I saw an ad on Craigslist for extras work, and they actually named a film, so I thought perhaps there might be some truth to it. I did think it strange that they were placing an ad on a free classified service, but oh well, I'd give it a shot. I sent off my little email expressing interest and the next day I had a voicemail from Barbara Capra asking me to make an appointment to come in and speak with her, and to make sure I "dress professionally".
I made the appointment with the receptionist as requested and on the morning of my appointment, their office called me to tell me they would really like it if I came in two hours earlier. I didn't have anything else going on that day, so I agreed.
From the moment I walked in the door, I felt like I was in a sales office. After having been in so many, you just learn to recognize them. I was given a questionaire to fill out for all my special talents and voices, etc. (Of course, you can't even say you want to do voiceovers unless you have a demo, according to them.) I was told over the phone that it was ok if you didn't have a headshot, so I didn't bring one with me. They even had all these blown up pictures of people on movie sets to make themselves look more legitimate, but being of a skeptical nature, I wasn't buying it.
After asking me to come in early, I still wasn't seen on time, but I finally got called in to Barbara's office and she went over my questionnaire, making comments on this and that. She then launched into her "presentation" and she sounded so rehearsed at it that I just knew she had said it hundreds of times before. Like others who have posted on this company, she told me all about their list/roster, and how this was such a rare and wonderful opportunity to be able to get this extra work without having to be in the union, and how because they were in AZ they could offer this work legally and that the movie picture industry would most likely be centered in AZ eventually. She went into more BS but I was tuning her out because I really found the presentation quite boring. She kept flipping through these pictures that were in sheet protectors (They could not even spring for laminated copies) and talking about how all these people had gotten jobs through them. I got to see the pictures of the two guys (one unemployed construction worker and one engineer, both of which had never been a truck driver, but because she is so good at spotting types, she was able to cast them both as truck drivers), and other such BS as that.
Finally Barbara came to the end of this cheesy presentation and said she would love to start casting me right away, but she needed a picture to be able to show. That sounded somewhat reasonable, and she then told me how much it would be, $300! She must have seen the look I was giving her because she went right into closing the sale, or at least trying to. She actually asked me if I would be paying for it with cash or charge, they don't take checks. I asked her if I had to have it all up front and she said I did, and that they had been known to let someone do half and half, but she didn't offer that option to me. I explained that was a lot of money to come up with just for some pictures, and that I really didn't have that kind of cash. So she then told me I should try to borrow it from family because this opportunity would be gone fast. She then said maybe I could get it from my mother, and that she even had some great opportunities for a mother/daughter team. I said, oh really? Would my mother have to pay another 300 for herself and she said she would!
I told her I would see about borrowing the money and would let her know. She wanted me to make sure I called her that day to let her know. I said sure (yeah right).
Even before I read the ripoff reports on these people, I smelled a rat, and I am sorry to see that so many have been taken by these people. Remember, if it looks like a rat and smells like a rat, it most likely is a rat. There are other ways to get in the movie business if that's what you want. Don't give your hard-earned cash to these people so that they can stay in business longer - and rob more people.