How to spot a scam
Posted 25 September 2002 - 06:45 AM
To find out if a Talent Agency is Licensed in California you can go here: http://www.dir.ca.go...selr/talag.html
Agents do not advertise!
According to the indusrty's EIC Code of Ethics, talent and background agents cannot advertise to the general public.
Agents do not provide photographic services or give classes!
A reputable agent may suggest specific photographers or classes to you but cannot require you to use them.
Children and extras do not need professional-quality photos!
Babies and toddlers never need professional photos. Extras need to provide a snapshot to their agents. Children under the age of ten do not need professional photos unless they are working regularly.
An agent cannot guarantee work!
An agent who tells you that they have work for you must give you a copy of the signed contract along with the details of the job (who is hiring you, what you will be paid, etc.)
Agents are not casting directors!
Agents earn commissions when their clients work. Casting directors are paid by the production and never take money from performers for any reason.
Agents usually represent actors, extras or models. Be wary if the agency claims to represent all of these categories.
A principal agent will rarely represent you if you have no experience or training!
Legitimate talent agents usually require actors to have some professional training and some theater or film experience. Only background agents will represent inexperienced people who have no training and will generally try to get them non-speaking roles as extras.
Posted 25 September 2002 - 07:16 AM
There will undoubtedly be many times when someone will offer to help advance your careerÖfor a fee. While this is to be expected in a capitalist society, there are some things that you donít have to and should not pay for. There are others that you donít have to pay a ridiculous price for and then there are those things that arenít worth it no matter what the cost.
One of the biggest scams is when someone tells you that you have that certain something and ask if youíve ever thought about being a model or an actor. Even though there are a number of very successful models and entertainers who were discovered just this way, most of the time it will be to good to be true. Usually, someone will call you to set an appointment, or you may be instructed to call them. You go in and they tell you how much promise you have and that you simply need to take some photographs or take some acting classes, which they offer, for a fee. Well, before you know it you have spent hundreds or even thousands of dollars and your career is really no further along. Here are a few of the doís and doníts when it comes to unsolicited help.
First of all be careful! You donít know who this person is and if they are legitimate at all. Donít give them personal information like your address. Get a business card from them and call the better business bureau to see if there are any complaints against the company or the Attorney Generals office to see if there are any claims pending against them and if they have a license to operate in the state.
Never give them any money. The way that an agency makes money is by getting work for you. Essentially, they work for you. When you get a job from an audition that they send you on, they get a percentage (usually 10%). With that said, if they truly believe that you have promise, you should not have to pay them to market your talents. If your research shows that the agency is legitimate and does get lots of good work, you may decide that a nominal fee is worth it to get in the door. In most instances, this just isnít a good practice and you will probably just lose your money.
Finally, donít sign anything until you have had a chance to take it home and look it over thoroughly. If everything is above board, an agency should not have a problem with you taking some time to look things over and think the situation through. You should only sign if you are sure, are not being pressured and can fully understand a simple, to the point agreement. You donít want to be legally bound to a situation that is not good for you.
The Federal Trade Commission has a great online brochure on "How to Spot Talent/Modeling Agency Scams". It is a must read for anyone who is not sure of an agency's legitimacy. Go to the FTC web site at: http://www.ftc.gov/b...vices/model.htm
Where to Complain If you are Scammed
If you've think you've been scammed by a bogus model or talent scout, contact your local consumer protection agency, state Attorney General, or Better Business Bureau. They're in your local directory assistance.
You can file a complaint with the FTC by contacting the Consumer Response Center via one of the methods listed on their site at: http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/talk_to_us.htm
Posted 08 June 2007 - 01:28 AM
My agent runs quite a number of courses in acting and modeling, none of which are mandatory. She charges neither a signing fee or listing fee or any other type of fee. She operates a model/talent operation of which I have been a part for about 30 years with just a very few minor complaints.
Of course, use common sense. An agent that wants $495 for headshots, (necessary for signing with her) should make anyone suspicious. The senario I described with my agent is reasonable and fair, and I've been working fairly steady for 30 years.
Posted 09 August 2007 - 09:49 PM
SAME HERE!!! I went to an interview and they said i needed to take 3 differeent classes
this is so true. My cousin and I almost felt for John Robert Powers. DON"T FALL FOR THEM! can u give me any great agencies. I heard Elit is one of them is it true?
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