Model/Talent Directory Scams
"Anyone can put up a web site and claim casting directors look at it. No casting director is looking for models, extras or actors on these sites." - Susan Gard, spokeswoman for the California state agency that oversees talent agent licensing.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of online "agencies" where, for a fee, potential models can post their photos for managers, agents, casting directors, etc. to "discover."
Some of these sites even go so far as to have a "Become a talent scout" division for potential "talent scouts."
FACT: The term "talent scout" is usually a tip-off that the site is either a rip-off or cannot help you.
FACT: Real scouts are not called "talent scouts" within their respective fields, except by the media - and no one gets a legitimate scouting position by clicking on a "become a talent scout" link.
FACT: People at real casting companies, modeling agencies and talent agencies see enough potential models in person and receive enough referrals from legitimate model scouts that searching online for "new faces" is completely unnecessary.
FACT: Real casting directors, modeling agents and talent agents are much too busy to spend hour after hour looking for "new faces" online.
FACT: The quality and style of the photos posted on "model directory" sites is usually so bad they are of no use to a potential agent, manager or casting director.
FACT: Very few potential employers, casting directors, etc. will take you seriously if you are on a "wannabe" site.
Think about it. Busy professionals simply don't have time to wade through thousands of "member profiles" to find new talent - so don't let anyone talk you into spending hard earned money for amateur photos and a listing in some online talent directory.
"About a year ago I discovered (I'll call it "dumbmodelplace") and read all the stories about thousands of models getting contacted for work and what a great deal it was. They make it sound so glamorous and so easy and so inexpensive. Well, one year later I finally realized the truth. They are a scam! I canceled my membership with them three months ago but I'm still being charged every month and no matter how many times I call I am still getting billed. Oh, and all those "jobs" that I was supposed to be contacted for turned out to be non-paying TFP (Trade for Pictures) and almost all of them wanted me to be nude or even worse, doing some sort of porn."
Some sites allow you to "register" for free then they will start send you e mails that say "you have booking requests" for which you have to pay a few dollars each to see in more detail.
The big problem with this is that you don't really have any booking requests.
No one really "requested" you and what you will actually receive for your money is a copy of a post that has been lifted off of some public access forum where you can get the same information on your own for free.
And, since there is zero screening and zero verification of any employment offer of any kind on this type of site, you can safely assume that 5% or less of the model/talent castings are real and maybe 1% of those don't involve nudity plus most of them don't pay enough money to bother with.
Meanwhile, telling you that you have received a booking request is false, misleading and fraudulent. (Making false and misleading statements in order to get money from someone is illegal in all fifty states - and doing this across state lines constitutes mail fraud or wire fraud which is a felony offense under Federal Law.)
What about posting a few pictures on myspace or some other web site then e mailing agents and casting directors a message with a link to your "profile"?
Useless and unwanted emails are considered "spam" and no one likes to receive spam - so why go out of your way to make a negative impression on the very people that can help you?
Do you really think sending out emails out with your "model ID number" or a link to your "profile" is a good idea? (It's not.)
Do you really think real agents or real casting directors will take you seriously or have time to search for you. (They won't.)
Anyone can post a picture on these sites proclaiming they are a model. Very few actually qualify however, and very few of the "models" on these amateur sites ever follow through (answering e mails, returning phone calls, showing up for a casting or a booking, etc.).
Why put yourself in this category?
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There are thousands of fake modeling and talent agencies and a relatively small handfull of real ones - especially in the state of Florida - so feel free to send an e mail with your name, stats and a small jpg photo or two and we will try to point you in the right direction.
questions and comments are always welcome!
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