Screen Actors Guild is writing to ask you to support California Assembly Bill 1319 (Krekorian D – Burbank). AB 1319 more strictly regulates abusive and misleading practices by talent counseling services, talent listing services and talent training services, many of which demand advance fees from performers. As we know, the promise to secure employment is too often empty and the fees for the purported service can be astounding. Many of these practices are targeted towards young people who dream of a career in the entertainment industry, and who are particularly vulnerable to pressure tactics and scams.
SAG has worked closely with the LA City Attorney’s office, AFTRA, the Better Business Bureau, WGA, the Association of Talent Agents and State Legislators to create language that will protect not only our members, but all performers in California.
AB 1319 prohibits advance fee talent services from charging money upfront and then attempting to procure employment for their clients. This bill also breaks down permissible advance fee services into three sub-categories and enacts stricter rules for all of them, including the posting of a $50,000 bond with the State and the use of unambiguous and clear contracts. The three categories are:
1. Talent listing services (e.g. calling services)
2. Talent counseling services (this category excludes managers. e.g. schools that teach you how to audition)
3. Talent training services—e.g.—schools, classes
AB 1319 includes provisions to regulate internet activities of various businesses; previous advance fee legislation only covered print. This bill inserts language into performer contracts that states that the services cannot procure employment for the performer, as that function is limited to licensed talent agents.
It is imperative that we pass this important piece of legislation in California to protect all performers in this State, especially the children who are most often the target of these companies. Please take a moment and send the letter below to Governor Schwarzenegger expressing your support for AB 1319 which will create a more logical framework within which these advance fee agencies can do business.
Please email or fax your support of the bill to Governor Schwarzenegger:
Fax: (916) 558-3160
Dear Governor Schwarzenegger:
As a proud member of Screen Actors Guild, I am writing to urge you to sign AB 1319, a bill that will limit the operations of advance fee talent services.
Advance fee talent service businesses often create harmful circumstances for actors. The promise to secure employment is too often empty and the fees for the purported service can be astounding. While substantial gains were made with the passage of the Advance Fee Talent Law of 2005, there are still many areas that are being exploited by loopholes and grey areas and AB 1319 is an important step in strengthening protection for performers, particularly young performers.
We applaud your commitment to stopping these scams and tightening the advance fee law to stop the perpetration of these harmful schemes.
Thank you for your support of professional actors.