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Serving the Tampa entertainment, media, and advertising industries



1. Modeling Job Scams
Modeling job scams are now the most common talent scam in the Tampa market.
If you don’t have a modeling portfolio and comps, you have no business trying to book a modeling job. If you have the tools and are able to book jobs, you don’t need to buy new ones. If they say that no experience is necessary to book work, then this is a scam; no modeling job is going to book a new model. Never buy anything from anyone advertising jobs! We have never seen any modeling jobs advertised on the radio, television, or in the papers turn out to be a legitimate job. They all have been scams!
Check out Tampa Bay Modeling, our sister site, for more.

2. Actor and Talent Audition Scams
We have never seen any acting or talent auditions advertised turn out to be legitimate. Never buy services from anyone advertising auditions, especially if they drop big names and claim that they can get you a role or part with no experience. Only a modeling and talent agency is legally allowed to make money referring actors and talent to jobs, and if a company is not able to make money doing what they advertise, and they spend money advertising the talent jobs, you have to consider how they make their money back. If they have to trick you into buying services by baiting you with an audition which may, or may not, exist, can you trust them?
Check out Tampa Bay Acting, our sister site, for more.

3. Talent Management Scams
In Florida, you have to have a talent agency license (TA#) from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation in order to make money referring talent into jobs. If a talent manager does this, and they are not a talent agency, they are committing a felony!
If a talent manager cannot make money managing talent and obtaining work for them, how do they make their money? Can you trust someone who lures you in with the promise of jobs and management, and then turn around and sell you services?
See Tampa Bay Modeling, our sister site, for more.

4. Modeling and Talent Agency Scams
Modeling and Talent agencies should only be used as one of many sources of jobs, and nothing more. Talent should always refuse exclusive representation, and obtain the representation from as many talent agencies as possible to maximize the potential for getting work.
A modeling and talent agency is only allowed to make money referring (booking) models and talent into jobs. They work for the talent. It is unethical, and illegal (at least in Florida) for a talent agency to make money selling headshots, portfolios, or any services to the talent who they are supposed to work for and represent. It is unethical, and illegal, for them to make referral commission from referring talent to photographers and other services, too. It is hard to prove the latter, so the best thing that models and talent can do is invest in portfolios and headshots from professionals who are honest about what they are selling, and who have no affiliation with any agency. To rely upon an agency to refer you to some service to get the tools that you need for your career is a big risk of being scammed.
A talent agency which sells services to the talent who they are supposed to work for, or profits from referring talent to services, will be more interested in selling talent services than finding them work. It’s easier to sell talent services than to find them work. Also, since they are doing something illegal to begin with, can you trust them? Will they be honest with you? Talent agencies which sell talent services have no obligation to book them into jobs, and most talent, after buying services which are overpriced, do not obtain work from that agency. The agency has concluded their business with them.
A modeling and talent agency has no business managing talent. They work for the talent. A talent agency which manages the careers of the talent which they represent is a working conflict of interest. How? Because they try to control the career of the talent and guide them, while they also try to control and guide the competition fo the talent, who are other talent which the agency works for. Additionally, since an agency works for talent, it is a conflict of interest for them to tell their employer, the talent, what to do.
See Tampa Bay Modeling, our sister site, for more.

5. Indie Film Scams
The Tampa Bay market is full of unprofessional, unethical filmmakers who are out to exploit actors and talent. These filmmakers are amateurs who will undermine the credibility of professionals in the entertainment industry if the professionals work for them. The filmmakers are also known for their slander and credibility attacks against entertainment industry professionals, as well.
Before working with any filmmaker or attending any audition, see a script and samples of their work. Make sure that they have a professional web site and references. If the filmmaker is making a horror film, use extra caution. Run the name of the filmmaker and their company through a search engine to research them before you consider working with them. Find out what they do, as they are what they do. If they do it to others, they will do it for you.
Nudity in Tampa independent films is too dangerous. It’s not worth the risk. Some of these filmmakers are more interested in exploiting actresses than in making a good film.
See Tampa Bay Film, and Tampa Bay Acting, our sister sites, for more about Tampa indie film scams.

What is a scam? A scam is a fraudulent business transaction where at least one party in the transaction is taken advantage of. Most talent scams are services that the talent is tricked into buying. Other talent scams include cons artists who exploit talent. Teen modeling web sites which exploit underage girls are a type of exploitation scam. Please remember that exploitation is not art, and it is not a means to begin a legitimate professional career in entertainment. It is anti-talent.

The Tampa Bay Talent scam analysis database, when launched, will be an activity pattern analysis database with a primary front-end which is scenario based (A second-generation scam fighting format developed for Florida Modeling Career by Independent Modeling in mid 2008, and soon to be deployed on all of the talent resource sites in our fleet). Talent will be able to match their experiences with the defined activity patterns of talent scams, and recognize them for what they really are.

PUBLISHED 02/23/10

UPDATED 02/23/10




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