Monday, January 28, 2013

Talent Search My Ass!

My oldest child is a real beauty. I know, I'm biased but she really is! She has naturally curly hair, hazel/green eyes and alabaster skin. A relative of mine always says she looks like a china doll.

She has always wanted to be a model but the only problem is that she's teeeeeeennnnnnnyyyyyyy. Like, 5 feet tall and 90 pounds soaking wet teeny and as you know, supermodels are way tall. Like, 9 feet tall and 70 pounds teeny.

We've been to our share of talent searches over the years and I've learned that most of them are scams. They're a way of getting hopeful young men and ladies tricked into shelling out hundreds of dollars for "professional portfolios" in the hopes of landing a big modeling/talent contract. These "talent scouts" neglect to tell the hopeful starlets that they're too short or too hefty or not pretty enough. They simply sign them up, collect the money, take a few crappy pictures then ignore them.

Recently my girl filled out a "talent search competition" form in a nearby mall and was thrilled when she got a call informing her that she had been "chosen" to compete. I knew in my heart of hearts that it was the same old model/talent/dream killer shtick that we had been through so many times before but my girl begged me to attend and I wanted to support her so I went along with her. The "competition" consisted of a small catwalk erected in the middle of a mall with large TV screens on either side of the stage so the company could blare their shiny, "success stories" to suck in even more gullible people.

Contestant # 1 on the left and my girl on the right.
 Flimsy portable chairs were aligned to look like the "competition" had an audience. It was all spotlights, loud music and hype for broken dreams and it was with dread that I sat down and watched my daughter compete. She should have been clued in when there was only one other contestant. Or that the beauty team was more than happy to cheer her on as she stood next to the other contestant, while gazing at her waistline at eye level.

She got to speak a line to show off her mad speech skills, then she got to rock the catwalk and the whole thing lasted about a minute. That was it. Immediately afterwards, the beauty team hustled both girls to their counter so that they could collect some money and arrange for some flimsy photos to be taken. Because, this company would make all of their dreams come true! The brochure basically said so!

What eager young person is going to read the fine print and notice that for $150 they'll only get ONE photo and a cheap t-shirt? What eager young person is going to think it strange that a fly by night company swoops through second rate malls, selects each and every contestant, and demands payments immediately? Right there, on the spot? No think it over time allowed. Payment due immediately!

Being the skeptical mom that I am, I started asking the beauty team questions. I asked them where else they would be selecting talent from - what venues. I asked them who would be styling and applying makeup for the photo shoot (that's the responsibility of the hopeful starlet I found out). I asked enough questions for them to start dancing around the subject and repeating the lines that were the same as the flashy video being played.

Disgusted, I walked away, leaving my kidlet sadly shuffling along behind me. I knew she was going to be disappointed when I refused to give those snake oil salespeople one red cent. I knew she was going to be disappointed when it was left up to me to explain that the chances of her making it as a supermodel were one in a million due to her size, and I hated those people for giving her false hope.

I have decided to show you the actual "registration" form that was given to my girl in the hopes that if you ever see this company at a second rate mall in your town, you'll know to turn tail and RUN away. Reputable agencies provide photos to their models without asking for payment up front for a photo shoot that has already been scheduled. And I don't think most reputable agencies have contests in second rate malls where everyone wins to find their talent. I'm not a vindictive person, but I would love to see these types of companies shut down once and for all. They're shams and they milk the money out of hopeful, hard working people who probably can't afford it in the first place. The only thing authentic about them is that they are certifiable dream crushers. Damn them all.


  1. I've always seen those things at the mall but never knew they were just outright scams. A picture and a t shirt. Sheesh. Way to get someone's hopes up just so you can rip $150 off of them.

    1. I f*&king hate those people! Can you tell?

  2. It's such a scam and besides probably dangerous in some cases. Keep her far away from all of that....