Some Memphis actors have expressed concerns online about Local 24 News' decision to report on the "Showcase of the Rising South," an event in Olive Branch later this month that claims to connect young performers to talent scouts from Los Angeles and New York. According to that article, actors must pay $650 to audition.
Lisa Lax, the CEO of the Lisa Lax Agency, said she has heard of similar setups, but it’s not all legitimate.
“These kinds of things are out there,” Lax said. “They’re always scams. Talent should be auditioning and going out for jobs. The last thing they should be doing is paying [for auditions].”
Nora Childers, a Memphis actress, took to the comments section of the Local 24 News story to voice her concerns.
“You should never pay a talent scout and most certainly should never pay for an audition,” she wrote.
The comment she left appeared to be deleted from the Local 24 News website, but was apparently restored.
“I find it odd that the ‘big name’ producers had no names [in the article],” Childers said. “I believe the matter should be investigated to be sure.”
Angie Grant, the founder of the event, said she's charging because she's bringing scouts to the Memphis area. According to her, the local actors unhappy with her event should do more research before writing
"'If you have to pay money, it's a scam.' That's just not fair," she said. "I understand where they're coming from, because there's a lot of scams that go through this country. If my daughter didn't go to an event like mine, she'd still be in Tupelo. Let's see where they are ten years from now."
According to both Lax and Childers, a typical auditioning process usually begins by submitting headshots to a reputable agency and then going through interviews and booking a gig, which the agency will take a
“In this business, it's easy to tempt others for possible fame,” Childers said. “Yes, these individuals might have some connections, but asking people to pay $650 for a gamble to fame — only saying names
of people they've represented and not giving their own names — sounds pretty shady.”
The story was published online and ran during the evening segments of the broadcast Monday night.