I want to tell you this story from my own perspective. I am married with a beautiful 8 year old step-daughter with blonde hair and blue eyes. She has always wanted to be a model, so her Mother took her out in our garden to snap some pictures of her in our flower garden.
My wife took about four or five different poses and decided to send them to different talent agencies for kicks to see what would happen. It didn’t take long for the scammers to call. I don’t know why every aspect of our society has to have somebody that has to try to take advantage of hard working people, but it does. My wife received a phone call from the John Robert Powers agency. They had received my step-daughter’s pictures and wanted her to come to Indianapolis, which is about 120 miles away, to model for an ice cream commercial. My wife called me at work very excited to think that she actually received a reply on the pictures she sent out, not to mention somebody was already wanting our daughter to audition for a commercial! I have been scammed myself enough on-line over the years to be very skeptical if something looks too good to be true. However, I didn’t want to rain on my wife’s parade, so I told her I would travel with her to the weekend audition.
We loaded up the kids and headed for Indianapolis on Friday night. It took us about two hours to get there. We thought we were going to be late and my wife was driving because she claims I drive like an old man. I am slightly hurt at that since I am turning 40 years old in a few days. I guess I will have my driver’s license taken away next. At any rate, we arrived at the building and signed in. We were lead to a room where there was about another 20-30 children with the same dreams my step-daughter has.
The head of talent for the agency, or so we thought talent agency at the time, came out to give a rah!rah! talk about what celebrity clients they have had over the years and what great things they were doing with the children who wanted to model. My wife was soaking this up like a sponge. Meanwhile, the pessimist that I am, I was looking through the colored book they gave us when we signed it. I was reading through it came upon the section regarding fees. For anywhere from $2000 to $6000, they promise great things for your children as they teach them about the industry and how to become a model. At that very moment, my “red flag” went up. I cautiously nudged my wife trying to get her to read this section, but she had such stars in her eyes I thought I could never get her back to earth. I guess every parent wants their child to be thought of as beautiful and full of talent. After the Rah!rah! session, as I like to call them, we were lead to an interview room where someone asked my step-daughter “why do you want to be an actress and why should we consider taking you on as a client”? We were then herded into another room where my step-daughter actually stepped in front of a camera (as least I thought she did, we were made to stand in the hall and watch through the doorway). My step-daughter was given some lines to read which she did with the enthusiasm of a suffering animal.
Upon leaving, we were told to contact them the next day to see if she made the cut for the final auditions. I knew there was no way that she could possibly have made it, because she didn’t do a very good job and I didn’t have to be a talent agent to see that. Well, to my surprise when we called them we found out she had made the final cut. Give me a break! They wanted my step-daughter to sign up for classes and my wife and I to pay thousands of dollars,. just as I thought. I told my wife to tell them forget it. I’m sure they told every parent the same thing just to get them in the classes. To top it all off, they are not even a modeling agency, only a school.
In closing, remember that if something seems to good, it usually is! A real modeling agency doesn’t charge you. They take a percentage of your earnings. This place is a school that tries to milk the parents for class fees with only the hopes of getting a job somewhere in the future. My advice, if you child is talented and wants to pursue acting, contact a modeling /talent agency and see how to become a client or who they would contact. You can also ask them if they are accepting photos or portfolios at present time. You may save yourself a ton of money!