Thursday, March 31, 2011

In regards to the comment made by scouting company

Sometimes when you try to do the right thing it makes you a target. Well I wear my bulls eye proudly this week. If you see below, the "scouting company" saw fit to finally come out of their hole and attack me. I could have just deleted their comment but I thought I would continue to let them bury themselves. They wrote below that they tried to contact my company and got a response from me. Here is what they wrote: "Uh, I emailed you in reference to being with your company and sent you a photo. An automated email then responded stating that my photo was not good enough and you gave me a list of name for professional photographers in my area, so how is that not telling me I need to go out, SPEND MY MONEY, and get photos because my personal photos were not good enough. SO how are you any different, You are not! Also you are affiliated with a modeling school so again you contradict yourself time and time again!"
First, It is very rare that we can get back to anyone that writes to us in less than a few weeks as we are so busy booking talent and we get dozens of submissions a week (we state this on our website). If they sent us a "fake" inquiry this week, we would never have responded already (especially this week as we were twice as busy with all of this additional blogging and taking phone calls from tearful people who went to this "casting call". We also never send "automated" responses. We send replies directly to the sender. Second, we are not, never have been, and never ever will be affiliated with a school. Everyone knows that about us. Third, we always give out photographers names because WE DON'T shoot people ourselves and and make money on our own photo shoots. If someone needs their photos done it is our job as model managers to give them this info and allow them to make their own decision OR go to a photographer of their own choosing. If a model brings us inferior photos that we can't get them work with then it is our job to counsel them and give them the names of qualified people. I have said this for years. It is my job.
Another update- I spoke to my contact at Carousel Mall and they have never booked a show with this "scouting company". Many others called the mall as well (I feel bad for all of the people that have had to suffer because of this.)
I am glad I was able to help so many people this week and I am so sorry for all of the pain that many of you have felt. I do encourage all of you that are unhappy and been unable to get satisfaction to contact the NYS Attorney Generals Office as I heard they may already have a file started on this company (they do business under the names Direct Connect 123 as well.
Again - always, always do your due diligence!
I won't be posting anymore directly from this company BTW. I just thought I would keep you all apprised of what was going on.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

More in regards to Talent Searches...

If you can stand it here is one more tidbit.. if an agency or Company insists that you get photos or comp cards (or even classes or portfolios) done with them as a condition of membership - RUN. You should always be able to choose who does your photos. It within the agency's rights to approve or disapprove your photos as some photos may not be right but you should have the right to get photos done by whomever you like. We provide our talent with a comprehensive list of photogs who know how to shoot the kind of work we need and we make NOTHING from these shoots.
One of the complaints I read about in regards to some of these scouting companies was that none of the models that already had comps, photos and portfolios were selected. They only selected people with no photos. Why wouldn't you want people with photos and experience? We prefer those people! RED FLAG!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

CNY Central investigates talent search

CNY Central investigates talent search: "An agency called Talent Solutions Group is at the DoubleTree Hotel in Carrier Circle this week, and we are investigating what this business is all about."

Monday, March 28, 2011

Talent Searches

Well today was a good day to be an honest talent manager. I got to see first hand (it has been years since I had the displeasure) one of these "talent search" companies in action. It was disturbing to watch a fast talking, well trained young pitch man (I'm pretty sure I have shoes in my closet older than he) nearly come unwrapped as I asked him legitimate questions about his company's intentions with one of my models that he was trying to extort about $800.00 (not to mention 20.00 a month thereafter) from. Not only could he not make eye contact with me but I thought his eyeballs were going to become dislodged from his skull they were moving so fast.
This particular company was promising "modeling work" to one of my pretty young teens. He said his company got work for models for companies like JC Penney, Macy's and RUE 21. When I asked him if this was print work he said yes. I called him out telling him that I had been in this business for longer than he had been alive and in none of those years had any of those companies done PRINT work here. They are all done in major cities (ie NYC and LA). He tried to fast talk again and brought up the companies BBB "rating". PEOPLE : HEAR THIS! YOU CAN PURCHASE A BBB LOGO FOR YOUR NEW BUSINESS AND WEB SITE. THAT IS HOW IT WORKS. If you have a business you call the BBB and you write them a check and viola- you have a logo.(more or less)I don't have one and I refuse to "buy" one. You want to know what kind of business I run- GOOGLE me. If you have been in business a short time OR you have changed your business name (as is the case with this company) the BBB is not caught up. Check out all the names the company does business under(I found three plus one infamous one that has been sued repeatedly).
Oh, so - they do business under different names??? HELLO- RED FLAG! Also check out the names of the principles of the company. Oh- they aren't listed on the web site or anywhere? HELLO- RED FLAG!! Call the company- does a live human answer- ever? HELLO- RED FLAG!
You must do your due diligence here. Just as you would with any thing you spend this kind of money on. Remove emotion, engage your common sense and proceed with caution. If you were a plumber and just growing your business, would you pay someone from another city far away 800.00 to be on web site called and trust them to get you work in your own backyard? It's ridiculous on the face of it but when its modeling all of a sudden it makes sense??? huh???
Do these companies get you any jobs?- Yes. Mostly promotional work which is handing out product samples and working at trade show booths or Walmarts etc. That is how they get around some of the angry people who come back and say: "Hey, you didn't make me a model and get me jobs". We get this type of work for some of our models that desire it too. We call it special event staffing or promotion staffing. It's not bad work it's not MODELING and it certainly shouldn't cost you 800.00 and 20.00 per month to book it! Do they get people traditional modeling jobs? Possibly. Its like the whole spaghetti on the wall thing- if you throw enough, something has to for pun intended.
Oh and beware! Rumor has it this show is coming to a mall near you week I hear.....