• Report: #309634

Complaint Review: John Robert Powers

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  • Submitted: Sun, February 17, 2008
  • Updated: Wed, March 03, 2010

  • Reported By:Toronto Ontario
John Robert Powers
140 Spadina Avenue Toronto, Ontario Canada

John Robert Powers FREE AUDITION TO LURE CLIENTS INTO BUYING ACTING, MODELLING PROGRAM Toronto Ontario

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Why I Hold Open Casting Calls at the John Robert Power Schools

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I HAD HEARD THE COMMERCIAL ON THE RADIO THURSDAY ON EASY ROCK 97.3, FEBRUARY 14TH, 2008, A FEW DAYS AGO. IT WAS ADVERTISING HOW JOHN ROBERT POWERS NEEDED 200 KIDS TO AUDITION FOR MOVIES AND COMMERCIAL AND BRINGING IN A CASTING DIRECTOR JOSEPH MIDDLETON FROM HOLLYWOOD TO CHOOSE THE SELECTED CHILDREN FOR UPCOMING MOVIES.. I WAS EXCITED AND THOUGHT IT WOULD BE THE PERFECT OPPORTUNITY TO LET MY CHILD TO DO SOMETHING EXCITING AND FUN SUCH AS AN AUDITION. SO I CALLED THE NUMBER THAT THE ANNOUNCER HAD GIVEN OVER THE RADIO. A VERY FRIENDLY GREETER ANSWERED THE PHONE, I GAVE MY CHILD'S NAME AND MY PHONE NUMBER AND IN EXCHANGE, I WAS GIVEN A TIME AND DATE TO SHOW FOR THE APPOINTMENT...

WE SHOWED UP ON SATURDAY MORNING AT 10:30AM TO 140 SPADINA AVENUE IN TORONTO. WE WALKED UPSTAIRS INTO A MAIN LOBBY DECORATED WITH MANY POSTERS OF FAMOUS ACTORS AND MODELS ON THE WALLS OF THE COMPANY AS I LOOKED AROUND AND THEN GAVE MY CHILD'S NAME AT THE RECEPTION. I WAS A LITTLE UNEASY WITH THE GREETING AS I WAS BEING RUSHED GIVING THE INFORMATION. I WAS QUICKLY TOLD BY ANOTHER GREETER AT RECEPTION THAT THE ROOM WE WERE SUPPOSE TO GO WAS NOT QUITE READY AND WAS ORDERED TO GET OUT OF THE BUILDING, GO OUTSIDE AND HEAD TO STARBUCKS AND GET A COFFEE AND RETURN AT 10:45AM. I DON'T EVEN DRINK COFFEE, SO BY THE TIME WE GOT SERVED IT WAS TIME TO GET BACK. I WINDED UP SPENDING ALMOST $8.00 ON A MEDIUM FRAPPUCINO, A SMALL HOT CHOCOLATE AND $5.00 FOR PARKING. WE BOTH LINED UP AGAIN TO GET TO RECEPTION STATING THAT I HAD ALREADY GIVEN MY CHILD'S NAME. THIS TIME AROUND WE WERE GIVEN A BOOKLET WITH INFORMATION ABOUT THE COMPANY AS I QUICKLY SCANNED IT AND A SHEET TO FILL OUT INFORMATION ABOUT OUR CHILD.. WE WERE LEAD INTO ANOTHER ROOM WHERE IT WAS ALREADY FILLING UP WITH OVER 200 PEOPLE, PARENTS AND OTHER KIDS. IT WAS GETTING SO HOT AND STUFFY AFTER WAITING FOR 30 MINUTES, I COULDN'T TAKE IT MUCH LONGER.

FINALLY, THIS BLOND LADY GIVING US A VERY MOTIVATING SPEECH ON WHAT ACTING IS ALL ABOUT, EXPLAINING THE INS AND OUTS OF ACTING AND WHAT KIND OF PARENT AND CHILD THEY WOULD ACCEPT. AFTERWARDS, WE WERE ALL INTRODUCED TO MR. JOSEPH MIDDLETON A CASTING DIRECTOR FROM HOLLYWOOD HIMSELF. SO I WAS IMPRESSED AND WILLING TO TAKE THIS TO THE NEXT LEVEL.

ONCE THE INTRODUCTION HAD PASSED, PARENTS AND KIDS WERE ALL INSTRUCTED TO GO FOR AN INTERVIEW, ASKING THE CHILD HIS/HER REASONS FOR ACTING, WE WOULD BE GIVEN A YELLOW SLIP WITH A TIME AND DAY TO CALL BACK THE NEXT DAY ON SUNDAY TO SEE IF THE CHILD(TALENT)PASSED THE AUDITION. IT WAS TIME TO DO THE SMALL AUDITION DOING A FEW LINES WITH MR. MIDDLETON. ONCE THIS AUDITION WAS OVER, WE WERE TOLD TO GO HOME. SO THE TIMING WAS GREAT ..NOT TOO MUCH WAITING.

LAST NIGHT, I READ THE WHOLE JOHN ROBERT POWERS BOOKLET. I WAS DISSAPPOINTED TO FIND OUT THAT THIS WAS AN ACTING SCHOOL AND NOT AN AGENCY. I WAS VERY UPSET CAUSE THEY NEVER MENTIONNED ANYTHING DURING THE PRESENTATION THAT THEY WERE IN FACT AN ACTING SCHOOL OR SPOKE OF ANY MONIES INVOLVING PAYMENT FOR ANY PROGRAM.
WHILE THE STAFF WERE DOING THE PRESENTATION. I WAS VERY DECEIVED BY THE WAY THE COMPANY PRESENTED ITSELF.

THIS IN FACT, TOTALLY UPSET ME BECAUSE I'M A STRUGGLING DIVORCED MOTHER WITH 3 KIDS.. AND I SPEND ALL THIS MONEY DRIVING THERE FOR NOTHING WASTING MY TIME. THIS WAS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE. I WORK PART-TIME, SO I WAS READY TO DEVOTED ALL MY TIME TO MY CHILD TO BE AVAILABLE AT ANY TIME AN AUDITION WOULD BECOME AVAILABLE.

I CALLED THIS SUNDAY MORNING ON THE SPECIFIED TIME OF THE SLIP THAT WAS GIVEN TO ME. THEY TOLD ME THEY HAD REALLY GOOD NEWS FOR ME THAT MY CHILD HAD MADE THE CUT FOR THE AUDITION.. I WAS SO HAPPY AND MY CHILD WAS JUMPING FOR JOY AND SO EXCITED. I WAS ASKED IF I READ THE BOOKLET AND I ANSWERED YES. AT THAT MOMENT I WAS HOPING THAT MY INSTINCTS WERE WRONG. THEY ASK ME TO SET A TIME TO COME IN TODAY FOR A 30 MINUTE INTERVIEW WITH MY CHILD AND AS I WAS PLANNING TO DO THIS I ASKED ONE QUESTION. DO U HAVE A PAYMENT OPTION? I WAS TOLD NO. I WAS TOLD U MUST COME WITH THE FULL AMOUNT UPFRONT ON UR APPOINTMENT OR USE A CREDIT CARD. I ASKED IF I COULD COME AT A LATER DATE WITH THE PAYMENT AND THEY ALSO REFUSED AND TOLD ME TO CALL BACK IN A YEAR'S TIME AND MY CHILD WOULD HAVE TO RE-AUDITION.. AND THEIR WAS NO GARANTEE. I FOUND THIS QUITE BIZARRE. NO PAYMENT PLAN, CASH UPFRONT OR CREDIT CARD. AND IF U CAN'T FOLLOW THROUGH, YOUR CHILD LOOSES HIS PRIVILEGE AND HIS DREAM. MY SON WAS VERY SAD ABOUT THIS, HAVING A MENTAL DISABILITY, I WAS SO APPAULED BY THIS, I COULD'NT BELIEVE IT. NOT LETTING US KNOW IN ADVANCED THAT IN FACT IT WAS A SCHOOL TO BRING IN NEW RECRUITS FOR A LARGE PRICE TO PAY $1950.00 CDN FOR 20 WEEKS WHICH WAS THE CHEAPEST, ALL THE WAY TO 3 YR PROGRAM FOR $9,900.00 CDN. U KNOW, I'M SURE THAT ALL THE KIDS MADE THE CUT AND WERE ACCEPTED CAUSE THAT WAS THEIR WAY OF LURING PARENTS IN TO MAKE THEIR MONEY. I FEEL LIKE A REAL FOOL FOR HAVING BEEN A VICTIM OF DECEIPT AND A POSSIBLE SCAM.

Elagamy
Toronto, Ontario
Canada

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/17/2008 01:11 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/John-Robert-Powers/Toronto-Ontario-M5V-2L4/John-Robert-Powers-FREE-AUDITION-TO-LURE-CLIENTS-INTO-BUYING-ACTING-MODELLING-PROGRAM-Tor-309634. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Why I Hold Open Casting Calls at the John Robert Power Schools

AUTHOR: Joseph - (United States of America)



One of the main requirements of my job as a casting director is that I find new talent. Where I find this talent, via what means, or in what location is secondary to the fact that my job depends on my finding it. Between projects, or as a part of working on projects, I travel around the world searching for actors to cast in films. In addition to speaking at colleges and universities, Ive periodically worked with the John Robert Power Schools, in part because this is one way in which I can see hundreds of young actors who otherwise would have no way of getting in front of me.

Because Im a casting director who works on major movies, I generally dont work with novice actors who arent yet represented by agents and managers. Im an experienced casting agent, and the talent I work with tends to be experienced. That said, Ive also cast unknowns in lead roles. My reputation depends on my finding the best fit for a role, whether the actor in question is known or not known.

Im not in a position to speak to how the actors training programs at the John Robert Power Schools are structured or what the payment protocols for these programs might be. Do I think that their school is expensive? I do. But I leave it to the parents of young actors to do their research on programs, schools, photographers, and all the other factors that come into play in the training of young talent, and to make smart decisions about where to invest their money. I (along with other top casting agents) am paid a high fee to come and hold open call casting sessions at the school, in which I honor my commitment and see all the kids enrolled in the program. I keep notes and records on the kids I think are gifted, and try to dispense as much practical advice as I can within the given time frame.

Because the acting world is tied up with fame, fortune, and fantasy, it can be hard to remember that the business of making movies is in fact that: a business. I have to make a living just as everyone else does. I've worked hard, for many years, to reach my level of expertise, and I'm paid for that expertise. There is no way that someone at my level would be calling in inexperienced actors for free, and, to be clear, when I hold open call auditions for movies Im working on, a studio is funding those open calls.

Im sympathetic to any hard-working parent out there trying to help their children realize their dreams. And Im cognizant of the fact that without actors, whom I love, I wouldnt have a job. But I again want to stress that the burden is on any parent, and any actor period, to make informed decisions about how to best go about the business of acquiring the necessary training. Some sort of training is always called for, and fortunately there are lots of options out there, such as drama departments at high schools and colleges, community theaters, private acting lessons, and private acting schools. The key lies in researching all your options and then making informed and responsible choices.





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