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 www.starplumbingtalentusa.com 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 stick...food for thought...no pun intended.
Oh and beware! Rumor has it this show is coming to a mall near you too...next week I hear.....