• Report: #1084637

Complaint Review: Soundtree Entertainment

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  • Submitted: Sun, September 15, 2013
  • Updated: Fri, May 09, 2014

  • Reported By: ChildActorParent — Hollywood California
Soundtree Entertainment
Del Ray Beach, Florida USA

Soundtree Entertainment Gregory James Blount,Casting Camp,Pilot Season Camp,Talent Camp, False Promises, Did not follow through with promises, Cheating Children Del Ray Beach Florida

*Consumer Comment: He's a joke.

*General Comment: I had a great experience at Sound Tree entertainment talent camp

*Consumer Comment: Love Soundtree Entertainment

*Consumer Comment: Awesome Camp!

*Consumer Comment: Excellent Camp

*Consumer Comment: Great Experience

*Consumer Comment: Casting Camp IS worth attending!

*Consumer Comment: I Loved Casting Camp

*Consumer Comment: June Casting Camp was great!

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Response to Complaint

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We were contacted by Gregory James Blounts assistants and were told that our child was invited to attend a special Casting Camp. We were told that our child has obvious talents and would do well. We were told that Gregory James Blount represents Jake Short of Disneys Ant Farm. We were told that Casting Camp would provide our child with the training necessary to launch a great career in show business. On their website, they boast names such as Jason La Padura and Ty Harman. When we were contacted we told them that we really couldn't afford the $2,500 tuition, but they said that we qualified for tuition assistance. They suggested many ways for us to help with more of the tuition by using Crowd Funding sites. We were told that this is common place in the industry and were given many examples of actors that use crowd funding to help pay for their needs. (The examples given were Jake Short, James Franco and a Veronica Mars movie.) We were told that if we did the crowd funding and didn't raise enough funds to pay for the tuition we could back out. Of course that was not the case. We could only cancel after 10 days of signing the contract. Crowd Funding (if it funds) takes at least 30 days minimum. By this time it was too late to cancel. 

We were told that we had to stay at the Bevery Garland Hotel. It was a requirement of camp. That it was a requirement of all kids attending camp. But that was not the case. Many of the kids stayed at less expensive hotels. But these were only kids that had already signed Greg as their Talent Manager. 

Here is a list of promises that we did not recieve:

1) COUNSELORS: All kids were to create a PSA (public service announcement). The camp was to supply counselors to help write the scripts. The camp counselors were "Paid" with the ability to display their own PSA. They were very nice to the kids but they had their own motivations and priorities. Help wasn't really given to the kids. The kids were told what was needed for the PSA, but not how to do it. They were left on their own to write the scripts.

2) COPY OF PSA: At the end of camp, we were to receive a copy of the PSA. It was to have a green screen background so that we could add our own background later. It is now three months after camp and we have not received anything. 

3) TRAINING: Camp was to consist of 4 days of trainings. Two sessions per day taught by industry leaders. We were told that Jason La Padura (Disney Casting Director), Ty Harman (Disney Casting Director) and many others were to teach each of the sessions.  We were promised that there would be 4 days of trainings. The fifth day was to be a day of preparation for the PSA. The kids were going to have the opportunity to have acting coaches teach them. Camp was to culiminate with a PSA to be performed in front of 20 Talent Agents and Talent Managers on the last day of Camp. On the eve of the first day of camp, we were given a schedule. We were told that some of the originally scheduled teachers had schedule conflicts. Gregory James Blount said that he was trying to find replacements for those that could not attend. He was unable to do so which left slots open during camp with nothing for the kids to do but hang out at the pool. 

4) LUNCH: Camp was to include lunch for the kids every day of camp. On the eve of The last day of camp all the parents received a text telling us to make sure the kids had a big breakfast because they would have a big day ahead of them. What they meant was, they decided NOT to serve lunch on the last day. They actually SKIPPED out on feeding kids lunch on the last day of camp. Camp was over at 3pm. Parents were charged $150 for lunch. Again this was a mandatory fee. For the $150, parents received lunch for 5 days. Lunch consisted of a dry sandwich, piece of fruit and a pasta salad. The same meal was served all five days at a cost of $30 per lunch. 

5) SHOWCASE: The last day of camp was to be an event where each student was to perform their PSA in front of 20 Talent Managers and Talent Agents. During the week, Gregory James Blount stated that many of the scheduled agents and managers had schedule conflicts. He said that he was going to use the extra money that he had from the teachers who didn't show, to pay for more agents and managers to arrive at the PSA on Saturday. There were only 7 who showed up for the PSA.

6) TOUR OF DISNEY SET: Friday evening after camp (evening before scheduled PSA) the entire camp was to take a tour of the set of Disneys Ant Farm. On Wedneday of camp, we were told that all of the cast of Ant Farm was on a Cruise to Alaska and that Gregory James Blount was going to find an alternative for the kids. There was no replacement to this. This was a promised made by Gregory James Blount to the entire camp.

7) ACTING COACHING - Acting coaches were supposed to be on hand for individual teaching. Ezra Weisz and Sean Caulin Young were both teachers of individual sessions. Both were very professional and extremely good with the kids. Because of the many teachers who did not attend because of schedule conflicts, both Ezra and Sean were spread thin trying to help out Greg James Blount with the trainings. They both acted as acting coaches where parents had to pay $110 for 1/2 hour session. Greg chose who was to get those sessions. If Greg didn't feel that the student was going to do well at the PSA, he dropped them and didn't allow them the additional coaching. 

8) HEADSHOT PHOTOGRAPHY - We were told that a photographer would be at camp to take professional headshots of the kids. This was not mandatory but was an option. At a fee of $250 for 1 and a half outfit changes. I asked "What is a half change?" and was told that it was a shirt only. So we were going to get 3 different looks for the fee. What we really got, was Gregory James Blount taking the pictures himself with only 1 look. We had to supply a USB flash drive. 

9) NETWORKING: Throughout camp, Greg James Blount stated that he would send email addresses of the teachers from each of the sessions to the parents. Some of the teachers would start to give the parents their contact information. Greg would interrupt saying that he would send this out to all the parents at the end of camp. This was never done. 

10) AGENTS and MANAGERS: We were promised that this was a camp that would culminate in a Showcase performed in front of 20 talent agents and managers. Soundtree Entertainment never promised that any child would sign with agents or managers but we were led to believe that the opportunity to "show your stuff" was going to be their. That opportunity was not there. Soundtree Entertainment and Gregory James Blount could not fulfill their promises. ONLY SEVEN actually showed up to the PSA event on the last day of camp. 

The week was a very disorganized chaotic mess. Gregory James Blount justified it by saying that at the last minute he had to fire his assistants and he was left to do all the work. He didn't say why he had to fire the assistants, but as of the morning of our departure to go to camp his assistants were still working for him in Florida. As of now, three months after camp his assistants are still listed as working for him on his website. I can only assume that he did not want or have the money to spend on travel costs for his assistants. The only assistants that Greg had was the counselors who were paid with being able to showcase their acting abilities at camp and a photographer that filmed the PSA's. He also performed in the showcase. Other than Greg James Blount, it seemed there was no other real staff to manage and event of 35 plus students attending casting camp. 

Gregory James Blount also brought his eleven year old daughter to camp. He did not bring anyone to supervise her after camp hours. She and her friends ran the hallways of the hotel until 11pm or on some nights after midnight. On one occasion, I saw her pounding on Gregs hotel room door saying "Let me In". This was after midnight. There were many kids in her group that were left unsupervised. This caused alot of tweenage drama where one little girls was accused of hitting Gregs daughter. Then the little girl was shunned the rest of the week. If Greg had someone (a nanny perhaps) hired to supervise his daughter, there would have been adult supervision. But there was none.

It seemed Greg had decided which kids were going to "pay-off" for Greg and which would not. The kids that he managed were treated a little better than other kids that Greg deemed to not do so well. There were some parents that Greg treated professionally, others he treated as if they were "Momagers" even though they had done nothing to deserve the treatment. It was very clear that he "wrote off" those specific familys. 

This was a very unprofessional camp. They take money from kids under false pretenses. Many of the schedule conflicts were obvious that Greg never had these people scheduled. Ty Harman was supposed to teach one of the traininings but he was on the Alaska Cruise with the cast of Ant Farm. A cruise of this nature must of been scheduled months in advance. 

The biggest problem with this entire situation, is that Greg made it clear that he would "blacklist" kids if parents complained. There were many very upset parents on the last day of camp. But everyone is afraid that Greg will give their kid a bad name. This was made clear by the way he treated some of the kids especially the little girl that was accused of hitting Gregs daughter. Many of the parents and kids stopped talking to the mom and little girl because they didn't want to be associated with them. Those who knew nothing about the situation and still talked with this mom and little girl were then shunned also. Greg would literally snatch papers out of the parents hands. He lost his temper with most if not all of the camp counselors. At one point, I saw a little boy chasing Greg down the hall, while Greg completely ignored him. Another time, I heard Greg tell a parent "Nope, your child tanked it, Susie Mains hated him". Susie Mains (a talent agent) was one of the session trainers who by the way also lost her temper when parents were filming their kids session. 

This is what we paid almost $5,000 for. The cost of travel, hotel and tuition accumulated to almost $5,000. We were lied to and mistreated every step of the way. 


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/15/2013 06:18 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Soundtree-Entertainment/Del-Ray-Beach-Florida/Soundtree-Entertainment-Gregory-James-BlountCasting-CampPilot-Season-CampTalent-Camp-1084637. 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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#1 Consumer Comment

He's a joke.

AUTHOR: Stacey Dash - ()

Greg James or Gregory James Blount is a joke in South Florida.  We wasted @ $1,500 with Soundtree Entertainment when Palm Beach County Schools allowed him into the elementary school to do offer "acting classes".  We got suckered into a "talent camp" where we got "tuition assistance" and all these talent agencies came on the last day.  Mr. Blount changes the names of his different classes, schools, "camps", so he can't be traced well.  He throws his "Disney connection" around and after a family member who married a Disney executive years ago did some investigation for us, we realized that he has no official relationship with Disney......but he may have acquaintance relationships with some of the teen stars of the B level type.

The original post mentioned the photography.  He also offered to photograph our child.  We showed up to what we thought was his studio and we found ourselves in his small townhome in Delray with a few other parents.  It was a mess with dogs running around and looked like it hadn't been cleaned in days.  His daughter was @ 8 at the time and she was running around unkempt and obviously without much parental supervision.  

It's been @ 5 years since I've had any contact with his company, but they did call me MANY times trying to solicit business and I told them to finally stop calling.  Mr. Blount has apparently found God and religion, but it looks like he is still trying to fleece parents of much more than he got from us.  I was shocked late last year when I found out that Palm Beach county schools gave him some sort of charter school designation called Eagle Arts Academy.....which is genius because he can more easily dupe even more unsuspecting families into his "Disney web of deception."  

All the positive responses here???  Don't kid yourself.  It's him.  Most of his assistants and colleagues who were with him years ago are no longer associating themselves with him.  Their names are no where to be found on all his websites.  You've been warned.  Don't waste your money.  He goes where he can make some money and adapt to the environment.

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#2 General Comment

I had a great experience at Sound Tree entertainment talent camp

AUTHOR: Susan A. Gluck - ()

 

Our daughter has attended three different camps sponsered by Sound Tree Entertainment/Greg James Blount over the last two years.  We feel that Greg James puts a great deal of time and energy into obtaining high profile coaches, casting directors and agents to come to this program.  We have always been impressed with the talent names he brought in.  Occasionally one or two cancelled at the last minute due to another obligation which I'm sure happens in that profession quite often.  We always found Greg to be very caring, interested and would like nothing more than seeing his students succeed in this business.   He is very open and honest in explaining how difficult it is and makes it very clear that it is his job to show how to get prepared to pursue an acting career.  He has taken the kids to a taping of both Ant Farm and Austin and Ally at the last two camps we attended.  He always said to us he was trying his best but with the business as it is he could never guarentee things would work out. 

Since attending these camps we saw tremendous growth in our daughter's abilities.   I don't feel she could have gotten the training and confidence she has without this experience.  We know the odds of making it big are low but we have been getting more callbacks and interest the more she trains with Greg James Blount and his staff.  

In addition, we are happy our daughter has made so many friends who share in her love of acting.  She keeps  in touch with many of the kids throughout the year. 

Regarding the hotel - I think if anyone felt strongly they could talk to Greg about staying elsewhere.  His main issue was the fact when people stay elsewhere they are likely to be late.   Greg felt that the coaches were coming at a specific time and it would be rude to walk in after the session started as well as distracting to the other kids. 

We strongly recommend this camp if your child has an interest in acting.  Greg James teaches a realistic view of getting started in the business and presents both the positives and the difficulties in obtaining success.  Information such as this is not readily available.  We felt the most important part, however,  in attending the camp was our daughter's growth, maturation and excitement in sharing this experience with kids like herself.

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#3 Consumer Comment

Love Soundtree Entertainment

AUTHOR: vicki - ()

My daughter has taken classes for years and has attended several camps through Soundtree Entertainment.  We  have never been mislead by Mr. Blount or any of his staff and have always been treated professionally.  I have empathy for the parents who are so upset however, I can't understand why they wouldn't have addressed Mr. Blount to give him a chance to reconcile their personal issue.

1. I have never attended a camp where help wasn't given to a child to complete their assignment.

2.  Mr. Blount didn't promise to deliver copies of each child's PSA.

3. 20 Talent Agents and Managers were not promised and I'm wondering which children had nothing to do?  The whole idea is to write and practice the PSA and for the parents to help.  It's a working camp and the Talent (children) are supposed to be working at their craft. 

4. Hotel food is hotel food. Most all hotels have strict meal policies for planned events with no exceptions and it is always expensive.   But think about it.  The camp is all about helping your child to excel and to allow him or her to perform in front of individuals that can professionally critique and potentially help the child along in their career.   If you attend an acting or casting camp and worry about the food, maybe you want to check your priorities.

5. I'm not even going to bother commenting.

6. Tour of Disney set was not promised.

7. Acting coaches: Personal coaching sessions are always an extra fee in any industry.  The demand for Ezra Weisz and Shawn Caulin Young is always high because they're great coaches.  However, there's only so  many hours in a day.

8. Mr. Blount is a professional photographer.  If you commissioned him to photograph your child's headshot, you got a good deal.  If you do your research you will find that professional photography is very expensive.

The rest of the complaints are petty, unprofessional and personal slams to Mr. Blount and his lovely daughter and do not deserve a rebuttal.   I am sorry this parent is upset however, they should have addressed the situation at the time or at least immediately afterwards.  Anonymous complaints like  this are  almost always empty and don't stand up to scrutiny. 

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#4 Consumer Comment

Awesome Camp!

AUTHOR: Katieb - ()

In regards to the negative report that was posted previously, I disagree. Greg James is a motivated, inspirational, and knowledgable man. He wants the best for his talent and he gave great insight into the industry. He introduced prestigious instructors to the talent and gave great opportunity as well. Anyone who attends any of his many camps will be inspired and will be more excited about their dream than they were before. Thank you Greg James!! 

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#5 Consumer Comment

Excellent Camp

AUTHOR: Joyce - ()

 I was shocked to read the negative comments written by an individual that would attack anyone, especially a child, and not state who they were.  Also, before listing negative information about a person or company one should contact the person or company to see if the issue can be resolved.  It seems to me this person's child was not offered a contract by an agent and is  complainng just to receive a refund.   If you stayed and attended the classes and you paid attention you learned something that will help further your child's career.

We first met Gergory James Blount in March 2012, when my granddaughter attended a Disney workshop taught by Jason La Padura.  After the workshop my granddaughter was invited to attend the talent camp in Orlando, FL, in June 2012.  She attended classes taught by Jason La Padura, Billy Hufsey, Shawn Caulin Young, and others.  At the camp we were told she needed to mature before attending a casting camp and to wait a year.  Gregory James Blount was very honest and up front with us.

So this June we attended the casting camp.  At no tme were we mislead.  It was up to my granddaughter to do her best and up to us to attend the classes and guide her.

1.  Counselors:  The counselors were just to guide the children not write the scripts.  The child was to think and compose their own PSA.  Most parents also helped guide their child.  Gregory James and the others read and suggested changes.

2.  Copy of PSA:  At no time was anyone promised a copy of the PSA.  One parent asked and it was stated that it was too expensive but he would think on it.  Thinking is not a promise.

3.  Training:  There are times when someone is scheduled to attend a function but something can arise to change the plans.  But Gregory James Blount had replacements with equal credentials.

4.  Lunch:  It was not mandatory for parents to pay for the lunch, it was an option.  We did not opt to pay for the parents' lunch.  There were two days a couple of the kids did not get to eat lunch because parents that had not paid ate them.  I know because my granddaughter was one of them.

5.  Showcase:  We were told 7 or 8 agents and managers would be attending and that at least 10 notebooks would be put together.  Each agent or manager that attended filled out a sheet giving feedback on each child.  Gregory James Blount and his staff made copiies and passed them out the same night, and was available for questions.  If one was not happy with the comments they cannot blame Gregory James Blount.

6.  Tour of Disney:  Yes, Gregory James Blount was trying to get the children to see the taping of a show, but never made a promise.  It was not his fault they were not taping at the time.

7.  Headshots:  Yes, you were told it would be a professional photographer.  Gregory James Blount is a professional photographer, if you were not happy with him taking the pictures you should not have had them taken.  As for the flash drive, that was so you could have a copy of all photos.  If you thought $250 was expensive you have not paid for headshots and touch up work before.  Some photographers charge up to $750 without a day turn around.

As for you attacking his daughter - what gives you the right?  Are you a perfect parent?  It is refreshing to see a father take the interest (as a single parent) in his child like Gregory James Blount does.  His daughter took the classes like all others.  Why would he need a "nanny", when all she did is go to the pool at night with the other children to watch the movie.  Anytime you get a group of kids together , especially girls, there will be tween drama.  I was not in the same building as him, so I will not respond to runnng in the hall or banging on the door.  As far as the girl that was "accused" of hitting his daughter, there were other parents who witnessed that girl "NO"....in fact I personally heard Gregory James Blount talkng with the girl's mother and later saw him helping her write her daughters PSA.  I and other adults at the camp tried talking with the so called "SHUNNED" girls' mother and she treated us rudely from day one.  Most of the time she stayed at the pool or somewhere other than the classes, "TALK ABOUT PARENT SUPERVISION".  Her daughter as well was rude to adults and disruptive in the classes, not allowing the other kds attending the chance to concentrate and learn so they can further their careers.

We did not sign with an agent, even though one agent is very interested due to this casting camp.  My granddaughter already had an agent in another state, but we hoped she would get signed with an LA agent because of Gregory James Blount's casting camp.  Another "AWESOME"  thing that has happened for my granddaughter is that from the knowledge she gained she just finished filming a feature film due out next year.

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#6 Consumer Comment

Great Experience

AUTHOR: anonymous - ()

I believe this camp was a great experience in showing how the industry work in Hollywood.  These types of camps does not promise employment or that you will be signed with an agent/manager, but rather give you some training and the opportunity to be seen by agents/managers and casting directors, and them deciding on whether or not they want you.  I believe this was a disclaimer given for those desiring to attend the camp.

Why I do feel there could have been a few things handled differently, we walked away knowing what to expect if you plan on being an actor/actress in Hollywood or anywhere for that matter.  I also thought the caliber of the agents, casting directors and acting coaches were really good and I like the fact that they all gave feedback on how to improve.  I do believe that Greg really tries to give each child/teen, even some adults, a platform to be seen.  There really are no promises in the entertainment industry and if one is going to make it in this industry, you have to develop tough skin.

As far as the other complaints, I cannot comment or confirm those, but just wanted to give my overall thoughts about the Casting Camp which we attended as well.

 

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#7 Consumer Comment

Casting Camp IS worth attending!

AUTHOR: MomofTalent - ()

In the original complaint, several comments were made that were absolutely false or incredbily misleading. I'll do my best to give my interpretation of the program and some of the events that occured at camp. For the record, I attended the same camp with my 7 year old daughter. I was there all day, every day, considering her age. This is important to note because I witnessed everything and this camp was definitely geared more towards the older kids. You had to be able to read, write, and sit still for several hours in an auditorium while listening to coaches, memorizing scripts and performing. 

1. The Counselors and the PSA: This was very straightforward from the get-go. The kids were supposed to write their OWN PSA's about something near and dear to THEIR heart. This was the thing that set their auditions apart from all the other auditions these casting agents and talent agents see... they see the young performer for who they are and what they are capable of instead of the same monologues these agents have seen a million and one times. For my daughter, we just sat down and talked. I used HER words and put them in a paragraph and she spent friday afternoon that Greg gave the kids to memorize over and over and over. Older kids should have NO trouble writing a paragraph about a cause that means something to them and why. I taught junior high and high school, I know what this is more than possible. 

2. Copy of the PSA: Oh my, a total lie... Greg said he HOPED he could put it on a disk for everyone but the purpose of a green screen is to be able to make it into something that applied to the PSA.. seeing these were all different, Greg would need to specially make each one for every kid and he said that would be too costly and not likely to happen. He said the main use of the green screen was so the agents could see what the kids looked like ON CAMERA as well as 'live' and the green screen keeps the background simple. He did HOPE he could use it for a real PSA and said that if our organizations wanted it, to get in touch with him and he'd see what he could do, but that's pretty unrealistic to think he could do a final edited copy of an actual green screen edited commercial for everyone at no cost. AND he DIDN'T say give me "X" number of dollars and I'll do it, either. It's just time consuming and costly. The agents there saw the commercial. If the kid didn't make the cut with any of the agents, it would need to be improved and redone anyway.

3. Training: Okay, seriously.... you train your butt off. I was praying we'd get a break because my 7 year old was put to her maturity test (and passed!). You LEARN A LOT. From really amazing people. This is where you get what you pay for. Anyone near LA knows how much a 1 hour class costs for training and they are just with other actors frequently... not casting directors or talent managers themselves! This definitely is not an issue of not getting what you pay for. It reminded me of SAT cramming... only for actors. :)

4. Lunch: This is also ridiculous. The lunch came from the Beverly Garland Restaurant. It's famous in Hollywood. It was NOT some dry cafeteria sandwich like the complainer leads you to believe... no, this was REALLY good food. I have no idea how they even added this. Seriously. If you were there and even read THIS, you'd discredit the entire complaint. It's just a joke.

5. Showcase: These kids blew me away. The packed auditorium was silent and respectful for each audition. Prayers were being said and kids shone like the stars they are. One young lady got flustered and the agents and other kids were supportive and encourageing.. She composed herself and came back on to try again at the end. There wasn't a certain number of agents or managers promised but if even ONE showed up that is the caliber these agents were, it would be worth it. There were more than 7. There were two big, HUGE name managers, too. Every agent was given a sheet that rated the child on what they did well, how they could improve, if they were interested in them and if so when and if not, why. My daughter signed with a huge agency and manager she wouldn't have had a chance to walk in their office of had it not been for this camp. And the agency we ultimately went with were the ones that he called at the last minute since Ty couldn't be there. But no Ty Harman did not mean that the others who spoke and led the camp were lesser named. No. Fantastic camp.

I apologize but this is just getting too time consuming. As for the unnecessary and quite frankly, 'low blows' given by the complaintant in this case regarding the tween-age drama and need for a nanny and all of that... nobody was ostracized. That was ridiculous. Greg was at the camp with his daughter all day. She was learning a long side everyone else. Anyone distracted by some teenage drama is crazy because this camp was so intense. There was no time to do anything but study lines, perform, and eat and sleep. I know Susie Mains did not lose her temper with anyone. I don't think she's CAPABLE of losing her temper! Greg was very professional. I just don't know what to say to all this. As for the inability to see the Disney set, well, they said they'd TRY to get us in.. even my seven year old knows that if I say I'll try that it isn't a promise I will. Things happen. And quite honestly, I don't know how well prepared she would've been without the afternoon Friday to study. You can't just call a disney set and get 30 people in without notice. AND Greg TOLD US NOT TO TELL THE KIDS! That he was going to TRY and not to get their hopes up... Anyway.. like I said. This is getting lengthy. Please. Try the camp. It's almost a must if you are out of state. 

Thank you.

 

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#8 Consumer Comment

I Loved Casting Camp

AUTHOR: The Rockstar - ()

I attended this camp in June and I had an incredible time. I've known Greg for about a year now and I can honestly vouch for his character, because, i believe, that is what is really being attacked by this person. He may be a nice guy, have a great personality and have an Eagle Scout but honestly, none of that matters to me. What matters is that the first time I met him, he didn't stress to me about how he could help me or how talented I was or pitch any camp to me...he just told me about what he believed in. How it's not good enough to dream for money or succes, because that's an empty, unfulfilling dream. But to dream to help others and better the world through what you love. That right there is integrity and character.

As far as the camp goes, we received roughly 36 hours of training. Ya, the food sucked, but that's not what I felt i was really paying for. For me, I was paying for top notch industry level teachers to give me all the tools and principles I needed to be successful in show business. And because I listened and valued what they had to say I am a more educated and better actor than I was before. I got what I paid for. im under 21 and I work very hard to fund things like this so believe me when I say, it was well worth my time, effort, and money. 

If you're wondering, no I didnt get signed to an agency. But honestly, if I did, i couldn't even be involved as much as necessary, simply because I live 1500 miles from LA :) but I did get review sheets back from my PSA from all 8 agencies and to put it simply, my hard work paid off but distance is a deal breaker sometimes. 

This was my second (2) camp with Greg and there is a reason I'm going to my third (3) in January... Because he is a man of his word and helps me every step of the way. i believe in Greg, just like he believes in me. 

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#9 Consumer Comment

June Casting Camp was great!

AUTHOR: Liz - ()

It makes me sad to see these comments about the Soundtree Entertainment Casting camp.  We attended the camp and to my mind, it was just what I expected.  These seem like a lot of personal attacks on Greg and his daughter.

Casting Camp was expensive yes, but that's just part of having a kid in show business.  You have to be ready to make the investment.  If you can't afford it, don't do it.

Greg makes it clear when you sign up for the camp, that some of the speakers that are promised might not be able to appear because of scheduling conflicts or whatever.  Greg DID find suitable replacements for the speaker or two that did not show up.  We were pleased with his choices.

And as far as the kids who stayed off campus from the Beverly Garland hotel, I would just ask, WHAT kids?  There was maybe one or two that had family or friends in the area.  And those were not managed by Greg, because Greg is no longer in the talent management business.  No one was personally managed by Greg.

1.)  Counselors.  The counselor for my kid was great.  They did help my child a lot.  And as a parent, I  sat down with my child and helped her start on her PSA.  Greg also personally helped us with our PSA.  I watched him help and write and re-qrite just about all of the kid's PSA's.  He wanted them to be very good and they ultimately were.  The counselors could have been better but they did make it fun and happy for the kids.  But the PSA took WORK and THOUGHT and if you as a parent weren't willing to step in and help your 10 year old with something so important as getting in front of agents and managers in Hollywood, then again, you should do something else with them.

2.)  Training:  This was the best part of camp!  There were many great casting director workshops, and the kid benefitted a lot from these professionals.  It was amazing.  Some of the biggest casting directors and kid talent managers in Los Angeles came and saw and worked with the kids.

3.)  Lunch:   I thought the lunch situation for the kids was fine.  The parent lunch fee was definitely NOT mandatiry, but was offered as an option on the website.  I called the office to inquire what the parents got each day and I could see it worked out to $30 per meal.  When I found out that it only included a dry sandwich, pasta, piece of fruit and a drink for $30, I politely declined.  I did my homework.  No sandwich is worth that, unless it is filled with Maine lobster and a served with a side salad and champagne.  But it was not mandatory--definitely not.

4.)  Networking:  Greg did indeed send the contact info in an email for all the talent managers and casting directors to all the parents.  I received mine and I'm sure if you'd contact him, he would have corrected this oversight.

5.)  Showcase:  It was great!  Not only did many agents and managers come, but many kids were signed with these agents right after the showcase.

Again, a lot of this criticism is just personal attacks on Greg and his daughter.  Yes there was tween drama, but that happens everywhere.  The grownups have to grownup and deal with it.

The camp could have been run better, yes, but Greg did have a couple of very important people in his office leave right before the camp and it was hard for him.  I could see him getting more and more frustrated with demanding parents.  I think if Greg made any mistake it was trying to handle things all by himself.  He;s an idea man not a details man and he definitely should have delegated the details to someone more detail-oriented. 

And yes, he definitely should have offered better food to the parents as well as perhaps a shoulder masseuse on site.  Definitely needed more perks for the parents.  After all, they pay the bills and if they aren't happy, the kid isn't coming back.

But the important thing is that he did deliver on his promise to get the kids in front of agents and managers in Hollywood and for some it has been a very profitable endeavor and they owe a lot to Greg and the camp.

Hopefully, the camps will just get better and better with customer service (as in parents) and Greg will be able to improve things each time.  We enjoyed camp very much and got a lot out of it.

 

 

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#10 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Response to Complaint

AUTHOR: Gregory J B - ()

Wow, all I can say is that when I was notified that someone had posted remarks about me on this site, I was shocked.  After reading the attack on my daughter and myself, I was naturally disappointed and hurt.  To this day, I have no idea who would have written all of this, but what I can say is I am a man of faith, I believe I did my best and gave each child the personal attention they needed to empower them.

Many of the facts here in this report are simply false.  But before I get into that, I am more concerned and hurt that this person would have waited 3 months after the camp to post this anonymously. I would have expected or hoped that they would have contacted me directly and express their obvious anger and disappointment with the camp or file an actual complaint with a service like the Better Business Bureau, which would have allow me to possibly address the situation.  

I have been producing camps for 10 years and have helped over a thousand talent and their families to date. This is the first camp complaint ever filed against me or my company.  

Ironically, when I was notified about the posting, within an about an hour after reading this report, I received a call that my charter school for the arts received a recommendation for approval to build and educate 1,488 kids from kindergarten through 8th grade.  My passion has always been about empowering kids through arts education.  It is truly a humble reminder and I realize I cannot make everyone happy, but as an Eagle Scout, our motto is to “On My Honor I will do my Best.”  

Obviously for this family, it appears I did not and for that I am truly sorry and still would like to resolve the matter.

With regard to the actual list of complaints against me and our program.  I think since this report was posted anonymously, it leaves me with only the current venue to try and set the record straight to hopefully bring some clarity to the truth of what our program was about, what we promised and what was stated in our camp brochure. 

To do this, here is a direct link to last years Casting Camp brochure:

http://www.soundtreeentertainment.com/AttachFile/CastingCamp2013.pdf

1)  First, I do not represent Jake Short or any other talent for that matter and have no vested interest or benefit on the outcome of those who attend the camp.  At one time, I did have a talent management and development company, but at the beginning of 2013, because of the pending charter school application, our school attorney’s thought it would be best if I closed that division and I did.  

2)  As for the Camp Instructors, we do have a list of confirmed industry professionals that teach at our programs.  Each of the names on the list did confirm.  As for Jason La Padura, he was provided an opportunity to go to Italy for a vacation.  I understand his desire to go and immediately replaced him with another talented and well respected casting director.  As for Ty Harman, I am not sure where this person is getting their information, but Ty was not on a cruise to Alaska.  On Wednesday (the day before he was scheduled to teach), he got a large casting request to cast for a job for Nickelodeon and wanted to reschedule the session. The only time we could have done that would have been Friday, but Friday was showcase prep day, so he ended up not being able to teach.  In turn, we promised eight (8) three hour workshops with industry professionals and delivered as we promised per our brochure.

I would like to refer to Page 7 of our brochure, which does clearly state:  “Instructors and Surprise visitors are subject to change upon availability”

3)  As for Crowdtilt, Kickstarter and other funding sites, we offered this information as support.  Per our brochure, we clearly state on Page 7 the terms and conditions.  Because we limit the amount of the spots for camp, we have deadline and requirements like any other camp program.  The information given was to assist them and each family solely as a suggestion to gain sponsors or support.

4) Also per our Camp brochure, we require talent and their families to stay at the Beverly Garland Hotel.  This is true, unless the family lives in the immediate Los Angeles area or has the intentions to extend their stay beyond the camp dates for a longer period of time.

5) Counselors - Here I was disappointed to read the attack on my counselors.  I thought they were amazing and showed their heart to each child.  Please note that all of them were between the 20-30 years of age and were more than capable to assist their small group of 6 kids. Our camp counselors are all aspiring actors and are all selected for their passion and willingness to inspire a younger generation of talent.  In addition, I had one full assistant Gerardo, who has worked for me for years to assist me with all needs of the program.

6)  Copy of PSA - Never did I promise that the talent would receive a copy of the PSA and it is not included in our brochure.  We film the PSA in a 300+ seat theater with guests that filled the room.  Anyone that knows anything about filming or recording should understand that you would need to do this in a small closed environment.  

What upsets me here is that the purpose of the PSA was not to actually film the PSA at this time.  It was for each talent to select a charity that they want to support, then from their own life experiences, write a 90-second PSA to support the cause.  During the showcase, they get the amazing opportunity to perform this PSA in front of industry professionals, casting directors, agents, and family members, where they could show their heart’s desire and compassion.  The reason the green screen is set up is to have the talent focus their pitch of support (to camera), which is then broadcasted on a huge flat screen TV for the VIP’s, families and guests.

7) Lunch - This was actually a mistake on my part.  On Page 7 of the brochure, it does say we would provide lunch the 6 full days of camp.  We normally only do the five (5) teaching days and I admit I made a mistake here.  The last day is the showcase prep day and from my experience, some kids get nervous or got sick.  

As for the food, it is a hotel.  Because of our contract, we are required to order food solely from the hotel, but hotel food is hotel food.  Our contract also prohibits us from bringing in food from an outside source.

8) 20 Agents - I honestly do not know where the idea came up that there would be 20 agents or managers there.  In my 10 years of doing the camps, we have never had more than 10 agents or managers at a camp.  As it turned out we had eight (8) total agents, managers or casting directors at this camp.  We were suppose to have 9, but one agent’s husband had an emergency and could not attend.  We still delivered her a copy of the showcase talent book, as well as a copy to each of the casting directors and instructors who taught at camp.

Again, in our brochure, we have never posted an exact number of talent agents that come to each of our showcases, but I do believe what matters, is the quality not the quantity.  We have many of the top youth agents, managers and casting directors involved in our program.

9) Tour of Disney - Again this is not listed in any fashion in our brochure and I am not sure where this person got the idea from.  In previous camps, we have attended a live audience taping of a Disney show and I would have attempted to do it again this week; however, Disney did not have any live audience taping going on.

10)  Camp Counselors - I have some of the most amazing and talented camp instructors on this planet.  Both Ezra and Shawn give 100% of their heart.  As for writing the PSA’s, I ended up co-writing with each of the talent their PSA, after their small group instructors got the outline down.  On Friday, Shawn and I spent the entire day tweaking and coaching the talent to get them ready for Saturday.  Some families wanted to have personal coaching for their child, which is standard in the industry.  Both Ezra and Shawn gave as much time as they could to support everyone that wanted the extra coaching time.

As for the rest of the complaints, I feel it is more of a personal attack on my daughter and myself. As a single parent, I try and do my very best.  I treated each talent with the love and respect that one deserves.  Anybody that knows me knows that I am a hard worker and a early bird.  To my knowledge my daughter was never left without supervision by another parent or myself.  

As for the remarks about me “shunning” anyone or “blacklisting” anyone - I do not have that power nor did I ever said that I could.  I am a man of faith and I produce these camps because I love to empower all children to become the best they can be, even if they don’t become the next Disney star.  I believe the arts is a remarkable way to teach skills like public speaking, increase self confidence and practical skills, like resume creation skills.  This is why I spent the last 3 years working to build a charter school for the arts.

In closing, I know that the internet can be a source for information and I am disappointed that this information had to come out this way.  In this case with this particular family, I obviously failed to provide them the service they expected.  I would have appreciated it if they would have come to me at camp or immediately following and not 3 months later. Then I could have reconciled this matter.  All I can say is that I am not angry and my door is open, if the person who wrote this wants to allow me to resolve this matter, for their child’s sake, please contact me.  

In my heart I know I did my best, as for the rest I leave up to God.

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