Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Casting Director Fights Open Call Fees

I have to applaud local casting director, Kevin Fennessy on this one! Unfortunately people are too willing to pay because they believe if they do, they will become A list actors tomorrow.


Local casting agent/actor fights open-call fee
By Mark Shanahan & Meredith Goldstein
Globe Staff / November 25, 2009

It may be a while before Bay State actors and extras get back to work. A spate of high-profile films - including “The Town,’’ “The Zookeeper,’’ and “Knight & Day’’ - have all wrapped in recent weeks, and there are no new projects on the horizon.

But just as upsetting to some local actors is the arrival of a new casting firm that charges wannabe screen stars to attend open calls. Mullen/Kalivoda Casting, which is based in Florida, charges $25 for an open call, a practice frowned on by other local casting agents.

“I took it upon myself to make a stand,’’ said Kevin Fennessy, a local casting agent and actor. Fennessy has started a Facebook group, “Kevin Fennessy’s Plea: Stop the Madness (Unnecessary/Excessive Actor Expenses),’’ which has so far attracted 434 members.

He objects to M/K Casting’s practice of charging a fee for open calls, something established local casting agents Angela Peri of Boston Casting and Carolyn Pickman of CP Casting have never done. “Twenty-five dollars just to show up and register in their database?’’ says Fennessy, who cast local actors in “The Perfect Storm,’’ “Mona Lisa Smile,’’ and “Stuck on You,’’ among other films. “Do you have to pay to fill out an application at McDonald’s?’’

M/K Casting did not return our calls or e-mails yesterday. Although no movies are shooting here in the near future, M/K held open calls in Lowell and Natick in recent weeks

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