20 September 2010 1:03 AM, PDT | backstage.com | See recent Backstage news »

A reader recently reached out to me asking for guidance on a taboo subject that I idealistically would like to believe had perished coitus interruptus long ago. Banished to the age of film noir. Relegated to the sovereignty of sex films. What is it? The casting couch. The practice of demanding sexual favors in return for casting a performer in a theatrical, film, TV production, etc. A coy colloquialism in reference to the office couch of a casting director, director, producer talent rep. or any entertainment industry gatekeeper. (You won't find this at your local Ikea.)The reader's detailing of requested debauchery from a professional began:"I'm an actor and model based in NY. I find myself on the casting couch being propositioned over and over again. I recently made a Friend request [on Facebook] to a manager with, 'How r u? I'm [name withheld].' That led them to believe that I was »

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