Acting Scams


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“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. "

That phrase, in the acting industry, is worth more than a $20 million-dollar, big-budget film contract. If you haven’t experienced a scam yet, you soon will! There is almost no place like the entertainment industry for con and scam artists. That’s partly because people can scam you out of your money legally by taking advantage of your dreams and inexperience in the industry.

The scams come in all forms, all shapes and sizes, and from all directions. You can even go to a reputed photographer or agent and find he or she trying to lure you into an acting class, sell you something, or simply being dishonest—all for the sake of making a buck. And for the scammers, there is almost no police involvement, little legal action one can take, and virtually no punishment.

There are many scams out there, but we’ve picked a few doozies to show you for the next few weeks. Here’s one of our all-time favorites.

Scam #1 – “Suckers Wanted"

You see an ad in the paper from what sounds like a reputable agency. In the ad, they rattle off about how they have launched the careers of so many famous people or have booked an unbelievable amount of jobs for their talent. Now, their ad claims, they are looking for new talent and new faces. And, what gets you even more excited: they claim you don’t need any experience. All you have to do is go to their office for an interview and you will have a chance to be a big star.

Dead giveaways to look for:

  • First, reputable agencies don’t have to put ads in the paper. They are so inundated with headshots from promising actors; there really is no need.

  • Second, when an “agency" claims to have launched the careers of famous people, it usually isn’t true, at least not the way they are portraying it. They may only have had some brief affiliation with that celebrity, brief affiliation with that celebrity’s agency, or could just be making the whole thing up. Usually, when an “agency" tells you things like this, it is to get you to dream about stardom—just long enough for them to take your cash.

  • Third, most actors need at least some acting experience before going to an agency for representation. Although, there are some exceptions, it is very rare that an agency will work with people who have absolutely no experience, let alone invite inexperienced actors in for consultation. Real agencies need experienced actors who can perform well at auditions and get booked for parts. Once the actor is booked, only then can a legitimate agency get paid.

    Darryl Green, staff member,

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