How to Spot a Modeling / Acting Scam

There are too many marketing companies that prey on a persons quest for fame. These companies and their affiliates post casting notices, auditions and ads on Craigslist, and other free classified sites that refer to fake auditions and non existent castings for jobs that sound real. Some also use ads on the radio and newspapers to entice people.

Here is why they do this. Money!
There are many different scams preying on people trying to break into the industry. Here are just a few.

There are many companies claiming to be agencies that will claim to find you work… if you pay them. They don’t just come out and ask for money, they first get your confidence and reel you in slowly. Often times they schedule a “fake” audition (they don’t ask for money here to put you at ease), then they call and tell you ‘you are great’ come in for a 2nd audition and sometimes a 3rd. Once there, they tell you “you are perfect… but…”. This is where the salesperson kicks in and tries to sell you on photos, portfolios, online portfolios, classes, conventions and anything else they can push on you. The audition was not actually for a real part in any production, it was to evaluate how much you will spend and how much they can sucker you out of.

Then there are companies that don’t sell any services themselves, they get paid to sell your information to companies that have telemarketers and salespeople.

The companies / individuals involved are paid to get “leads”. Leads are people of a certain demographic such as child, teen, man, etc. that have a interest, such as acting or modeling, that they can later exploit by way of email spam, telemarketing, etc. After you answer a “fake” casting (much of craigslist was fake when I tested it), you will begin getting offers through email and sales pitches from telemarketers, all aimed at getting you to sign up for some service.

Many times they call you and say they have an audition for you. They pose as casting directors, agents, etc. They try to get you excited and pump up your ego with flattery. Real agents and casting directors do not just pick a name ‘out of a hat’ and offer a high paying acting job to someone they never met or seen perform.

When the telemarketers are done with you, your info gets sold to the next company and the routine starts again. Some internet marketers go as far as responding to your inquiry with a message that “you are perfect” or “will send the audition details”, but first… please go here and do this.

This is a different type of scam and not that obvious to most.
Those affiliates get paid to funnel people to other sites, usually sites that deal with background checks or security of some kind. Age and citizenship verification are a common ploy. I answered one Extra casting (sounded very real) that sent me to a site that does ssl certificates. Most people would not even understand that ssl certification is for online shopping carts and has zero to to do acting or auditions. The marketer just used that because it went along the lines of “verify your identity” for the fake casting call and he gets paid 30 bucks for every FREE lead he sends to the company. He is scamming them too! I was looking for an audition, NOT a shopping cart! I am useless as a lead to them, but he still gets paid ’till caught. Then he moves on to the next company looking for leads.

Here’s how to spot the real castings from the fakes.

Remember, real casting directors will always want a headshot, resume, acting reel, and for modeling things such as height, weight, size, etc. If all they ask for is an optional photo and contact info than beware. The scammers need the photo because the sales pitch involves a lot of flattery. The sales pitch is honed to make you feel special and chosen.

Beware of anyone looking for “new faces”. Everyone has a new face! You can walk out your door and find dozens in a minute! The word “new faces” is a red flag.

Beware of general needs such as “any ethnicity, ages 5 to 75” that’s almost EVERYONE! Real castings have specific needs (with the exception of extras / background).

Beware of “no experience necessary.” While some casting calls for kids and background actors do not require experience, most principal roles require both.

Beware of ads with large pay. Ads that read like “models and actors needed for ‘put in any large brand here’ pay is $1800 daily and job is 4 to 5 days….”

Beware of ads that quote union rates such as $752 a day without mention of union. They are just pulling union jobs knowing you have ZERO way of getting the gig or worse, making them up and quoting union rates.

Beware of anything that asks for lingerie, topless, etc. and request pics from you to be considered. Use your imagination on what someone will do with those. Real casting directors will want head shots, full body shot(clothed) and measurements.

Beware of webcam auditions, Skype auditions and the like from people you do not know. There are legit ones done that way with experienced actors and scammers are playing on that. There have been many scams where ladies did those and were talked out of their clothing by people saying “I need to see what you really look like” and other lines. Those videos then get sold in other countries and end up all over the internet for others enjoyment.

Beware of Extras casting calls that are nationwide. Generally, large productions go through a casting company. Anyone posting things like “Extras needed to make scene look ‘real’,  ‘Insert big movie name here’ pays $300 daily” is a scam. Non-Union extras earn about minimum wage and are ALWAYS cast locally.

Beware of anyone asking you to follow a link to do a background check. Do not sign up for any background or age verification site. Those are 100% scam, even though it seems free for you to do it, the scammer is selling your info to an unsuspecting company and you will never hear back about the audition.

Beware of anything that says call some number, casting agents are waiting. Casting directors look at headshots and resumes than call back who they like. They do not sit by a phone waiting for everyone and their mom to call without even knowing if they fit. Basically, they call you if they like you.

Beware of ANYONE that approaches you at a shopping mall to sign you up to audition for Disney Channel or whatever. Those are 100% fake. Disney does not work that way nor does any casting director. Those are sales people who are trying to get you in the door so they can then sell you stuff. There is no audition!!!!! You will be wasting your time going and many meetings later they will ask for payment for some inferior service. It takes many meeting because they attempt to gain your trust and have you invest your time. They try to make it look like they are doing auditions, then callbacks, etc. Not for a real role. It is for the opportunity to work with them and they make people feel special for being selected to come back so much. Fact is, they do that with everyone and the only thing they are evaluating is your ability to pay up.

And lastly, beware of anyone selling anything. Remember, you applied for a JOB! Means, they pay YOU!

How to protect yourself:

Get an email, an anonymous one for casting calls that you respond to. That way if it gets spammed, you can change it easily.

NEVER, follow a link to another site asking you to enter private information that has zero to do with what you are applying for.

Do your homework – Google company names. If you want to see any bad press you can Google ‘company name scam’ or things along that line. Check consumer report sites. Many try to hide the bad press and small operations change names often. If you can’t find anything about them, that’s a red flag.

You can check how long their website has been around by doing a ‘who is’ search. I just ran into a agency that looked fishy the other day. They claimed tons of credits and offered promises of fame. I checked them out. Their company website was created a few days back, hosted in the Ukraine and registered anonymously. Unless the Ukraine is the new Hollywood, I’m thinking, this may be a scam.

Remember, if it sounds like a dream, it most likely is just some low life trying to pay his bills off yours. Real jobs take commitment, training and diligence. You begin at the bottom with low paying jobs and castings in small productions, then work your way up as it is in any industry. Once you get some training, a resume and experience, then you get an agent to go after the larger jobs.

With all the above said, there are great opportunities available. You just need to learn how to stay away from the scammers. With practice, you will learn to spot the real from the fake. Even I still get fooled by some. Luckily, the readers normally catch those and leave me a comment to remove the spam.

Also, comments are taken and will be posted on this page. Add your own tips to avoid modeling and acting scams. I will moderate and post.

You can also read child acting scams for more info.

440 thoughts on “How to Spot a Modeling / Acting Scam

  1. Jeremiah Brannan

    I recently got signed by ICE Model and Talent Management. They didnt ask me to pay a monthly fee or for headshots or anything like that. I went in for an audition, came back the next day and then they picked me. I payed 1795 for an acting and modeling workshop but not for headshots or anything like that. Was I scammed? It’s hard to say, I’ve done my research and most reviews are super old and I cant find a specific situation like mine. Does this sound like a scam, should I stick with it? The first class is on Oct 26th, and its twice a month so I’m not sure. Any advice is appreciated

    Reply
    1. erica

      If you wanted classes, then OK. But generally, an audition is basically a job interview for actors. Would you expect to go to an interview at say… a clothing store and be asked to pay the store rather then them pay you? No. A job interview is an opportunity for you to make some money, not to be charged. If you go to an audition and are asked to pay, walk away. Would you ever pay money to interview for a job anywhere else? Shady companies that have NO affiliations to any productions use the word audition loosely, for sales pitches. They get people there using the word “audition” and then sell them services such as classes, headshots, showcases, whatever they can. Remember that an audition should be for something specific… as in a 20 year old who looks 16 and can tap dance for some specific role is some specific project. If there is no specific role, then it is simply a sales pitch.

      Reply
      1. Steve

        I saw an open audition for Talent INC and they had some success stories and I was chosen. It wasn’t to audition for anything in specific but to audition for them to work with me. Being chosen they said I would go to the conference/showcase in Florida where I’d take a few classes, do a performance in front of “people in the industry” and whole itinerary. The whole thing is $2,600 + not including air or hotel. When I met with the director I asked what I’m paying for since nothing is included and she just pointed to the itinerary of the showcase. They have a website and instagram profiles with some engagement but I’m not sure. What threw me off was obviously the price and the fact “people in the industry” very vague. I signed the papers before digging deeper in my research but made it so the first payment of the plan was to happen on the last day of the 7 day period I had to decide. I emailed them saying I no longer want to participate and to get rid of all the paperwork with my info on it. The director was very easy going with that which also throws me back in the “hmm are they legit?” Corner but my skeptic thoughts are still here. Is this a scam?

        Reply
        1. erica

          Auditions are job interviews and should not cost money. Productions have roles in mind and audition for specific roles. If your instinct is to question something, you are most likely right to do so.

          Reply
        2. Nasir Muqtadir

          Have the opportunity to audition for them today. I wonder if it’s the same company. What’s the directors name?

          Reply
    2. Donnell

      I received an email about the new Game of Thrones sequel. The set up a conference call with 4 other people. The lady explained the project, the travel would be paid for along with pay. I have not heard back in a week. I decided to send an email to follow. They wrote back and said I’ve been picked for the role and they needed a replacement. I would have one or two speaking lines. They told me if I’m not in the actors union nor if I do not have an agency I need to register so I can get you cleared to work on set. I would need to register an they discounted the charge so you can I can work on these type of assignments as they have other work pop up as well.

      “You will pay to get our member hooded sweatshirt which is discounted for you
      as an invited member. You will buy our member hooded shirt to support our causes and help the membership at an invitational discounted price. Proceeds support the children’s hospital and resources to help advocate better health for our membership. We will use your registration with the hoodie and get you cleared.”

      Here is the link: (removed)
      The company name is BBDO Interactive
      (link removed)

      P.S. I have been an extra on 3 different shows and never had to purchase anything. I only had to submit headshots and experience. Is the company legitimated? Please help

      Reply
      1. erica

        This is not how anything works! If you have worked as an extra you must know that travel is not paid. Extras are always cast locally as they earn about min wage. Extras do not need agencies and legit agents make a percent of YOUR pay, they do not charge upfront fees.

        Reply
        1. Donnell

          I emailed him back with my concerns. He stated this is a principle role. Attached PDF from Grok Television Production. It’s a small speaking role, but will require electronically submitted table read. The pay rate is $1300 plus per hour depending on your background and experience.

          Reply
          1. erica

            Well you know the saying… If it sounds too good to be true… it most likely is not true. FYI, Rates for actors in the union come no where close to that and are not hourly. Extras are lucky to make a couple hundred a day. Most extras are paid min. wage. Productions only deal with agents for principal roles. They do not reach out to random people they have never met, do not know if they can even act, off the internet. Those casting breakdowns and production notes are readily available to anyone through sites like https://www.productionweekly.com/ – here is the link to the imdb page which lists who is actually handling principal casting – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6857128/fullcredits

            Here is a link to the SAG / Aftra professional actor rate sheet. Keep in mind this is only for union actors, those that have paid their dues and have representation. https://www.sagaftra.org/production-center/contract/810/rate-sheet/document

      2. The Hunchback of Nortre Scam

        Scam. Lucinda Syson is the casting director and she’s not even listed on the “About Us” page of their ugly ass website. None of the staff listed there exist. Plus they contacted me, someone with no acting or industry experience whatsoever, with the same offer. They got my email because it’s on my public IG page… which has 350 followers (mostly friends and acquaintances – I’m only active on my business pages). They obviously paid for followers on their IG page I found (terrible/no engagement) and don’t even post pictures from their own company or clients on IG or on their website. Their website even credits the stock photos they’re using and if you click around enough you’ll find pages where they didn’t write over the random gibberish website templates come with so you can see what your layout will look like with text before it’s published. They have a black model listed with “Hair color: gray, Eye color: green” and a stock photo of some other caucasian model with light brown hair, with her hair color listed as black. On top of that they have multiple pages that just link you to random YouTube videos or their unfinished Shopify store to buy a hoodie.

        Also the person sending their emails has no grammar skillz.

        I could go on and on but hopefully that’s enough to convince you. Don’t waste your time with them and definitely do not sign up for anything, buy anything, accept anything (especially “payment in advance” or money for flights/hotel) or give them any personal information about yourself. They’re trying to get money from you via the hoodie sale (you’ll never get the hoodie btw) and if that doesn’t work they’ll probably try to have you register info about yourself somewhere, for whatever reason, so they can sell it. Oh and if you try to buy the hoodie they’ll probably steal your identity using the personal and card information you submit.

        Sincerely,

        Someone whose been trolling on the internet for far too long. I also work in research and marketing and their whole internet presence is an absolute joke.

        Reply
      3. Brittany Scroggins

        Thank you for this; I got contacted by Beats to do a commercial thingy now I knew they were fake. I couldn’t find any info the side is put up very cheaply. I find BBDO, an advertising agency but it doesn’t have interactive.

        Reply
    3. Bondreice Hutchinson

      I have just received a email stating that a new company is looking for aspiring models for their online fashion website. They told me I wouldn’t need to travel as they will rent a studio. I wouldn’t have to pay anything but they did mention that the total pay is $3,450 but My percentage will be $600. They do ask for certain information like height and weight. The only thing that bothers me is that I can’t find their website or anything about it. The person who contacted me said that they are a new company and that their website is under construction but the pictures would also help build it. Is this another one of those scams? This was all done over email.

      Reply
      1. erica

        Yes, its a scam. This is the Nigerian check scam where they send you a check or money order, then tell you to cash it and send “not your share” to whoever. They are hoping the person cashing the check or money order has good standing at their bank which will give you the money before it actually clears. 5 days later, the bank tells them the check they put in was fake and take all your money out of your bank to cover it and hold you liable for the rest since the customer, not bank, is held accountable. When you deposit or cash anything, you are vouching for its legitimacy.

        Reply
  2. Tyler Johnson

    That’s a good idea to use an anonymous email to respond to potential modeling agencies. I would think that would be a good way to make sure that if they are a scam that they don’t have any of your important information. I’ll have to make sure to do that if I decide to become a model.

    Reply
  3. Lynae

    Any idea if “AMTA” casting agency is a scam? They had my daughter return for a second audition – but never asked for money… But it’s been 24 hours and I haven’t heard from them. !

    Reply
  4. Urban Nomad

    Startnow , has now scammers too . beware .

    Reply
  5. Tricia

    Is Gigs USA a scam? Has anyone ever worked with this company?

    Reply
      1. erica

        Anyone requiring payment to get a job is NOT on the level. It is not legal in most of the US to ask for payment in order to get an acting job. Agents are not allowed to ask for money, they get paid as a commission, when you get paid. See http://leginfo.ca.gov/pub/09-10/bill/asm/ab_1301-1350/ab_1319_bill_20091011_chaptered.html

        People that call and ask for money are NOT agents. They are salespeople selling a service of somekind… People need to read the fine print, the TOS, etc. to find out what they are selling.

        Reply
        1. erica

          The best way to check sketchy stuff out is by way of a whois search of the domain. See https://whois.icann.org/en/lookup?name=
          If the site was created recently or the owner is anonymous… think about why. Would you really hand money to a person who is “annonymous?” Many scammy companies change names often to stay ahead of negative reports, the district attorneys, etc.

          Reply
    1. Carly

      I would like to know the same thing! Gigs USA offered me a job at Tjmaxx for $600 and in the email they said I needed to pay a subscription of $30 so they could send me more and more jobs. I think it is a scam!

      Reply
      1. erica

        That is not how it works, really. There are many websites which publish casting notices, some for a fee. They are not agents, normally they are telemarketers selling services.

        Reply
  6. Arturo Delapena

    Okay so I really need help with this recently I was approached by a friend who told me that there is a reality show called house party Miami produced by Warner reality television Productions. I Googled Warner reality Television Productions and can’t find anything on them there’s a company with a similar name but not the exact name as this company. They told me they start filming on March 30th and that I would be getting paid $1,980 every week to do the show. They sent me an email with a contract that I had to print out myself and now they want me to meet up with the sign contract and pay a $50 attorney fee. Is this typical when it comes to casting for a reality show or am I getting scammed? Has anybody heard about this company or show.

    Reply
  7. Monica

    Has anyone heard of gigsusa.net they offered a photo shoot with tjmaxx that pays $600 a day but I would have to pay $30/month. Would this be a scam I never paid anything but they got my attention with the pay.

    Reply
    1. erica

      Have you ever had to pay a job? No. That is not how things work. It is not legal to demand money for employment. Read the TOS to know. Telemarketers & sales people can promise anything as long as it is not in writing. No way to prove they promised anything. Salespeople make commissions and will say anything to get the money. 100% scam.

      Reply
    2. Cherish

      They told me the exact same thing. I saw the Ad on Facebook. She told me I would be good for TjMaxxx for $600.00 to contact her. She even gave me her info. I’m not sure but it sounds way to good to be true.

      Reply
      1. erica

        If it sounds too good to be true… It most likely is. Just remember to never pay any money to get an audition. Do not get talked into a salesman’s pitch for headshots, classes, online profiles, etc. Casting directors do not advertise normally.

        Reply
    3. joana

      CASTING CALLS FOR MODELS (Midtown West)
      compensation: $300 per day
      employment type: employee’s choice
      We are booking several Fashion trade shows in Manhattan

      Looking for males over 5’6” and females over 5’2

      Sizes for both males and females small to medium.

      If needed we will train you for the job no charge

      Work available part time and full time weekends also

      Interviews begin Saturday February 16th

      To apply please send the following information :

      First and last name

      Languages spoken

      Sizes dress or jacket

      A photo does not need to be professional

      Email

      Phone number

      Short bio about previous work

      No experience is required.

      Average pay per day $300

      Reply
      1. Nakira Stone

        Hey my name is Nakira and I want to be on liv and Maddie to be their Cousin or best friend.

        Reply
      2. Katie

        location: Savannah, GA
        Schemers: Casting AMTA

        A facebook Ad for casting calls for Disney Channel, local commercials, modeling, etc. I completed the registration for my son through email. Auditions took place at the Double Tree@ 1:00 pm in Savannah, GA . Philip Leader, Deidree Hasty-Alexander & Karla I forgot her last name. We are told that if chosen for call backs tomorrow, we would be notified at 7pm thru text. And if chosen we should be prepared with our payments for which level we would like to register for Silver Elite LEVEL 1 = $1,299. Gold Elite LEVEL 2 = $2,999. Platinum Elite LEVEL 3 = $4,500. Do you think it’s a scam?

        Reply
        1. erica

          Yes. Disney does not charge to audition. This is not Disney.

          Reply
        2. Kelly Neil

          We got the same information, only the company is called CGTV. Same prices, same way of doing things.
          It is run by the actor Adrian R’Mante, who played the bellboy in the sweet life of Zack and Cody.
          I ended up paying, they charged on days that were not indicated on the contract and are refusing to refund me.

          Reply
  8. Nora

    My daughter she signed in from Facebook Ad asking for Vocal Audition. She key in my mobile number and email address. I was looking into my mails when I saw an email from Vocal Star but she didn’t know if it is scam as she so fascinated with the ads and making a surprise for me. So what should I do when she already signed from the Facebook ads and placed her seat confirmation? What shall I do then? I know it is a scam, somehow, and I told her. She is so frightened that she couldn’t sleep. What will happen to my number? Can they still hack or what can I do about it? Please reply me please. I need help in this.

    Reply
    1. erica

      I am not sure what you are asking. But, if you are worried, do not pay for anything. No one can scam you unless you hand them the cash.

      Reply
    2. lucky gogo

      I have also registered for vocal star auditions. But I am not sure if it is scam or not. Anyone has ever signed in this ad or no?

      Reply
      1. Maxence

        It is a scam. They do “real” auditions and then you have to pay your ticket to LA (did this in France) and internships there from 1,600$ to 95,000$. I just went to the auditions this morning and they were trying to make us try out for the American Dream at 5,500$ the 3 day course to ‘meet producers’. A lot of namedropping. Bella Thorne was “supposed to be there but got stuck on stage”. All the people they have ‘proof’ of working with haven’t been famous in years.

        Reply
      2. Aireen Sioco

        I signed up my daughter in vocal star for audition and audition was free, after audition if you get picked , they’ll sell you a package of training your child and you have to go to LA.

        Reply
    3. Cam

      My son did the Vocal Star cattle car “Audition” and they (predictably) called back and let us know he was chosen, congrats, he’s very talented, all that stuff. Then we were informed that we were required to show up the very next morning to register – and pay. Payment is anywhere from 6K to 30K, depending on how much you’re willing to spend on a five day seminar.

      I don’t think this is technically illegal, but this sort of “hook ’em and reel ’em in” approach is definitely unethical. Highly doubt the training these poor kids receive is useful or worth their college savings.

      Reply
      1. erica

        You are right about that! Actually, this skirts the lines of legality. The people calling are sales people who can say anything. They normally have long contracts which mention they are not casting directors or agents. They know that people will not read the fine print, especially with kids in tow. Some states have taken a hard stance against it, some have not. Some have actually prosecuted, most have not.

        Reply
  9. Kat

    A person is offering me a catalog work – 4 hours, $1400, out of which $400 I get up front via mailed check and $1000 after the shoot. They offer hair, makeup, clothes, I can bring someone to the shoot with me and they even have a “posing coach” whatever that might be. I just recently parted with my modeling agency and this offer just seems way too good to be true and also seems so weird. Do you think it’s a scam?

    Reply
    1. Ness

      Hi Kat , do you remember the name of the company? I received an email with that Same exact details. They even send me a contract to sign. I kind of think it’s a scam, but I’m not too sure. Any suggestions?

      Reply
  10. DELHI CUSTOM

    Dis someone actually add this comment to a page dealing with modeling scams? Seems there is a parcel for everyone at the Delhi Post Office.

    YOUR PARCEL IS STILL AVAILABLE IN OUR OFFICE, CONTACT US ON: Removed

    Reply
  11. Megan

    Just putting it out there, I had seen an audition for dancers, singers, and actors for a movie called Oasis that I had submitted to I got an Audition for Beach Girl 1 and was contacted by Aidan Wright. I just received an email from him saying that unfortunately I did not receive a role (not a big deal) but that he was contacting me to see if I was willing to help him with his diet to lose 15lbs by making out with him in his hot tub for every day that he ate healthy and that he had checked with his lawyers to make sure that that was legal. DO NOT RESPOND TO ANY AUDITION INFORMATION THAT HAST TO DO WITH A MOVIE CALLED OASIS IF AIDAN WRIGHT’S NAME IS ATTACHED TO IT!

    Reply
  12. bry

    Has anyone heard of the ATG company? Hoping to save ourselves from a scam if all possible.

    Reply
  13. NOT SURE

    HAS ANYONE HEARD OF LA SHOWCASE? ARE THEY A LEGIT COMPANY?

    Reply
  14. GeegEE

    so at first I was so glad I came upon this forum and got valuable helpful info from everyone. I also love that erica and the freecasting site people take their time to reply back and help everyone. It gives me even more comfort to trust the site and the stuff being published here. but then, now I feel as though a lot of the things you warn us from, such as the fact that large productions don’t publish online or advertise online for casting calls, modeling jobs are not advertised online ever,etc. You yourself have posted it on the site. I don’t mean to insult you in any way, just that all the info I learned has now gotten me confused and therefore worried. like, is this site also just like casting360, castinghub,etc, except that it doesn’t charge for anything and only gives out info for casting calls? or are the casting calls here really real? Do you also research and validate the casting calls you post making sure its legit first? or do you just post it and its at our own risk? You said Disney never advertises online casting calls but I see a casting call for Disney on the site right now. So I’m very worried whether or not I should continue to respond to these casting calls for my little brother anymore because what if i unintentionally cause him to be scammed? Please respond and thyx for the forum and all your efforts in all you provide.

    Reply
    1. erica

      So to answer this…
      All casting notices are from 3rd parties. It is how all casting / audition sites work when they cover many areas. Casting directors do their thing locally. Most only deal with a few productions at a time. Casting directors are paid to find the right talent for their OWN clients. Sites like this one, allow MANY casting directors to post their notices. They do this to reach more people that may fit.
      This is a free casting site, meaning no one pays anything… not to post, or to apply. It is informational only. I list casting notices, period.
      It is up to the people looking at them to make their own decisions. I simply list the notice and the contact info submitted. No, I have no way of knowing the intentions of the casting director. There is no way to do that. You mentioned some scammy sites, this site is not that. Remember, you pay nothing! This site actually began as a response to, now defunct, scammy sites, that required a money payment for the information. One in particular, wanted money to submit, never gave YOU the info, used a form (not your own email) so that the user would never realize that 99% of those paid submissions got returned and nobody ever saw them. When you submit through a form, (which people love because it’s 1 click, easy, and made to look that way) you have no idea if it got returned. I list the actual emails so people DO KNOW what happened by way of their own email.

      Everyone applying to anything needs to do their own research about the production. Everyone needs to do their own due diligence. Like any job, you need to do your own research into the project. This is a job listing site for the acting / entertainment industry. Just like any other job site, you read it, maybe contact them, and do your own research.

      Every site, both paid and not, will list notices from 3rd parties. No one can protect you but yourself, this is the Internet. I have seen tons of scams listed across all the paid sites as well. Any website, ANY, has no way to know the intention of the person who is posting.

      No one can scam you unless you allow it. Scams involve a victim paying a scammer. My “red flags” involve… YOU paying them in any way. If you apply for any job, you do not expect to have to pay THEM! You do not cash their checks and send back money! If something is too good to be true, it is not true.

      Anyone who says that they will get you a role for any payment is scamming you.

      As for Disney, my commentary is in regards to the companies that will tell people that “your kid will be a star,” but we need payment. It does not work that way. Various Disney companies and projects do have casting calls now and then. They do not ask for any payments, any classes, showcases, etc. My comments are mainly about being told your child will be a star in Disney TV shows. Disney does, now and then, hold open calls for new projects that are hard to cast. They never require payment of any kind. Those opportunities are not on a worldwide casting tour, stopping at every city / town / village, along the way.

      The best defense against the scammers, Disney scammers or otherwise, is research. Every scammy company has either horrible reviews or none at all (because they switch names.) Scammers will pressure people to DO IT NOW or lose the chance. That is a sales tactic because they do not want anyone to Google them.

      Most people would never go to a job interview without knowing what the company is about. No one should go to a casting call without knowing what the company is about.

      Reply
  15. Bilombo

    The scammers arrived in Canada, Montreal too… (removed), who asked for my daughter’s talent 1590 usd the first down payment the second 2900 usd the third 4900 and the 4th 8900 usd . Also casting was for all ages, new faces, modeling, singing, acting, dancing all together… Be careful!

    Reply
  16. Almost Got Me In Dallas

    Location: Dallas, TX
    Schemers: Casting (not sure if it is the same as Casting Hub and they conveniently changed their name to Casting, because an internet search pulls up a myraid of hits)
    NOTE: I will post this story on all websites that helped me figure out the company called “Casting” is a scam!

    My story: Heard a radio Ad for casting calls for Disney Channel, local commercials, modeling, etc. I didn’t think it was real because the commercial was so over the top but decided to call for kicks-and-giggles. To my surprise someone actually picked up. I give the lady who answered my name and email address and she sent me info on my audition time for that Saturday and the script for K-mart that I would have to memorize. Note: there were multiple scripts for different age groups. Auditions took place at the Marriott hotel in Dallas. Still skeptical but slightly convinced this may be the real deal as it would be taking place at a hotel ( I mean hotels are legit, they have never checked someone in that would be doing illegal things >_> *sarcasm*), I go. There are lots of people, about 80-100. Mainly kids with their parents. There’s a tall, dark haired guy asking for I.Ds and giving out registration forms. We go into the large meeting room and SAME people who registered us are there. They would be the judges too! (hmmmm) The main presenter (short, rude/blunt, blonde, white lady from France/Nigeria) Gia, says that the reason the same people who registered us will also be our audition judge is because we were the last group for the week and that the moment we stepped into the hotel we were being auditioned. The other two dark haired guys (who registered us) were in the room. They were both relatively young, not pass their 40s. Gia said one of the guys was a top model for Prada back in the day (his beer belly was forming nicely so it must have been waaay waay back in the day) and the other has a young son who is doing well in this business. Gia goes on and gives a presentation mainly about IMTA talent search and gets the crowd riled up about the possibilities of going to the IMTA convention in NYC in July. She said that we must go through them, i.e Casting, in order to get to IMTA. Stating that nowadays entertainers can’t just call an agency and get signed without first going through a casting company like theirs >_> (which I’ve research and found NOT to be true) or that it is hard/near impossible to do it on your own. She says the IMTA event is supposedly huge and key to getting an agent, blah blah blah. Anyways, people are getting excited and kids are getting excited and nervous about not to screwing up their lines. We line up based on our assigned numbers given at registration. The auditions would take place in that same room! Weird huh?!! There were 3 table, next to each other, for the 3 judges: Gia, the two other guys. We are told that if chosen for call backs tomorrow, we would be notified between 6pm- 3am because she says the hours of show business are unpredictable. And if chosen we should be prepared with our payments for which level we would like to register for. LEVEL 1 = $1995. LEVEL 2 (chance at IMTA competition) = $5996. LEVEL 3 (IMTA + US casting program acting and modeling) = $9995. I audition with Gia. It was very short, no longer than 90 seconds. She scribbles some stuff on my paper, gives me no hint of whether she likes my audition or not. That night, I get a text message from Gia around 9 pm (because I missed her call a few minutes back) saying that I made it for call backs tomorrow (Sunday). I am getting excited now, like this really could be the real thing, but I am worried because I don’t have all the money to give them should I be chosen (which, most likely, I would have as this is all a sales scheme). I do some research online to learn more about Casting and if this is really something I should invest my money in. Surprise, surprise, I can’t find anything on the company. A) because of the very general name “Casting” B) because they don’t exist. The IMTA website is real though, but if they are legit and actually help aspiring entertainers out, I don’t know! But lucky me, I stumble on this website about acting and modeling scams and read stories EXACTLY like mine, with the same rude, short blonde lady named Gia!!!! I am livid but happy that I caught this scam in time before I started asking family members to loan me money. On Sunday, the day of call back, I call Gia (without giving her my name) saying I can’t make it. NOT TODAY DEVIL!!

    People, be careful of a company called CASTING (or whatever new name they snort out of their butts) and a short, blond, rude, lady named Gia! False prophets. All of them. You don’t have to pay thousand to get an agent and fulfill your dreams of becoming an entertainer/model. It’s a job- THEY PAY YOU!!!

    Reply
  17. Angry Consumer

    There is a guy everyone needs to beware of, his name is Larry Herring. He is a bottom feeder in the acting industry. He trash talks every company in the industry including Barbizon, John Casablanca’s, John Robert Powers, 321 Shine, iPOP!, and several other companies just so he can sell his own acting classes and information from his “beware of scams” site that is actually it’s own scam. Regardless of what you think of the companies mentioned above you just needed to be warned that this guy is scum and a scam!

    Reply
  18. Mariah823

    So “john Robert powers” had an add up saying “Disney is looking for talent ages 4-25” so I sign up. The 1St audition was free but we didn’t even really audition. They just gave us the run down of the company and showed us pictures of stars who came from their company and was successful. Then they had us read off a tiny script like a commercial or something. At least that’s what I did. The the next audition which was the very next day, again I didn’t have to do anything. They just had me pay them my down payment which was $650 UGH, explained rehearsal dates and payment dates. Orientation rolled around and the heffa was like 30 minutes late and still, we didn’t have to perform the script they had us study. Then she told us different information that the people we paid told us. They said we needed to learn the scripts immediately and that we’d be performing them. She said we wouldn’t UGH. So I prayed and thought back on all these things. Now, just to fool people more They gave us a printed bbb report that gave them an A+. Instead of looking them up before that second “audition” I, just now tonight went to look at the bbb myself and it said OUT OF BUSINESS. I’m just so angry bc I saw all these red flags and I was in lala land ignoring them! A big bad gutt feeling came over me on the way to that 2nd audition but I kept going bc I was trying to take risk and be positive. But I will make sure I do a lot more research next time. Still going hard for my dreams tho. And YOU BETTER DO IT TOO!

    Reply
  19. Angry momma

    Oops, I meant ipop. Autocorrected to iPod.

    Reply
  20. Angry momma

    I would like to thank all of you for your stories. You all saved my family from what I’m sure would have been an expensive and frustrating experience. We also replied to a casting call broadcast on a radio station here in Reno Nevada, asking if we had a talented child interested in being on shows like shake it up and a few other Disney shows. I was thrilled and thought omg my little 5 year old would be amazing for that. I called the number, received the email for where to go, how to dress, number of family members allowed to attend and to arrive 15 mins early. We listened to their 45 minute Schpeel about the cute little kid that plays Flynn on shake it up how they got him there. They even went so far as to tell us all that in order to succeed in this industry God, family and grades were a must. We approached The lady behind one of the two desks they had set up and my little one did the best he could as he is pretty shy. Didn’t really count on a call back for the next day but thought they had so many nice things to say about how cute he was and that normal 5 year olds typically can’t remember a whole section of a book. We got called back, the whole family was extatic. Told her we would be there. Then started doing a bit of digging and found this blog. We did not go back and I have you all to thank for it. The company is now calling themselves NYLA talent featuring iPod. They want an arm and a leg for their packages and more money for their photo sessions. I hope this post helps others

    Reply
  21. brandon tarver

    Hey I just recently got a email from pro casting usa, saying that there’s a test shooting going. I have to pay 125 dollars for the prints in a city, and that I would be in a campaign for old navy. Now I’m just trying to make sure that pro casting usa is legit is all really. I don’t want to be in a scam as it is.

    Reply
    1. Geraldine

      Don’t do it! What real company lists a phone number of 555-5555?

      Reply
  22. Marcy davis

    I was wondering if you have every heard of auditions today out of Pittsburgh PA.

    Reply
  23. Peri Carr

    I recently got a long detailed email about an interest for me modeling for Bershka through an agency called Ace Model Management. They said I would be paid $7500 for 11 days, and would get the designer to send the clothing to me along with 500 to act as a retainer. I was literally going to fly out in 5 days… We looked online and couldn’t find the address on Google Earth. This is a scam right????

    Reply
    1. erica

      Yes! This sounds like the Nigerian scam which sends money up front, asks victims to cash the check, keep their “pay” and send them back the rest. It is 100% a talent scam. No REAL company pays people they have never met up front… EVER!!! The checks they send are fake and they hope that people will put it in the ATM so the fake is not spotted right away. Real casting directors and agents do not email people out of the blue and send them money.

      Reply
  24. lily

    Should I trust the ones on Instagram. When I got there it’s a building and on the phone they put me on hold, it went on and said the things they did and that when I get there is should be dress to impress and I should have a picture of myself only face. That they work whit people from new York and LA should I even go?

    Reply
    1. erica

      You should always be concerned when they give you a sales pitch and are trying to sell themselves to you. Real agents do not work that way, normally it is the talent who needs to sell themselves to the agent. Dress to impress? what is the audition for? You may want to ask for specifics.

      Reply
  25. Jeannette White

    Is Genesis Blessing LA a legitimate company? My daughter responded via email for a Samsung commercial, sent pics & a letter about herself. She received an email today (less than 5 days later) requesting a Skype audition this afternoon. I can’t find the company on Google, but do find the ad when I search on this site.

    Reply
    1. erica

      The casting notices are posted by third parties such as production companies and casting directors. For any casting notice, talent must ultimately decide how to proceed. If you have reservations about the audition, you may want to ask them for more information about the project, company, etc. Of course, if anyone asks for any money, you run the other way!

      Reply
    2. Bob

      RE Jeanette White: I did the same thing, I did research, its probably a good scam for pedos to find “desperate” actors/actresses, there is nothing about this email, it’s a fraud.

      Reply
  26. Bianca

    Hi, This popped up on my fb the other day, I figured it was a scam, but decided to check it out. It was a short registration form, I filled it out, 5he did not ask for any kind of payment. The audition is for today at the New York Hilton at 3pm. I already know if they ask for money it is a scam. They emailed me the appointment time and an application that needs to be filled out, I am to attach a photo and there were lines to learn. I have tried to find some more info, but can’t seem to find anything helpful. Could you please let me know what you think before I take my child out to this? Thanks!

    Reply
    1. erica

      They will not ask for money until they have sized you up and you have met with them several times (with your child) so that you feel committed. Again, this is not the way the industry works! They will ask you for money sometime down the line. Most of these schemes realize that they cannot just ask right up front or you will bolt out the door. They want you to first invest your time. This is not a legit audition for any project. If you do not believe me, ask them. Ask the question… “what show are you casting for specifically?” That is the one they cannot answer since there is no show. They will tell you it is for many shows and new talent or something along that line. Again, not how casting works. Casting directors do not make up roles or create roles for people! Casting directors are handed a script, specs, age range, etc. for the role they need talent for. There are a few castings for kids on this site. See those to see how very specific the requirements are. If you are still unsure, ask more questions… “what production company specifically are you working for” (remember, casting directors are paid by the production, NOT TALENT). Ask “what production specifically has this person cast?” and “what is the link to your IMDB credits page?” Casting directors for large production are in a union and franchised, ask them to show you their listing on the SAG site. REAL casting directors are proud of the shows they cast and should have no problem talking about it or answering specific questions (specific as in who did you personally cast in what and can I look it up on an industry site). The scammers are sales people with no connection to the industry… who most sold used cars in the past. They would have a hard time answering any questions about credentials.

      These companies work on the assumption that most parents have no idea as to how the industry works. I get countless messages from kids who blame their parents for them losing their big break and not getting a Disney role. Those kids actually believed that for the right amount of money, they could be Disney stars and their parents blew it by not paying. If you do go, be careful because the sales people are commissioned and HARD, their pitch will put the guilt trip on the parent.

      Reply
  27. ariel

    I don’t know if this is a scam. It is a movie being shot this summer called gravity four it seems real legit they don’t ask to pay for anything and it says they will pay for my trip to Los Angles if i get in it. I got it from a sight called (removed) is it a real scam or not?

    Reply
    1. erica

      I would be very skeptical because the industry does not work that way. Most indie films hire local talent and big budget productions go through well known agents. Nobody hires unknown actors from an emailed photo that may or may not be what they even look like, then offer to fly them cross country. There are many scams that work that way though. There is a twist on the Nigerian 419 scam which targets people wanting to act or model. They will post fake castings anywhere they can. They will then tell people they will pay for travel and send a fake cashier’s check asking talent to cash it, then send them money so they can pay for whatever through western union. They know that most people now bank at ATM’s and the person cashing the check will put it in the machine, the bank will then give the person credit towards the deposit and it will be days, until the bank returns the check as fake. Once the check is returned, the person who cashed it is responsible for giving the bank the money they fronted them on good faith. Many people fall for it and it’s not the banks fault for cashing the bad check, it’s the persons.

      Many people get scammed because they so hope something is real that they dismiss their gut feeling. If you are asking if it’s fake, you probably know the answer already. If it’s too good to be true, it most likely is.

      Reply
      1. Robert Talley

        Does anyone know anything about TCAUDITIONS.com or TalentConsulting? My daughters went to an audition recently and worked with a,guy named Steve Roberts from Innate talent services. My daughters were chosen to go to the IPOP showcase in Los Angeles in December with a cost of almost $10,000. Is this legit or a scam? We walked away when we saw the cost.

        Reply
  28. Shay

    Is explore talent a scam? They are telling me that I can get auditions after paying and uploading pictures of myself to make myself get discovered by casting directors.

    Reply
  29. Rick

    Two of my models have been approached now with what I believe is a scam. “Fabio” is looking to recruit lingerie models in NYC. He feels out the interest and then tells you to email someone in Milan to tell them you’re interested in more information.

    100% sure this turns into a scam because the models he’s preying on have only a couple of shoots in their portfolio, and his profile is always empty.

    Reply
  30. Skeptical

    Hi Erica. I recently allowed my daughter to go through one of those mall, “talent scout” auditions. They did a photo shoot and it was up to us if what type of package we wanted to purchase (yep Sucker here). They also video taped my daughter singing and walking the runway. The purpose was to be the “overall winner” who would win a one year professional modeling contract. We were told by the talent scout that they would be sending photos and a copy of the videos out to Florida talent agencies. We Thought is was a fun experience and didn’t think it would go further than that.

    Yesterday, we received a package from Model and Talent Inc in Ft. Lauderdale. They are offering my daughter a one year “amateur” contract. No up front fees. They say once they receive the signed contract, she (my daughter is 12) will have access to an amateur casting board to see what castings/auditions are happening in Florida. If she accepts the contract, they require her to submit to them 20 professional casting cards & 20 B&W Resume cards. They have recommended a printer but it is not a requirement. They have sent samples of what they expect in case we chose to have printed elsewhere.

    According to the is contract, which is not very formal but basic, anything booked through the casting board and pays less than $500 is not subject to any agency fees. They receive 20% for Any professional booking made through the agency that is over $700. Also, according to the talent scout, she will receive 5% of the agency’s 20 on any professional booking. Finally, for any prof booking, the contract is extended for 3 months.

    I am torn on this. My RED flag warning is up for a number of reasons. 1-the website of the talent scout and one of the modeling contract handbook both have the same cover photo. 2-I have read a number of comments in this article about companies called Model and Talent being scams. However, if we sign, it is not an exclusive contract so can’t we also explore other avenues in the meantime? I see no complaints with the FL BBB about this agency. I also checked the FL dept of Business Rgulation and see they have a business license since 2012 with no complaints.

    I would truly appreciate your advice!!

    Reply
    1. erica

      There are definitely many red flags here. I have never heard of them and looks like their website was registered in 2014. There is close to nothing about them and one of those reasons is the very vague business name. There are dozens of companies whose names are something followed by models and talent. If you actually check out their site, you will notice that their address is that of a law office building with many floors. They do not have a suite number, which is very suspicious as you need a suite number to find an office or mail anything. Their site has a link to see their models and talent. It is behind a password box which you can type anything into for access. The pictures of their models have no identifying information. Model agencies will list the models name, age, height, measurements, shoe size, clothing size, etc. So they are not expecting to book these people if they even exist. One of the images is actually named “Beauty_scarves” another called “cute_boy”… huh? descriptive names are used in stock photos you buy, not models you book. A lookup of the phone number listed comes back to a different address and a company called Audition America… which has many reviews, most not too good.

      The other huge red flag, if you need any more, is that agencies do not work this way at all. Agents do not tell you to go to a job board, they send you to the job, that is how they earn a commission. Also if you check the Florida Department of State for the corporate filing… it does say inc. in the name, you will find none exists. The last company with that name dissolved in 2004. http://search.sunbiz.org/Inquiry/CorporationSearch/SearchResultDetail?inquirytype=EntityName&directionType=Initial&searchNameOrder=MODELTALENT%20P030000863430&aggregateId=domp-p03000086343-f67a7951-e780-4fab-9448-5d18a0a8a89e&searchTerm=model%20and%20talent%20inc&listNameOrder=MODELTALENT%20P030000863430

      I did not find them in the BBB, but if they are listed there, it’s quite sad since they don’t even seem to be a real company in Florida… as per the State Department. After this I stopped looking… I didn’t bother checking the licenced agents database as I am pretty sure I will not find it listed.

      So yeah, proceed with caution. The name related to the phone number is a talent convention thing.

      As for access to a job board, you do not need an agent to look at online casting boards, No agent works this way. They make money by finding their talent work. They do not sit around hoping their talent finds their own work and pays them just because.

      Reply
  31. realornot

    I was approached by someone who asked for my email and name. He took a shot of me and I got an email saying I need to respond by the next day. The purpose is to get a model for Samsung print ad. I haven’t been able to spot conclusive evidence but based on what little I know and googling, It seems like a scam to me, but what do you think?

    Reply
    1. erica

      scam! That is not how the industry works. Casting directors do not hang at the malls waiting to discover people walking by.

      Reply
  32. jerome

    Is Gage Models & talent agency from Knoxville, TN a scam ? I went there January 10, 2016, Sunday.
    I had an appointment at 5:30 pm, there were about 50 or more or less in the same place as myself, sign up forms, and then we all went into a big room, the women spoke to us, gave us info, and then we got a paper asking why we were interested in Gage models& talent. Then we all waited while we were called up to the model and walk with music going down the strip back and forth. Then they filmed us on camera speaking (acting) what we wrote down on paper about why we were interested. They gave me a booklet in acting classes which I looked at, $1,999 dollars is the cost. The office woman told me I was a (b). It means WE SEE GREAT POTENTIAL AND WANT TO DEVELOP A MARKETABLE LOOK FOR MODELING AND ACTING. AS A RESULT, YOU MAY REQUIRE ADDITIONAL KNOWLEDGE, PREPARATION, SELF-CONFIDENCE, OR TEACHING SKILLS PRIOR TO LISTING WITH THE AGENCY. (YOU INVEST IN YOURSELF AND WE WILL THEN INVEST IN YOU.) DEVELOPMENT MAY BE REQUIRED IN AREAS SUCH AS: ATTITUDE AND PERSONALITY, POISE AND POSTURE, RUNWAY TECHNIQUES, PHOTO-MOVEMENT, ON CAMERA AUDITIONING TECHNIQUES,OVERALL IMAGE UPDATE. (UPON COMPLETION OF THE NECESSARY WORKSHOPS, YOU WILL RECEIVE A HEADSHOT AND HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO SIGN WITH GAGE. SCAM OR LEGIT?

    Reply
  33. Helen

    My granddaughter has an audition on Wednesday. Is this legitimate? I believe it’s Nextstar productions.

    Reply
    1. erica

      Just Google the name to see reviews from other parents.

      Reply
  34. Neva

    I found slu agency online and I read all the requirements and not sure if it’s a scam or not. It says experience is not required but is a major advantage. I can’t figure it out.

    Reply
    1. erica

      I am not sure why you think they are a scam. They seem to specialize in athletes and fitness models. They are in Los Angeles, are licensed and seem to be part of the ATA (Association of Talent Agents). Modeling rarely requires experience since it is based on looks, so most modeling agencies will not require experience in modeling. They do specialize in athletics and their submission form does inquire about athletic experience. Not sure if that is what you meant.

      Reply
  35. Faith

    Anyone ever heard of NEXT, an audition company that pours you in contact with agents?

    Reply
  36. J J

    I realize that no one has been on this thread for some months now, but I’m hoping that if this pops up in anyone’s inbox, I can get a little guidance. I am friends with a photographer whose daughter started modeling last year (age 6). She encouraged me to take my daughter to the same modeling coach for a headshot session she was shooting. Since I am friends with her and wanted current photos anyway, we went along. We paid the HMU person there and also the photographer (my friend), got some great editorial-type shots as well as headshots and my daughter (age 8) had an absolute blast. The coach was in contact with us soon after and we signed up for one month of classes (the coach did not push these, they were by our choice) which my daughter did enjoy. The coach set up a meeting and I was fed the “I really think she has IT” speech. This was expected and I was totally prepared for it being a marketing tactic for the coach (how many others have heard this?!). My daughter, ever the skeptic, was not easily sold (thank goodness). We posted some photos from the shoot on a child model FB page and was contacted by a designer asking if we would like to walk in a show in Paris in March of next year. Oh…we have to pay $1200 to cover HMU, attire, photos, press, etc., but get to keep the attire. I researched the show (seems small), and the company (meh) but I cannot find anything anywhere about whether or not these pay-to-play events are legit! Please help! I’m not opposed to traveling to Paris, but then also having to pay to walk? Hmmm…. I asked the coach for advice, and she was so excited (who isn’t excited to have their marketing tactic backed up) and said we should definitely do it. Side note: the coach is all about some kiddy pageants and kid model competitions. Part of me feels like we should totally do it, even if we do have to pay–I mean, come on…and excuse to go to Paris? Count me in! But then the other part says–Wait just a minute. If my child is working, shouldn’t she be paid? Sure, it would be a fun experience, but I love my job–it’s fun–but I still expect to be paid. So I guess my overall question is this: Do we go to Paris just to say she walked in a show in Paris and get the photos (they are ‘included’ in the fee) to build her portfolio and resume or do we take a step back and only accept paying gigs? This is just a hobby at this point (hobby being defined as something one spends money to do, not something one is paid to do), so it might be fun–expensive, sure–but fun. Thoughts?

    Reply
    1. erica

      Seems very expensive for HMU and also sounds risky. There is no guarantee that if you do this they will not tack on additional fees…. once in Paris. Once there, if they ask for more money, what is one to do? Eat the travel costs and money already paid, breaking the kids heart? I know for a fact that Nigerian scammers troll FB profiles for victims. Is the $1200 paid upfront or on-site? If up front, you risk getting there and finding nothing. If your child just wants to have some fun, there are plenty of local pay to play events as well as plenty of volunteer events for charities and such where they require ticket sales.

      And yes, if it is a legitimate modeling job, your child should be getting paid. For the most part, strangers contacting anyone through a profile on the internet is usually a scam. Casting directors and folks that book legit shows do not troll internet profiles to find talent. Get your child an agent.

      An event overseas is way to sketchy. If you pay to play at an event here and the event never happens after the payment, you have some recourse. In another country you have none. If you decide to do it, make sure you call the actual event to find out what the deal is. There are countless scammers that pretend to be someone else. There are many stories about folks paying money to be cast in something and after paying, they contact the REAL casting directors who tells them someone has been impersonating them. Asking talent to pay for HMU only, is a huge red flag. The scammers know that most people understand that if they ask for payment to be represented, most people will think “scam.” since that practice is illegal in many states. Tell them you will hire your own Hair and makeup people and see what they say. If they say, no way, ask more questions. Ask for references, ask for the name of this very expensive hair stylist. Say you would like call them directly and see samples of their work. If you are paying $1200 to do your child’s hair and makeup, you should have references and photos of their work. If they can’t provide any info… it’s a scam. Professionals are proud of their work and should have a portfolio of their work to send clients as well as references. If this was HMU for your wedding, would you hire anyone without seeing what they can do?

      If all you want is to say your child walked a runway, you can find some local events. As for a portfolio, kids are not expected to have huge portfolios. An 8 year old grows quickly, those images would be useless very soon and you have no guarantee they will even be any good, a runway is not a studio with perfect lighting. When your child is 10, no one wants to see pics at age 8, it’s irrelevant. A pay to play event that no one has ever heard of probably will not carry much weight on a resume anyway.

      I have a few friends that are what you would call “Hollywood moms.” The kids got lots of paid work, not because they had a huge, professional portfolio, but because the parents were on a mission. They spent all day calling agents, sending out headshots, making appointments. Getting work for the kids was their full time job.

      also see http://www.auditionsfree.com/about/child-acting-scams/ there are discussions on that page as well.

      This page has tons of comments, actually many are current, just hard to find on the page as they are responses to older comments.

      Reply
  37. M

    Yesterday I went to an interview with a modelling company called The Casting City in Central London. Although they didn’t make any outlandish promises or claim I was “perfect” or anything, they told me I need a professional portfolio. That’s AFTER I showed them my pictures on Casting Call Pro & Star Now.
    I paid £90 deposit to secure a photo shoot and the balance of £300 is to be paid on the day (this Saturday). It all felt really rushed, and they didn’t give me time to read the contract. Is The Casting City legit?

    Reply
    1. J

      Hey M. I was thinking the same thing about “the casting city”. How did it work out?

      Reply
    2. Z

      Hey M,
      This exact same company “Casting City” did the same to me last week. How did it work out? Did they get you work? Are they legit?
      I’m really anxious about this! Please get back to me!
      x

      Reply
  38. Unique

    Hello,
    I just moved to California in November. I was leaving registration for a legitimate extras casting agency. I see an ad on the train looking for models for bride&groom magazine. I call, make an appointment. I went in on Tuesday Monday the 24th. It was a bar ebony office, no waiting area. Told me that I would make 500 a shoot with no fee taken out. Then said I have to pay 95 for administrative fees which will include photo shoot in dresses with hair and make up. I’m feeling like it’s a scam but not sure. I tried google to see if she has been reported before. All I keep finding is articles like yours, advertising for wedding companies, and casting calls for wedding reality shows. Help!

    Reply
  39. Concerned mom

    The link the lady gave me was Salinaj@barbizonusa.com with the title national talent director barbizon modeling and acting should i still take my daughter to this interview please help

    Reply
    1. erica

      I don’t know what your expectations are. It all depends on what you think they will do for you. Keep in mind it is a charm school / modeling school. They charge parents money for lessons. If you are looking for lessons, that is what you will most likely get. Barbizon is not a casting director or production company. Their website is quite clear on what they offer, lessons is posture, poise, nutrition, walking, etc.

      Reply
  40. Concerned mom

    I got a call Monday for a interview for barbrazion for my daughter who filled out a card at the mall for acting or modeling. The lady said her name and gave a number to call back if I needed to cancel. The lady said she is coming from florida and to meet at the Hilton in Tennessee should I go or is this a scam?

    Reply
    1. erica

      Not sure what you are asking, Barbizon is a school. As a rule, agents and casting directors do not approach people at a mall, salespeople do. If you want to buy what they are selling then no. They are not free though. Depends on what your expectations are.

      Reply
  41. Concerned mom

    I got a call on monday asking for my daughter to come to the hilton in my area for a interview for barbrazion. my daughter had filled out a card at the mall saying she was interested in modeling and acting. They wanted us to come in on Saturday should I go or is this a scam. The name and the number the women called from is the same number she gave to call and cancel but she was coming from Miami to Tennessee. Should I worry.

    Reply
  42. Jessica

    Is “The Industry Network” a scam? My kids received a call back from them to join they gave me 2 scholarships but still needed to charge me 495 for my other one

    Reply
  43. Sean Mac

    Just curious as to if Mike lemon casting is legit? they make you pay to have a profile that is available to seeking casting directors.

    Reply
    1. erica

      Don’t know about them, not sure what you mean by paying money to show profile to seeking casting directors… aren’t they casting directors?

      Reply
  44. Nancyyy

    Is The Industry Network fake? My daughter did an audition for them and we’re having another tomorrow, help me!

    Reply
  45. Allison C

    Pretty sure I just experienced a scam. Today was my third time going in to “Hollywood Productions” or their other name “Contact Casting” for yet another callback audition. The address of this place is 1335 La Brea, Los Angeles (right near Hollywood and Highland). They found me through Explore Talent. I was confused as to why they asked me to come back a third time, and today I saw yet ANOTHER different director for “supposedly” the same energy drink commercial. However after I said my lines, he said he wanted to give me a different script? Not even related to an energy drink commercial. If this was a REAL and professional performance, then why did I see a different “casting director” every time I came into audition? And if they knew you were/ were not the person for the role wouldn’t they have known by the second audition? I even got suspicious and asked who the casting director was of this so-called commercial but was told that they could not give me that information. YEAH, OKAY. Overall, there have been just too many red flags about this place…another being that there were always different people in the waiting room (of all ages and backgrounds…apparently all auditioning for the “SAME” role), not one person did I recognize from my previous audition. The sad part about all this is that they’re giving false hope to people that truly want to have a start in the entertainment world- even kids who come with their parents!

    Reply
  46. Kiki

    Is Hair Model Express (HME) a scam? They say they only charge you 20% fee for your first audition and never again after that. Then I heard that they take really long to pay people, or never do.

    Reply
    1. erica

      All agencies take a percentage. That is how they make money. If you get paid, they get paid… nothing wrong with that.

      Reply
    1. erica

      Barbizon is a modeling / charm school business. They do charge for classes.

      Reply
  47. Someone

    Hi, i want to know if “New faces Talent agency” is a scam I can’t find any single scam about them on google. They have a website and there auditions held at a hotel. They have a Facebook page as well but not much information is given.
    Pleaseee reply to this……..

    Reply
    1. erica

      when I google them I get lots of reviews, here is one http://www.consumeraffairs.com/modeling/new_faces.html. I don’t know if this is the same place since there are a few in different places called that. The easiest way to find out is to ask if they are casting directors and what project(specifically), are the auditions for, what is the rate talent will be paid, etc. If they are agents, get the license information. Scams can’t give you details about specific jobs since no real job exists. Agents have offices, they do not rent out banquet rooms.

      Reply
    2. Mark

      Hello,
      Did you find out if NFTA is a scam or not? Our daughter is starting with them soon.
      Thanks

      Reply
      1. erica

        I googled them and seems they are a training program of somekind, but not an agency. Whether something is a scam depends on what you are expecting to get. If you are looking for modeling classes or charm school, I guess that is what they provide. However, they are not a modeling agency. If they promise work… I would be suspicious. Best bet is to always Google the company name + the word reviews, scam or legit. That will bring up consumer reviews, complaints and other information.

        Reply
  48. Natasha

    New Faces Talent Academy is holding auditions that have been advertised on Facebook this is the link to sign up do you think it is legit or a scam were they will make you pay heaps?

    Reply
    1. erica

      Don’t know, but they say on their home page that they are not agents and offer services. They are quite clear about selling something so I assume there would be a fee.

      Reply
  49. Daniel

    I have an audition from Next Auditions on April 1st. So far they say there is no upfront payment to audition. I noticed one error in the script, where they accidentally added a “T” to the word, however, the word was said three times and the last time it was misspelled. The application asks for address which I am concerned about. It asks me about my parents occupations and I don’t know why. They have a spot for professional notes and it includes if I got a callback or not. I need to bring one photo with me and it is for modeling and acting. You can also audition for dancing and singing but, since I can’t do any of those, I am not trying out for those. I was tagged in a post on Facebook by a friend of mine. Some of these scams that I have read haven’t been used for this audition. No payment first, no “First 200 callers” or anything. When I tried saving the application it wanted to immediately save it as “aplication” instead of “application.” For the most part, grammar seems great. I haven’t had to talk to anybody yet, but it gave me my audition date without me even selecting which one was most convenient. It also asks what I am wanting with this audition and lists a variety of things like “Representation by agent” “travel” etc which makes me think that they will tell me what I want to hear and offer me those things.

    Can anybody give me advice before Wednesday, April 1st? It would be greatly appreciated.

    Reply
    1. erica

      Their website is geared towards kids trying to get on Disney. Filled with Disney show logos and they travel city to city. Disney has made numerous statements that they are not affiliated with any of these companies, see http://disneychannel.disney.com/open-call. Most of these companies do not tell you about payment until they have hooked you in a sales meeting because nobody would attend if they came out and said payment required.

      Reply
  50. ahmed oss

    please, I’m asking about if there are a lot of agencies online that require you just to create a portfolio. What’s your opinion about this? also are there online casting agencies that require me to fill out my travel and passport data? When I try to leave this blank, the application didn’t submit. The passport details are a must to complete the application. I’m afraid, what’s your opinion? Whats your opinion about international casting calls that require new faces for instance. I apply for auditions in another country? please recommend a legal online international casting agent? Can you do auditions online?

    thanks and best regards

    Reply
    1. erica

      US companies can not cast people that are not US citizens / legal residents. In the US, we have employment laws (many other countries do as well). You must have a US social security number or come here on a work visa which are difficult to get and take lots of time. No legit casting director will waste time doing international online auditions knowing that the person may not be able to just fly here to work or even be able to due to visa restrictions. There is no such animal as a “legal online international casting agency”, it’s just not how it works and makes no sense monetarily since flying to another country would cost more than you would be paid.

      I would not recommend giving out any sensitive info on a web form and I have never heard of anyone asking for your passport information on an online form. You have no idea who put up the form and what they will do with the info. The internet is anonymous in nature. Anyone can put up a website. Scammers put up fake banking sites, fake paypal, fake shopping sites, fake everything… including castings, all in an effort to get enough info to hack your accounts, steal identities, etc.

      Auditions for any principal roles are done in person. The word “new faces” for anything other than extras is a huge red flag. Extras casting is by photo submissions but local only… by local I mean within an hours drive.

      Reply
  51. AP

    I had a really horrible thing happen to me. I was contacted by someone who claimed to be one of the owners of a modeling management agency in Milan. I researched the name, very fantastic reputation and known all over Europe as a top model manager. I researched the agency, as they had provided a link, and it all checked out. They are ranked as one of the top agencies in the world. The link was real and when I called they were real. They will clearly state the only people that will be contacting you from the agency will be one of the three given names, one of which he claimed to be. All checked out. Looked the people up and all are real. I emailed the individual back and he said ALL the right things. He even emailed me a contract from THAT AGENCY and wanted me to have it looked over by my attorney, etc… He was going to fly me there all expenses paid. He asked to have a Skype interview, which I also checked out and it does happen being that they are from another country. So a meeting was scheduled. The Skype interview took place, everything appeared to be professional and on the up and up. He told me that he would email some details and that we would again Skype the next day. The information he sent me was flight information and such…including what types of brands in Milan I was going to shoot for so I could also check them out.

    They checked out too, one of the major brands was for lingerie. So the next Skype meeting starts to take place. Suddenly there is something wrong with his microphone on his computer, then he proceeds to ask me if I could take off my clothing so he can gauge how I look in my lingerie. Making some sense in my mind I say…ok….so what, its just bra and thong. So he has me stand back and do a circle, walk etc. Then he says…. perfect, you are perfect. Then suddenly his light goes out, so he is sitting in the dark and I cant see him. Now I’m a little weirded out. He says that he can still see me so its ok. He starts to says there is one last thing I need to do before I fly over there. He wants me to strip and pleasure myself so he can see my face and how I react.

    Now I’m completely freaked out and tell him NO. He proceeds to tell me that it is very common in Milan to have models do this. I completely freak out and tell him that we do not do business like this in the USA. So he concludes the Skype interview and tells me to check my email for further information. Well…….I receive an email that basically tells me that I need to complete this last item before he will sign me. I politely refuse and he pressures me HARD. Email after email. More and more pressure. I start to get mad and tell him that I will let him know the next day. I tell my parents who are outraged with this man, as they too researched the crap out of all his information. My Mom decides to have me respond to him via email saying that I will call him at his place of business in the morning to discuss. Immediately he says that he is not at his place of business, that he is in Berlin signing a couple of models. Makes sense, but my Mom decided to call his office anyway. When she asked if the person he said he was, was in the office the receptionist said “yes”. BIG ALARMS GO OFF!

    So my Mom tells her what had happened. The receptionist says…. email all this information immediately. So we do. Not long after that the REAL person (owner of the agency) sends and email and is very apologetic. He goes on to say that many people impersonate him for horrible things. He asks that we send him all the information we have on this person so he can do something about it. We send him everything with a huge thank you. BUT………. this person continues to send me emails asking what time we can Skype and finish the interview process.

    so I compose an email stating that we have spoken to the REAL person that he is a complete fake and that we are going to report him. He sends me email after email threatening me saying he knows where I live, then he attaches a ton of pictures that he took of me in my bra and thong threatening to post them everywhere, etc….. I was horrified. Thank heaven my parents took control and have many connections with the US Govt including Interpol. We had to delete the Skype account, block him in email, block him everywhere. Before everything was completely blocked he was sending me a Whatsapp calling me horrible names and saying he is going to ruin me, etc…etc.

    I feel comfortable now being that my parents took control, but it was HORRIBLE. Some scams are so elaborate that it is difficult to determine if they are scams. My piece of advice for any model being contacted, verify the agency is real, then verify the person is who they say they are. A simple phone call to the verified agency asking to speak to the person will prove A LOT. Be very careful, these people are clever and cunning. Never believe anything unless you verify EVERYTHING.

    Reply
  52. JOHNNIE "BLUE" GARDNER

    I’ve received two of these scam auditions, but, I’ve been around long enough, in age, to know when something sounds like a LIE!
    My question is, why isn’t there an avenue for Legal Action, against these CROOKS? It appears to me that, the INDUSTRY, in 2015, is way behind the curve, in developing a Legal Avenue, for holding these Bastards Accountable, in a Court of Law! Why Isn’t The Innocent Being Protected? That’s My Damn Question!

    Reply
    1. erica

      It is not illegal to sell things to people. Lots of salespeople use high pressure sales tactics, promise things they really can’t do and say whatever it takes to earn their commission. This is no different. This industry is actually above the curve with many states passing laws to protect consumers against predatory sales tactics. They are just using the word audition to entice people. If you read any of the contracts, in fine print, they will mention that they are NOT agents, not affiliated with any agencies and cannot get you work. They will also state that you are buying a service such as conventions, extremely expensive classes, a photo shoot, etc. The sales people just use high pressure tactics to get people to sign before reading it all through, usually by saying they are in a hurry, leaving on a plane to Hollywood in an hour, etc. It is difficult to bring legal action against them when people sign the contract acknowledging they know what they are doing. But, courts have taken action when enough people complain. These companies also know that most people will not complain because they are embarrassed, finally read the contract and realize they made a mistake.

      Reply
  53. Shere-Ka

    What about SMASH talent? I have had to pay to go to a showcase before but they are sending me to classes to prepare. I have been scammed before and would like it not to happen again. Please tell me if this is a scam. *I did not pay to audition*

    Reply
  54. William Huber

    Does anyone know anything about SIR models out of New York? They seem legitimate but I’d like some outside opinions.

    Reply
  55. Diane

    Do you know anything about this Agency. I can see they were licensed in 2012 formerly known as Visions Entertainment. I can’t find any reviews good or bad. They seem ok but I see red flags. They showed us a portfolio of one of their clients who did commercials for Embassy Suites, Jello, and have some bookings this december. All commercials. He is Greyson Foster. Maybe they can book some commercials but hook everyone in for the training fees. 20 weeks is around 1500. We are scheduled to go there today and I am curious. I don’t know what to think. I don’t have good or bad. Just nervous to make a mistake. They supposedly had a Boot Camp with MTV and some Agent there but I can’t see proof they attended. It was called Actors Boot Camp 2014 in Las Vegas. Please let me know asap

    Reply
    1. erica

      The main job of a talent agent is to book work for actors which they take a commission from. Any company whose main focus is training, workshops, portfolios is NOT making money from commissions on jobs, they make money from charging the talent for services. Good agents are selective because they ONLY make money if YOU make money, not from stuff they sell you on. The test would be if they are still willing to find you work and send you on auditions if you DO NOT take or pay for the classes, workshops, etc. Casting directors / agents that do workshops are getting paid to attend. In California, there is a law against such practices, but I don’t think Nevada has one. If they are selling Hollywood, please note the part of the law below that prohibits mixing workshops with casting for CA based agents / casting directors….

      Casting directors cannot accept headshots and resumes from actors at a workshop (or seminar, class, etc.). Even if part of the class involves having the casting directors review and offer feedback on actors’ resumes, the resumes must be returned to the actors by the end of the class.

      here is part of the CA law

      An ‘Advance Fee Talent Representation Service’ is illegal. California Labor Code 1702 states: ‘No person shall own, operate, act in the capacity of, advertise, solicit for, or knowingly refer a person to an advanced-fee representation service’.” Including, any “individual, company, society, firm, partnership, association, corporation, limited liability company, trust, or other organization,” requesting advanced fees for representation. In simpler terms: No person or business (including agents, agencies, managers, casting directors, schools, workshops, etc.) can charge upfront fees in exchange for representation or promises of work.

      On a side note…

      their online audition form asks (what it doesn’t ask for is a headshot and resume)

      Has anyone ever told you that you should be an actor, model or singer?
      Best time to contact parents?

      Reply
      1. Diane

        Thank you for your information. It is very hard to figure out since there is nothing good or bad and they do have a license in Nevada and nice offices. Which could be paid by their classes. They seem to have kids doing commericals but that could be very far and few. I would like to get training for my daughter but am trying to figure out how to do it. I am not paying them anything tonight and will see how they react. If it is for training they would be fine with waiting some time. If not then that says a lot also…

        Reply
          1. Diane

            Well like I thought. They didn’t lie, and don’t promise jobs just training and they will get you opportunities in front of casting directors that come to town etc. You need to pay right away. Red Flag. There are some real nice kids taking classes there, and I am sure they get some opportunities since I saw at least 2 that were doing commercials. But how many students do they have and how many get commercials Etc. There has to be a better way for training. I can’t find and derogatory information on them, however, one of the partners worked with John Robert Powers who appears to be a huge fraud and the same tactics are being used at this agency. Why hasn’t anyone spoken up?

          2. erica

            Maybe you can contact the casting directors they are trying to hook you up with and get their take on it… as to what they will be there to do, as well as research them. Many casting directors do workshops where I am in L.A. Those classes are not thousands of dollars though and the CD’s are there to speak, not cast normally. There are lots of classes offered at most community colleges, theaters and by many CD’s for a reasonable price as well. Those are always called what they are… classes, workshops, etc. and never an audition. You don’t audition for those, just pay a fee and attend. Companies that use the word “audition” to entice people into taking classes are operating in the gray and use the word audition as a “bait and switch” sales tactic.

  56. Heather

    I was given a link to this URL for nextauditions.com. Has anyone heard of these people? Is this a scam for money?

    Reply
    1. erica

      Never heard of them but would watch out for anyone who promises to “get you discovered” or the like. Accredited talent agents do not use that language… ever.

      Casting directors hold auditions for specific projects and roles, not for ‘undiscovered talent’, in California, talent agents need to be licensed, so when in doubt, ask for licence information and check it against the States database of licensed talent agents.

      Reply
  57. riddys

    I have received email from Erica Arvold casting to signup with AgencyProTalent.com. They said for $9.95 per month I would instantly get all the things that make clients stop and check me out. That which is, displayed below:
    * Display up to 20 photos and your full resume.
    * Be seen first through instant online submissions.
    * Get a FREE website at AgencyProTalent.com to support your personal marketing efforts.
    * Track your online submissions and personal website hits.
    I basically would like to know if this site is legitimate, I search the the site and found no negative information. Is it worth a try?

    Reply
  58. momof2cutekids

    I would like to just make everyone aware of our recent experience with a “so-called” talent agency that has proved to be a scam. First things first, both of my sons, who of course, I think are the most talented, beautiful and amazing kids are 6 and 8 years old.

    Recently a friend contacted me and told me about an audition that she heard about on the radio out of Kansas City. She said that is was a chance to audition for shows on the Disney Channel. I was immediately excited and thought, wow, this could be our chance to stardom!!! Ok, so anyway, she had already called the number and gotten her daughter an audition and wanted me to call and get my boys an audition, too. I called the number and they wanted simple information, like my name, the kids’ names, their birthdays and my email address.

    I gave them this information and, BAM, they got an audition! The lady on the phone said this was only open to 200 kids and we were one of the first callers! WOW, I thought, this is going to be awesome. My first mistake was then asking my boys if they would be interested in auditioning. They of course were immediately excited and, being 8 and 6 years old, thought this was an instant ticket to be on a show like, Jessie, Lab Rats, etc. I explained that they have to audition first and then we’ll see where that goes.

    This “agency”, then emailed me a very generic email stating our date and time for the audition, place and a 3 line script that they needed to practice and know by heart at audition time. My first impression of this “agency” was that the email was very generic. There was no contact information, no address or phone number, NOTHING about the company. Red flags were going off like crazy, but I just thought, maybe it is a private agency that only seeks talent first and then gives you all their info if they become interested in you. Ok, so anyway, all week long, my boys practiced to their little hearts content their lines. I mean they MASTERED these lines! I went out and bought new outfits, because the email said to have your child dress in upscale casual clothing.

    So, the day of the audition comes and we all get up early and head to Kansas City. The audition was going to be held at the Four Points Sheraton Hotel (by the airport). I later figured these con-artists just picked this place because it was convenient for them to hop off the plane from their scamming city to city and go across the street to a hotel with an open ballroom. Now, they told me when I made the audition appointment to be there at 11:30 am, my friend and her daughter had their audition at 9:00 am, so I thought we would have to wait our turn. When we went inside the hotel, we got in the line and stopped at a table, they did not asked who I was, just had me put my child’s name on the sign in paper, sign my name and put his age. Then you were directed to a woman who was taking a group picture of you and your child with her iPad. This woman then “checked” my driver’s license.

    I have absolutely no idea what the hell she was “checking”. I mean, how did she know I was these kids’ mom? I could have been anyone, she didn’t ask me for my audition time or in that matter if I even had an appointment. We were then led into the ball room where all kids and parents were being seated and started filling out a 1 page “application” for your child. They gave us a booklet, it was good quality, had several pages, but it did not really validate who this company was, where they are located, etc. I couldn’t help but scurry to fill out the application. This application asked things like child’s name, parent’s names, our phone numbers, address, height, weight, eye color, hair color, child’s interests, hobbies, how we heard about the audition, parent’s occupations, how committed we are, child’s talents and why we think our child is “the one”.

    When the room was full, the doors were closed and then it felt like a seminar was starting. The director, who had a very thick European accent, stood up and started telling us about how the next hour would go. She even said there was a real celebrity who flew in for this event that would be there! Talk about sucking your kids right in, my kids were thinking, wow, this is so exciting, we are going to get famous and get on TV! They introduced the “scouts” who would be auditioning your child. These “scouts” were the same ones who checked us in, took our picture and were walking around the room before they got started.

    This was a large room with probably 12 rows of chairs. There were probably 125 kids in the room along with parents. They then start to tell us about the process, that each child will only get about 3 minutes with the scout to show them what they got. They introduced the “scouts” who were very dressed up. These people looked the part. They looked like they were models and or actors themselves. Who knows if they were even legit or not, this is just what they were up there telling us. Anyway, they introduced the “celebrity”. It was a guy who supposedly played the red power ranger on Nickelodeon. I had no idea who this guy was, he was a pretty boy, he talked about his acting career and how he “made it to the top”. They then went over some skits with the audience to show them how the audition was going to go. Then it was time to audition. We were broken up into groups based on a number on our application. We actually were third in line. When we got to the table, he took our application, asked for his picture and asked my son about his interests and hobbies and then asked him to say his lines.

    He flawlessly performed, I of course thought he did great and thought he deserved a ticket straight to Hollywood. The “scout” then asked if we were serious about pursuing this and if we had a “flexible” schedule to accommodate my son if he was chosen. Then the audition was over. We were of course excited, kids were pumped up and all the false hope started again. They told us that we would get a text message that evening if he made the cut. They told us only 5% of the kids auditioned would get a call back. Later that evening, we got the text! I was excited at first and then my husband and his friends were like what’s the catch? The catch was, you had to come up with a financial plan and had to be able to “secure” this at the second audition which followed the next day. The prices in their booklet were outrageous. The cheapest one was $1,900. The most expensive package was $7,900. These prices did not guarantee anything except “access” to more auditions and jobs. What a rip off. It was then confirmed in my mind this was a rip-off scam. My friend, who went with us that morning, also got the magical text saying her daughter had been picked for a call-back. That confirmed it even more that this was bogus. I mean what are the chances that both of our kids were part of the 5% that they were supposedly calling back. I just want to make everyone out there aware that this, in fact, is a SCAM!!! The biggest red flag for me was that I couldn’t find anything about this agency on the internet. Their name was so generic, “Model and Talent”, that when you google them, their particular company does not come up but every business in the world that contains the words, model and talent does. I then found a blog where this company changed their name recently from “Casting Hub” to “Model and Talent”. So needless to say, we are staying undiscovered and fortunate we didn’t get reeled into this any further.

    Please beware that most of these scams have these seminar like events in hotels. They recruit via the radio or newspaper and lead you to believe that your child is the “chosen” one. BEWARE!!! This made me want to go down there and stand in front of the hotel lobby on the second day and tell these parents who thought their child was headed to stardom, the truth. I hope this helps you for any questions you may have if you get jipped into one of these ads. Remember, if it’s too good to be true, then IT IS!

    Reply
    1. erica

      Thank you for sharing your experience! Hope it helps other families.

      Reply
  59. NoThx

    I recently responded to an ad, it was very specific about what they were looking for. They first asked for 4 photos, a cover letter, resume, and in the cover letter there has to be a statement that I was comfortable with an NR-17 or R rating. They were very descriptive in the ad, and I was one of the people who received a response. They put off auditions for 2 weeks due to a death on the staff, but have decided to continue. They asked for one more photo (in a two piece outfit), and then sent me a slide to record an audition and post to youtube. They saw the name of my college (an Ivy) and said for that reason, even if I am not chosen to act, they have a producer trainee position available that they would discuss with me at the in person interview if I made it that far. I did all of this, and it seemed legit, but here is what has me off guard. With the exception of the first e-mail, I don’t have any contact info on them. I have an email address that goes to a craigslist ad, and only after I submitted my audition tape did I receive thier address. I don’t have anyone’s name, or phone number, nor do I know the name of this ‘agency’. The thing that most has me concerned is that I finished my audition tape late at night, submitted it at 11:40pm, and received a response with the location of the in person interview about 15 minutes later. What kind of company has employees doing this at midnight? And if it is a legit company, would they really function this way? I’ve looked up the address they gave me and I know is that its in an office building, but I can’t find any company name in the suite that they are in. I’m tempted to ask for more info (ie a company name, contact number, something). After all of the steps I had to take to get to this point, I’m feeling very confused at thier lack of information. I have less than a week before the interview, any advice would be greatly appreciated! (Oh, and I am planning to bring a male, very muscular friend of mine just in case).

    Reply
    1. erica

      Sounds really really wrong. There is zero reason to not give out company or contact info. The producer thing, or asking if you would like to be one, makes it very suspicious since producers often time oversee budgets and find funding for productions. No, this seems far from legit and personally seems like they are trying to gain your confidence through all the correspondence. Not a single legit company would ever withhold their identity unless they were hiding something for sure.

      Reply
      1. erica

        On a side note… the rated R reference is completely off the wall. No one would even think about mentioning that and projects don’t get rated before they are produced. It sounds like it may be a Nigerian confidence scam where they actually have no idea what they are taking about but are trying real hard to sound like they do. Uhh, be really careful, if you decide to move forward, go back through their correspondence to see if the grammar and language sounds like a native English speaker wrote it. And, if you even have to wonder, its probably wrong. No harm in asking for references, projects they have done in the past, etc.

        Reply
  60. james

    I have been cast for a reality show. The producer told us we would have to sell tickets for a benefit dinner. There is 2 concerts scheduled as benefit concerts to help out with the production cost. There is a actor who has played in some movies backing this up and makes appearances at the office. Is this common?

    Reply
    1. erica

      It’s common for music groups and comics, never heard of that for reality TV since shows like to get the funding before moving forward with casting. Not sure if that’s a scam, just sounds like a production in need of money to move forward and trying some crowd funding techniques.

      Reply
  61. Matt Jablonski

    Hello, I was wondering if its possible that there are scam casting calls on this website? Has anyone ever been scammed from this site alone? If all are legit that would put my conscious at ease before i send $360 to a traveling agent I’ve never met before.

    Thank in advance!!

    Reply
    1. erica

      While we try to be as thorough as possible with the listings, they are posted by various production companies and 3rd parties. No site can ever guarantee a listing due to the anonymous nature of the internet. If anyone asks for money, EVER, it is a 100% scam. A real production company would never send a check to some stranger, ask them to cash it and forward money to them. They DO NOT ask for travel agent fees, etc.

      Reply
        1. erica

          If anyone asks for money to cover YOUR travel costs, it is NOT legit. Do not send them money, if you do, you will never hear from them again. Scammers who ask for money to be sent are not in the US, so no, you will never be able to sue them and you would never be able to even find out their real names to even try.

          Reply
          1. Matt Jablonski

            they were also using a pretty known casting directors name isn’t that grounds for suing? gary zudeborg
            Thanks for helping me out!!!

          2. erica

            It is hard to catch scammers because they lie. I don’t believe there is any way to find out who they are and most likely they are not even in the US. That notice was posted on many casting sites including the ones people need to pay for. I don’t believe there is anything that can be done about it. Unfortunately, it happens and everyone needs to be aware of it and never, ever send a stranger money for any reason. Gary Zudeborg had nothing to do with it, they simply created an email account in his name.

  62. Alicia Joslin

    We were suckered out of $3000 dollars. Yes, that’s right. $3000 dollars. Model and Talent goers, beware. The ad on the radio makes it sound like you are auditioning for a Pepsi Commercial. You go in the first day and complete these forms, listen to a bunch of people lift you up and you think you are wonderful and have potential. You read your script and you leave praying you get a call back. Well, guess what? You get a call back (which I think everyone did) and you read your script again in this big room with no one in there but you, your parent, and the talent representative. Oh yes my son was wonderful. Then out comes the price list for their services. You’re not given any time to really think objectively because your kid is sitting there thinking they are going to be star! She answered all the questions about as vague as she could. I look over and my son is crying because he is so thrilled that his dreams are coming true. I as a parent of course do not want to shatter his dreams, so I’m pulling out charge cards and every resource I have to pay for this service that is only internet marketing of my child. No face to face guidance whatsoever. After realizing we had been had because we found a reputable agency, I had to call the credit card agency and cancel all other scheduled payments to this agency so I could cut my losses. My source of anger though is not the money. I don’t see how these people can sleep at night knowing how they have lied and manipulated these young people for money. Karma is a bitch!

    Reply
  63. anonymous

    A company calling themselves Model and Talent is having auditions at the Hyatt in Boston this weekend. Scam. They took my licence snd signature as a security measure…..great. they called my child back despite fumbling lines. They had Dan Benson, zeke from Wizards of Waverly place hyping thier enterprise. Disney and all that. I’ve founded other scam reports using him and his name as a front man. Hyatt Boston August 23, 2014 and August 24, 2014. Thier literature has nothing as far as names and contact info beyond a now dead email address at auditions@modelandtalent.tv. sorry I went. Off to lockup my credit report!

    Reply
    1. anonymous

      I just got scammed by the same company yesterday here at the Mariott in Ottawa, Canada. Here they used the ugly nanny from the show Jessie, Jennifer Veal, for their big hype. It wasn’t until I got home, read their pamphlet, and started to put 2 and 2 together and saw the scam. At that point I predicted to my daughter and her mother that we would make the “call list” and be asked to come back today, Sunday, to a “2nd audition”. This would be followed by financial commitment, between $2000-8000 (that is, if my daughter succeeds in the second audition, which I am sure that everyone does). This is pathetic for the kids, fortunately my daughter took it quite well. Once again, the company is called Model and Talent and you cannot find them on the Internet, only complaints about the scam. The URL is ModelandTalent.tv and what I found out after is that “tv” stands for: ” It’s technically from the country of Tuvalu. However some guy paid the country a flat fee (of somewhere between $15 to $20 Million or so) to have exclusive rights to market it and sell domains with the .tv extension. He thought it would be a good idea since .tv can be construed as an abbreviation for “television”.” SCAM, please beware.

      Reply
  64. Mikayla

    Is backstage a legit website for auditions? What are real websites for casting calls in films and tv?

    Reply
  65. Sofia

    Anyone ever heard of Smash Talent? I want to know if they are legit. They “chose” my daughter to be in their “Launch Showcase” in Chicago which will introduce her to 70+ agents. Costs start at $1995 up to $3945.

    Reply
    1. erica

      Sounds like a convention. Not sure what you mean by legit. Sounds like they want you to pay for a service. If you are asking if they are an agency, I would doubt they are since agencies are not allowed to charge upfront fees for representation. There are companies that sell conventions and talent shows. You can usually just google those, use “review” after company name to see what others who attended thought of the service.

      Reply
    2. Lynn

      Sofia,
      What did you find out about this showcase in Chicago? It’s severll years later and they are still at it?

      Reply
  66. Lann

    Does anyone know if Explore Talent in itself is scam, or just some of the so called producers casting directors are? they have an address in Las Vegas which of course I was just there and I am NOT allowed to go check the place out come on my assumption is it is a call center.
    And if you call then you most likely will be routed to the Philippines.

    I got a hit for my child from new casting producer from email michaels2casting@gmail for commercials, pilots, movie and modeling ( first red flag should have been he was casting for so many different types of cast not just a movie or a commercial).

    Once I searched more by cross checking the casting director, I FINALLY found producer name. Turned out very below B rated commercial in Canada( I cannot even describe how low budget this way, it was a commercial on a cereal but more like the old kid showed the line and the dot) 1st phase turns out screening..( which was it couple hundred person cattle call although we were told that she had been pre-screened and selected) everyone auditioned went through.

    I was told she would be perfect for commercials, my daughter who did not even say one word they looked at her and said modeling and that was it. I could not ask any questions.. willing to do very low budget even know wanting to get her three points with SAG, we continue.

    Everyone that showed up for the next training, also went through, but I know there’s less people because most people saw the red flags we’re having a blast in Hollywood so I figured what the heck? No money. No harm, she’s getting her feet wet although it was for modeling she still is having to memorize Scripts. something I just noticed this last visit which is a separate question to you is this is a separate ways of HOOK LINE sinker..

    When we went into the office this time it was filled with 6 other individuals usually it is just one three of which I recognize from cattle call. I call them our on it. They said they got hired in the office ( yet they are helping conduct interview) they asked young lady if she got the part, she said yes for the candy commercial, but she stuttered her way through that I asked if I could please see it because everyone was getting the part to the candy commercial..they did not know how to handle my questions which were quite correct, is that a separate form of skin having the people that are scamming us in line or did they just actually truly get hired?

    Should we be able to ask them at any point at an audition, to view something that they have filmed or made? So that’s a two part question one is Explore Talent are they legit? Not all of the clients but go through them? Thank you for any help

    Reply
    1. Julia

      Explore Talent is not an agency, they are a site that syndicates casting information from all over the internet. They have no way to tell if the casting is real or a scam. They do NO hiring for any projects and basically charge a monthly fee to see the contact info for the casting calls they find. The office is a call center with sales people, not, casting directors or agents.

      They sell website subscriptions and others mentioned their sales people may be aggressive in selling those subscriptions.

      Their website tells you to watch out for scams because they may be listing those. This sounds like the usual bait and switch. You come in for an audition and the people try to sell lessons instead.

      Reply
    2. Allison C

      Reply to Lann: Was this located at 133