First of all, I want to state that I did not invest any money into this business. My sole purpose for writing this rip-off report is to educate others who may be lured in by the success this agency appears to have. I definitely question the motives of this company.
I went to an open call audition where there was a long speech about how wonderful and successful this agency is. To be honest, it did seem too good to be true. I then proceeded to walk the runway and was told by my interviewer that I was wonderful and that they would love to sign me. The following day, I booked a follow up appointment. As a college student, I was asked to bring a parent along with me. RED FLAG.
Up until this point, nothing financial was discussed that would lead me to believe that I was being scammed. I am confident and felt and still feel that I could start work today as a local model and be successful. At this "follow up" meeting, my interviewer wanted to cancel the meeting because my mother wasn't there.
I am an adult, I do not need a parent to be present to make a decision about my life. Her response was that it was important to have someone who was in control of finances to be present. That would be insult number 1. Apparently college students do not have the means or ability to manage their money.
The hits kept coming from there. What happened to "You are wonderful, we would love to sign you..."? I was basically told that I needed to pay OVER 1000 dollars for training, and after that I would immediately be signed to their agency. RED FLAG #2. I cannot disagree with them there. You should be educated about the field you are going into, but no one needs to shell out 1,000+ to Barbizon in order to become "educated." I have a lot of experience within the entertainment industry that would make me a good fit for local part-time modeling.
Every bit of experience I mentioned was completely shot down and insulted. Everything this company has to offer is semi politically correct and unfortunately legal, but I feel as though it is the community members who need to come together and realize that this isn't right.
I read another rip-off report about this company that prompted me to tell my story. When the other person who was ripped off mentioned that Pro Model & Talent most likely got a cut of the money Barbizon makes from desperate wannabe models, PMTM immediately denied the allegation.
While I am not going to make any accusation, I found it VERY strange that my follow up interview was conducted in one of several cubicles adjacent and in the same building as Barbizon. I was even told that one of their models was teaching the class. Take what you will from what I observed, but as a business student, I am not naive. They are DEFINITELY gaining monetarily in some way by having their recruits and Barbizon on their premises.
In short, I want people to be leary of this company. It is a WELL KNOWN fact that any aspiring model should NEVER pay for representation, which is what you are essentially doing. It would be different if they weren't shoving Barbizon down your throat. You can educate yourself on the modeling industry without shelling out that much money. You can read, watch one of the many modeling shows on tv, and as I found recently, audition locally for similar modeling jobs that are open to newcomers for experience.
To make this somewhat short, this company seems to target local citizens who just want a fun, local part-time modeling job. If that is the case, the criteria this modeling agency is asking for is very questionable. You do not need to graduate from Barbizon to be a local model and to say otherwise is misleading.
As for anyone seriously looking into modeling, you know and I know that PMTM is not the place to try to make it. Go to a big city, use that 1,000+ dollars to get a good portfolio, and find representation who is willing to take a chance on your talent, not one that will coerce you to pay. I know that I could have made that agency money, and it is their loss that they wouldn't sign me without Barbizon.
Their inability to accept talent who don't need to pay leads me to believe that their successful jobs and payrates are somewhat fleeting. Take from this what you will, but this is my honest assessment of the two days I wasted with an agency where the vast majority of models paid for representation. In one final word: awful.