Recently, I got the following email from one of my Self-Management for Actors course graduates.

Asking for a friend in another market. Ever heard of [COMPANY NAME REDACTED]? They’re charging $1500 for a workshop for a child… no guarantees… in Baltimore. Any dish? Love ya.

The basic thing I always say is “look at the behavior,” because it’s not so much whether or not anyone has heard of the company (since shady people change company names all the time to try and hide from poor BBB ratings or Yelp Reviews) as it is the TYPE of thing they’re doing.

Kids. Minor market. $1500. For WHAT?!? Even the best kid-actor craft coaches in LA would have to be working with someone for nearly a YEAR to rack up $1500 in fees.

I’d point your friends to PARF and have them ask about this company there, if they’re hell-bent on believing in what is being sold to them and really wanna check ’em out, by name. Could this company and what they’re offering be legit? SURE. But the odds aren’t good.

Google the names of the principals in the company. What’s their IMDb presence like? Even in a small market, if they’re teaching “top tier” classes that cost a premium, they’d better have some cred.

Most importantly, if they’re using high-pressure sales tactics to try and close the deal, tell your friends to run. The folks who prey on parents of aspiring kid actors are well-versed in exactly what triggers WORK, and that’s why laws like AB 1319 exist in California. Be ready. These laws will eventually make their way to other states. BizParentz.org is helping to make that happen.

If this company is already living “by the law” (even though they’re in a state where the law doesn’t exist), that’s a great sign. But if they’re trying to milk $1500 out of parents of a young actor who really just needs to take his or her very first craft class in a minor market, tell ’em to clutch their wallet and run away.

Good lookin’ out, my friend. See you at the next Thirsty Third Thursday! 🙂


Bonnie Gillespie is living her dreams by helping others figure out how to live theirs. Wanna work with Bon? Start here. Thanks!


Originally published by Actors Access at http://more.showfax.com/columns/avoice/archives/001644.html. Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.

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