• Behind The Set

Scammers "BEWARE"

Every day we hear about people getting scammed, and the easiest way to scam someone is through entertainment. Just recently, I received an email from a model asking me if this email was a scam.

My reply was, “Yes!” A few years ago I would see these emails, quite often. However, not every photographer requests that you bring a bodyguard this email raised some serious questions. For example, the model was to receive $500 up front and $2,000 after the photo shoot? So, let's analyze this letter, if a client pays the photographer $2,500 dollars that would mean the model would make all of the money and the photographer would not make a dime? To split the payment, this person may not even pay the $2,500 as promised, and the $500 is to try to persuade the model to come to the shoot. If this photographer wants to give a model $500 first, that is an easy way to capture your information when they are asking to transfer the money.

Now, in the artistic world, a photographer will often charge anywhere between $75 - $450 an hour depending on how many people are involved with the photoshoot, type of photoshoot, how many photos the client is requesting, and for touch-ups. As for a model, a professional model would charge $60 to $150 an hour, depending on their experience and what type of shots they are allowing the photographer to take. Then there is something called “trade-for-print.” An arrangement between a model and photographer where the photographer will take a certain amount of photos in exchange for his or her time, often for his or her portfolio.

Now, another aspect someone should look at when examining a letter like this is when the photographer states that they will find a studio by your location. To me, that is a red flag for sex trafficating or when a photographer asks you to come to their studio or place? Yeah, definitely do some research on the person before going out to do a photoshoot. Google is a great place and for those who live in Maryland, you can look up anyone in the state who has a criminal or civil case by visiting http://casesearch.courts.state.md.us/casesearch/

Sadly, this image is only one sample of the many, many other scams out there in the world.

As for talent agencies, they should NEVER ask for your money. Most talent agencies do not advertise their business and will mostly travel through word of mouth. A trap that many people who want to get rich quick will soon realize. A lot of these agencies that make “big promises,” such as giving an actor a lead role for a SAG film is a scam when the actor is not SAG. Sure, I would love for a lead role in a Marvel film, however, I am not SAG yet. As a result, I am not going to be lead actress to a big production film. Besides, I would rather get the experience I need first before trying for a $50 billion plus production film. I certainly do not want to get fired from a big production. Many of these agencies that scam people will have you audition, followed by, “pay us, and then we will give you the role.” Continuing on, talent agencies does not have the actor or model to pay more money out of their pocket to use “their,” photographers for a headshot. Normally, the agent will receive about 10% of the performer's income.

Here are a few other scams people should be on the lookout according to https://www.showbusinessweekly.com/acting-advice/acting-scams/

  1. “Actor’s and Models Wanted” some of these casting calls will have very little information about a project, however, some will have big names on them just to get your attention such as Extras Wanted for a Movie Starring….. You get the idea. However, when you ask for more information the person will most likely try to sell you something that could “supposedly” help you with your career. I hear trying to get the person to buy headshots from an agency is a big one.

  2. “Audition Farm” I have witnessed a few people do this. A person or a company will troll the internet for a casting call and repost it using their contact information. Some of the casting information that this company has posted could even be months old.

  3. “The Advance” often occurs to people online like Model Mayhem, Star, Casting360, and many other websites. This is when a person or company claims to be a potential employer, viewed your profile, and state that they will send you 20% in advance through the mail. As a result, to providing your private information the potential company will actually send you more than the 20% . Once the payment is received, a letter may state that the extra money is for headshots. Several days later, the bank may contact you and inform you that the deposit is worthless.

  4. “The Acting Guru” is a person claiming to be an acting coach or mentor, promising the actor that they will get a 90% success rate in finding representation. In reality, this person has hardly no credentials and oftentimes a glazed expression on their face.

In reality, there is no quick way to fame. So, before someone steps into this world, it is best to have the experience and the passion for it, otherwise, the wrong direction could cause a person to feel miserable and lose hope. Sadly, it takes a lot of work to get rich. Being rich can cost a person their family and friends.

Rose Jenevere is an actress in the Baltimore-DC Area. Her information can be located at at www.rosejenevere.com . She can reached at rose.jenevere@gmail.com .