• Report: #382725

Complaint Review: A.C.T.

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  • Submitted: Sun, October 19, 2008
  • Updated: Sat, April 04, 2009

  • Reported By:Cape May New Jersey
A.C.T.
Two Renaissance Square, 40 N. Central Avenue, Suite 2250, Phoenix, Arizona U.S.A.

A.C.T. ACADEMY OF CINEMA AND TELEVISION SCAM, SCAM, SCAM , Phoenix Arizona

*UPDATE Employee: THANK YOU CBS.....BUT WHAT I MEAN IS THANK YOU CAPTAIN OBVIOUS!

*UPDATE Employee: THANK YOU CBS.....BUT WHAT I MEAN IS THANK YOU CAPTAIN OBVIOUS!

*Consumer Suggestion: CBS Does Undercover Report on ACT

*UPDATE Employee: WANT TO KNOW WHATS REALLY GOING ON!?!?!?!?

*UPDATE Employee: THERE IS NO FEE TO AUDITION!

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M.C. in Mullica Hill, NJ, you are dead on! We heard about the so-called audtion on Nickelodeon...all the same garbage about only 200 will be seen, be on Nickelodeon, blah, blah, blah. Of course off we went to the Sheraton in Philadelphia today; watched hundreds of children with their parents going and coming. We waited for our 2:00 audtion in a line that wrapped around the entire second floor where the Liberty Ballroom is. Once we were about to enter the ballroom we were handed the paperwork just as you were; disclaimers and the like. As I sat in the ballroom with my daughter and read through the information they handed me, slowly but surely I realized we were "audtioning" to be "accepted" into a school of some sort.

Mind you, this is not our first experience with the predators of this industry and I immediately sensed another con coming on. After seeing the last page of the paperwork with the fee schedule, I knew we had to leave. And that we did. I did not wait for the interview nor did we stay to do the "cold commercial" or to get told to call back on Monday; we just up and walked out. Of course, as soon as we arrived home some 2 hours later, I immediatley logged on to the computer and searched this company. The only reason I did not do it previous to subjecting my daughter to this disappointment was because when I called the same 877 number mentioned before and point blank asked was there any fee involved, I was told ABSOLUTELY NOT, and so I trusted that information. I guess it really wasn't a lie; it cost no money to come to their cattle call and get students for their school. I have most recently been down that road with another national "agency" promising to promote my child's talent after attending their so-called "school," only to find out a couple of thousand dollars later that they just keep sucking more money out of you. I wish I knew how to stop these things. Between the local modeling agency...or so they advertise...to the IMTA competition you get accepted in only after you pay $5700 to attend...it is all a disgrace and something has to be done. I appreciate everyone's right to make money, but it shouldn't be at the expense of a child.

Annoyed Mother
Cape May, New Jersey
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/19/2008 03:59 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/ACT/Phoenix-Arizona-85004/ACT-ACADEMY-OF-CINEMA-AND-TELEVISION-SCAM-SCAM-SCAM-Phoenix-Arizona-382725. 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 5Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE Employee

THANK YOU CBS.....BUT WHAT I MEAN IS THANK YOU CAPTAIN OBVIOUS!

AUTHOR: Drama Free - (U.S.A.)

THANK YOU CBS FOR REMINDING EVERYONE THAT THE RATE OF SUCCESS IN THIS INDUSTRY IS ABOUT ONE IN FIVE THOUSAND. THANK YOU FOR SHOWING US THAT OUT OF FIFTY CHILDREN, WITH THE DREAM OF FAME, PROBABLY ONLY ONE, IF ANY, ARE READY TO JUMP IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA WITHOUT ANY FURTHER TRAINING. THANK YOU FOR SHOWING OUR AD ACROSS NATIONAL TELEVISION WHICH HELPED SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT US BEING THE BEST ACADEMY FOR ACTING, MODELING AND OTHER TALENT! THANK YOU TELLING US HOW THE AD SAYS; "HEY KIDS, DO YOU WANT TO BE THE NEXT BIG STAR" NOT "HEY KIDS, YOU ARE GOING TO BE THE NEXT BIG STAR" PROVING WE MADE NO 'FALSE HOPES'! THANK YOU FOR SHOWING THE WORLD THAT MY BOSS KNOWS HOW TO DRESS IN STYLE! THANK YOU FOR REMINDING THE PARENTS THAT IF THEY DO NOT WANT TO ATTEND, IF THEIR CHILD IS EVEN ACCEPTED, THEN THEY DO NOT HAVE TO SIGN UP AT ACT OR ANY ACADEMY. THANK YOU FOR NOT TALKING ABOUT ANY OF THE SUCCESSFUL STUDENTS WHO COMPLETED OUR COURSE, BECAUSE THEIR SCHEDULE IS BUSY ENOUGH AS IT IS! THANK YOU ONCE MORE FOR NOT REALLY PROVING ANYTHING BUT THE OBVIOUS! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

SORRY YOUR CHILD DIDN'T MAKE THE CUT, BUT THAT'S NO REASON FOR SLANDER!

drama free by me!
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#2 UPDATE Employee

THANK YOU CBS.....BUT WHAT I MEAN IS THANK YOU CAPTAIN OBVIOUS!

AUTHOR: Drama Free - (U.S.A.)

THANK YOU CBS FOR REMINDING EVERYONE THAT THE RATE OF SUCCESS IN THIS INDUSTRY IS ABOUT ONE IN FIVE THOUSAND. THANK YOU FOR SHOWING US THAT OUT OF FIFTY CHILDREN, WITH THE DREAM OF FAME, PROBABLY ONLY ONE, IF ANY, ARE READY TO JUMP IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA WITHOUT ANY FURTHER TRAINING. THANK YOU FOR SHOWING OUR AD ACROSS NATIONAL TELEVISION WHICH HELPED SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT US BEING THE BEST ACADEMY FOR ACTING, MODELING AND OTHER TALENT! THANK YOU TELLING US HOW THE AD SAYS; "HEY KIDS, DO YOU WANT TO BE THE NEXT BIG STAR" NOT "HEY KIDS, YOU ARE GOING TO BE THE NEXT BIG STAR" PROVING WE MADE NO 'FALSE HOPES'! THANK YOU FOR SHOWING THE WORLD THAT MY BOSS KNOWS HOW TO DRESS IN STYLE! THANK YOU FOR REMINDING THE PARENTS THAT IF THEY DO NOT WANT TO ATTEND, IF THEIR CHILD IS EVEN ACCEPTED, THEN THEY DO NOT HAVE TO SIGN UP AT ACT OR ANY ACADEMY. THANK YOU FOR NOT TALKING ABOUT ANY OF THE SUCCESSFUL STUDENTS WHO COMPLETED OUR COURSE, BECAUSE THEIR SCHEDULE IS BUSY ENOUGH AS IT IS! THANK YOU ONCE MORE FOR NOT REALLY PROVING ANYTHING BUT THE OBVIOUS! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

SORRY YOUR CHILD DIDN'T MAKE THE CUT, BUT THAT'S NO REASON FOR SLANDER!

drama free by me!
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#3 Consumer Suggestion

CBS Does Undercover Report on ACT

AUTHOR: Mom And Advocate - (U.S.A.)

I see that ACT employees, like Drama Free above, are spamming consumer websites trying to combat the negative publicity. The same posts above are on many ACT ripoff reports. They are called shills.

ACT has also changed their name to avoid the consumer reports. Academy of Cinema and Television is now also operating as ACT and as "THE" (pronounced Tay), a talent showcase. They have new websites with the new names. They travel around the country without mentioning their real names, their background with John Robert Powers, or the corporations they hide behind.

Lily Neda is now telling people that her name is Lily Verdu. As usual, she has no business cards or proof of any kind that she is connected to the real entertainment industry, because she isn't.

The CBS station in Atlanta, GA did an undercover consumer report in January 2009. WATCH THEM SQUIRM:
http://www.cbsatlanta.com/video/18485603/index.html
http://www.cbsatlanta.com/video/18494106/index.html
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#4 UPDATE Employee

WANT TO KNOW WHATS REALLY GOING ON!?!?!?!?

AUTHOR: Drama Free - (U.S.A.)

Here is what scarlett johansen has to say about act:

ACT: Thanks for taking the time out to interview for us today, Scarlett. Our students were thrilled to hear that you were going to take part in our series.

Scarlett: No problem I think what you guys are doing at ACT is great. And I love to help kids out whenever I can!"

ACT: Please share with us how you were discovered and how many auditions you had to go on before booking your first job?


Scarlett: I didn't really have a discovery in the way other people had. I booked my first audition at 8 years old and went on about fifteen auditions.. I loved musical theatre and loved performing. I wanted to be in theatre as a child. I did a lot of vocal training. I also took classes at Lee Strasberg and then was cast in a film called North." I played John Ritter's daughter and after that I started booking films. I never acted in television or commercials. My mom was also very supportive; she saw that I was having fun. I still pounded the pavement though.


ACT: What was your first job in the business (before you starred in NORTH) and were you nervous or did you feel prepared for your big day?


Scarlett: My first job was North" and I wasn't nervous. The film set felt really intimate and whatever kind of anxiety I had, disappeared when the cameras started rolling. I felt it was my moment to shine. I just knew this is what I was meant to be doing. I get nervous when I'm presenting an award, but when I'm on set I don't.


ACT: What is one important piece of advice you would give talent who are trying to get started in this business?

Scarlett: To constantly re-evaluate what your intentions are and re-access where you are -- set goals for yourself. Setting goals is really important in such an all consuming business. Do you want to be an actor or a celebrity or movie star?

ACT: When you first decided that you wanted to be an actor, did you take any type of performing arts classes? And if so, do you feel that it was an important aspect to your success and do you still participate in any classes or coaching?


Scarlett: I went to Lee Strasberg and did a lot of improv and movement classes. That was the only professional training I had. Acting is a tool and it gets rusty if you don't use it. It's also important to be able to take experiences from your life and apply them to your work. Developing a character and research is very important for me.

ACT: How much did you understand about the business of the biz" when you were auditioning or networking within the industry?

Scarlett: That's difficult to say since I started so young. It was a learning process who were the right people to know? When you're a child actor it's about being professional and being able to focus, not to network. When I was starting out it was about building awareness with casting directors and producers, and hopefully making a lasting impression with my work.

ACT: Tell us about your worst audition experience and what you learned from it?

Scarlett: I had a hard time with commercial auditions, selling stuff, it felt corny going on commercial auditions. My heart wasn't in it and that was a valuable lesson. I learned it was important to go on auditions that felt true for me. If they wanted a cute bubbly kid, that wasn't me, so I never booked a commercial. You should give it your all when you go on an audition, but for me it's important not to audition just for experience.

ACT: If you could have done something differently or wished you could have learned something prior to getting into this industry, what would you have done?


Scarlett: Don't know that I have any regrets. I love the entertainment industry. It has always been really great to me. It's difficult and challenging, because you never know what's going to happen. It can be exhilarating or disappointing. I've always known this is what I wanted to do. I learn something new or different all the time and that's one of the best parts of what I do.

ACT: Do you think training for this industry on the artistic side, as well as understanding the business aspect, is important for any young talent to learn and why?
Scarlett: It's important to understand the business side and what you are entitled to as a union member of the Screen Actors Guild, and as an employee of a studio. Training is very important in character development and it's a personal choice where and how you gain that experience.


ACT: What is your process for choosing a project or a particular role?

Scarlett: First thing I look for in a script is that it is solid, cohesive and attention grabbing. Whether its drama or sci-fi, I have to believe it and believe the characters. I also take into consideration what other actors are attached to the project and who the director is -- I want to make sure I am going into a project feeling safe, and that the director is a creative leader.

ACT: What is more important: timing, luck and knowing the right people" in the business OR hard work, exposure, determination and education on the craft?

Scarlett: All of the above -- hard work is important being the right age at the right time. You're never going to get a magical audition, you have to come prepped, studied and understand the work. You also need a complete understanding of what is required of you emotionally. It's not just luck, it's also the determination to follow your heart, and make it happen.

Scarlett I would like to thank ACT for their commitment to education in the arts. I think what you guys are doing to promote the arts for today's youth is amazing. I also think it's important for the parents to receive information about a business that so few people know a lot about."

ACT: Well thank you for those kind words and again, thank you for your time.

______________________________________________________________________
IF ANY OF YOU PARENTS WHO FELT LIKE YOU WERE SCAMMED need to open your ears and pay attention when you make the original appointment, you might not get so confused and much less likely to take your anger, cause by ignorance, out on everyone else! You are auditioning for two different people, TWO PART AUIDTION, an AGENT and a PRIVATE ACADEMY! Everyone is told this when they reserve a seat. The problem is no one listens to anything anymore and everyone wants a free hand-out! All you people who were contacted by the National Director.........THAT MEANS YOUR CHILD DIDN'T MAKE THE CUT WITH THE AGENT, BUT THE ACADEMY FELT YOUR CHILD HAD POTENTIAL! You're LUCKY; most kids don't even make it into the academy! ALL YOU HAVE TO SAY IS 'NO'. So stop screaming SCAM, because it will get you NO WHERE!! If the AGENT is interested in you there is nothing to pay for....Congratulations on your new career! If the ACADEMY is interested in you then you will have the opportunity to review their programs which are tuition based. The AGENT has nothing to do with the PRIVATE ACADEMY and vise-versa. THE AUDITION IS FREE that means NO COST, except maybe a few bucks for parking. Your child had an exciting day auditioning for a REAL agent, getting in front of the camera and learning a lot about the industry and maybe their new career ALL FOR FREE!!!! The Agent only calls one or two kids back if any sometimes (let's face it, not everyone is ready to be an actor/actress). The academy chooses who they think have the best potential. As soon as you people hear that someone is interested in your child you AUTOMATICALLY ASSUME it's the agent. As soon as the programs are presented you immediately ASSUME scam scam scam. Well, YOU ARE WRONG! There are several WORKING ACTORS who have graduated from A.C.T.! You can view their success story at: www.theact.tv!
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#5 UPDATE Employee

THERE IS NO FEE TO AUDITION!

AUTHOR: Drama Free - (U.S.A.)

IF ANY OF YOU PARENTS WHO WERE SCAMMED would open your ears and pay attention when you make the original appointment, you might not be so confused and less likely to take your anger cause by ignorance, out on everyone else! You are auditioning for two different people and AGENT and a PRIVATE ACADEMY! Everyone is told this when they reserve a seat. The problem is no one listens to anything anymore and everyone wants a free hand-out! All you people who were asked to pay for classes.........THAT MEANS YOUR CHILD DIDN'T MAKE THE CUT AND THE ONLY OPTIONS LEFT IF TAKING CLASSES! ALL YOU HAVE TO SAY IS 'NO". So stop screaming SCAM, because it will get you NO WHERE!! If the AGENT is interested in you there is nothing to pay for....Congratulations on your new career! If the ACADEMY is interested in you then you will have the opportunity to review their programs. The AGENT has nothing to do with the PRIVATE ACADEMY and vise versa. THE AUDITION IS FREE that means NO COST, except maybe a few bucks for parking. As soon as you people hear the word 'school' or 'classes' you immediately assume the worst. YOU ARE WRONG! There are several WORKING ACTORS who have graduated from A.C.T.! You can view their site at: www.theact.tv!
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