By: David St.John
Modeling agency reputations are a lot like your high school reputation, always up for grabs. Everyone knows which agency didn’t pay them. Some agencies dabble in sex trades such as phone sex, and camcorder sex. Only one in Portland has such a reputation. That agency tells you to pay them $100 for digital photos which they take in their office, then they send you to their photographer for $500, then it’s on to expensive comp cards, then you get to meet VIPs that can make you famous (the VIPs fail to arrive). They show you ‘their’ international work on the computer and you do not really know if the work was theirs, an affiliates, or someone else’s work – do you?
One model management company owner routinely writes false Rip Off Reports about his competitors. He got caught doing this last year because his email handle ‘Talentscout’ was right on the top of the report in which he had posed as a young girl in an effort to injure 3 other agencies reputations. As soon as he was told that his handle was on the report it magically disappeared yet he still says he didn’t do it.
When a model tries out for an agency two negative scenarios can playout; either she is rejected or cannot afford modeling tools required of every model. That model goes out to tell the world bad stories about that agency. Call them a rip off or scam because the problem could never be you, right?
SCAMS: All car dealers tell the buyers that they owe too much on their trade in. This costs everyone of us thousands. Yet we all accept that. All people selling their homes want more than they paid. All horse selling leaves out important facts about problems with that horse. Most models do not want to face the costs associated with the correct pursuit of possible success in this industry. Someone said they were attractive and that is all it should take, they think. So anyone who tells them the truth is thus a scam. The scams in modeling occur when a chain modeling school lies about your actual modeling possibilities in order to sell you something. Some sell ‘fame’ trips down south to get discovered, costing from $2,000 to $10,000 without ever telling you that there may be the need for your family to move there if you get chosen.
The fact that a modeling business moved at the end of its lease is not dishonest. Most do that. A name change or the filing of an LLC is not dishonest. Changing personnel is not dishonest, it happens. Be honest with yourself, get training and practice daily.
In Portland, Oregon the biggest fashion shows of the year pay the models nothing because modeling is not yet mature here. Until models understand that they will not be worth anything without professional training and that they remain worth no money until they insist upon pay and stop prostituting the industry by volunteering for shows which actually have a budget, there will be no change. The experience one gains by constant volunteering is worth little in such a market where most refuse to pay even for professionalism. Unless those shows are by non-profit 501C3 type organizations is may be illegal to volunteer. Eventually the labor board will deal with this when a single model keeps track of their unpaid rehearsals, shows, fittings and turns in the hours to the board. The $10,000 fine may force the organizers to pay at least minimum wage. Talk about scams.
Model scammers come here from Granite falls, Las Vegas, L.A. to sell your family on the dream of international fame and fortune. If you ever get scouted at the mall or ballgame by an out of town scammer they will direct you to a meeting at a hotel about their company. Don’t go. One even charged $4900 for a once a month, all day Saturday class at a hotel in Vancouver, Washington. They hired their modeling instructor over the phone, never saw her, and promised the suckers MGM and Disney would review their graduation. Then they sold the list of suckers to someone that sold them an ’Intensive’ short training in Vegas for $7000 more. Once sold the dream even these parents refused to wake up.
Guess what? Paying for quality training or quality photography is not a scam, it is part of the cost of becoming a professional. All models need some acting and audition ning training and all actors need some training in grooming and stage presence.
The only person that creates a scam is the model ‘wanna-bee’ that wants it all for free or the model’s managed by mothers that have spent a lifetime paying needless waste bills for that daughter or son who started everything but finished nothing.
Tyra paid for training, lots of pictures, agent fees and look where it got her. Those tools worked in her case. Remember much of what gets said on a TV show was ‘scripted’ for dramatic impact.
If you ever saw the money that some of those crying scam invest in drugs and other unhealthy wastes of money then you would see the facts about bad spending choices. “My boyfriend was mad because I gave money to modeling expenses…” So she said. Control issues here?
There is no where in Portland Oregon that will pay for your vocational training as a model, pay for your photography, comp cards and portfolio just because they think you ‘have it’. They don’t know you or whether you will follow through to completion if they paid for it for you, do they?
No one with much integrity ever bad mouths an agency because that is like biting the hand meant to feed you. What you say travels on wings of air directly back to whoever you stung. It inevitably hurts you the most because now no one trusts either of you.
As one matures or ‘grows up’ one realizes that all professions require dedication, training and professional tools that you purchase yourself.
If a parent or spouse pays your way through a modeling/life skills/ finishing school they will probably save 3 times the amount they paid in mistakes you will not make because of the training. You will go to better schools, marry better, earn more; all because your self confidence matures in this kind of training, plus you will probably make good money in this field.
Read all rip off reports thoroughly, usually they are written by jealous competitors and no one got ripped off.