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Scam, Scam, Scammity Scam

In Parenting by Jen34 Comments

This last weekend I received a call from a talent development agency wishing to “audition” my children for television and modeling parts. I laughed,  I thanked them, I told them no, and then I promptly hung up. I later told my sister about the call, because my nephew has let it be known that his life’s wish is to have his own Nickelodeon sitcom.  She said she wanted to look into it.  Later she called me back and said that she and my nephew were going and they really wanted me and the kids to go with them. Being the supportive sister I am I agreed, because you don’t say no to the kind of sister who would help you evade the law, if it came to that.

So before showing up I prepared my children to not expect much, but promised them ice cream on the way home. They were in!

The talent development people began the “audition” by showing us a video which was meant to impress us with their “success” stories, none of  the people in the video were anyone my children or myself knew about. My oldest daughter leaned over and asked me, ” If they are so good at what they do and have been in business for years why don’t they have any people on their “success” list who I know?”.

I have really high hopes for that particular girl. . .

Anyway after watching the video and waiting for what seemed like an eternity, maybe 45 minutes, we were up. Our interviewer was a no nonsense (pushy) Hispanic women who asked me right off which of my children I thought was the most talented.

I waited a minute and had no answer. She looked at me like I was daft and asked again.

I told her all of my children were awesome, because, hello, THEY ARE!

Upon hearing my answer she muttered under her breath, “Wrong answer”.

At this point my oldest daughter’s face started turning a mottled shade of red and I could see she was trying very hard not to say something rude. I was still in shock wondering what parent would sell out their kids and play favorites just to impress this woman who meant nothing.

She then asked me, if my children were “selected,” would I be willing to make a financial commitment for acting classes. The prices ranged between $1000 and $7000 US dollars.

What??

“Isn’t this supposed to be about talent?” I asked her.

She looked at me unresponsive with only her blinks showing me she was still alive.

“Alright lady, now I have your name and number, if I need anything else.”  I grabbed my children and off we went.

And guess what….. She called me back the next day to inform me that my son Caleb had been selected, but I had to sign a contract and pay within the next few hours before she left for LA.

Geez Louise, please tell me people are not this stupid!

Luckily, my children and I have laughed about this experience and are none the worse for the wear, but I know that there are other parents there who DID sign up and that is why I am sharing my story.

And because my kids ARE star studded awesome, take this pushy mean talent lady!

Stay Happy! Stay Informed!

Love,

Jen




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Comments

  1. Oh man, Jen I am not sure how anyone could indeed be this naive and not see right through this scam. Good for you and I still not sure I would have been able to keep my mouth closed without going off on this women trying to get me to sell out one of my children for the other for a scam nonetheless!
    Janine Huldie recently posted…My Challenge..My Profile

    1. Author

      I know right? Usually I have no problem communicating, but this one really stumped me at the moment. I thought she was joking and thought of all of these great come-backs after I had walked away. I guess the lesson to be learned is that I am not cut out to be a “barracuda-esque” Hollywood stage mom.
      Jen recently posted…Scam, Scam, Scammity ScamMy Profile

  2. Wow! It is definitely not my scene, but I hope that no one gets hooked by this kind of sham.

    PS: I believe your daughter) deserves an Oscar for not putting Pushy McPushyB(r)itches in her place. You might have been at a loss for words (at the time), but it sounds like your daughter could have delivered one heck of a real performance.:)
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    1. Author

      I am pretty sure it’s not my scene either. I think I would make a very bad stage mom.

      She did deliver a totally Oscar worthy performance and they totally missed it even further pointing out how little they know about acting!
      Jen recently posted…Scam, Scam, Scammity ScamMy Profile

  3. Hi Jen, it sounds as if you had a lucky escape! Sadly there will be people who will fall for what these con artists tell them. If a talent agency thinks a child is truly talented surely they back the child financially all the way as a sort of investment?

    Will be sure to spread the word!

  4. Oh my gosh! This is sooo indicative of the pitfalls and traps of how the world works. CA-RAAAAZY! Glad you got out of there with your common sense and dignity. Nickelodeon will just have to wait a little longer but your bank account will be all the better for it!
    Jen recently posted…Always Blow Out the CandlesMy Profile

    1. Author

      I would love to be a fly on the wall and see how many people actually forked out the big bucks and you know that the initial payment isn’t all. They will charge you for photos, and blah, blah, blah! More money!!
      Jen recently posted…Scam, Scam, Scammity ScamMy Profile

  5. I wish I had known what your daughter would have said to this rude woman!
    Ugh!
    Good for you for using your head. I really hope people aren’t losing their hard-earned money, and dreams, over this.

    1. Author

      Sounds like you might have had an equally crazy experience at your one audition.

      I wonder how many parents that day that took siblings DID sell out any of their kids. I hope none. We were at the end of the line and I wasn’t really watching their faces as they left. Now I wish I had!
      Jen recently posted…Scam, Scam, Scammity ScamMy Profile

  6. So many scams out there! My little mermaid/fairy/princess/superhero has told me several times that she wants to be on tv. I got in touch with a facebook friend who drives her daughters to and from LA for auditions and got some really great insight. She pointed me in the direction of a manager and agency that don’t ask for any money up front, they take a %. She also told me that she is only doing it as long as her girls keep telling her they want to. So far, they’re just making enough money to cover the expenses of driving to the coast.
    Lizzie Lau recently posted…Cousins – We Put The Fun In Dysfunctional.My Profile

  7. They have those “auditions” around here all the time. It’s crazy how people believe these scam artists are going to do anything for their kids but they do. If people didn’t sign up and pay they wouldn’t have them as much. It reminds me of an old Punky Brewster episode where she tries to get her music teacher a music deal and the guy tries to charge them. Then Henry goes and sings a horrible song about cheese to prove he was a fraud. I too think all my children are awesome and as parents that is our job. :) That sounds like a good learning experience for them because kids should learn there are people jumping at a chance to take advantage of them. Might help them avoid them better later on. :) I love the last picture. :) All kids really are little bottles full of potential.
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  8. Ugh, I hate those scams! I’m so glad that you saw through it! Chances are, if they want money, then it’s a scam!

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