Hard Times for Scammers

We’re all going through tough times.
Even the scammers.
Used to be they’d approach you at the Mall, tell you your talented 8 year-old, ‘Kelsey’ had star quality. Flattered, you’d listen, all smiles as you were told about the open audition happening that day at a seemingly prestigious address (say, for instance Century City or an office building in Universal City).
All excited, you’d show up, they’d give you a script and have ‘Kelsey’ go in and read in front of a camera. Then they’d bring you in and tell you that ‘Kelsey’ had passed the audition and was now eligible to take a special acting class, in fact a series of classes lasting 6 months or more. Pictures would be included and it would only cost you $6,000.
Well, that was way over your budget you’d tell them. Then they’d start to get tough, tell you to just break down the cost. “When you think about it each class is under $50 and photos are included. And, for a short time only, we’ll include ‘Advice for Life’, call us anytime with any question except, ‘Would it be possible for me to get a partial refund?’ Think about it: the biggest stars in Hollywood send their kids to our school. In fact, the demand is so great you have until five o’clock today to decide.”

Well, this worked fine for the scammers but when hard times really hit many family credit cards were already maxed out.

What’s a poor scammer to do?

Then someone came up with the Big Idea: Go for Volume.
Charge less – twenty dollars sounds about right – draw in hundreds of star struck parents to gather for a huge seminar in a giant auditorium on “How to Break Into Show Business” (featuring a well-known celebrity…depending of course on availability.). Then there are pictures. ‘Kelsey’ must have a headshot. Ordinarily you pay $450 but with help from our management company you pay only $250. Yes, we’ll keep you going with classes, advice on clothing, contacts, seminars, pictures. Before you know it we’ll have hundreds of kids like ‘Kelsey’ under exclusive contract. Over time, with an obligation to only study with ‘our’ teachers we’ll still take thousands of dollars from you
All with minimal if not zero results.

Simple advice from Jan and Jon: whenever the total is ultimately going to be in the thousands it’s time to walk away. Always, always Google the name and check with the Better Business Bureau.

We love teaching acting. Yes, it’s a business but it’s also a calling and it’s our firm conviction that you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to help your child pursue their dream.

At the same time your good common sense can help create permanent hard times for scammers.

Jon Smet

Posted byActing Workshops with Jan and Jon at 12:55 PM 0 comments  

What A Deal - Our 4-Week Adult Advanced Audition Workshop

It’s the class that gives you a bonus every month for a year. Actors who sign up for our 4-Week Advanced Audition Workshop are also given a year of free events. On the 4th Tuesday evening of every workshop, we invite an Industry Guest to share their expertise for 90 minutes (half of the class time). We have a range of guests – from Improv Teachers, to Agents and Managers, to TV directors – to name a few. All actors who’ve taken the Advanced Workshop are emailed an invitation to these special events. This is an excellent way to get in on free classes and also to network with Industry Experts.

Our guest in September is Mary Lou Belli, an Emmy Award Winning TV director and co-author of the Sitcom Career Book. She will present a 90 minute class that is full of useful tips on how to shape sitcom auditions. It is very practical, extremely useful and also a lot of fun. The date is September 29 at 8 PM at The Young Actors Space, 5918 Van Nuys Blvd., Van Nuys 91401. All actors who’ve taken our Advanced Audition Workshop, watch for your email invitation to this event. THIS EVENT IS BY INVITATION ONLY.

Go to http://www.janjonworkshops.com

To learn more about the 4-Week Advanced Audition Workshop.

Posted byActing Workshops with Jan and Jon at 3:39 PM 0 comments