Caveat Emptor: CD Workshops

I hate to POINT THE FINGER, but in an effort to protect my actors, I will tell you this: Please do your research when you are signing up for “Casting Director Workshops,” especially when the CD is a big wig. I was recently burned by NEXT DIMENSION PRODUCTIONS. They brought a CD from LA into town for an all day workshop in an effort to help actors’ “improve their craft” and “take it to the next level.” Blah, blah, blah. The workshop was a COMPLETE WASTE OF MY TIME, aside from the fact that I got to catch up with an old friend and meet a few new people. The only good thing about the workshop was their preparation, which got us material (sides) in advance (and a fairly nice selection) for our rehearsal. When it was my turn to perform for the CD, the feedback was basically, “nice job.” I got to do it one fucking time. Excuse my language, younger readers.

I am a sucker.

Don’t be like me.

Oh, and I will mention a few CDs I like – Nike Imoru and Paul Weber.

6 thoughts on “Caveat Emptor: CD Workshops

  1. There are two reasons to take a CD’s workshop; 1. to learn more about and hone your skills at the process and 2. to meet and establish a relationship with the CD. Agents will frequently push actors to take workshops for both these reasons. If you are relatively inexperienced, #1 is a good reason to take it and if you have a disposable $50-$250, #2 certainly doesn’t hurt. However, keep in mind that, if this person is truly an experienced Casting Director, this is only a gig to pay the bills between jobs they REALLY want to do-they’re not really here to be educators. Combine that with the number of people in the class and you’ll be lucky to get ANY 1 on 1 time with them. Also, they end up seeing hundreds of people at these events (possibly thousands over the course of a year) so it’s highly unlikely you’re going to stick in their mind. For myself, an established Seattle Casting Director (one of the Big Three) had announced their workshop and my agent suggested I take it but I had auditioned for and gotten work through them previously so at my next audition I asked if I should take it and they told me no, that I didn’t need it. I’ve always found that, as long as it isn’t a constant habit and the question is short and to the point, most Casting Directors will be decent folks and give you a straight answer. So if you don’t have that cash to spare (and who does? no, seriously, who does, I want to meet them!) just ask first.

  2. CD workshop that is 1000% worth your time and time, Nike Imoru!!! I have taken a couple workshops and one private session with Nike, all three were helpful, informative, hands-on and worth every penny.

  3. I and a number of my classmates were also recently burned by Next Dimension Productions. Waste of five hours of my time, and they did not deliver what they advertised. In this case, they should not be entitled to our money. I cannot understand how this bigwig casting director has associated herself with the two guys running NDP.

      • Hi David,

        I really enjoy following your blog. Thanks for all the insightful info and inspiration. Just wanted to give you a heads up, I noticed Next Dimension is returning to Seattle – http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Acting-Class-with-Glee-Supernatural-Casting-Director-UDK-Casting-Associate-Alex-Newman-.html?soid=1104150309243&aid=-mJf66QJTSk

        After several unsuccessful emails with them I finally decided to dispute their workshop with my credit card company (it’s still ongoing). I did notice one thing on their flyer though, they removed the sentence that promised everyone will receive an individual evaluation. That was the very reason I spent the big bucks and one reason why I’m disputing. Rather than honor that sentence, it seems they’ve chosen to delete it so it’s easier to escape responsibility in case others may wish to dispute. Hate to see anyone else get burned.

      • Thanks for writing, Georgi.

        Yes, I heard that they were coming back to Seattle as well. This time, they are limiting the enrollment to 16, which should help, but I think they are an extremely unethical outfit, and your experience supports my opinion. Be well, continue your work, and follow your passion!

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