Don’t get scammed.
If you think you’re going in for an audition but they want to sell you headshots and acting courses then run because that’s not what you went for. There shouldn’t ever be a fee for auditioning.
If you go to a reputable talent agency you shouldn’t be required to use their photographers or take their particular acting classes or buy whatever dream they are selling. They will be highly sought out for and picky on who they represent. And they will be prudent about how they charge for fees. The good agents also will help you find work not trying to get you to buy their products.
Look at how the company represents themselves. Are they professional? Do they make their ads and cards look readable and professional?
Do they actually get you work? If it sounds too good then it probably is. No legitimate gig is going to pay you before work has happened and sometimes if you get a promise to be paid make sure you’re actually paid.
Be careful about how you are paid because depending on the method you might have a bounced check or issues with your taxes later on.
The modeling industry is especially rife with scams. Beware of fake companies and fake identities or false information. If you find someone that wants to work with you be careful and try to be careful if there is no real audition or meet up before getting hired.
Make sure you are also careful about where they are located and don’t automatically divulge personal information. There are sharks that pick out prey easily for people all too eager to get into the business.
Don’t send money remotely without some way to trace. Don’t give money to strangers especially with wire transfer.
Do your research and see if there’s more details in casting. If there’s no information or no casting information then your suspicion should be raised.
Never do anything you are not comfortable with ever. If you are asked for weird or unprofessional acts or requests then use your gut and step away or walk away from the situation. There is always another gig you can take instead.
Also be careful of any membership fees or unexpected requirements. Fees should be upfront and listed.
Also remove PII or personally identifiable information from your resume till you get the gig. If you go through a site or agent they can help protect your information. This way your information doesn’t get harvested and sold.
Talent is a dime a dozen and so don’t get suckered into believing you are the next look or person picked. Have a slight air of skepticism. No one is just going to pick you out of the blue usually unless you’re in the right location and talent scouting outside of normal places is more than likely a scam.
Be careful of casting notices. Some scammers may also have gotten word of a real production and altered it to suit their own needs.
Also don’t travel or fly for a production unless you get guaranteed you have a gig. It doesn’t make sense to travel for auditions and if you are just an extra you probably won’t get paid much anyways.
The film and acting industry is always a business in the end and they are there to make money and so don’t take things personal but the reason most productions are in certain places also depends on state film incentives and things that help with the production value. Go where there is a good chance the money and industry is.
You have to also still hustle. You can’t just pay someone to hustle for you. Not even casting companies. You have to go find work and act and keep fresh and stay busy even if it means finding local theater work.
Casting directors look for a part and don’t normally write the parts so if they will offer to write you in for a scene be skeptical also. They are hired to find the talent and a particular look for a role.
There is no quick way into Hollywood or becoming famous and you can’t buy your way in. It takes time and talent and hustling.
Be careful of cattle call “auditions” and false promises as well as odd hours asking you to get back to the agency ASAP and not talk to anyone else.
Also be careful of sweet talkers and pulling the strings of parent emotions for child talent. Some are going to play on your ego of course. Also be careful of headshots for tots and the like, such as for infants. Your baby is gonna grow fast and so paying an arm and leg for photoshoots is a bad idea.
Make sure to read all contracts and do research and more reading and checking around online and in person. A casting director once said they had checked with a lawyer to make sure their agreement was “airtight” and binding. So make sure you read because they scammers don’t want to be sued either. They don’t want you to read anything or take the time to read and they want you to act on your impulse and gullibility for fame. That’s where the deception becomes so easy. Keep any and all paperwork and get it in writing. Check with a legal expert before you sign any paperwork.
They also may claim they don’t take credit cards so that you can’t get a refund and there’s no paper trail. You then can’t dispute the fees.
Sometimes you might be also left waiting for some big shot to come till the end of the day and you end up wasting time and think you have more to lose if you just leave.
Also be careful of places that just paint the positives but avoid letting you know about negatives and the realities.
Don’t let them pressure you or make them say you are wasting their time. Legitimate companies will be around a long time and able to give you concrete real answers. And their reputation and references will be real. Scammers will make stuff up to make themselves look like they’ve done amazing work that they never did.
For models they are also very stringent on physical requirements and parents have to be involved to approve decisions if they are teens.
Don’t forget to look around at costs and research what is standard practice before heading into the industry. Bone up on the lingo and industry norms.
Also check to see if there are licenses for the business with at the state level. A good business will promote the models and get out of the way and not talk about themselves but the models themselves instead. Are they bonded? Are there any complaints or bad reviews with the Better Business Bureau? See if they list a license number in ads if it advertises.
Make sure the feel of a business actually feels legitimate and professional again and don’t let them charge an arm and a leg.
Get your emotions out of your game and get into your head about how they have approached you or if they are pitching to you and using high-pressure sales tactics. Be careful of unrealistic claims for salaries and pay that is likely to be irregular.
Follow up with companies to see if a model or actor has actually worked there.
Visit different locations and shop around. Maybe a particular area does more work for models or actors than another area.
Complain to the state Attorney General and Better Business Bureau if you’ve been scammed or check your local consume protection agency. You may also contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Don’t get sold a dream. You are only too excited and need to approach the work like a business. Be professional and don’t get taken for a ride. Lot of people are young and enthusiastic and have no experience and end up losing money trying to make it.
Remember that agents can’t guarantee work and don’t need to look for new talent and faces. And beware of talent shows that you have to pay so you can “be seen”.
The all too common scam is the “shopping mall” acting scam or talent scout. Agencies want someone with experience not some newbie with no experience at all. They don’t need to have you pay them a representation fee because your work that you book already is how they get paid.