The Event, a business that entices parents to spend thousands of dollars for help in getting their children into show business, appears to be bringing its “once in a lifetime opportunity” to B.C.
Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns families to be extremely cautious when dealing with The Event, which lists an address in Wilmington, Delaware. The Event is a trade name for New York Studio, Inc. The company is advertising on local radio stations plans to hold interviews and preliminary talent and modeling screenings.
“This business advertises extensively on radio, making it appear that it holds some kind of magic key to unlock the door to fame and fortune,” said Lynda Pasacreta, BBB President and CEO. “Unfortunately, that may not be the case. Parents need to exercise extreme caution when dealing with these kinds of talent promoters.”
In other cities across North America where this company has operated, consumers have told BBB that they felt misled into believing the business had an affiliation with Disney, that they felt pressured into signing contracts they later regretted and that they were never told that $1,000 of their deposit was not refundable.
A company representative told a BBB investigator who called the phone number that the event offered “a chance to get your child in front of a talent agent. We’re not looking for a whole lot of experience.”
One consumer visiting Vancouver from Kamloops claims to have lost $9,000 to the business after they felt pressured into signing a contract at a local mall. He’s attempted to have the charges reversed without success.
In a statement, Disney told a Mobile, Ala., TV station last April that representatives from the Disney Channel do not participate in The Event showcases. “Further, we do not authorize any independent casting agent to represent that he or she is participating in such showcases or acting workshops on behalf of Disney Channel.”
On its website, The Event describes itself as “a modeling and talent event that brings aspiring models and talent together with leading talent and modeling agencies from Los Angeles, New York and other major markets across the country.”
BBB offers the following tips for families interested in pursuing modeling and acting careers for their children:
- Be careful about any requests for up-front payments in the form of registration, consultation or administrative fees.
- Understand that this is a very competitive business and a paid seminar or event may not be the best way to get agents and others to notice your child.
- Be wary of any promises of guaranteed employment or high earnings.
- Be cautious of companies that try to convince you to pay money by throwing out names of known celebrities, motion picture studios or recording companies
- Check for BBB Business Reviews at www.bbb.org.