I am the former Academy Director at John Robert Powers in Portland, OR. I hesitantly began working there two years ago. I say hesitant, because I have been a professional actress for more than twenty years and schools like JRP and B*****(((REDACTED FOR SECURITY PURPOSES))) have always had a reputation at best of being a silly waste of money that could actually do more harm than good to an actors reputation. Anyway, the opportunity arose and I checked it out. And while I found it kind of disorganized, I could see that the Academy Director at the time was trying to do good work and the other teachers were teaching legitimate acting and modeling.
About a year ago, the previous director left, and I was offered the position. I accepted it with the goal of turning JRP's reputation as a scam around. I brought in colleagues who are well established in their fields, and we set about trying to educate the parents and the students on the actual ways to achieve their goals. JRP is not a magic pill for a career. There is no such thing. There is no way that you will be handed a career without putting forth some effort. But JRP is one of many avenues that can make it easier, if you show up for classes, listen to the instructors, go on the auditions and behave professionally. Some of the students do that and some don't. The ones, who do, usually have an agent and can start going on auditions within a year. The ones who don't, usually never do. It really is that simple.
The reason that I left JRP Portland is that they informed all of the staff on our last payday that we will not be getting paid. They claimed that the funds were "frozen" by our payroll company, but anyone who has had more than one job knows that if true, the only reason that a payroll company would hold a company's payroll would be if that company owed the payroll company itself some money, and hadn't paid. The employees that have been paid had to wait for them to make sales and each employee was paid one at a time, with actual money paid in day by day. This indicates that they have $0 cash on reserve. If you know the prices of their packages, you will know that this doesn't make sense. I'm not sure where all the money is, but I have been waiting two weeks to receive my paycheck, and I have every reason to believe that this is a problem that will continue. I chose to leave because I am not in a position to work for free, and based on what I have seen, I believe that if I were to stay that would be exactly what I would be doing.
I'm not sure where all the money is, but I would suggest that if you are currently waiting on a refund from JRP Portland, don't hold your breath. Even if you are legitimately entitled to one, I don't think the money is there. I could be wrong, but I've seen a lot of stuff that indicates that they couldn't pay it out if they wanted to. If you are considering becoming a student, I would say that if you are really committed to this business, and are looking for a faster way to gain the knowledge you need to enter the business now, by all means, you should join. But remember it is a huge financial commitment and once have paid your tuition, you probably will never see that money again, no matter how it turns out.
U.S.A. sorry, allowing you to give a competitors name would instigate others to just file against their competition, to only come back later to suggest their company, ..plus, if you post a competitors name more than likely they will show up on search engines as a Rip-off! - - your comments on this policy are welcome. CLICK here to see why Rip-off Report, as a matter of policy, deleted either a phone number, link or e-mail address from this Report. In this case we removed an alleged competitor's name