IPOP is a supposed talent agency that arrives in your town or city in various countries advertising on the radio that they are casting for talented individuals, especially children. My expewrinec was in San Jose, Costa Rica. Once you Call the number provided on the radio, they give you a time and date for your casting interview. At that time you arrive along with about 100 other people (mind you there are many times and in each time you have the hundreds showing up, and all sorts!) Then the kids are interviewed during about 3 minutes by supposed talent scouts that the company brings from the USA, in this case Las Vegas and Los Angeles. These people are well presented, very professional, even the owner, Joseph Beauchamp, is present and the whole thing looks professional enough.
So now some people are told that their child has immense possibilities, but in order to reach them they must pay a course given by IPOP in order to prepare the kids for the Grand Showcase. This showcase takes place at the end of the 1.5 month period and you are told that many agents from the USA, especially LA will be invited to see the kids perform. At that time your child will be given exposure you can only achieve through ipop. As mentioned before, this lasts about 1.5 months in which kids are given 3 weekends of classes, about 16 hours total. For this you pay a lot of money, I'm talking hundreds of dollars, closing in on the thousand, per category. So if your kid wants to model and sing, you pay twice! So the the courses take place with individuals from your area that have been hired by ipop and who you could access directly if you looked around a little bit, so you pay a ton of money to get classes from locals!
Then after 1.5 months the show takes place. So you get there and in our case, it turns out that there are 6 judges or agents. In the case of Costa Rica it was 2 from LA, 3 from Mexico and 2 from Costa Rica. Nobody knows who these people are, what their background is. You are given zero information about them except for their name and company they represent. They may as well be anybody. Then the show begins and kids show off their respective talents, none of which stand out, because all the truly talented kids have parents that now better than to get sucked into ipop, unfortunately, I was foolish enough to fall for it. In the meantime, the judges, or agents, are talking amongst eachother, not really paying much attention, the talent is very mediocre, as i mentioned. At the end the kids line up and give their head shots with resume on the back to each judge, and if the judge has liked them, gives them a card and says contact me. That's it!
Honestly, I was uncomfortable from the get go, the moment I paid, I questioned myself. I urge parents not to fall for this. It costs a lot of money and it really is not what you expect it to be. You can better invest that money on your child's talent, and if they truly are talented, they will get ahead surely enough. Ipop is there to capitalize on families from lower incomes who think they have beautiful or talented kids and they are sucked into the whole thing because they are told what they want to hear. The last day, everyone is dissappointed.
In our case in Costa Rica. We even had a worse experience as the modeling teacher, Julio Cesar Martinez, decided that he was going to take on the part of Ipop representative and made a complete fool of himself by advertising his personal business in front of everyone. I cannot be more specific for lack of documentation to prove what I am saying, however, maybe other parents can. Truly it was unbelievable how he took advantage of the entire situation to benefit himself, but most important is that the Ipop representative in Costa rica, Marianna Hurt, would allow it!!! She even allowed him to have his agency's models walk on stage in front of the judges in 2 outfits each in the middle of the show that was for Ipop students, and for which we had paid hundreds for the right to do. And in the end he even gave out certifiations from his modeling agency. There were moments were it was so ridiculous that many of us parents just looked at eachother like "what the hell is this?". Honestly, very poor taste, very poor management, very poor organization, and all around big, huge rip off!!!
For us it was an experience that we did not enjoy. The kids did learn a few things from the teachers, even the ridiculous modeling teacher showed them a couple of small details, they did get a great drama teacher who gave them tools to feel more at ease in front of an audience and such. So we take this as a learning experience, but definately not one worth the money paid. Please parents be aware!!!!