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Don't Get Ripped Off $$$

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#1 Casting



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Posted 26 September 2002 - 06:23 AM

You ever wonder how a department store and a small electronics store can sell the exact same television with two completely different prices? The department store can sell the television for a lot less than it's smaller competitor because it buys in bulk and can get the TV for a lot less. Even after a huge mark up, the price may be considerably less than the smaller store. This is how business works. You buy or manufacture goods for the least amount of money, mark up the cost to the consumer and there is your profit. Why am I telling you all of this? To make a point.

There are always some businesses that don't operate honestly; hopefully, you won't get burned by one of them but it is a tricky situation. Once again, the mark up, and in some cases the mark down, is where a shady agency can take your money. While this may not be such a big deal in some cases, there are those where the agency will rob you blind.

The usual fee for an agency to represent you is 10% of your earnings from jobs through that agency and no money up front. It is the norm for managers to charge 20% to represent you. In the case of the manager, be sure that the manager is going to work to further your career and not just send you on the usual auditions. In any case, don't get caught paying an agency more than 15%. This is the mark up.

It is not customary to speak with a client about budget; that is your agentís job. This can sometimes be a double edged sword. Since you don't talk about the budget with the client, the agency can tell you anything. While most agencies are honest, some will take you to the bank. For instance, if a job pays $500 for the talent and the agency tells you that it pays $350, the agency just made a quick $150. This is the mark down. There is not a lot that you can do about this other than to keep your eyes open.

There are some things that you can't protect yourself from and this is where it really pays to work with a reputable agent. There is also less of a chance of being ripped off on a union job as a opposed to non-union job. Most of the rates are fixed as far as union jobs are concerned so agencies canít be dishonest about the pay rate; this is one of the good things about being a union member. If you have any leverage with the client or the agency, you can request that a copy of all transactions involving your payment be forwarded directly to you from the client; though it doesn't always happen, it is good to be aware of the fact that it can.

Working with a reputable agency, educating yourself about how show business works and eventually joining a union are your best protection against payment fraud.

#2 coolbubbag



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Posted 14 January 2007 - 05:15 PM

We were contacted by a modeling agency and they said they wanted to be our "non-exclusive agent". They would put us "out" there, etc. They had no fees and they would get 20% commission. Sounded great. Next, they contacted us and said their graphic artist needed to touch up our photos. We had a few professional photos but to be honest, several are ones we took ourselves and probably do need some work. They are charging pretty much $600 for the graphic artist to fix all of our photos. Is this a scam or is it normal and legit?

#3 badgonegood



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Posted 14 January 2007 - 09:35 PM

It's a scam don't do it. Tell them youve already got someone working on your pictures and you've already pre-paid them. Just see how they react. If they try to call your bluff that means its a scam. If they really want to represent you it wouldnt be that big of deal to them.

#4 Bellina85



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Posted 21 May 2007 - 01:21 AM

How about with acting... I have called up a few places for extra work, and they all said it required a fee, that covers you for a whole year. Is this a scam, or is it legit?

#5 oprlvr



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Posted 01 June 2007 - 03:36 PM

How about with acting... I have called up a few places for extra work, and they all said it required a fee, that covers you for a whole year. Is this a scam, or is it legit?

BELLINA --- those 'extras...casting calls' that require a fee ARE A SCAM. Ignore them or delete them completely. I am a professional
actress, in this business for YEARS, and still receive those crappy emails (even find them in our local newspaper classifieds!!!) I
believe one of those scam company's is called Casting Works, or something similar (they tend to change or modify their name at times.
Go fig.) What happens generally, when you call them is----- they will run you their sales pitch about the incredible casting calls
they have/get access to "in your area" (heck, you might live in Dubuque, IA for all they care), and "all it will cost you is around $300/yr".

Scam artists know there are TONS of new people looking to break into Entertainment all the time. And they take full advantage of
you because you are a newbie (inexperienced).

Put your trust ONLY in legit model & talent agencies in the nearest big city where you reside. Give each of them a call, talk with
the receptionist (if you have not already done so). Most legit model/talent agencies have their own websites also.

But please DON'T get suckered by those stupid "casting calls" you see advertised for extras work. ANYTHING in this business requiring
a "fee" is a scam.

Hope I was helpful to you!


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