• Report: #78718

Complaint Review: Performers Academy - John Robert Powers - JRP

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  • Submitted: Fri, January 30, 2004
  • Updated: Mon, November 20, 2006

  • Reported By:Westminster California
Performers Academy - John Robert Powers - JRP
24310 Moulton Parkway Laguna Hills, California U.S.A.

Performers Academy - John Robert Powers - JRP Perfomers Academy is a ripoff place The owners changed their John Robert Powers name to avoid the law Laguna Hills California

*UPDATE Employee: a little more info...

*Consumer Comment: Rebuttal to William, the "Teacher"

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Former JRP emplyee

*Consumer Comment: Ever hear of college?

*UPDATE Employee: response to meera

*Consumer Comment: Almost a victim back in 2000

*UPDATE Employee: In Defense of John Robert Powers

*UPDATE Employee: In Defense of John Robert Powers

*UPDATE Employee: In Defense of John Robert Powers

*UPDATE Employee: In Defense of John Robert Powers

*Consumer Comment: Happy With Josten's JRP

*Consumer Comment: JRP Helped my Daughters understandably biast to the entire chain

*Consumer Suggestion: Natalie Costa is a FRAUD... $6,000.00. NEVER AGAIN!!

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Our Response

*UPDATE Employee: Listen Up... franchises have employees who do not know what they are doing

*UPDATE Employee: Listen Up... franchises have employees who do not know what they are doing

*UPDATE Employee: Listen Up... franchises have employees who do not know what they are doing

*Consumer Suggestion: Read this...Performers Academy...JRP...ICA...Helene Goldnadel...Visionaire Media...Glamour Models...ALL SAME SCAM!!!! READ...

*Consumer Suggestion: Perfomers Academy...JRP...same SCAM...Helene Goldnadel...ICA...SAME SCAM...Natalie is a SCAM ARTIST!

*Consumer Comment: can you contact me

*Consumer Comment: question

*Consumer Suggestion: John Robert Powers, Headquarters, their franchise license was revoked

*Consumer Suggestion: ..they did cahange their name, JRP/ Performers Academy, same scam

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Natalie Costa and her partner Dan Josten are going down. They took my money as JRP/John Robert Powers, and are in so much trouble right now, that they just changed their name for Performers Academy.

They have been taking so many people for a ride in Orange County, with those proposterous claims that they can get people work, that now they had to change their name. BUT WHAT DO THEY THINK? Do they really believe that the name change is going to help the them get out of the hole they're in? They are mean spirited people with only one goal in life: GET PEOPLE"S MONEY!!!

They are going out of business.

Jason
Westminster, California
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/30/2004 08:47 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Performers-Academy-John-Robert-Powers-JRP/Laguna-Hills-California-92653/Performers-Academy-John-Robert-Powers-JRP-Perfomers-Academy-is-a-ripoff-place-The-owne-78718. 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:
0Author 22Consumer 1Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE Employee

a little more info...

AUTHOR: Nick - (U.S.A.)

I just wanna touch on all of this because its a little off balance in my opinion....

"Hi William,

As a teacher at a JRP, you would have no idea as to what had gone on to make the deal happen. You would not hear all the complaints from the parents of the children who were scammed. That is the job of the School Director. S/He takes all the heat after the sale because the sales staff, et al., won't have anything to do with them anymore, unless they think there is more money to get from them (pictures, additional classes, etc.)."

Yes, its true that the school director deals with the complaints of the parents. The majority of those complaints could've been alleviated if the parent had read the contract. Their complaints are usually "Why isn't my kid a movie star yet?"
That it is clearly stated in the contract that JRP does not promise work, or stardom is something the parents always seem to overlook.

"The telemarketers, directors, sales staff, and office staff lie all the time. They don't know how to do anything else but lie to get people's money (including Mike Josten and Natalie Costa). I have had dealings with these two."

What do they lie about? Do they tell you that you are auditioning for an agent? Because you are. Do they tell you that there is a tuition cost for the program? I would hope so!

"I think your feeling of complacency with them is due to the fact that all you had to do is come in, teach your classes, and collect a check on payday. And, I'm sure they paid you pretty well."

Trust me, we've all had higher paying jobs! I am an instructor at a JRP and although JRP is my main job, I still work elsewhere to make ends meet. This is an assumption thats better off kept to itself.

"Especially since I will surmise that you haven't had any type of training to teach acting."

Another assumption.

"The majority of the JRP teachers are just want-to-be actors. Some may have actually worked, but they are not qualified instructors in the educational field."

Every single instructor at our JRP has a bachelors degree in acting. I have a master's degree in acting...does that qualify? Or did I waste $70,000 worth of Post graduate work training for nothing?

T"hey aren't making enough money acting and JRP pays pretty well considering you don't have to have any qualifications to teach there."

An M.F.A. doesnt count as a qualification? What do you do, and whats your highest degree of education in your field? And again, I hardly get paid enough to pay my rent for a one-bedroom apartment....(not a fancy place either!)

"So, I'm sorry William. But, your experience as a teacher for the barracudas does not recommend itself as a character reference for Josten and Costa. They think nothing of lying and defrauding people. I know. They did it to me."

What doesnt make sense is, everything is spelled out for you in the contract. So, theres two choices (and very simple ones at that)
Choice A) dont sign the contract and seek education elsewhere
Choice B) sign the contract, and if a problem occurs, you bring it up to the national director of that location and get it worked out. If it cant be worked out, and a problem still persists, then you bring it up to the next level of command. It may be a pain, but if its worth going to this site to bash the people who try to help you find professional work, its worth fighting them in a professional way by contacting those who run the company, right?

Kathryn - Elk Grove, California
U.S.A.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Rebuttal to William, the "Teacher"

AUTHOR: Kathryn - (U.S.A.)

Hi William,

As a teacher at a JRP, you would have no idea as to what had gone on to make the deal happen. You would not hear all the complaints from the parents of the children who were scammed. That is the job of the School Director. S/He takes all the heat after the sale because the sales staff, et al., won't have anything to do with them anymore, unless they think there is more money to get from them (pictures, additional classes, etc.).

The telemarketers, directors, sales staff, and office staff lie all the time. They don't know how to do anything else but lie to get people's money (including Mike Josten and Natalie Costa). I have had dealings with these two. I think your feeling of complacency with them is due to the fact that all you had to do is come in, teach your classes, and collect a check on payday. And, I'm sure they paid you pretty well. Especially since I will surmise that you haven't had any type of training to teach acting.

The majority of the JRP teachers are just want-to-be actors. Some may have actually worked, but they are not qualified instructors in the educational field. They aren't making enough money acting and JRP pays pretty well considering you don't have to have any qualifications to teach there.

So, I'm sorry William. But, your experience as a teacher for the barracudas does not recommend itself as a character reference for Josten and Costa. They think nothing of lying and defrauding people. I know. They did it to me.
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#3 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Former JRP emplyee

AUTHOR: William - (U.S.A.)

Before I start this post, let me start by saying that I no longer work for John Robert Powers, so I have nothing to gain by writing this.

I worked for 3 years as a teacher under Natalie Costa, Dan Josten, and Mike Josten. I understand the anger that many of you feel, but I think there are some things to consider. John Robert Powers is a training facility, not an agency. The classes there are run by well trained, experienced teachers. Every week, legitimate agents, managers, and casting directors come in to audition the students. Very few schools provide this. In addition, twice a year, many JRP students compete at IMTA. The number of solid, working actors who come out of IMTA is remarkable.

If I have any criticism of JRP, it is that they charge too much for their classes. This problem is simple. If you don't want to pay the money, go to another school that charges less. In California, if you throw a rock, chances are you will hit an acting school.

As far as pictures go, they are something that all actors and models need to be professionals. Again, if you don't want to pay for the photographers that JRP works with, have them taken by someone else. My advice would be to ask an agent or manager who they would recommend.

After paying money for classes and getting your hopes up for how your child will do in the business, it's logical that you may feel cheated that stardom didn't come right away. This is the nature of being an actor. My own experience as a child actor was that it took many, many years of training and auditioning before I began to work steadily. Keep in mind that being an actor is a marathon, not a sprint. If your child enjoys acting, encourage them to keep trying, keep auditioning, keep studying. Don't let frustration ruin it.

As far as Natalie, Dan, and Mike go, I found them to be very hard working people who gave me a great opportunity to help kids find a love of acting and prepare them for the professional world. Having been employed by them for 3 years, I can honestly tell you that this is not a scam.
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#4 Consumer Comment

Ever hear of college?

AUTHOR: Meera - (U.S.A.)

Billy,

First of all, I am baffled by your rebuttal because not only did you accuse me of being subjective, although the premise of my entire statement was to give my honest experience with the company, but you also managed to clean your statement up with your own subjectivity about the company.

You didn't comprehend my statement at all. The JRP rep LIED to me when she said that JRP had already worked with another student at my school. When I had contacted the student after the high pressure sales tactics the director was using, the student stated that she HAD NEVER HEARD OF JRP. I then went on to talk to all my teachers and they had never heard of JRP either. Let me reiterate: JRP initially lied to me in order to get me to attend the audition and possibly pay.

This "litmus" test that you speak of (although I also doubt you would know what a litmus test really is), is garbage. The rep lied to me in order to get me more comfortable about coming to the audition. END OF MY STORY.

The director used high pressure sales tactics that was on the brink of harrassment until we finally gave a firm "no" and stopped picking up her phone calls. My family was actually ready to pay until I found out I was lied to from the get go. So I don't understand at what point you assumed that I couldn't afford it? The combined income of my household is in the high six digits, but we don't just go handing out money to people without investigating. Sorry to burst your bubble there.

I'd also prefer that you don't lecture me on the U.S. economy. My whole statement about the franchise is precautionary. A franchise holds up to certain standards and when a single business in that franchise doesn't perform as expected, the issue should be investigated and improved by the company. Something, as seen on other JRP posts here, that is not being done. Once again your comprehension is lacking. If a Burger King in San Diego gives someone food poisoning, then Burger King has liability, NOT a Burger King in Miami or whatever argument you make. Accordingly, if a JRP business has poor standards, then JRP itself has liability as well and should seek to make improvements.

In your statement you say: "So why should all of JRP studios be punished because of one or two bad apples?" You wrote this entire essay in defense of the JRP I worked with and then you admit to a few "bad apples." I don't get it. Why did you just defend the studio I went to and then go on to admit that there are some bad studios out there? Had it not occurred to you that this could have been one of those "bad" studios?

Then you go on to say "When I speak to people about JRP, I can only speak for our studio, and not everyone elses." It makes no sense that you attack me personally when I have clearly had a questionable experience with JRP and then go on to say that you speak for only your own studio. Your entire statement is a complete contradiction.

Honestly, I'm surprised that you are not appalled by some JRP businesses for giving your studio, if it is as great as you state it is, a bad name, particularly since there are multiple JRP complaints on this website. Instead of attacking people that have had terrible experiences with the company you represent, maybe you should act more constructively to improve JRP's public image. I emphasize the word "CONSTRUCTIVELY."

I would suggest replying to peoples complaints by kindly stating something along the lines of: "I apologize for your terrible experience with JRP, but I'd like to let you know that there are some good JRP studios out there such as mine... etc..." Maybe even give a few pointers on how to identify a good studio from a bad one if you care enough. If I were about to go to your studio and pay for classes and was shown your comments above, I doubt that I'd even want to speak to you.

Your comments about money further exemplies how high pressure your company is. I'm not even a potential client and you attacked me, assuming that I couldn't afford the classes. I never mentioned that I couldn't afford them. It makes me wonder how you actually treat your potential clients when they really cannot afford it. I doubt that JRP offers scholarships anyways.

I would also like to point out that nothing can ever be 100% objective because we all carry personal biases with our experiences, even with journalists. However, I did put forth an immense effort to remain unbiased in my first statement and from what I gather, it is all truth.

Meera
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#5 UPDATE Employee

response to meera

AUTHOR: Billy - (U.S.A.)

Meera,

Okay, lets take a few minutes to disect your report and expose your one sided point of view.

You say that a JRP rep told you that a "certain teacher" referred your name to their studio, but your deliberate connotation would try to suggest to the readers of your statement that it was untrue, and thus a "phony" tactic of JRP used to get ususpecting victims into our studios by saying that a teacher reffered your name to them.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Not only do we recieve referrals from teachers on a regualar basis, just today a teacher of a private school reffered ninty five names to us of people she thinks are out-going. All students of the school she teaches at. Since about 90% of our over all cliental are between the ages of 4-17, it should not suprise anyone that often teachers are the primary source of referrals to our studio.

You went on to say that the JRP rep who contacted you made it seem like we (JRP) were a reputable institution by saying that they worked with a friend of yours. Boy, your litmus test of what makes a company reputable is not of a very high standard. Working with someones friend does not make us reputable, but what does make us reputable is the fact that we are responsible for success stories dating all the way back forty and fifty years ago.

Perhaps you've heard of them: James Dean, Lucille Ball, Lauren Bacall, Grace Kelly, Henry Fonda, Diana Ross. No? Don't ring a bell? Try Justin Guarini, Josh Duhamel, A.J. Trauth, or Faith Ford. Oh, wait, wait a minute.......thats right you wanted to model. Maybe you've heard of Ryan Locke (Gucci, Nautica, DKNY) or Jessica Miller (Calvin Klein, Versace, etc.) In fact just recently one of our local kids from Tampa, Max Zagorski did print work for Abercrombie & Fitch,and was featured on their website. Anyone can go online to our website, www.johnrobertpowers.net, and see the long list of major agents, managers, producers, and casting directors who applaud us for our great work with aspiring performers. As far as the few success stories I mentioned; the list really does go on and on, but I don't have a lot of time to chat so let me make my points and get to something more important than exposing the fact that you're an angry smear mearchant.

Another thing that struck my nerves as to how willing you were to take every single part of your one night experience with us, and turn into an opportunity to bash us online, is that you said you had to sit down and fill out a "phony" audition form, that asked you "phony" questions, like "why do you want to model", and "what seperates you from everyone else". Let me apologize for us not being mind readers and understanding exactly what motivates someone to be involved in our business. Last week a girl who was 22 years old, 5,4", and 179lbs, came to me and said she wanted to model. Wouldn't you want to know what would possess someone like that to believe they can model? No need to say, that we obviously turned her away.

I signed a kid about four months ago, and he had no self-confindence, guidance, or esteem of anykind. His parents told me he was picked on all the time at school, and when I met with him he couldn't stop looking at the ground. Needless to say I told his parents not to expect much in the beginning, and that he had a lot of work to do. His parents signed him up for classes, and within a month he got an agent and booked a national commercial that paid very well. It sounds to me like our coaches, along with the exposure we got him really opened the gate for him.

Ultimantly however, what opens a gate, or keeps it closed is a persons determination to become succesful, and in no way are we a silver bullet to superstardom, but our services helped him tremendously. They can help anyone who is focused, teachable, and will stick with it for a while.

Sorry the tv was a cheap one but it costs about $60,000/month to keep our doors open, and everytime we fly out an agent to audition our clients there is a fee (between $1,000-$3,000) plus their cost of the flight, hotel, and transportation. So sorry for delegating funds in an appropriate manner. Maybe if we had a $10,000 plasma you would have felt better about us.

You said the director told you that you had potential, but needed polish. Guess what, so do about 99% of the people we see every month. Now modeling is indeed something you either have or you do not have, but if you do, and you take classes to learn about runway, fashion, commercial print, and expand your knowledge of the busniss it can help you gain an edge over your competition.

If you want to act, and your not with a coach- forget about it. Go get a job.

In reality we only choose to work with about 10%-25% of people we see at an audition. We all have limited staffs and don't want to overwhelm our studios. So we didn't just make it seem that way.

You said that the director used high pressure sales tactics. Maybe she just wanted to get you with the program because she really saw potential in you. A lot of times I deal with parents who are questioning coming here, and I really want to work with their kids because I see great potential in them, so I do what I can, without making anyone feel uncomforatable of coarse to get their kids with us.

Your knowledge of the U.S. economy is a bit lacking i'm afraid. Most business in our country are not franchised, but privatly owned companies. These companies make up the back bone of the U.S. economy, and do indeed have to be held to a high standard, but your own personal opinion regarding how the cause and effect of bad business should take place is a little disturbing. Once a company is franchised the owner of a single franchise cannot, and should not be held responsible for the actions of another- as it is a completely different company all together. If a burger king in San Diego gives someone food poisining, is it also the fault of the burger kings in Miami? No! Should they be punished as well? I submit to you they should not! There are around 800,000 cops in American, and if four of them in L.A. beat up someone because of the color of that persons skin (or what ever reasons) should the other 800,000 cops be persecuted for that? HELL NO! So why should all of JRP studios be punished because of one or two bad apples?

Finally, you said that we are all about taking anyones money regardless of who they are. Thats simply not true. I have had peoples credit cards on my desk and turned them away for a wide range of reasons(not once, but several times).

Meera, why don't you admit the reality of the situation- you couldn't afford our services and want to take that out on us.

Now I have no allusions as to the cost of our service, it is indeed expensive, but in my experience it is worth every penny. I'm sure that not everyone has had my experience, but as a responsible individual I can only report on my experience, after having given it plenty of time. When I speak to people about JRP, I can only speak for our studio, and not everyone elses.

Your comments on this website were extrememly subjective, but reported as fact, maybe you can model, but you sure couldn't be a journalist.

END OF STORY!!!!!!!!!!!

Billy- JRP Tampa
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#6 Consumer Comment

Almost a victim back in 2000

AUTHOR: Meera - (U.S.A.)

Back when I was in high school, my mom received a call from a JRP representative stating that a "teacher at my school" had recommended me to their agency. My mom fell for the pitch and thought that I would become some sort of superstar. I was 16 and quite insecure at the time so when I got on the phone with the rep myself, and was told that a "certain teacher" thought I was beautiful enough to become a model, I was starstruck as well.

The rep then mentioned another girl at my school that I remotely knew and stated that JRP has worked with her in the past, giving me the impression that JRP was actually a reputable institution.

So anyways, I go to the "audition call" that was 30 minutes away. I remember a room full of kids of all ages being there and you filled out some sort of phony form asking "Why I want to be a model" and "What makes you special" yadda yadda type questions. I wasn't familiar with the modeling or entertainment industry at this time and I thought places like JRP were "gatekeepers" of fame (at least that's how they made it seem). So I filled out the form avidly while I watched some video on a cheap TV on how great JRP is.

My mom and I waited for a few hours for a "one-on-one" interview with the "director" as well as a "cold reading" in front of the camera. It was a while back so I don't remember on what. Anyways the director raved about how beautiful I was and how I would make it as a model once I "polish up." It appeared that everyone else at the audition was basically turned away (or they made it seem).

So I'm told that I was one of the only two called back the next day to discuss future plans. We go and the woman basically pitched my mom $3000 classes, but there was no paperwork on the structure of the classes, etc... Once again, no familiarity with the entertainment industry so had no clue how these things worked.

Anyways, I was really bummed out when my mom said that it was too expensive. I thought that the world was at the palm of my hand and this 3000 was ruining my chance at fame and fortune and the whole shebang. Things got shady when the woman began pressuring my mom to pay using tactics I often see being used at commission-based retail stores. That was a red flag, but I was still a bummed out 16 year old that thought that my one chance was going to be lost.

My mom then told the woman that she'd need to discuss it with my dad and that we'll let her know. When my dad was told the story, he was a little thrown aback by the rep's tactics and began to feel queezy about handing over a $3000 check to her.

That was when I called that other girl at my school that supposedly worked with JRP(1st paragraph)as stated by the original rep on the first call. I didn't know her well, but found her mom in the phonebook. When I mentioned JRP, the other girl stated that she'd never heard of them and when I asked if anybody from some modeling agency had called, she said that someone had but her mom had a feeling that it was a scam and turned them down.

I was lucky to make that phone call because that is when I realized that all the reps were liars and just wanted money. I was crushed, but at least looking 5 years back I know that I saved myself from losing a lot of money. This was just in 2000 and I'm seeing recent 05/06 complaints, making me feel that JRP has been doing things like this for a long time.

So what each office is owned independently? Most businesses out there are franchises, but yet each individual store upholds a certain standard held by the name. Owners of chains have to adhere to certain rules and regulations. If one fast food restaurant gets in trouble for food poisining, the entire chain is in jeopardy. This applies to JRP as well. If one office is rotten, the entire company should be brought to its knees.

Also, for the woman that says JRP helped her kids get modeling contracts. Sure they were probably attractive to begin with and most likely could have gotten representation without those phony classes.

JRP takes money from anybody that is willing to give it to them and probably pushes a couple of students that already had the potential to greater heights, making themselves seem like a legitimate business. End of story.
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#7 UPDATE Employee

In Defense of John Robert Powers

AUTHOR: Billy - (U.S.A.)

In response to the original complaint, I think it leads to a greater issue at hand. That issue is people attending this performing arts/ talent development academy across our nation and around the world with the unrealistic expectation of fame and fortune over night. It amazes me that the supposed uncomfortable terms and conditions of the contract doesn't stop people from signing it. Or how stupid, unrealistic, and impossible the claims that these studios are making (according to the people who have filed these complaints) only sounded suspicious in retrospect. Or how people who say they are taking JRP to court for sure, never do. Maybe they just have not gotten around to it, or could it be that there claims are untrue, that they have stretched the truth, that they are posting extremely one sided comments, and have no legal recourse at all. People like you go to John Robert Powers and expect their name to be drying inside of a cement star over Hollywood blvd in a year or two? Please, people spend their entire lives pursuing this business and see nothing in return. Most people do not obtain success in what they pursue, and the ones who do, do not obtain it overnight. How many people attend real estate school every year, and how many Donald Trumps are there? It's simply the hard facts of reality, what is a person doing to gain an edge over everyone else. That is the question. The answer is simple, training and marketing. From college campuses to international performing arts academies people invest in their future, and rightfully so, it is not an unheard notion for someone to do this. But the biggest factor is your drive, and dedication. People who are successful in this business are the ones who work hard, stay focused and are patient. Not for six month or a year, but until they have accomplished what they set out to accomplish, for most people that's a long time. There was a time when Ben Affleck fought his room mate over the change under the sofa so he could buy lunch. He went through a lot for a long time to get to where he is at, so do most other successful celebrities, but I know your have been pursuing this for an ENTIRE YEAR you should be rich by now. WAKE UP!!!!!!! John Robert Powers is a franchised business that means they are owned and operated independently from all other studios, but under the guidance and rules set forth by John Robert Powers International itself. If an owner of one of these studios actually did something that violated the law to scam someone out of there money shame on them and the corporate headquarters would strip them of their franchise license, and assist the proper authorities in the reconciliation of the victims. However these instances are very, very, very rare. What happens more times then not, is someone wakes up one day and decided they want to be the next Brad Pitt, or Angelina Jolie, and heard an advertisement on the radio, visited one of these studios and signed up thinking they were going to be the next Brad Pitt, or Angelina Jolie but knowing in their head the whole time that what they were getting involved in was a small piece of a large puzzle, a very important piece no doubt but take two seconds to examine the situation in the broader context. Don't get me wrong some people have legitimate complaints about contractual disputes and so forth, but if someone from John Robert Powers actually told you they would make you rich and famous overnight and the only thing that stood between you and your dreams was an investment of your money, and you proceeded to give them thousands of your dollars perhaps you should file a complaint to rip off report about God, because apparently he neglected to give you a brain at birth. I began my association with john Robert powers in 2002 it took me a year just to get signed with an agent. A YEAR! But in about a years and six months I was doing a lot of work from nationally televised commercials to lead roles in independent films. But week in and week out I was rejected after John Robert Powers said they saw something in me. Did I file a complaint online? No! I worked as hard as I could, and did not stop. I was over weight and had to loose more than 105 lbs just for an agent to take a look at me. It was the measure of my resolve. That's what everyone else has to do. Now I appreciate the work of www.ripoffreport.com very much, they are the voice of the consumer, however for every nightmare story on this website about John Robert Powers there are tons of success stories. Regardless of who you are and what happened in the past I encourage you to continue to pursue your dreams, and I hope you stay focused.

Billy,
JRP Director and former student
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#8 UPDATE Employee

In Defense of John Robert Powers

AUTHOR: Billy - (U.S.A.)

In response to the original complaint, I think it leads to a greater issue at hand. That issue is people attending this performing arts/ talent development academy across our nation and around the world with the unrealistic expectation of fame and fortune over night. It amazes me that the supposed uncomfortable terms and conditions of the contract doesn't stop people from signing it. Or how stupid, unrealistic, and impossible the claims that these studios are making (according to the people who have filed these complaints) only sounded suspicious in retrospect. Or how people who say they are taking JRP to court for sure, never do. Maybe they just have not gotten around to it, or could it be that there claims are untrue, that they have stretched the truth, that they are posting extremely one sided comments, and have no legal recourse at all. People like you go to John Robert Powers and expect their name to be drying inside of a cement star over Hollywood blvd in a year or two? Please, people spend their entire lives pursuing this business and see nothing in return. Most people do not obtain success in what they pursue, and the ones who do, do not obtain it overnight. How many people attend real estate school every year, and how many Donald Trumps are there? It's simply the hard facts of reality, what is a person doing to gain an edge over everyone else. That is the question. The answer is simple, training and marketing. From college campuses to international performing arts academies people invest in their future, and rightfully so, it is not an unheard notion for someone to do this. But the biggest factor is your drive, and dedication. People who are successful in this business are the ones who work hard, stay focused and are patient. Not for six month or a year, but until they have accomplished what they set out to accomplish, for most people that's a long time. There was a time when Ben Affleck fought his room mate over the change under the sofa so he could buy lunch. He went through a lot for a long time to get to where he is at, so do most other successful celebrities, but I know your have been pursuing this for an ENTIRE YEAR you should be rich by now. WAKE UP!!!!!!! John Robert Powers is a franchised business that means they are owned and operated independently from all other studios, but under the guidance and rules set forth by John Robert Powers International itself. If an owner of one of these studios actually did something that violated the law to scam someone out of there money shame on them and the corporate headquarters would strip them of their franchise license, and assist the proper authorities in the reconciliation of the victims. However these instances are very, very, very rare. What happens more times then not, is someone wakes up one day and decided they want to be the next Brad Pitt, or Angelina Jolie, and heard an advertisement on the radio, visited one of these studios and signed up thinking they were going to be the next Brad Pitt, or Angelina Jolie but knowing in their head the whole time that what they were getting involved in was a small piece of a large puzzle, a very important piece no doubt but take two seconds to examine the situation in the broader context. Don't get me wrong some people have legitimate complaints about contractual disputes and so forth, but if someone from John Robert Powers actually told you they would make you rich and famous overnight and the only thing that stood between you and your dreams was an investment of your money, and you proceeded to give them thousands of your dollars perhaps you should file a complaint to rip off report about God, because apparently he neglected to give you a brain at birth. I began my association with john Robert powers in 2002 it took me a year just to get signed with an agent. A YEAR! But in about a years and six months I was doing a lot of work from nationally televised commercials to lead roles in independent films. But week in and week out I was rejected after John Robert Powers said they saw something in me. Did I file a complaint online? No! I worked as hard as I could, and did not stop. I was over weight and had to loose more than 105 lbs just for an agent to take a look at me. It was the measure of my resolve. That's what everyone else has to do. Now I appreciate the work of www.ripoffreport.com very much, they are the voice of the consumer, however for every nightmare story on this website about John Robert Powers there are tons of success stories. Regardless of who you are and what happened in the past I encourage you to continue to pursue your dreams, and I hope you stay focused.

Billy,
JRP Director and former student
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#9 UPDATE Employee

In Defense of John Robert Powers

AUTHOR: Billy - (U.S.A.)

In response to the original complaint, I think it leads to a greater issue at hand. That issue is people attending this performing arts/ talent development academy across our nation and around the world with the unrealistic expectation of fame and fortune over night. It amazes me that the supposed uncomfortable terms and conditions of the contract doesn't stop people from signing it. Or how stupid, unrealistic, and impossible the claims that these studios are making (according to the people who have filed these complaints) only sounded suspicious in retrospect. Or how people who say they are taking JRP to court for sure, never do. Maybe they just have not gotten around to it, or could it be that there claims are untrue, that they have stretched the truth, that they are posting extremely one sided comments, and have no legal recourse at all. People like you go to John Robert Powers and expect their name to be drying inside of a cement star over Hollywood blvd in a year or two? Please, people spend their entire lives pursuing this business and see nothing in return. Most people do not obtain success in what they pursue, and the ones who do, do not obtain it overnight. How many people attend real estate school every year, and how many Donald Trumps are there? It's simply the hard facts of reality, what is a person doing to gain an edge over everyone else. That is the question. The answer is simple, training and marketing. From college campuses to international performing arts academies people invest in their future, and rightfully so, it is not an unheard notion for someone to do this. But the biggest factor is your drive, and dedication. People who are successful in this business are the ones who work hard, stay focused and are patient. Not for six month or a year, but until they have accomplished what they set out to accomplish, for most people that's a long time. There was a time when Ben Affleck fought his room mate over the change under the sofa so he could buy lunch. He went through a lot for a long time to get to where he is at, so do most other successful celebrities, but I know your have been pursuing this for an ENTIRE YEAR you should be rich by now. WAKE UP!!!!!!! John Robert Powers is a franchised business that means they are owned and operated independently from all other studios, but under the guidance and rules set forth by John Robert Powers International itself. If an owner of one of these studios actually did something that violated the law to scam someone out of there money shame on them and the corporate headquarters would strip them of their franchise license, and assist the proper authorities in the reconciliation of the victims. However these instances are very, very, very rare. What happens more times then not, is someone wakes up one day and decided they want to be the next Brad Pitt, or Angelina Jolie, and heard an advertisement on the radio, visited one of these studios and signed up thinking they were going to be the next Brad Pitt, or Angelina Jolie but knowing in their head the whole time that what they were getting involved in was a small piece of a large puzzle, a very important piece no doubt but take two seconds to examine the situation in the broader context. Don't get me wrong some people have legitimate complaints about contractual disputes and so forth, but if someone from John Robert Powers actually told you they would make you rich and famous overnight and the only thing that stood between you and your dreams was an investment of your money, and you proceeded to give them thousands of your dollars perhaps you should file a complaint to rip off report about God, because apparently he neglected to give you a brain at birth. I began my association with john Robert powers in 2002 it took me a year just to get signed with an agent. A YEAR! But in about a years and six months I was doing a lot of work from nationally televised commercials to lead roles in independent films. But week in and week out I was rejected after John Robert Powers said they saw something in me. Did I file a complaint online? No! I worked as hard as I could, and did not stop. I was over weight and had to loose more than 105 lbs just for an agent to take a look at me. It was the measure of my resolve. That's what everyone else has to do. Now I appreciate the work of www.ripoffreport.com very much, they are the voice of the consumer, however for every nightmare story on this website about John Robert Powers there are tons of success stories. Regardless of who you are and what happened in the past I encourage you to continue to pursue your dreams, and I hope you stay focused.

Billy,
JRP Director and former student
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#10 UPDATE Employee

In Defense of John Robert Powers

AUTHOR: Billy - (U.S.A.)

In response to the original complaint, I think it leads to a greater issue at hand. That issue is people attending this performing arts/ talent development academy across our nation and around the world with the unrealistic expectation of fame and fortune over night. It amazes me that the supposed uncomfortable terms and conditions of the contract doesn't stop people from signing it. Or how stupid, unrealistic, and impossible the claims that these studios are making (according to the people who have filed these complaints) only sounded suspicious in retrospect. Or how people who say they are taking JRP to court for sure, never do. Maybe they just have not gotten around to it, or could it be that there claims are untrue, that they have stretched the truth, that they are posting extremely one sided comments, and have no legal recourse at all. People like you go to John Robert Powers and expect their name to be drying inside of a cement star over Hollywood blvd in a year or two? Please, people spend their entire lives pursuing this business and see nothing in return. Most people do not obtain success in what they pursue, and the ones who do, do not obtain it overnight. How many people attend real estate school every year, and how many Donald Trumps are there? It's simply the hard facts of reality, what is a person doing to gain an edge over everyone else. That is the question. The answer is simple, training and marketing. From college campuses to international performing arts academies people invest in their future, and rightfully so, it is not an unheard notion for someone to do this. But the biggest factor is your drive, and dedication. People who are successful in this business are the ones who work hard, stay focused and are patient. Not for six month or a year, but until they have accomplished what they set out to accomplish, for most people that's a long time. There was a time when Ben Affleck fought his room mate over the change under the sofa so he could buy lunch. He went through a lot for a long time to get to where he is at, so do most other successful celebrities, but I know your have been pursuing this for an ENTIRE YEAR you should be rich by now. WAKE UP!!!!!!! John Robert Powers is a franchised business that means they are owned and operated independently from all other studios, but under the guidance and rules set forth by John Robert Powers International itself. If an owner of one of these studios actually did something that violated the law to scam someone out of there money shame on them and the corporate headquarters would strip them of their franchise license, and assist the proper authorities in the reconciliation of the victims. However these instances are very, very, very rare. What happens more times then not, is someone wakes up one day and decided they want to be the next Brad Pitt, or Angelina Jolie, and heard an advertisement on the radio, visited one of these studios and signed up thinking they were going to be the next Brad Pitt, or Angelina Jolie but knowing in their head the whole time that what they were getting involved in was a small piece of a large puzzle, a very important piece no doubt but take two seconds to examine the situation in the broader context. Don't get me wrong some people have legitimate complaints about contractual disputes and so forth, but if someone from John Robert Powers actually told you they would make you rich and famous overnight and the only thing that stood between you and your dreams was an investment of your money, and you proceeded to give them thousands of your dollars perhaps you should file a complaint to rip off report about God, because apparently he neglected to give you a brain at birth. I began my association with john Robert powers in 2002 it took me a year just to get signed with an agent. A YEAR! But in about a years and six months I was doing a lot of work from nationally televised commercials to lead roles in independent films. But week in and week out I was rejected after John Robert Powers said they saw something in me. Did I file a complaint online? No! I worked as hard as I could, and did not stop. I was over weight and had to loose more than 105 lbs just for an agent to take a look at me. It was the measure of my resolve. That's what everyone else has to do. Now I appreciate the work of www.ripoffreport.com very much, they are the voice of the consumer, however for every nightmare story on this website about John Robert Powers there are tons of success stories. Regardless of who you are and what happened in the past I encourage you to continue to pursue your dreams, and I hope you stay focused.

Billy,
JRP Director and former student
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#11 Consumer Comment

Happy With Josten's JRP

AUTHOR: Celeste - (U.S.A.)

Mike Josten is always ready to lend support by way of classes, providing auditions with agents and casting directors, or setting up private auditions. He is even available for a good pep talk.

Best of all, he refrains from idle promises. His attitude is to provide training and opportunities to meet some agents. When that meets with an individual's talent and drive, good things can happen.

I've enjoyed a positive Jonh Robert Powers experience at Valencia. Mike Josten is a fine addition to this organization since his mission appears to be helping the committed talent with a good attitude, to find opportunities to work.

One Happy Parent
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#12 Consumer Comment

JRP Helped my Daughters understandably biast to the entire chain

AUTHOR: Michelle - (U.S.A.)

The people who have ahd a bad experience with John Robert Powers are understandably biast to the entire chain. But do keep in mind that JRP is a franchise business oportunity for anyone. The owner of each office is an Independant Owner. Therefore if that office has ripped you off, that office and only that office is a bad seed. They are the wrongful bad people, not JRP in general. Lets say a fast food restaraunt such as McDonalds was to give you hair on your burger, would you then ban from going to every McDonalds in attempt to punish the bad one? JRP is the same idea.

I have 3 daughters who have attended "training" classes at John Robert Powers in Santa Clarita for 3 years now. If it wasnt for their "foot in the door" they would never have landed contracts with such a reputable Agent such as 'The Abrams Artists Agency'.

I can tell you that John Robert Powers of Santa Clarita is not a bad seed like those in other cities. Mike Josten kept his word to my family. Dedication and training along with putting you in front of the right agencies at the right time. You cant expect to pay thousands of dollars and have a career handed to you on a silver platter. You and your child have to be willing to work hard for it.
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#13 Consumer Suggestion

Natalie Costa is a FRAUD... $6,000.00. NEVER AGAIN!!

AUTHOR: Barbara - (U.S.A.)

do not do business with Performers Academy! they have ripped off so many people. We paid them almost $6,000.00. NEVER AGAIN!! Stay way from this place! Tell others!
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#14 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Our Response

AUTHOR: Natalie Costa - (U.S.A.)

The Performer's Academy is an independently owned school of performing arts located in Laguna Hills, Orange County, California.

This school opened officially on it's own January 1, 2004.

The facility in which it's located was once a franchised modeling and acting school, John Robert Powers. This JRP had changed hands three times since 2001. South Star Talent sold it to Double J Entertainment and sold it to M.K. Diaz, Inc. M.K. Diaz purchased the franchise on May 1, 2003 and walked away from his $375,000 investment on December 31, 2003

The franchise was never revoked. During the transaction from Double J Entertainment to M.K. Diaz, the franchisor assigned the franchise to Diaz and the Orange County territory was purchased with the existing franchise agreement. In July of 2003, the franchise office wanted to amend and make changes to the agreement that Mr. Diaz just purchased. These changes would require additional franchise fees and stipulations were not what he purchased and not in the agreement which was assigned to him through the purchase of the territory

This contract dispute caused him to rethink his purchase. On December 24th, 2003, both Double J Entertainment and M.K. Diaz, Inc., entered mediation as Diaz was trying to rescind the sale and receive his $325,000 deposit back (plus payments made). The mediation was not successful and therefore M.K. Diaz decided to walk away. He made sure all employees were paid, all outstanding debts were paid and just walked.

I had worked for all of the past owners of this location. I live in the community and my daughter has two agents and is pursuing the arts. I am committed and passionate about the arts and felt there was no option but to move forward, keep the doors opened and continue the operation.

I chose not to be a franchised operation. The Brea school clients were called and were offered the opportunity to come to Laguna and take classes there. I honored everyone's contract still do free of charge. Elite students from 1999 are still coming to class and students from the former Huntington Beach JRP that closed in 1999 here training as well.

Some of the students that live too far from Laguna tried to transfer to the Ontario and Corona schools and unfortunately those franchise owners would not accept the transfer. This is unfortunate and I know first hand, that franchisor Ron Patterson always instructed the schools to take a transfer. Unfortunately, some chose not to cooperate.

The posting from the JRP Corporate office about the franchise being revoked is not true. I am sure that was written in haste and as retaliation from our succession from the team.

Corporate counsel for JRP, Mr. Brian McLaughlin can verify that the franchise was not revoked and that the point of contention between M.K. Diaz, and the franchisor was merely a contract dispute over increased royalties.

A new John Robert Power's location is opening in the Costa Mesa area in October. I am sure that any clients who could not travel to Laguna will have the opportunity to finish their contracts at this new facility.

As you may or may not know, all John Robert Power's are independently owned and operated. There are some great schools as Laguna was, and some that are not. I know that the new owner works hard for her franchises will run a great facility. I am sure that Holly Kennedy will accept all students contracts from the Orange County Brea office who want to finish out their contracts.

As for complaints and remarks made by anonymous people with first names only, I can only say this, pick up the phone, email me or write a letter about any issue you have regarding my services, my facility or me personally. I cannot fix a problem for someone I don't know.

I have many happy students and families. I have affordable monthly programs and no long-term contracts or high priced tuition. I have credible coaches, fun programs in the area of musicals, musical productions, dance, singing, and violin and piano lessons. We perform on stages throughout Orange County with wonderfully talented singers and dancers whose age's range from children through adult.

In conclusion, I wish to say that I wish the new JRP Orange County location much success and good luck.

If anyone has any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me via ripoffreport.com. [DELETED]

[Place your comments below and be sure to include your FULL contact information so Rip-off Report can contact you.]
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#15 UPDATE Employee

Listen Up... franchises have employees who do not know what they are doing

AUTHOR: Rachel - (U.S.A.)

I wanna tell everyone who is insecure about spending money for JRP. I am currently enrolled taking T.V. Comercial and Runway. What I realized is that some franchises have employees who do not know what they are doing. I understand its alot of money. I had to borrow $3850 for my 40 week class. But get this... your paying for a school not a promose to make millions.

It takes determination and hard work to make it. I spoke to top agents in the U.S. and they prefer graduates from JRP or other schools. Of course some actors or models will make the big time without paying for the schooling but the chances are slim. Also about the company accepting anyone who will pay is true because they teach not preach the curriculum.

I swear I have run into to so many people saying its a scam and its not. Make yourself known not rely on JRP or anyone for that matter for your sucess in the entertainment industry.
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#16 UPDATE Employee

Listen Up... franchises have employees who do not know what they are doing

AUTHOR: Rachel - (U.S.A.)

I wanna tell everyone who is insecure about spending money for JRP. I am currently enrolled taking T.V. Comercial and Runway. What I realized is that some franchises have employees who do not know what they are doing. I understand its alot of money. I had to borrow $3850 for my 40 week class. But get this... your paying for a school not a promose to make millions.

It takes determination and hard work to make it. I spoke to top agents in the U.S. and they prefer graduates from JRP or other schools. Of course some actors or models will make the big time without paying for the schooling but the chances are slim. Also about the company accepting anyone who will pay is true because they teach not preach the curriculum.

I swear I have run into to so many people saying its a scam and its not. Make yourself known not rely on JRP or anyone for that matter for your sucess in the entertainment industry.
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#17 UPDATE Employee

Listen Up... franchises have employees who do not know what they are doing

AUTHOR: Rachel - (U.S.A.)

I wanna tell everyone who is insecure about spending money for JRP. I am currently enrolled taking T.V. Comercial and Runway. What I realized is that some franchises have employees who do not know what they are doing. I understand its alot of money. I had to borrow $3850 for my 40 week class. But get this... your paying for a school not a promose to make millions.

It takes determination and hard work to make it. I spoke to top agents in the U.S. and they prefer graduates from JRP or other schools. Of course some actors or models will make the big time without paying for the schooling but the chances are slim. Also about the company accepting anyone who will pay is true because they teach not preach the curriculum.

I swear I have run into to so many people saying its a scam and its not. Make yourself known not rely on JRP or anyone for that matter for your sucess in the entertainment industry.
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#18 Consumer Suggestion

Read this...Performers Academy...JRP...ICA...Helene Goldnadel...Visionaire Media...Glamour Models...ALL SAME SCAM!!!! READ...

AUTHOR: Shirley - (U.S.A.)

John Robert Powers in the News
Is Your Baby The Next Super Model?
Consumer Bob

KFMB TV CBS Local 8 San Diego

1999

http://www.kfmb.com/bob/baby_model.htm

Consumer Bob says, "How do you argue with someone who says your kids are darling. Who says they are exceptional, who says they should be models or tv stars? And the only thing between your child and stardom is a small investment in their future. That's how the vanity racket works and how lots of San Diegans are loosing thousands of dollars."

Gabriella Joven plays in her Escondido back yard. Sierra Blaze has playtime in here Oceanside apartment. While they don't know each other the 2 girls have a common bond. Their parents feel ripped off by a La Jolla modeling agency.

Gabriella's mother, Roxanne Joven says, "They gave us a pamphlet saying you need to invest money into your career. People spend that on college. You should spend that on pictures."

Consumer Bob says, "Roxanne Joven is talking about the high pressure tactics she faced when she took her child to John Robert Powers."

A Penny Saver Ad said the company was looking for kids. They told Roxanne that Gabriella was one of 600 they were looking at.

Roxanne says, "Just bring some snapshots in there and the baby and they looked at her and called the next day and said she was the one."

Sierra's mother Gina says, "She said she'd been auditioning 300 kids and it was a hectic week."

Consumer Bob says, "Gina Rutz got the same line when she took Sierra to John Robert Powers. And like Roxanne the modeling agency said the 10 month old needed professional photographs."

Gina Rutz says, "They said she had to have a portfolio before she could do anything in the entertainment business she had to have it."

Consumer Bob says, "But the photos didn't come cheap. John Robert Powers turned the mothers over to Pascucci Productions, a talent agency owned and operated in the same office. And their charge for photos? A whopping $1475.00."

Talent Agent Carol Shamon Freitas says, "Definitely do not get professional photos for infants. They change too fast to spend money."

Consumer Bob says, "Not only do they change, but Talent Agent Carol Shamon Freitas says legitimate agencies shouldn't be making money from selling photo packages."

Carol says, "You should pay no money at all to an agency. No fee, no photos, no school."

Consumer Bob says, "Not only is it unprofessional but it's downright illegal. The California Labor Law specifically states that, 'no talent agency may refer an artist to any person, firm or corporation which the talent agency has direct or indirect financial interest including photography.' Yet both women paid the agency for their photos."

Gina says, "They gave us a sheet of their photographers to go to." Roxanne says, "They set it up. We did not even choose. They said their 2 photographers are the ones to go to."

Consumer Bob says, "Now naturally I wanted to get both sides to this story. So I came here to John Robert Powers and Pascucci Productions, but they weren't talking.

In fact, when they saw us coming, they locked their doors. And while all we could see was an empty office, we did hear from Patricia Pascucci, President of the La Jolla John Robert Powers."

Patricia Pascucci says, "We're not gonna allow you in our building because we know how you media people are."

Consumer Bob says, "Yeah, media people who listen to the complaints of ordinary consumers. Mothers whose children are promised success in modeling."

Roxanne says, "They guaranteed me that in 4 months that she would make that money back and then some."

Gina says, "They said within 6 months she'd be guaranteed work."

Consumer Bob says, "But the deadlines have passed and neither child has earned a dime."

Gina says, "I think we got scammed."

Consumer Bob says, "How many jobs have you gotten so far?" Roxanne says, "Not one."

Consumer Bob says, "Now I've just told you about 2 vanity racket victims, but we've heard from others. In fact I've learned that the San Diego District Attorney's office has opened an investigation into John Robert Powers and Pascucci Productions. If you're a victim, write me here at NEWS 8 and we'll pass your complaints onto the DA's office.



Beware, If You Want Your Child To Be A Model or Star
KFMB TV CBS Local 8 San Diego

2000

http://www.kfmb.com/bob/kid_model.htm

Bob Hansen says, "It's called a vanity racket because as parents we're not always objective when it comes to our children. That's why an unscrupulous business or school can milk us out of thousands of dollars, telling us the whole time our kids are on the brink of stardom. That's how it works at John Robert Powers. I know, I've talked to the victims and that's not all, we went undercover."

Woman says, "It's very glamorous and very exciting, but it's not for everybody."

Bob Hansen says, "It's a Tuesday night and the La Jolla office of John Robert Powers is crammed with kids and parents. Each lured by the promises of wealth and stardom."

Woman says, "You want to make some money for college? I love that."

Bob Hansen says, "Money these kids are told they can make through acting and modeling. Heather Davalos and her 6 year old daughter Amber heard those same promises."

Heather Davalos signed with John Robert Powers says, "We were called up for an interview, they interviewed my daughter, and the lady said we want to screen her for a commercial."

Bob Hansen says, "A commercial. Heather and Amber were ecstatic."

Woman says, "They said she is a shoe-in, no problem for modeling. She can model for Mervyns, Macy's, Target ads."

Bob Hansen says, "All Heather had to do was sign up her daughter for classes at a price tag of nearly $2,000.00."

Roxanne Joven who paid for pictures says, "They gave us a pamphlet saying you need to invest money into your career. People spend that on college. You should spend that on pictures."

Bob Hansen says, "Three months ago I showed you how John Robert Powers was charging parents thousands of dollars for unnecesary photo packages in clear violation of state laws. Our undercover investigation showed they've switched from selling pictures to selling classes."

Woman says, "Are you excited about all of this? You are."

Bob Hansen says, "Our undercover mom took her 9 year old daughter to John Robert Powers. After the group meeting she was somehow "selected" to bring in her daughter a second time. This time to meet with Staci."

Woman says, "We represent people who do commercials, films, sitcoms, soap operas, runway shows, target print ads, everything."

Bob Hansen says, "Staci told us she wanted to represent our 9 year old. And said the money would be rolling in."

Woman says, "If she books a job, a national Mcdonald's commercial, and she gets paid $30,000.00, we take 10 percent of television commercial, film, sitcom, and soap opera."

Bob Hansen says, "But of course there is a catch." Woman says, "Hands down she's going to need coaching. I can just tell. Tell right now."

Bob Hansen says, "Staci tells us that coaching will run $3,000.00."

Casting agent Barbara Shannon says, "If you have to pay money upfront to anybody that calls themselves an agent or manager, then run the other way."

Bob Hansen says, "Casting agent Barbara Shannon says John Robert Powers has a bad reputation in the business. As for finding people work, Barbara is in the industry.

Movies of the week, commercials, industrials, tv series. Have you ever cast anyone who came in being represented by John Robert Powers?"

Woman says, "No."

Bob Hansen says, "And yet John Robert Powers makes the promises."

Woman says, "78 to 80 percent of the kids that I represent right now today are booking jobs."

The Better Business Bureau's Gerry Wilson says, "Check and find out if this person is a talent agent. Now if they are they are properly licensed and bonded by the state of California."

Bob Hansen says, "But neither Staci nor John Robert Powers are licensed talent agents or members of Screen Actors Guild."

Woman says, "I don't want you to feel pressured. This is not what I'm about."

Bob Hansen says, "Toward the end of our meeting Staci tried to close the deal. Pressuring us to hand over a $500.00 deposit."

Woman says, "Do I have to do that now?

Woman says, "Well this is the thing, we're making all the decision tonight. Do you want to call your husband?"

Bob Hansen says, "We've talked to dozens of victims all saying they went through the same thing. All hearing John Robert Powers claims that their kids were going to make it big. Right up until they handed over the money."

Heather Davalos says, "It's all about money. All about money. Once they get your money, you'll never see them again.

They slam the door in your face."

Bob Hansen says, "So do people get work using John Robert Powers? We wanted to find out. They're own literature boasts big named success stories from alumni like Jane Fonda, Angie Dickinson, Ann Margaret, Farrah Fawcett, and Faith Ford. But we checked it out. Calling their agents and publicists and not one of them said they had anything to do with John Robert Powers.

The La Jolla office of John Robert Powers gave us the name of 8 different satisfied San Diego clients. We called them and again not one is working in the business as a result of John Robert Powers. Though some say they've since signed with Hollywood agents.

We asked Powers officials to talk to us on camera about all this, but they declined. By-the-way the San Diego DA's office is investigating John Robert Powers. We're still waiting for action and the Better Business Bureau has revoked their membership."

See also John Robert Powers in the News
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#19 Consumer Suggestion

Perfomers Academy...JRP...same SCAM...Helene Goldnadel...ICA...SAME SCAM...Natalie is a SCAM ARTIST!

AUTHOR: Carson - (U.S.A.)

John Robert Powers in the News
Is Your Baby The Next Super Model?
Consumer Bob

KFMB TV CBS Local 8 San Diego

1999

http://www.kfmb.com/bob/baby_model.htm

Consumer Bob says, "How do you argue with someone who says your kids are darling. Who says they are exceptional, who says they should be models or tv stars? And the only thing between your child and stardom is a small investment in their future. That's how the vanity racket works and how lots of San Diegans are loosing thousands of dollars."

Gabriella Joven plays in her Escondido back yard. Sierra Blaze has playtime in here Oceanside apartment. While they don't know each other the 2 girls have a common bond. Their parents feel ripped off by a La Jolla modeling agency.

Gabriella's mother, Roxanne Joven says, "They gave us a pamphlet saying you need to invest money into your career. People spend that on college. You should spend that on pictures."

Consumer Bob says, "Roxanne Joven is talking about the high pressure tactics she faced when she took her child to John Robert Powers."

A Penny Saver Ad said the company was looking for kids. They told Roxanne that Gabriella was one of 600 they were looking at.

Roxanne says, "Just bring some snapshots in there and the baby and they looked at her and called the next day and said she was the one."

Sierra's mother Gina says, "She said she'd been auditioning 300 kids and it was a hectic week."

Consumer Bob says, "Gina Rutz got the same line when she took Sierra to John Robert Powers. And like Roxanne the modeling agency said the 10 month old needed professional photographs."

Gina Rutz says, "They said she had to have a portfolio before she could do anything in the entertainment business she had to have it."

Consumer Bob says, "But the photos didn't come cheap. John Robert Powers turned the mothers over to Pascucci Productions, a talent agency owned and operated in the same office. And their charge for photos? A whopping $1475.00."

Talent Agent Carol Shamon Freitas says, "Definitely do not get professional photos for infants. They change too fast to spend money."

Consumer Bob says, "Not only do they change, but Talent Agent Carol Shamon Freitas says legitimate agencies shouldn't be making money from selling photo packages."

Carol says, "You should pay no money at all to an agency. No fee, no photos, no school."

Consumer Bob says, "Not only is it unprofessional but it's downright illegal. The California Labor Law specifically states that, 'no talent agency may refer an artist to any person, firm or corporation which the talent agency has direct or indirect financial interest including photography.' Yet both women paid the agency for their photos."

Gina says, "They gave us a sheet of their photographers to go to." Roxanne says, "They set it up. We did not even choose. They said their 2 photographers are the ones to go to."

Consumer Bob says, "Now naturally I wanted to get both sides to this story. So I came here to John Robert Powers and Pascucci Productions, but they weren't talking.

In fact, when they saw us coming, they locked their doors. And while all we could see was an empty office, we did hear from Patricia Pascucci, President of the La Jolla John Robert Powers."

Patricia Pascucci says, "We're not gonna allow you in our building because we know how you media people are."

Consumer Bob says, "Yeah, media people who listen to the complaints of ordinary consumers. Mothers whose children are promised success in modeling."

Roxanne says, "They guaranteed me that in 4 months that she would make that money back and then some."

Gina says, "They said within 6 months she'd be guaranteed work."

Consumer Bob says, "But the deadlines have passed and neither child has earned a dime."

Gina says, "I think we got scammed."

Consumer Bob says, "How many jobs have you gotten so far?" Roxanne says, "Not one."

Consumer Bob says, "Now I've just told you about 2 vanity racket victims, but we've heard from others. In fact I've learned that the San Diego District Attorney's office has opened an investigation into John Robert Powers and Pascucci Productions. If you're a victim, write me here at NEWS 8 and we'll pass your complaints onto the DA's office.



Beware, If You Want Your Child To Be A Model or Star
KFMB TV CBS Local 8 San Diego

2000

http://www.kfmb.com/bob/kid_model.htm

Bob Hansen says, "It's called a vanity racket because as parents we're not always objective when it comes to our children. That's why an unscrupulous business or school can milk us out of thousands of dollars, telling us the whole time our kids are on the brink of stardom. That's how it works at John Robert Powers. I know, I've talked to the victims and that's not all, we went undercover."

Woman says, "It's very glamorous and very exciting, but it's not for everybody."

Bob Hansen says, "It's a Tuesday night and the La Jolla office of John Robert Powers is crammed with kids and parents. Each lured by the promises of wealth and stardom."

Woman says, "You want to make some money for college? I love that."

Bob Hansen says, "Money these kids are told they can make through acting and modeling. Heather Davalos and her 6 year old daughter Amber heard those same promises."

Heather Davalos signed with John Robert Powers says, "We were called up for an interview, they interviewed my daughter, and the lady said we want to screen her for a commercial."

Bob Hansen says, "A commercial. Heather and Amber were ecstatic."

Woman says, "They said she is a shoe-in, no problem for modeling. She can model for Mervyns, Macy's, Target ads."

Bob Hansen says, "All Heather had to do was sign up her daughter for classes at a price tag of nearly $2,000.00."

Roxanne Joven who paid for pictures says, "They gave us a pamphlet saying you need to invest money into your career. People spend that on college. You should spend that on pictures."

Bob Hansen says, "Three months ago I showed you how John Robert Powers was charging parents thousands of dollars for unnecesary photo packages in clear violation of state laws. Our undercover investigation showed they've switched from selling pictures to selling classes."

Woman says, "Are you excited about all of this? You are."

Bob Hansen says, "Our undercover mom took her 9 year old daughter to John Robert Powers. After the group meeting she was somehow "selected" to bring in her daughter a second time. This time to meet with Staci."

Woman says, "We represent people who do commercials, films, sitcoms, soap operas, runway shows, target print ads, everything."

Bob Hansen says, "Staci told us she wanted to represent our 9 year old. And said the money would be rolling in."

Woman says, "If she books a job, a national Mcdonald's commercial, and she gets paid $30,000.00, we take 10 percent of television commercial, film, sitcom, and soap opera."

Bob Hansen says, "But of course there is a catch." Woman says, "Hands down she's going to need coaching. I can just tell. Tell right now."

Bob Hansen says, "Staci tells us that coaching will run $3,000.00."

Casting agent Barbara Shannon says, "If you have to pay money upfront to anybody that calls themselves an agent or manager, then run the other way."

Bob Hansen says, "Casting agent Barbara Shannon says John Robert Powers has a bad reputation in the business. As for finding people work, Barbara is in the industry.

Movies of the week, commercials, industrials, tv series. Have you ever cast anyone who came in being represented by John Robert Powers?"

Woman says, "No."

Bob Hansen says, "And yet John Robert Powers makes the promises."

Woman says, "78 to 80 percent of the kids that I represent right now today are booking jobs."

The Better Business Bureau's Gerry Wilson says, "Check and find out if this person is a talent agent. Now if they are they are properly licensed and bonded by the state of California."

Bob Hansen says, "But neither Staci nor John Robert Powers are licensed talent agents or members of Screen Actors Guild."

Woman says, "I don't want you to feel pressured. This is not what I'm about."

Bob Hansen says, "Toward the end of our meeting Staci tried to close the deal. Pressuring us to hand over a $500.00 deposit."

Woman says, "Do I have to do that now?

Woman says, "Well this is the thing, we're making all the decision tonight. Do you want to call your husband?"

Bob Hansen says, "We've talked to dozens of victims all saying they went through the same thing. All hearing John Robert Powers claims that their kids were going to make it big. Right up until they handed over the money."

Heather Davalos says, "It's all about money. All about money. Once they get your money, you'll never see them again.

They slam the door in your face."

Bob Hansen says, "So do people get work using John Robert Powers? We wanted to find out. They're own literature boasts big named success stories from alumni like Jane Fonda, Angie Dickinson, Ann Margaret, Farrah Fawcett, and Faith Ford. But we checked it out. Calling their agents and publicists and not one of them said they had anything to do with John Robert Powers.

The La Jolla office of John Robert Powers gave us the name of 8 different satisfied San Diego clients. We called them and again not one is working in the business as a result of John Robert Powers. Though some say they've since signed with Hollywood agents.

We asked Powers officials to talk to us on camera about all this, but they declined. By-the-way the San Diego DA's office is investigating John Robert Powers. We're still waiting for action and the Better Business Bureau has revoked their membership."

See also John Robert Powers in the News
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#20 Consumer Comment

can you contact me

AUTHOR: Stacy - (U.S.A.)

i had this same thing happen at this same location they have turned me into collections for money i do not owe!!!! i need to take then to court also. can you help me with some tips of how you did it??? thank you
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#21 Consumer Comment

question

AUTHOR: Laurie - (U.S.A.)

Hi, me and my thirteen year daughter is seeing this guy name Mike Josten at JRP in Newhall. Can this posibly be the same guy? He have the same lastname. He asked us to sigh up with him this afternoon. I think I will wait for your reply. Good thing I run in to this sight before we go.

Thank you
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#22 Consumer Suggestion

John Robert Powers, Headquarters, their franchise license was revoked

AUTHOR: John Robert Powers - (U.S.A.)

The former JRP office in Laguna Hills is operating as The Performance Academy of Orange County becuase their franchise license was revoked. John Robert Powers pulled their franchise and demanded that they stop using our name. They are now doing business as an independent operation. Please call our National Headquarters at 310-887-3810. We are very concerned about your experience with the former JRP in Laguna Hills and will do everything possible to rectify your family's experience with John Robert Powers. John Robert Powers, National Headquarters
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#23 Consumer Suggestion

..they did cahange their name, JRP/ Performers Academy, same scam

AUTHOR: Janice - (U.S.A.)

Yes, they did cahange their name, I still lost a lot of money to Natalie Costa And Dan Josten. JRP/ Performers Academy, same scam. I AM TAKING THEM TO COURT BEFORE THEY GET OUT OF TOWN FOR GOOD!!!!!
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