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....