Yes, the "casting couch" does exist in Hollywood -- for women and men. Most of the time casting sessions are legit (governed by union guidelines), but not always.
So how do you know going in to a casting situation that it's shady? Good question. Rarely is "must sleep with me" on the breakdown sheets. So girls, here are some warning signs. Yes, they are facetious but also true.
You may find yourself in a casting couch situation…
… when the casting session is held in an apartment in Pacoima.
… when there’s no script.
… when the producer’s first question is “Will you sign this document verifying you’re 18?”
… when the project is the MOTHER TERESA STORY and you’re told nudity is involved.
… when you Google the producer and it takes you to SmokingGun.com.
… when he’d prefer not dealing with your agent because he’s an artist not a businessman.
… when there’s no one else in the room.
… when you learned about the casting session from a handwritten note on the bulletin board at Safeway.
… when there are bars on the windows of his office.
… when he has seven video cameras in his office and one is built into the floor.
... when he wears an ankle monitor.
… when you’re the only one there to audition.
… when you recognize him from BIG BROTHER.
… when the script is CHINATOWN by Robert Towneger.
… when it’s a student film but the director is 60.
… when you feel the least bit suspicious for ANY REASON.
I hope you never find yourself in one of these situations. Best of luck. And I look forward to seeing you one day in a real casting session, where you have a drive-on to the lot and everything!
NOTE: This was a modified re-post.