Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Modeling Scams....

Those of you who are regular readers know I have five children. My third oldest child has always had dreams of stardom, there's nothing wrong with that. However there are those who will try to take advantage of the dreamers. She saw an ad for a modeling casting call and called expressing interest. There was no mention this was from a modeling agency, she was given the impression this was a real open call casting for models. After giving her information she was told she would be contacted if they were interested. (No big surprise they were interested).

Still never listed the name of the agency nor did she ask, she was too excited, all she was told was that even though she was 18 she had to have a parent or legal guardian go with her.

Enter suspicious, mean Mom....So we went. We drove all the way to Southfield in rush hour traffic and appeared at the address. We look at the marquee trying to figure out where we are supposed to go and I see "John Powers Modeling" Suite 330. Immediately I know I was right it was a scam. However, I also know me telling her is futile.

So up to Suite 330 we go, where we are greeted by a room full of parents with their children, some teens, some not. My daughter then begins to realize she was lied to since she was told this was an individual interview. Yet we sit. "Dawn" steps up and starts to gush about how wonderful John Powers Modeling is and starts name dropping. (Of course anyone with a brain realizes the majority of the names she is dropping have nothing to do with John Powers Modeling). There is a picture of Marilyn Monroe on the wall among other pictures, "Dawn" asks the children present if anyone knows who she is. One girl says she thinks she knows who it is, that she is sooo famililar. Okay, I can't keep my mouth shut any longer. "It's Marilyn Monroe ."

Some more name dropping and the story of some young 13 year old that they "discovered" that none of us heard of yet who was written about in the Fenton, Michigan newspaper that won a $50,000 modeling contract (later "Dawn" admits Powers took 15%) after she started (here it comes) "coaching". (I took notes and when I came home can find nothing about this girl so she may have gotten the contract a year and a half ago but not much else has happened for her. Nor is she touted as one of the "success" stores on the John Power webpage) "Dawn" also starts talking about Katie Holmes, rather stupid since we are from Toledo and we know Katie not only did not get her start thru John Powers but given her whole Tom Cruise situation might not be the best "ideal" to hold up.

Now on to the "cat walk" to see what the kids can do. Little Miss I think I know who that is but I'm not sure, has had some modeling classes. She is held up as an example to all of how a cat walk is supposed to be done. (I later overhear her mother complaing that she had better know how to walk a cat walk considering the thousands of dollars they have spent on lessons. Yes, I'm nosy.) Mine handles the cat walk - not the worst, not the best, yet nothing to be ashamed of.

More name dropping by "Dawn" who claims she was a model (hard to believe) and since she had no acting experience when her modeling career had ended decided to become a talent scout. "Dawn" claims she can immediately tell within 30 seconds if someone has potential or not. I find it hard to believe with as crappy of a sales person "Dawn" is anyone would buy this spiel. However? Some of the parents do, some of the parents have already plucked down their bucks for "coaching" so this to them is their child's shining moment to become a famous model. The most pathethic bunch was a mother with four children. Two daughters, two sons, the mother obviously believed her children were her claim to fame.

Then the personal interviews, which if "Dawn" thought you had talent you would be given a white piece of paper to move on to the "video shot" which was then followed by the "hard sell". We sat there and the realization hit my daughter that everyone was getting the white paper to move on and then moving on to the next "interview" that was really the "hard sell". This was after we had already been there for almost two hours. She decided it was time to go after hearing "Dawn" gush about how much modeling potential this girl had with the "proper coaching" that had no chance in hell of ever being a model.

Her dreams are still intact, I told her if she really has dreams of being a model there are places locally that she can take classes that will not be a rip off. I think she's kind of soured on the whole modeling thing which is just as well. Not that I do not believe she would make an awesome model, she is goregous, but I also know the reality. Dreams are important but? Not for people to try to profit from them. Important lessons were learned, sure a fantasy crushed but she'll be okay. It was worth the time it took to drive there and back for her to figure it out on her own rather than to wonder "Was Mom wrong". Sometimes? Mom is right.

Though this Mom has to wonder about some of the other parents there, then she never understood the whole toddler beauty pagent thing either. Silly Mom, believing kids should be kids. Most importantly of all? To this Mom all of her kids are stars....

:-)

33 comments:

Tim said...

Dreams are always important, but dreams are... dreams. I don't have children, and it's a good thing, because I can hardly figure out how to discipline a cat. My hat's off to you for appeasing your daughter by taking her to the "agency" so she didn't feel like she was missing something important, but being vigilant and opening her eyes to what is waiting for those who aren't a little skeptical.

John POWERS & Dawn indeed! You sound like a good mom. Thanks for giving me faith in the eduation of the next generation.

Lisa Renee said...

Thanks Tim, but I haven't figured out the cat discipline either...I used to use a squirt bottle but I have one that actually likes water

:-)

One of the hardest things about parenting is letting them figure it out on their own. Especially when you know there is a chance they could be hurt emotionally. I'm not sure if I am that great of a Mom at times but thankfully I had an awesome Father so alot of what I've learned thru my own trial and error came from him.

:-)

Hooda Thunkit said...

Lisa,
"Though this Mom has to wonder about some of the other parents there, then she never understood the whole toddler beauty pagent thing either."

It's simple, allowing mothers a chance to live THEIR dreams and fantasies through their children. And, no cost is too great for that.

Powers has carefully crafted a lucrative business out of peddling hopes and dreams, that will remain mostly unfilled for most of his victims, and their sons/daughters too...

Dads being only slightly more pargmatic are often less hopeful (usually).

P.T. Barnum would surely have adopted John Powers...

Lisa Renee said...

It's just as sad as those parents who relive their sports dreams thru their kids.

It's one thing to want the best for your child, we all want that.

My first husband had dreams of our son being a sports person. As fate would have it? My son was never that interested in any of the sports his father was.

Sometimes you have to separate what are your dreams for your kids versus what their own dreams are.

:-)

Me4Prez said...

I think I am going to start an agency to give bloggers a chance to get huge and rich. I think this idea will go over big

Cyberseaer said...

It is nice to see that your daughter saw through the bullshit and wanted to get out of there. You were right to go with her as a safety net, though she didn't need it. Smart move on your part not to say anything and let her firgue it out herself. I bet that she was glad that you were there, even if she nevers admits it.

Lisa Renee said...

C, I agree with you, I think even if she would not have been told she had to bring a parent if she was under 19 she would have been okay.

I also know she doesn't have the money to hand over to them anyway so even if they would have suckered her? Not much could have happened. She did thank me for going with her, and I have a few more gray hairs after surviving her driving - lol

:-)

Lisa Renee said...

Cute idea me4, but I'm not sure how well that will go over, then again I'm sure you would do a much better job selling than "Dawn" did.

:-)

Stephanie said...

Don't know why, Lisa, but I'm having a hard time loading up your page today.

We were approached about our son's modeling potential a few years ago by a place in Chicago (two - three excruciating hours away, due to the bad roads). The person who called me went on and on about how cute my son was and yada yada yada. Finally, when she took a breath, I asked if she knew anything about my son. She stammered for awhile, then admitted she knew he was in grade school. I told her that, well, actually he's not. Do you know what EC is? No, what? It's a special education class and that's why his picture was in the year book. Oh. --annoying silence-- He has an attention span of about thirty seconds. Still interested?

It was a very amusing phone call... from my end anyway. I figure, all told, I wasted enough of her time to prevent her from calling two other potentially dupable parents.

Lisa Renee said...

That doesn't surprise me Stephanie with what I've seen some of these modeling schools try to do.

My page was lagging for me earlier too, it seems to be okay now on my end so hopefully it will stop being slow at your end soon.

Me4Prez said...

The keys to a successful blog are to find blogs written by more intelligent people and steal from them and to look cool. That is is. Except you have to get mad sometimes and rant. I thought cursing a lot would bring the hits rolling in, but I miscalculated. I never should have listened to that Iraqi spy when he said cursing more was what the people wanted

Stephanie said...

It's still taking me a long time to load up the entire page. It's getting stuck on the rain, I think. The load portion ends with rain something. I can still navigate while it's white, though, and it didn't boot me off this time, so I guess that's better.

Lisa Renee said...

Okay try this link

Here

If that loads slow it's from my domain where I store my background image. If that loads fast? It's probably the code that feeds the TTLB ecosystem it's been up and down today and when it doesn't load drags down my whole page.

Stephanie said...

Lisa, it loaded fast. Like 1/10 to 1/100 of the time it was taking for the site. I know that's a big difference, but math isn't my strong suit. We're talking seconds versus minutes here.

Lisa Renee said...

Thanks for being my test person Stephanie. Then it's not the background which is unfortunate because I could try to move that to a new server. Hopefully they will deal with the script issues with the TTLB ecosystem or it really won't be worth listing it if it is going to make my readers experience a lag time.

I really appreciate you sticking with me thru this and for letting me know.

Stephanie said...

Not a problem, Lisa. I'm in it for the commentary and the exchange. I still have dial-up, so I expect lag-time. It was the crashing that bothered me more than anything. Though, I did find a trick to avoid that. Like I mentioned (well, at least I mentioned it to myself) I can still navigate through your site while it's all white (and not finished loading up), which avoids the whole lag-time/crashing thing.

All things considered, I for one appreciate your efforts and your time working on this site, since it's not something I'd be able to do myself. Intelligent, adult interaction is a blessing I very much appreciate. And your site is more chatty and friendly than Watchblog, which is a bonus in and of itself.

Lisa Renee said...

Thanks for the compliment, I'm glad it's become that way here, I love the fact that everyone has the Watchblog attitude of civil discussion. However I can't imagine me posting about some of things I post here like my fish on Watchblog - hehehe

Watchblog challenges me to be a good writer, and I have learned so much from many of them, especially David but here? I still try to be a good writer but also to have fun. I'm glad you have become one of my regulars I really appreciate what you bring into discussions both serious and fishy even.

:-)

Stephanie said...

Thank you. I like being here! And I find the fishy stories to be very therapeutic. :-) My husband isn't saying, "Why do you blog if it pisses you off?" anymore, which is a plus!

Though, there's nothing like those occasional triumphs you can sometimes get on Watchblog, when you know you've made a solid argument and your opponent actually backs down.

Lisa Renee said...

I agree, and I have enjoyed that aspect of Watchblog too. For me having this blog and writing there is the best of two worlds.

:-)

Stephanie said...

And I'm lucky to be able to share them with you! :-)

Lisa Renee said...

Another reason Watchblog is awesome - we wouldn't know of each other without it

At least here we can go off topic without worrying about it - lol

:-)

Stephanie said...

Rocky and I would do that on Watchblog when nobody else was on. But, other than him, most people couldn't get "baited" into an actual conversation. That is a definite down-side to some electronic conversations, but I guess that's what chatting's for.

Lisa Renee said...

I guess I am part blog part chat at times - lol

It's obvious you are a night person like I am. Even though I know I do have to get up early with the kids I have always been a night person.

:-)

Stephanie said...

Yeah, I'm a night person. *sigh* It seems to be the only time I'm guaranteed a coherent thought. Though, as per the getting up early part, I should be signing off soon, though not quite yet.

Stephanie said...

As far as chatting goes, I stopped about three years ago when the most friendly non-relative I could find to chat with tried to convince me (after being otherwise informative and helpful) that "all Muslims are just mangy, blood-thirsty dogs that needed to be put down." As I was at that point still clinging to much of my naivete (and thus I can *still* quote him verbatim) I found the experience rather traumatic.

He was living in India, so I tried to rationalize it away and explained to him that even in my ethnically non-diverse community I can and do frequent a restaurant (okay, so Dunkin Donuts barely counts) where Muslims and Hindi not only peacefully co-exist, but work together. The conversation, and my chatting, ended when he told me that the Muslim owner of the restaurant *obviously* was justing trying to figure out a good way to blow up my city.

At least on Watchblog, when something like that occurs, the rational people I typically disagree with all come out of the woodwork to support me, thus proving I (by statistical probability, as well as rational thought) am right. Thus, I think blogging is superior to chatting...

Especially when there's room to go off topic.

;-)

Lisa Renee said...

I have my own "chatting" horror stories, I don't even have a "chat" program that I use anymore thoug at times I think about it and am asked about it.

My daughters use AIM and the others and I know I still have a user name but I agree with you that sometimes like what you experienced it can not be worth it. Even though the downside to not doing it is having everyone read what you are writing. But? They will either join in or? Be voyers.

:-)

Stephanie said...

Yeah, I can see your other regular bloggers looking at all we've been writing and wondering how...just how that happened. But, alas...who knows what inciteful input they might be able to add that could potentially change both our lives, huh?

Lisa Renee said...

lmao Stephanie, knowing some of these guys they are going "Chick talk!" They'll read it but not comment. That's okay, if they really disagreed with something? Then they'd step in. Alot of them that I know have been awesome as part of a couple because they have not been thru what you and I have. They were lucky enough to find the right person the first time. I best get to bed to get the girls up in the morning, so I leave you with major (((HUGS))) and I hope you have sweet dreams.

:-)

Stephanie said...

Good night, Lisa!

((((great big teddy bear hugs))))

Sleep is good...if only it didn't take so long.

LBF (Left-Brain Female) said...

Great story, Lisa Renee! I love it - I can see we have similar parenting styles. My daughters aren't quite at that age yet, but I think you handled the situation beautifully.

My oldest (11) loves animals of all sorts, and as we live in the country, thinks she'd like to have a horse. Mean old mom* has never been around horses and knows little about them, so says that before I'd consider it, dear daughter must spend some time with a neighbor helping to care for her horses (mucking out stalls, etc.) and then be able to earn the money to take care of it herself. For the moment, anyway, her desire has evaporated. We have other pets, but MOM* is adamant that the daughters take care of them - taking care of home and family is quite enough for me, thank you!

Anonymous said...

Another sentimental feel-good "democrat" with attitude who thinks she's some sort of intellectual

Lisa Renee said...

Sorry, not only am I not a democrat but I know I'm not an intellectual.

But thanks for stopping by.

:-)

Anonymous said...

ciao, se vuoi trovare il migior commercio di pesce presente in europa con i migliori prezzi sul mercato visita il nostro sito:vendita pesce