Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Casting Couch is a Myth

There was one silver lining in my casting-couch cloud: It was the beginning of the end of my slut phase. I learned that I wasn't cut out for whoredom, even if it was a so-called job requirement for young women in the entertainment industry.

I say so called because I now know that the casting couch is a myth.

The couches are real. The casting is not.

Sure Hollywood abounds with rumor after rumor of how this or that star of yesteryear or yesterday rendezvoused with a well-placed studio executive or A-list director.

Maybe hanky-panky opens doors at the top. I've never been there, so I can't say.

But I know the bottom really well. And I know that naked favors never put one single, solitary credit on my resume. Not one. I won every single role fair and square, by hustling like hell to get in the room and then nailing the reading.

Ditto for the many working actors I have come to know. They are busy shooting films, taking classes, dropping off pictures, marketing themselves, networking, driving to the next audition and somehow making enough money to pay for it all. The most successful ones do this day-in, year-out ... for decades. There are no naked shortcuts.

If you don't believe me, and you choose to believe the sleazy con artist du jour who's ordering you to drop trousers "because that's the way it is," then at least exercise some common sense:

  1. Don't be a learn-as-you-go whore, because all you're going to get is screwed. The casting-couch kingpins know exactly how to play you, because they see your type every day. If you don't already know how to play them, you're playing to lose.

  2. Don't perform sexual favors for agents or managers. They don't make casting decisions. And 95 percent of them are every bit as insignificant as you are. If they don't represent stars, they don't matter.

  3. Don't be impressed by tales of self importance. So-called directors, producers or music moguls who haven't had a theatrical release, a top-10 hit, a Sundance smash or a ratings bonanza within the last 2-5 years don't have the power to do anything for you. In fact, they don't have the power to make their own dreams come true.

  4. Don't think that casting directors make pants-down decisions. In fact, don't think that casting directors make casting decisions at all. Most casting directors make recommendations to the people who make casting decisions. They work long hours ... they find actors and agents annoying ... and they tend to be frumpy, grumpy, middle-aged women. All they want is for you to read well and get the hell out of the room.

  5. Don't think it will all be ok when you make it. I know you think that when you're a big star, you'll have more than enough money to pay for a team of therapists or an on-call spiritual guru or enough drugs to erase the memory of how you debased yourself. But if you're anything like 99.99% of the actors who never become a star, you'll never be able to afford the therapy, the guru or the drugs, and you'll never, ever forget.

Ask me. I know.

(Stripper/Casting Couch Diaries Parts 1-17: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17)
(Stripper/Casting Couch Lessons Learned Part 1 of 2: 1 2)

Please "Like" Don't Be a Slut on Facebook or follow on Twitter.

3 comments:

izzie said...

This sounds like the end of the chapter.
Like everything is all tidy and nice in the shelf.
But please do continue... I always learn something from you.
***

Cheron L. Hall said...

sounds like great advice...my sons father is doing really well in hollywood, i was beginning to wonder if he was sharing the "anaconda" with everyone...but, I see he's simply talented, nothing more, nothing less.

Blogger said...

I've just installed iStripper, so I can have the sexiest virtual strippers on my taskbar.

Post a Comment