Your site is so great, it makes researching the business sooo much easier having all the info in one place! thankyou thankyou thankyou.
Amada, aspiring actress, Sydney, Australia
Just wanted to say that this site is FANTASTIC! It's helped me quite a bit and it's now my #1 bookmarked item, which means I'm going to be visiting here regularly :) Thanks again,
Rob, aspiring actor, Canada
I absolutely love your site - it's SOOOO helpful and very impressive!
I am a frequent visitor and have signed up for the newsletter, plus I think it's so good I have recommended it to all my acting friends! Thank you for creating such a wonderful website!
Wow Tony! I would just like to comment on how much you have affected my life.
First of all, any questions I have are answered extremely fast, and not only that, you give me a very helpful answer every time. Also, by reading your newsletters, I obtain just the right information that I need to succeed in the acting business. I am so happy I discovered your site, and I hope you know how much we actors appreciate you. Thanks again, and I can't wait to read your next newsletter!
Laura Doukas, Actress
I did what you said and I got two interviews with two agents! Thank you! Sorry but can I ask you how do I prepare to go meet the agent? What do I have to do?
Marsha P., New York, NY, USA
This site has taught me a lot that I needed to know without dragging me all over the place.
Lauren, actress, Atlanta, GA
This acting scam story was written by a young, aspiring actor named Jenna.
How can we help you Jenna?: Hello I just wanted to say your website is very informative and I appreciate all the great acting tips you present to aspiring actors. I wanted to share an acting scam I've gone through in the past while in pursuit of achieving my acting career.
A couple weeks ago I found a list of acting agents' email addresses in the Los Angeles area and sent my headshot and resume to them(which I will not do anymore after this.) Anyway, I got an email back from a company saying they would like to bring me in for a audition. Of course I agreed and went in with my mom, with whom I go everywhere since I'm still a minor. So we go to downtown Los Angeles, and their office is on Wilshire, which is prime real-estate (now we know why they have such a nice office on Wilshire after all the scams.)
I Got Called Back!
I present my monologue on camera and really like my auditor. He says I'm very good and says I'll most likely going to get a call back. The next day, sure enough, I get a call back from him telling me he presented my audition tape to their Executive whatever and claim she was very impressed with me and wanted me to come in again to meet her. We go in the next day and they give us a brochure of all the celebs they claim they helped to start their career, some included Brad Pitt. When we go in to meet with her she asks if I have a monologue to read for her. I thought this was strange since my auditor said she saw my audition tape. We talk about conventions that I've gone to and she says she feels remorse for us for paying so much money out to scams. She then goes on that God sent me to her and that we are done searching for an agent and we no longer have to pay money out.
She then hands me a paper and tells me to read it, but she didnt explain what it was( I had no idea what it was for, I thought maybe to see what my reading skills were). It turns out it was a cold read. I didn't have anytime to read over it first and the words were difficult reading aloud the first time. She tells me I need classes from that short read. She then brings out a paper and starts writing a list of what I need to do: lose weight, highlight hair, get new headshots, get print pictures for a portfolio (which I don't need since I'm an actor not a model which I clearly stated to her at the beginning of the interview), redo resume, and take acting classes.
It Was Too Good To Be True
It was beginning to smell like an acting scam. After the whole "no longer have to pay money out speech" she then writes a figure down of $3000 that we need to pay her over a three month period and $500 deposit, for her to represent me.
Of course the first audition there was no conversation about money, I figured it was a normal agency that takes 10 percent out of your paycheck. She also says we have to go to a convention that they are hosting in a couple months, which she told us even after the whole conversation about conventions.
Before we can leave we're directed into another room to deal with the payment options. We get sucked into writing a $500 check to them and tell them we'll be there for the classes and they hand us monologue books.
A Change Of Heart!!
On the ride home I called them and said we thought about it and told them to rip the check up for now until we decide to go for it (which was of course a lie). We then talked about when she comes back from her fashion trip in Korea and she tells me to be back in shape in a month. I explain that I'm having surgery soon and it would probably be hard for me to lose weight. She totally ignores that and goes on about me getting back in shape (and its not like I'm obese, I just don't have a model body).
Not A Nice Feeling
I felt very belittled, and felt taken advantage of, victim of an acting scam. They also said to send the monologue books back, but I lied. I figured they cost us time, gas and frustration, and we weren't going to spend a couple more dollars on them to send books back to them.
Unfortunately there have been other encounters from people who claim they are agents and ask you to audition for them. You think that you have an appointment, but it's actually a cattle call. They put you in a room with a TV and show a promo of all the successful actors who have used them. They have a long speech and go through acting auditions. After each one, they tell you that you need to take their classes, or you need to use their photographers, and its only going to cost $6000 (If Meryl Streep went in to one of those scams in disguise, they would probably say she needed classes also). I wanted to tell you these stories for you to hopefully post on your website to help other aspiring actors to be on the look out for these acting scams.
Thank you Jenna for sharing that acting scam story with the visitors to ActingCareerStartUp.com!
There are more acting scam stories here on this website.
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I want to say you changed my life. I want to be an actress so bad, but i began losing motivation when I couldn't figure out what to do. And then I found you! Thanks to you, I'm taking my first acting classes next month! Yippee!
Sara, Pasadena, CA
Just wanted to thank you for bringing me in to [audition for the video], meet you and chat this Saturday. I was really excited to hear about your working on actingcareerstartup.com and even took a look at it today - it's awesome! You are very well-spoken, knowledgeable and enthusiastic, and it shows through the work that you do! I hope our paths in the industry will cross again and really enjoyed meeting you. Thanks, again and best wishes with your very important work!
Gretchen, NY, NY