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Thread: Model Search America ... heard of it? I need advice.

  1. #1
    FORT Newbie
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    Model Search America ... heard of it? I need advice.

    Hey guys... I'm new here (obviously) and I'm a fan of ANTM. In March or April (I can't remember the exact month), I went to an open call for Model Search America. We had to fill out this little form then stand in line for these two men and smile. After everyone went through the line, everyone sat down. If your name is called, that means that MSA is not interested and you can leave. Well, my name wasn't called and I stayed. They gave us some information on modeling and stuff and said it's difficult to get into the business (duh) if you don't know the right people or live in the right city. I live in MD. But after they finished telling us all of this stuff and showing us a video, they told us that they wanted us to attend their convention in August and all of the top agencies will be there to try to find new models. They said Wilhemina, Ford, Elite, MTV, etc. will attend the convention and that we have to walk for them. The catch is, the price to attend is about $500. I already sent in the $200 deposit but I feel bad cuz i dont want my mom to spend the money if these are fakes. Do you guys know if these people are legit? I looked them up in the Better Business Bureau and they were clean. However, when Adrienne said to her mom that they wasted so much money and one of the things they wasted it on were searches. Sooooo, can anyone that knows about this place give me some info please? Sorry that I rambled on and on. Thanks.
    -Ramona

    P.S.--Adrienne better win

  2. #2
    urban cowgirl
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    Quote Originally Posted by B_BabyThug2
    Hey guys... I'm new here (obviously) and I'm a fan of ANTM. In March or April (I can't remember the exact month), I went to an open call for Model Search America. We had to fill out this little form then stand in line for these two men and smile. After everyone went through the line, everyone sat down. If your name is called, that means that MSA is not interested and you can leave. Well, my name wasn't called and I stayed. They gave us some information on modeling and stuff and said it's difficult to get into the business (duh) if you don't know the right people or live in the right city. I live in MD. But after they finished telling us all of this stuff and showing us a video, they told us that they wanted us to attend their convention in August and all of the top agencies will be there to try to find new models. They said Wilhemina, Ford, Elite, MTV, etc. will attend the convention and that we have to walk for them. The catch is, the price to attend is about $500. I already sent in the $200 deposit but I feel bad cuz i dont want my mom to spend the money if these are fakes. Do you guys know if these people are legit? I looked them up in the Better Business Bureau and they were clean. However, when Adrienne said to her mom that they wasted so much money and one of the things they wasted it on were searches. Sooooo, can anyone that knows about this place give me some info please? Sorry that I rambled on and on. Thanks.
    -Ramona

    P.S.--Adrienne better win
    I don't know how to find out, but since you looked them up in the BBB, i would say that it MIGHT be okay. I know that one of the rules from being represented talent is don't pay you agent, they pay you. They want to get paid, so they have a percentage fee which they charge you. They work hard to get you the best pay, so they can get the best pay. They have to belive in you.

  3. #3
    Retired! hepcat's Avatar
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    I don't know how different it is for adults, but my daughter was a baby model for about a year. She was represented by a talent agency and the only thing we paid for was transportation to an audition. We never paid the agent a dime. That way the agency worked hard to find work for her, so they could take their cut out of her pay.

    We did our own photography for a headshot but I think for babies it's a little less formal than grown-up models.
    You've gotta hustle if you want to earn a dollar. - Boston Rob

  4. #4
    FORT Fogey
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    B_BabyThug2,

    I would get that $200 deposit back ASAP. If they say it's not refundable, keep demanding. Call and write letters.

    Model Search America (MSA) is a giant scam. They offer free interviews because that attracts people and once there they tell you about these conventions. Yours costs $500 and that includes nothing. Not hotel, not any food, and surely you are bringing one or more adults and guess what. Yup, they have to pay to be there too.

    To clarify, you never pay an agency to represent you until they get you work. Then you either pay them back money they gave you upfront (like for rent or whatever) and the percentage you agreed to as commission.

    MSA is not an agency. MSA is a "scouting" company that supposedly acts as the middle man between you and the agencies. It's complete crap and a waste of money and time. At these conventions, you have people that are trying to sell you more stuff. Nothing is guaranteed. On the off chance an agent does offer you something, you probably have to pay for the transportation, the shoot, etc.

    There are legitimate scouts working for top agencies and model searches run by top agencies directly. These model searches are great because they are held in different parts of the country and you don't pay anything if you physically show up or about $20-$50 if you mail in your photos/info because one isn't close to you. Also remember you can at any time mail your photos/info to the top, reputable agencies for free (well, postage) and they may have open calls too at set times during the week. Of course that requires you going to NYC (or LA or Miami).

  5. #5
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    Aww damn . I feel TERRIBLE! I wish we never paid that money. They said it's non-refundable. I knew about the agencies receiving commission but I got that info from MSA. The guy there told me about the open calls in NYC but he said the transportation can be expensive and I have to buy a portfolio (which is a lot of money) and they are only open certain days during the month and at certain times and it's never on the same day. They said Model Search America was the best way to go.

    Red flags went up when I saw this commercial for Wilhemina. They were having an open call or something. Because I saw it (the commercial) a million times, I decided to call. Once I found out they weren't in MD, I asked about MSA. The lady said that she hadn't heard about these people and that they don't go to the convention. I just figured she worked at the front desk or something lol. Then, a few weeks before that, I had sent my best friend to one of their open calls because I didn't want to be at the convention alone. They rejected her. I figured they would. But what was weird was when they called a few weeks later because they had changed their minds. They don't even know what she looks like and she is definitely not model material... the girl is 5'5". She just has a cute face. So that was weird. Thennnnn, another thing that made me wonder was Adrienne and how I had never heard of these people coming to DC.

    Come to think of it, it wasn't even my parents who paid the money--it was my aunt. She wants me to model so she offered to pay the money because it was a last minute decision. I know $200 isn't a lot but still. Now I have to tell my mom not to let me go. I don't think they will refund my money so I am just going to pay my aunt back by myself.

    Thank you for the information guys. I appreciate it. If anyone else knows about Model Search America or has had experience with them, please let me know. I'm interested in finding out more information.

  6. #6
    mommyligen
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    Baby Modeling?

    Hi please let me know how you find or where is this baby model agency. I have a 3 month old boy and I think he has a good chance of making it!

    Thanks,
    Mommyligen






    Quote Originally Posted by hepcat
    I don't know how different it is for adults, but my daughter was a baby model for about a year. She was represented by a talent agency and the only thing we paid for was transportation to an audition. We never paid the agent a dime. That way the agency worked hard to find work for her, so they could take their cut out of her pay.

    We did our own photography for a headshot but I think for babies it's a little less formal than grown-up models.

  7. #7
    Retired! hepcat's Avatar
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    I don't think I can help you...my daughter was recruited by one of the agency's owners because we buy coffee right across from their office and she saw her in the coffee shop. We just did it for kicks and weren't looking out for an agency in the phone book. I was very suspicious at first but they never charged us to join so it turns out they were reputable. We live in the San Francisco bay area and this was for local print ads - she did one for Leapfrog (toy company), and Gap.com. We went to quite a few auditions for the Gap because they are hq'd in San Francisco. But we barely made any money - less than $200 if I remember right. You really have to be willing to go to LA or somewhere like that to have a baby make it big in a national campaign. Even her pictures for Gap.com - we never saw them on the website or anything, don't think they got used. We got our fee either way.

    By the way, baby photos are one thing. It gets pretty ugly when the kids are closer to 2 and the moms are begging/bribing/pleading with them to behave/smile/sparkle for an audition. We stopped going to auditions when she was about 20 months - I didn't want to be a stage mom.
    You've gotta hustle if you want to earn a dollar. - Boston Rob

  8. #8
    FORT Fan nyc_star's Avatar
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    Hey, B_BabyThug2, I read your post, and I felt for you. Don't lose your heart! It might have been a bad experience,,,, but I'm still glad that you noticed before you pay your full amount.. Keep trying! and you might be the next Adrian!!

  9. #9
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    One of those newsmagazine shows did an expose on that organization. Don't spend the money!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by B_BabyThug2
    Aww damn . I feel TERRIBLE! I wish we never paid that money. They said it's non-refundable.
    If you paid by check, you should try to stop payment. If you paid by credit card, take it up with your credit card company. Give it a try. You can tell this is a scam because of the high, nonrefundable fee.

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