Before I get started on this post, I would like to make it clear that I am not trying to trash any particular agency or group. I am simply sharing my experience and hopefully helping those who are interested in the modeling and acting industries stay away from scams and fakes. There are a lot of great agencies and people out there who will truly help you get what you want and there are also a lot of agencies and people who are completely in it for the money.
If the modeling and/or acting industries are something you are interested in getting into, I HIGHLY recommend doing as much research as you can on the various agencies in your area and in your state or country. I recommend learning about which agencies are legit and which are not. I recommend reading about the strengths of each agency and seeing if they are the best fit for you and what you want. Remember that you SHOULD NEVER be asked to pay to attend an audition or casting if the agency is legit. You should also never have to pay to join an agency. Any contracts signed or deals made should involve no payments on your part.
Onto my story now. I’ve been a part of an agency in Denver for the past couple of years that required me to pay to attend a “modeling” school for 60 hours. That part should have IMMEDIATELY been a red flag to my family and I but we went on with it because the deal seemed very legit. You attend the modeling/acting school every other Saturday until you complete the course and then you get a contract with the agency tied to the school and then you have the opportunity to get local work as a model or actor. This agency also attends an “international” modeling and acting convention which gives aspiring models and actors the opportunity to showcase themselves before casting directors and various agencies from around the world. To this day, I still question the legitimacy of many of the agencies that attend the convention. There are a couple of agencies that attend this particular convention that I know are real but I’m still a bit iffy. And guess what? If you’re selected to be a part of this “elite team” to attend the convention, YOU HAVE TO PAY TO GO. Hmmmmm. Even more fishy now, right?
Ever since that trip in 2016 (I think?) I have been on the hunt for a better agency and I’m working on it, but I have to wait until my contract finishes with this agency. This past year, I dealt with some extremely odd incidents with them. About part way through the year, my mom received an email that they had dropped me. There was no explanation. So my mom called the agency and they explained that my contract had expired and that I was no longer with them. They told me that they would still love to represent me though and see me again in classes. Interestingly enough though, my contract had not expired… We moved on from that and continued with the agency and that brings me to yesterday now.
Yesterday, I attended a pre-casting for our upcoming fashion week at my agency. They were worried about sending too many models to the actual audition so they help a pre-audition. Fair enough. I arrived and walked before the agency director and her secretary and all of the other models in the pre-casting. I have been practicing my walking for months and I know that I’ve been putting the work in, since I competed at Miss Colorado USA last October. After all of the models walked, the director made a decision and I was not selected to attend the actual casting.
That part didn’t bug me. It was the comments after. My director stood before all of the models after the decisions were made and said that she was highly disappointed in some of her previous convention attendees (like myself). She mentioned being embarrassed and then recommended I come back for more classes! I know that I’ve worked hard to have the body I currently do and I know that my runway walk was better than half of the models that were picked to attend the real casting! And while I do want to give credit to some of the girls that walked at that precasting that should walk at a big fashion week event like the one coming up, many of the models there would NEVER be cast for something like that if they were with a legit agency.
I find it extremely frustrating that I allowed myself to get into a situation like this and I hope that those of you reading this who aspire to be actors or actresses or models learn to be careful and not make the same mistakes I have. I feel that somehow, I belong in either the modeling or acting world and I will continue to put my best foot forward and put myself out there. Now though, I know that I will never allow what happened to me to ever happen again. Have a good week.