More No Contest Pleas in Pay-to-Play Audition Scandal

Courtesy of Gary Baum
L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer (center), announcing pay-to-play audition indictments on Feb. 9

L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer now tallies six such agreements with indicted members of the casting community as multiple courthouse proceedings continue to unfold.

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer secured no contest pleas on Tuesday from three more figures who were indicted earlier this year in a pay-to-play audition scandal that has engulfed the entertainment industry. The agreements now number six since the crackdown began in February. Other cases are still ongoing.

Among the newest to plea are Katherine Shaw, owner of the since-shuttered Actor’s Key — once the largest casting workshop business in the region — who admitted to violating California’s Krekorian Talent Scam Prevention Act. Like casting director and former Actor’s Link owner Scott David, who previously pled no contest, The Actor's Key, LLC, which pled guilty, itself admitted to charging an undercover actor for auditions that function as employment opportunities. (These acknowledgements constitute the first time such workshop firms have confessed to selling job interviews.) She must perform 50 hours of community service.

Meanwhile, as part of her own plea deal reached on the same day, casting director Nancy Foy (Paper Towns), who taught classes at Actor’s Key, agreed to volunteer as an instructor at six “casting access” workshops at the SAG-AFTRA Foundation or an equivalent nonprofit at no cost to the actors attending. None are allowed to own, operate, manage or be employed by a talent training service.

Another Actor’s Key teacher, Ricki Maslar, reached a similar deal on Oct. 3. In a previously unreported agreement, yet another Actor’s Key associate, Rachel Margaret (“Maggie”) Bacharach, pled no contest and agreed to 50 hours of community service on Aug. 4. Shaw's Actor's Key business partner Kristen Caldwell had her case continued until next year, while Jessica Gardner, an actress and office manager at the company, had her own dismissed.

Feuer filed charges against five casting firms and 25 individuals on Feb. 9. The first agreement was announced in June, when Actors Alley owner Bradley Sachs pled no contest to one of the three misdemeanor counts with which he had been charged.

Feuer announced his indictments a year after The Hollywood Reporter published an investigation into the then-pervasive labor practice.

UPDATED Oct. 19, 5:50pm: Corrected plea agreement information.