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  


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