BEWARE OF JACINTA LAW!
My first experience of working with Jacinta Law was in May of 2005 on the International Style Festival in San Francisco. The event was meant to be a precursor of the first annual International Fashion Week for the city. Referred by a friend, I was hired by Jacinta to assist in pre-event publicity, and also to assist in the set up of the event and to handle press check-in.
I was flown to San Francisco the day before the event. Jacinta had waited until four hours before my flight was to leave before purchasing the ticket. Once I arrived in California, I had no hotel room, and had to wait in the lobby for Jacinta to arrange for me to share a room with a mutual friend that was also there for the event. After I got settled, I was sent to wait for more than two hours at a theatrical supply shop until Jacinta could get a rental truck there to pick up rented flats.
While my agenda had included a production meeting to be held at the hotel that evening at nine, Jacinta rescheduled the meeting, at our horror, for one o'clock in the morning when we were set to load into the venue at four that same morning. So, it was with very little sleep that a two-man team went about setting up the event while Jacinta and her Stage Manager disappeared until the hour before the event ended.
In their absence, I was left to calm frazzled nerves of vendors who were not given booths although their agreement with Jacinta was supposed to include a covered space. Models who had not been fitted began to arrive for a fashion show. Make up artists and hair people also arrived, and Jacinta had the sponsor-provided cosmetics for the show with her. It was a mess.
With the help of four incredibly gifted interns, I was left to choreograph a runway show, deal with set problems, seating arrangements, and stage manage the show. Jacinta arrived at the last minute with the make up, hid behind the counter at press check-in, and then sat back and took credit for what the audience and vendors thought was a successful fashion show.
I was not paid for my work on this event, not even in the form of a goodie bag. A few months later, when I was contacted by Jacinta to work on Fashion Week, to say that I was leery would be a huge understatement. In fact, I politely declined. Not only because I was working on another project at the time and wouldn't be able to attend, but because I just didn't trust her. However, she agreed to me having limited involvement, and she also agreed to pay me up front.
Scheduled for October, the publicity campaign and press scheduling for Fashion Week began in August. My role was to confirm press and photographer RSVPs to events and shows during the week-long event. Even after agreeing to pay me up front, it was a struggle to get Jacinta to release the funds so that work could begin.
When the money had cleared, I began to work, sending Jacinta regular updates of lists, and corresponding with her in regards to special requests. Throughout the two months that I worked with her on Fashion Week, Jacinta was forthcoming with news of how well things were going. She had sponsorship money coming into the office, venues confirmed, and she had taken care of all of the designer's plane tickets and hotel reservations. This optimistic approach to the event continued until the week of the event.
Two days before the event, I received a phone call from a publicist for one of the French designers. She was hoping that I could tell her why, two days out from the show, the designers from Africa and Europe had not received tickets, hotel info, or an itinerary of any kind. When I phoned Jacinta, she would not answer her phone. I called another publicist with the event, and learned that he had arrived in San Francisco that morning to find that the event was falling apart.
Jacinta, although she had cleared over $12,000 from sponsors, had not signed any contracts or payed deposits on venues, and claimed that there was no money to pay for the designers' flights and hotels. Production staff members were walking off left and right, because they had not been paid for their work. In short, due to the neglect and mismanagement of funds, the event that had been planned, and the event that we had all been working to publicize, was not going to happen.
It was in a move to save our own careers and businesses that a group of publicists and coordinators that had been working on Jacinta's Fashion Week issued a press release severing our ties with the event. We did whatever we could to manage the fallout from those contacts and colleagues that we had brought into this crazy mess. It was not an easy time for any of us, and in some cases, led to the loss of many key contacts.
Jacinta went so far as to try to salvage the event by moving things to a smaller venue, but when confronted by those designers that had paid their own way to San Francisco, locked herself in a storage closet and called the police. She had designer Afshin Feiz arrested for confronting her before disappearing.
Jacinta became unreachable although her cell phone and home numbers remained the same. Rumor had it that Jacinta had fled San Francisco for her parents' home in Texas. Then, earlier this week, a mass email was received by one of the people burned in the Fashion Week fiasco from Jacinta. She wanted to let everyone know that she was doing well, and that she was moving to Washington, D.C. to work on film festivals!
It gives me a migraine to think that this woman will continue to prey on the hopes and dreams of other artists. The fashion designers from Fashion Week could have used the money that they had given Jacinta to launch their own show or become involved with a more reputable fashion event. Now, she has set her sights on the independent filmmaker!
Please use your best judgement, and always exercise due diligence. Beware of Jacinta Law!