have their faces on Duct Tape Rolls. Maybe Mr. Robertson should of used some of that trade-marked tape and taped his f’ing mouth shut.
Back to the tree-blinds you go my 3 amigos. Where no one will ever see or hear your dumb-asses again. The only Duck I want to see or hear from this day forward on TV is from the cute little duck that says Afflaaacck…