Monday, May 22, 2017

Hollywood Casting Director Dea Vise Kicked Out of Casting Society of America (CSA)

2:39 PM
My video about Dea Vise and the revocation of her CSA membership.

Hey Everyone,

I know this post isn't typical for the type of content I post on Mangotology. However, I want to eventually branch out and discuss other topics and items I am passionate about besides just exposing the Church of Scientology.

 Today's post is about casting director Dea Vise:

Dea Vise

If you haven't already heard, Dea Vise had her membership revoked in the CSA 👎



Excerpt From THR: "Outspoken casting director Dea Vise, a vocal critic of her field’s alleged epidemic of pay-to-play auditioning, the predatory labor practice that in February resulted in misdemeanor charges against more than two dozen practitioners, has had her membership in the Casting Society of America revoked by its executive board. She claims the expulsion is baseless and comes as retaliation for her whistleblowing efforts, while the professional organization has asserted to her that she’s engaged in conduct unbecoming of a member on multiple occasions."

Many actor friends have told me to stay out of it. I have been advised not to discuss or call out the unethical acts of the Casting Society of America, popular TV/Film casting directors, and pay-to-play workshops. Understandably, I'm an actor. It could be detrimental if I call out the behavior of a greedy casting director and they blacklist me from their office. However, I was told the exact same thing would happen to me about speaking out against Scientology. I am an activist, I am a whistleblower, and I don't keep my mouth shut. If that gets me in trouble with others, or makes me not liked with industry professionals (for example), then so be it. I don't want to work for those casting directors then if they are ripping off and taking advantage of others, selling them the dream and lining their own wallets with cash! It's sickening and it's enraged me enough to go public and tell my story about casting director workshops.

Here are two other videos I made about the subject:


and...

Please note I get absolutely nothing out of making these videos. I am not sponsored by Dea Vise. I do not get paid to make videos exposing pay-to-play. I do it because I have been scammed a number of times and have been to numerous workshops in the past. 

As I discuss in my videos above, these workshops are paid audition scenarios and are used by casting directors as a paid pre-read for roles they are currently casting. Many of these casting directors hold dozens of workshops a week and make thousands of dollars off of actors that they should be meeting and networking with for free.

So what happened with Dea Vise and her membership revocation in CSA? 

She did absolutely nothing wrong (in my opinion)!

I take you along the timeline of what happened leading up to the situation. However, if you don't want to watch my video, I will give you all a quick outline of what happened:

Dea made 3 posts that the CSA was unhappy with. They say these post suggest that Dea “acted in an unprofessional or unethical manner” and that she failed to “meet the standards of conduct generally acceptable within the profession.”

1) The first post was Dea asking a question on the CSA closed Facebook group. She had seen a Facebook thread on a luxury auction site called IF ONLY where casting director Sheila Jaffe was selling an audition for a role on one of her projects for a minimum bid of $5,000.


The Facebook thread was slamming Sheila calling her a scam artist and worse, and Dea wanted to see what CSA members thought - in a private group. So she asked “Are we OK with this?” She didn’t accuse Sheila of anything and she even mentioned that she had no idea where the money was going - but the CSA accused Dea of saying Sheila was “pocketing the money” - stealing! - but she never said that. She got slammed for even bringing up the fact that this might make casting directors look bad.

Here’s the IF ONLY thread that made Dea concerned enough to as the question in the first place. Dea was basically trying to warn the CSA of possible bad PR.

https://www.facebook.com/IfOnlycom/posts/1154302254684953

2) The second post was on the Casting Directors for Actors Facebook page (where Dea used to be an admin). The CSA accused Dea of encouraging actors to sue casting directors. But all she did was put up a link to a class-action suit that a lawfirm was considering. She posed text from the law firm class action page, but didn’t say or suggest anything. The title of her post was “FYI." While Dea did not ask any actors to sign up, she still believes that actors should have the right to seek some sort of financial relief if they’re the victims of a scam. And the lawsuit was about suing the workshops, not the casting directors charged.

http://www.slfla.com/712-2/

3) On her own Facebook page, Dea posted that she had suggested that her actor friend - who LOVED casting director Carmen Cuba’s shows - call the office and ask a simple question: “What’s your policy on meeting actors for free in general interviews?” The friend, who called, was hung up on by the assistant who took the call, so Dea said, “I guess Carmen doesn’t do free general interviews.” The CSA said that this was wrong.

The irony is that Dea was doing exactly what the CSA bylaws suggest in their first articles:

Establishing a recognized standard of professionalism in the industry;

Enhancing the stature of the profession in the industry;

The other irony is that the CSA had promoted a Casting Community Defense Fund set up to raise funds to defend the 16 CDs who were charged with a crime.



And the same CSA bylaws that they were quoting to justify Dea’s removal also say this:

"Any member accused of violating any provision of law, acting in an unprofessional or unethical manner, or otherwise failing to meet standards of conduct generally acceptable within the profession, may have their membership revoked.”

I’m not sure how many of these casting directors who were “accused of violating” the law have even had their memberships revoked or even reviews, but the Defense Fund makes it hard to believe that they’re reprimanding the same people they’re raising money for.

Like one guy on Dea’s Facebook page said:

"Here's my opinion. The CSA revoked the membership of Dea Vise because she’s getting closer to the truth about the CSA's institutionalized corruption. It's up to actors to stop this cover-up—which means serious, ongoing grassroots pressure for an investigation into the CSA's denial and obfuscation of the facts. Actors must launch a powerful campaign, not just for Dea's benefit, but to get the truth out. This whole "kill the messenger" tactic smells criminal. Will you speak out to help stop the CSA cover-up?"

I really think they’re trying to cover up their behavior by getting rid of the whistleblowers.

What do you guys think? Have you attended pay-to-play workshops?

Do you think it's fair what they did to Dea Vise? If not, please share this blog post and my video. Make noise and don't be afraid to speak up. The only way to make change is to cause one!

Love,

Steve

My Suicide Attempt After Leaving Scientology

2:16 PM
My YouTube video about my suicide attempt.

Hey Everyone,

I just wanted to share with you how grateful I am that I have all of you in my life. I am so happy to I have my YouTube subscribers and other Scientology watchers who support me and show me so much love. I don't know many friends or other "wogs" who understand the after effects of leaving Scientology and what you go through once you start reclaiming your life again on the outside. So many people write to me everyday and I feel so much love from you all. Thank you! I appreciate every single one of you.

The video speaks for itself. I wanted to share my story with you about losing myself and my identity after leaving Scientology. It wasn't easy to leave and have to re-establish my life. I identified 100% as a Scientologist who was going up The Bridge to Total Freedom. That was a stable thing I had in my life. I always knew if I had a problem that I could always turn to Scientology. Once I left, I didn't know where to turn. I had no faith and I had nowhere to turn.

What if I took my life? What if I ended it all in Las Vegas? If you are suicidal or feeling that way, I know it doesn't seem like it now, but life will get better for you. I'm not in a much better place now than I was then, but I have experienced so much in my life that I wouldn't change it for a world. It shaped me into the person I am today. Only recently have I started to find some joy and zest in life. It's not an overnight process. Find someone you trust to talk to and enlist in a great therapist to give you tools to cope with life. I promise it will help you!

I was going to fully type out my suicide story, but I don't want to dwell on the past. I want to look forward to the future. It's triggering and hard for me to get back into that mindset over and over again. I hope you all understand!

Love,

Steve

How Scientology Rips Off Actors in Hollywood

2:05 PM
YouTube video discussing Scientology & Hollywood

Hey Guys!

After a five year hiatus, I am excited to announce that I am getting back into the entertainment industry as an actor. 

Once I met Jeff back in 2012, I got distracted in love. I fell head over heels, I moved in with him, and we got married a few months later. Then, my business tanked and I went to hairdressing school to obtain a skill. From there, I had to focus on breaking into the hairdressing industry, which is a whole other ballgame and it isn't quite an easy task in Beverly Hills. Lately, I have had some time to myself and I have been really trying to think about what makes me happy. Sure, hairdressing is creative and fun. It just doesn't ignite a fire inside of me like performing does. I need to follow my dream and be able to say one day that at least I tried... but hopefully I will be successful and it'll all work out. It's time that I make 2017 my year and that I work towards becoming a social media star and TV actor.

It's not going to be easy. I've already dealt with rejection and a ton of no's this year already! It was a bit of a let down when you get rejected 100 times and feel that no one is interested in you. I may not be the best actor in the world, the most handsome, or the most in shape. I am, however, very unique, quirky, and I am different. That is what will set me aside from all of the other white 20 males in Hollywood and hopefully land me a few roles. I hope that there are comedic roles that can help me get discovered! I love doing comedy. Luckily, I signed with both a new talent manager and TV/Film agent and they are submitting me on the Breakdowns. I am also, in preparation, going to get in a diet and lose 10-15lbs in the next couple weeks before I shoot my new acting headshots and demo reel scenes. I want to give myself the best chance possible to market myself in the entertainment world. I spent a few years of full-time pursuit when I was around 18 years old. However, I am a different person than I was then, I am more talented, and I think now I have a much better shot than I did when I first moved to Hollywood. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

As I have recently signed back up for casting websites, I've noticed Scientology is back up to their same bait-and-switch tactics in recruiting actors. Not many people have experience with regard to insider knowledge on this and also with regard to the Celebrity Centre. 

Here is what Scientology does:

They take out big glossy ads in actor trade papers such as Backstage or on the casting sites such as Actors Access. They advertise things such as "Breaking Into The Industry" or "How To Book Television Commercials" to lure in the new, unsuspecting actors. These workshops may be free or cost a small amount, usually $20-30. They will be hosted by a Scientologist in the entertainment industry, such as a working actor or a casting director. It's a total bait-and-switch.



When you show up to the workshop, they will spend a few minutes discussing basic Google-able ways to break into Hollywood, such as mailing headshots to agents and trying to make connections with casting directors. From there, they will go around the room and find out what is "ruining" you and what is holding you back in life. Scientology is always presented as the answer to this problem. Scientology registrars appear in the room and you are sold a $50 book course. This is your first introduction into Scientology and you will spend years fighting to get off of their mailing lists and to get them to leave you alone. Is that worth hearing you need to mail your headshot to an agent to get discovered?

Scientology will also try to cast you on their projects!

Scientology will also post casting notices for their internal films and videos. These will be non-union projects that typically pay anywhere from $200-400. These castings will take place at the Church of Scientology.


From here, you will go to an audition at the Celebrity Centre. You will be offered a tour to learn more about Scientology. You may be taken to a registrars office to sign up for a course. It all depends on if they feel you are someone they can take advantage of and someone they can get to join their organization. It's always a hard-sell tactic to get you to cave in to sign up.

Also...

Why doesn't Scientology use Union actors? Why are they using Non-Union actors for a few hundred dollars? Union actors get paid around $800-1,200 a day plus mileage, food, and overtime. There are certain rules the production has to follow for hiring Union talent. Scientology can get away with using actors as slave labor on these productions and pay them a flat $200 rate. It's ridiculous!

Feel free to check out my video and my YouTube channel if you'd like to learn more about what Scientology is doing to others.

Until Next Time...

Steve