10 signs of an acting agency scam

Going to an audition? Find out what to look for.

Here is a quick rundown of what to watch out for.  Keep in mind, if you are on this page, you must already have some reservations.

I’ve done lots of articles about this subject, but the industry keeps changing and scammy companies are getting more creative…. so lets run through the list of the signs to watch out for.

The largest area of fake auditions is aimed at children and their loving parents, followed by modeling.  The companies involved exploit your hopes and dreams.  They then use very high pressure sales tactics to get you on-board, which includes paying them.  Never forget that you are applying for a job. Nobody pays employers to hire them.

List of things to watch out for:

They advertise!

Casting directors and agents do not run radio ads, commercials or anything along that line. Most legit agents have their files filled with submissions for representation and more come in daily. They have no need to run commercials for newbies. Some agents will hold monthly open calls for new talent, those do not come with radio ads. You will normally have to check their site or call to get dates and times.

They call you out of the blue

Unless you are Brad Pitt, nobody will just pick up the phone and offer you work. Like everyone else, you need to do the calling and fight for it. Film producers and their casting directors do not troll through millions of online profiles looking for their next star. The people who are calling out of the blue are telemarketers posing as talent scouts trying to get you to bite.

They guarantee you work

No agent can guarantee you work because agents are not the ones who hire you.

They will meet you at a hotel

Agents and their talent agencies are professionals, they have offices and office hours.

They try to rush you into something

Anyone that asks for your answer on the spot or the opportunity will go to the next guy is worried that you may Google them and change your mind. Legit agents will not rush you into signing anything. The people that do rush you are normally sales people whose paycheck depends on the commission they get from you.

They mention success stories

Legit agents are NOT trying to talk you into signing with them, it’s the other way around. You should be trying to convince them to rep you. Testimonials and success stories are only found on websites trying to sell YOU something. Agents would not use such tactics.

They tell you you need to take THEIR classes

Agents are not schools. They expect you to do that stuff on your own. They can suggest coaches, workshops, etc. but they should be independent from them. You should never be writing a check to your agent for training services.

There is a monthly membership fee

Your agent makes money when you do. Their source of income should not be membership dues. That is not to say that they can’t suggest a paid casting alert service like actors access, you just should not be paying THEM monthly.

They don’t really care that you have no resume, training or experience

Scammers only care about your checkbook, not if you are qualified. They are looking for newbies because they are usually trying to sell services like overpriced classes. The last thing they want is someone with tons of training.

It’s your dream come true… overnight

Sales pitches tend to use lots of flattery and promises of fame, if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.

 

Need more info, check out How to Spot a Modeling / Acting Scam

also please see for child modeling and acting sales pitches – Disney Auditions and Nickelodeon auditions – how the scam works

Got any more input? share it in the comments section below!

12 thoughts on “10 signs of an acting agency scam

  1. Bill Johnson

    Please hire me. I have no experience and want to make a million dollars next week so I can buy some yeezys. And my dog needs a Gucci collar.

    I make good sounds for money. Yea!! Go merica.

    Reply
  2. Olivia

    Don’t fall for NYLA TALENT/ IPOP there scams. They scammed me & my family out of thousands of dollars 3,000. Someone else did it and they were scammed out of 10,000!
    -They advertise
    – They mention success stories ( They claim they got Ariana Grande in 2010, it might be true but don’t fall for it please)
    – THEY MEET YOU IN A HOTEL like -_-
    -They tell you you need to take THEIR classes
    -They don’t really care that you have no resume, training or experience ( They care about training so they train you and you pay for classes. THE PEOPLE THEY TRAIN YOU WITH ARE ACTORS WHO HAVE GONE BROKE, THEY WERE NEVER REALLY FAMOUS)

    Reply
  3. LARRY NEVAREZ

    I am a great liar and storyteller. I tend to have multiple personalities, from charming, funny, to rude, and can blend into many characters. I have been told that I could be a great actor but have no idea how to even get into acting. I have fare/tan toned skin with a face shape that gets confused for lots of people, handsome, generic and I am not stuck to any style whatsoever. This is my first attempt at becoming an actor. Wish me look.

    Reply
  4. Christian Vazquez

    What do you think of NYLA talent agency

    Reply
  5. Dre'

    I was one of the lucky ones! Now age 56, but at the young adult age of 19, I was looking for any way out of that boring town!
    I met a molding agency at a hotel in Louisiana. They made big money promises (and thinking back, using a young lady to build our confidence) and hired me on the spot, in a hotel room which, was not very fancy. I was to go back with the young lady (hiree) and a group of lady’s that was also hired, to New York, the very next day. I had an apartment full of furniture, a car, a job, a boyfriend & a child. The lady promised that after I got started & making lots of money, I could send for them, and they could ultimately join me in New York. Mind you, I was coming from a small town with one red light! New York, here I come! So, we were to meet her the next day; with a free ride to New York, from Alexandria Louisiana, on a bus! Looking back, that was a big red flag! The trip was all-expense paid, which included a free ride, on a bus! My mom tried talking me out of it & so did my boyfriend. I had no ears for them! I’m going to New York. Bye-bye Glenmora! (my hometown)
    The next day, I had to be at the bus stop at a specific time. My boyfriend drove so slow and made me miss the bus. He did not want me to go, crying as he drove the 35 miles into Alexandria. I called the lady the next day. She said she sent the group on and she waited for me. She was willing to take another bus with me. After returning home, my mom & boyfriend still begging & pleading with me, I finally changed my mind. So I called the lady and told her I wasn’t going. Now, my mom did not care for my boyfriend, at all. But for those two days, he was her stronghold & I was quite surprised to see the two of them coming together. (but only for the situation at hand)
    Anyways I went on with my life. My boyfriend and I eventually broke it off, my mother was happy; and eventually, I moved to Washington State with my bestie. We were roommates, and I had an opportunity to go back to school. I received a decent job working at a bank in the loan dept. Then around three to four years later, I heard a news report. The report was, lots of girls & young women were found & rescued in New York from being held against their will.
    (you can only imagine)?
    At that moment I remembered missing the bus to New York & my mothers’ determination of changing my mind, I paused for a moment and thought; that could have been me! Thanks to my then-boyfriend and my mom, I am here today to tell the story.

    Reply
  6. Reg Dee

    It’s a shame that some people are willing to take advantage of others to promote their own selfish gains. Many times they are targeting individuals who are least positioned to absorb the losses imposed onto them by the scam artist.

    Reply
    1. Joy Ann Mello

      I think I was scammed for 347
      By Reality TV

      Reply
  7. William Rowe

    Hello, I’m trying to get on Hell’s kitchen season 15. I am a very talented Sous Chef. I want to be able to show my skills, talent and experience that I have. I have been in the restaurant business for 27 years old and I am looking for that great opportunity that I have to offer.

    Reply
    1. Jase Price

      DO NOT FALL FOR NINE9s TRAP THEY ARE A SCAM.

      THEY WANT TO CHARGE YOU $495

      Reply
      1. mary riley

        Hello I thank you for the information on scammer I wish I had read what your saying year ago. I have been scammed out of money. I’m a resident of Baltimore Maryland and have done extra work with homicide life on the streets when they were here. I also was filmed in Whoopi Goldberg Clara’s heart. I and have given money to agencies here. I feel used and regret getting involved with something that hasn’t been at my best interest and I really feel discouraged!

        Reply
      2. MARY L ROBINSON

        You are right about that NINE9 trap. They are such a scam, tried to get me out here in Illinois.. Shame on them. Thank you for the tips.

        Reply

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