The Modeling and Entertainment Industry is a very difficult business. It is of course immensely rewarding, and working with creative kids and teens is as good as it gets.
If everyone was honest, upfront and believed in honesty and integrity, this would be a dream job.
Our agency here in South Carolina has been in business for 20 years and we have a spotless reputation. Our talent always works, and when you work, you get paid, right? In most case yes, until recently and I will explain that statement to anyone who will listen.
This is a long story and I will give the abbreviated version because I want to paint a complete picture.
Several months ago, December 2008 to be exact, we were contacted by an agency in Evansville, Indiana. They were working in connection with an agency in Des Moines Iowa on a promotion. It was a rather large job, but we were happy to book it. We had many college students home for the holidays and money after all, is important. We worked in connection with one of our friends in the SC low country. She has amazing talent and they want to work. We all waited patiently for all our boxes with promotion material to be delivered.
We of course checked on the status. No problem! It will be there. One day before the event three boxes arrived at our studio. They were supposed to be delivered to the individuals who were to work. I called TNT Management and was told that all the boxes were in their garage, and would be picked up by Fed-Ex and delivered to each individual store. I was told to tell my talent to go and plan to work.
My assistant delivered the three boxes to 3 models in a town 50 miles away.
Each of these three people was to work 2 stores. They had enough material, but paperwork for only one store. They filled out paperwork online for the 2nd store. 2 other people picked up materials from a TNT contact in Columbia South Carolina.
Saturday AM approximately 20 drove to stores expecting to work. Many drove 40 or 50 miles only to be told, we don't know what promotion you are here for and we have no materials. No one could work.
I sent an email to Tina Norris concerning this and I was very angry. The next call I get is from her attorney. I felt after our conversation, he understood the situation, and my talent would be paid. Time passed, many phone calls and emails. We finally received a small check for the talent who had boxes. They all worked 2 stores and were paid for one. Ms. Norris says, no original paperwork, no pay. This went on until we were faxed paperwork that had to be taken to each individual store, and signed by the store manager. A big pain. Some of the talent didn't live in the town where they worked. Nevertheless, we did it. Oh, ok, now you must have an affidavit from the store manager.
I stayed on the situation because it was no longer about money, it's about integrity.
Ms. Norris then decides to contact my talent individually and says she'll pay them directly. No problem. I just want these people paid. She paid one person and none of the rest. I contacted her attorney only because she told me not to contact her again. I emailed a new invoice. Perhaps the most ridiculous event of all then occurred. Ms. Norris sent me her attorney's invoice for $2,000.00. Imagine that. She says she only had an attorney because our agency contacted him about receiving payment for a job that we completed.
I must say, it's easy to ignore that invoice. It's ludicrous.!!!
I hope my experience and sharing this will help someone who may consider working with TNT Management.
What message does this send to our young adults?
Do the job, work hard, be punctual, friendly, and just don't expect to get paid.
Chester, South Carolina