More than 90 members of the Casting Society of America have signed an open letter decrying the LA City Attorney’s “misguided” prosecution of the operators of five local casting workshops – and 18 casting directors – accused of charging actors for auditions in violation of the state’s Talent Scam Prevention Act of 2009. If convicted of the misdemeanor, each could face up to a year in jail and a $10,000 fine.

The City Attorney brought the charges in February, and in March, Bradley Sachs, owner of the Actor’s Alley casting workshop, pleaded no contest to one count of charging actors for an audition or employment opportunity, a violation of the California Labor Code. Sachs was placed on 36 months probation and had to pay for the cost of the investigation – which included an actor working undercover.

Saying in their letter that the Los Angeles City Attorney’s efforts in the case are “misguided,” and that his office “does not understand the workshop or actor training industry,” the signers insisted that “These casting professionals are honest, hard-working people, who do not deserve to be treated as criminals.”

They also claim that a fair and speedy trial of their accused colleagues “has seemingly been stalled through unfair delays by the City Attorney.”

Here’s their letter in full, signed by 90 members of the CSA.

An Open Letter Regarding Casting Workshops
August 21, 2017

You may be aware of the ongoing criminal cases brought against Casting Directors and Associates by the Los Angeles City Attorney. The following is the response of the Casting Community.

Casting Directors and Associates have always been and will continue to be advocates and champions for actors. An actor’s success is our success.

Casting professionals have first-hand knowledge as to what it takes for an actor to be successful at auditions. Many Casting Directors and Associates choose to work with actors outside of the office, teaching the skills unique to the audition process. Some offer private coaching, some teach ongoing acting classes, and some conduct workshops and seminars to bridge the gap between learning acting technique and the real-world tools needed to succeed.

The educational purpose of workshops has been clearly delineated to actors and casting professionals for years. Workshops are not an audition or employment opportunity. As teachers and advisors, Casting Directors and Associates provide a wide range of valuable expertise that is not available through traditional academic training.

The Los Angeles City Attorney’s office does not understand the workshop or actor training industry as evidenced by their actions over the last six months. While we would normally support any endeavor to protect actors, it has become clear after learning more about the cases brought against respected and honorable casting professionals that the City Attorney’s attempt at protecting actors is misguided.

We believe that our casting colleagues are innocent and deserve the opportunity to a fair and speedy trial, which has seemingly been stalled through unfair delays by the City Attorney. These casting professionals are honest, hard-working people, who do not deserve to be treated as criminals. It is the actor’s right to freely choose how to get professional advice from those who work in the field. Distorting that educational interaction into a crime is wrong.

As members of the casting community and the entertainment industry, we stand in support and solidarity with our friends and colleagues. We hope for a swift end to their trials and to the restoration of their good names.

Sande Alessi, CSA
Nick Anderson, CSA
Julie Ashton, CSA
Ani Avetyan
Jeanie Bacharach
Deborah Barylski, CSA
Krysti Baxter, CSA
Lisa Beach
Tineka Becker
Erica Berger
Linda Berger, CSA
Mayank Bhatter
Tammara Billik, CSA
Susan Bluestein, CSA
Judith Bouley, CSA
Deedee Bradley, CSA
Muffett Brinkman
Corbin Bronson, CSA
Krisha Bullock, CSA
Jackie Burch, CSA
Melanie Burgess, CSA
Tracy Twinkie Byrd, CSA
Kate Caldwell, CSA
Ferne Cassel, CSA
Kendra Castleberry, CSA
Jamie Castro, CSA
Joey Cee
Denise Chamian, CSA
Jonathan Clay Harris, CSA
Kim Coleman, CSA
Hannah d’Angerio, CSA
Collin Daniel, CSA
Leah Daniels-Butler, CSA
Arlie Day, CSA
Liz Dean, CSA
Joanne DeNaut, CSA
Rachel Dill, CSA
Michael Donovan, CSA
Donna Ekholdt, CSA
Felicia Fasano, CSA
Barbara Fiorentino, CSA
Dean Fronk, CSA
Cathy Sandrich Gelfond, CSA
Scott Genkinger, CSA
Katrina Wandel George, CSA
Brad Gilmore, CSA
Meredith Goble
Suzanne Goddard-Smythe, CSA
Libby Goldstein, CSA
Jeremy Gordon, CSA
Jeff Greenberg, CSA
Harriet Greenspan, CSA
Brett Greenstein, CSA
Pamela Guest, CSA
Jeff Hardwick, CSA
Natalie Hart, CSA
Justine Hempe
Sherie Hernandez, CSA
Allen Hooper
Julie Hutchinson, CSA
Sabrina Hyman, CSA
Jane Jenkins, CSA
Joey Paul Jensen, CSA
Jason Kennedy, CSA
James Kim
Sibby Kirchgessner, CSA
Thom Klohn, CSA
Linda Lamontagne, CSA
John Frank Levey, CSA
Sharon Lieblein, CSA
Caroline Liem, CSA
Beth Lipari, CSA
Robin Lippin, CSA
Junie Lowry Johnson, CSA
Janice Maiorana
Helen McCready, CSA
Garrett McGuire, CSA
Rick Millikan, CSA
Billy Murphy, CSA
Lordan Napoli
Michael Nicolo, CSA
Wendy O’Brien, CSA
Greg Orson, CSA
Cami Patton, CSA
Tim Payne, CSA
Donald Pemrick, CSA
Stacey Pianko, CSA
Katie Piel, CSA
Susan Putnam, CSA
Amey Rene, CSA
Paul Ruddy, CSA
Mark Rutman
Laura Schiff, CSA
Emily Schweber, CSA
Alyson Silverberg , CSA
Sherry Sims, CSA
Jamie Snow, CSA
Catherine Stroud, CSA
Chadwick Struck
Stacey Tenenbaum, CSA
Angela A. Terry, CSA
Jennifer K.M. Treadwell, CSA
Dava Waite, CSA
Paul Weber, CSA
Wendy Weidman, CSA
Jason L. Wood, CSA
Charles Wright, CSA
Lisa Zambetti, CSA
Gary Zuckerbrod, CSA