There are many resources available on the internet that weigh in on the controversy of paying to audition and paying to submit for film or television roles. Actors are often advised to never pay for auditions or headshot submissions, no matter what the offer. Agents and managers only make money when their actor client is paid for work, and producers and directors should not ask actors for money to be in their productions.
We've included links to a handful of stories and websites that provide background on how to audition for legitimate film and television projects. For further information, you can contact the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) even if you're not a member. They can provide qualified advice on the business of auditions.
You don't have to pay for a job interview
There are certainly many legit companies that offer a chance to meet and read for casting agents and directors in a classroom setting; but be aware that if any fee is charged for these sessions, your participation may be in violation of SAG Rule 11
The state of California is clamping down on the practice of "pay to audition" workshops, in which actors pay to be seen.
NEVER pay to audition, no matter what they tell you. Paying to audition is almost always a scam. Usually "pay to audition" production companies (made famous in movies like Bowfinger) are actually nonexistent companies which have no intention of putting on an actual production or completing a film.
A legitimate casting office will never, ever ask for money to keep your picture and resume on file. Never.