Report: #767029

Complaint Review: Barbizon Modeling School

  • Submitted: Fri, August 19, 2011
  • Updated: Wed, August 15, 2012
  • Reported By: Lauren — Portland Oregon United States of America
  • Barbizon Modeling School
    4035 Northeast Sandy Boulevard #225
    Portland, Oregon
    United States of America

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

    I and many others have been scammed thousands from this supposed "Modeling Agency."

     I found out about Barbizon though an ad in the back of a seventeen magazine when I was 12 years old. The advertiment told of a school for modeling and acting, and with me being a young teen with dreams of fame, I searched Barbizon online and found there oh-so-flattering website: listing all the sucessfull grads of the program. I told my mom about it, and though she was skeptical, decided to call them up and arranged an information session with them. We had absolutley no idea what we were getting ourselves into.

    We attended there "information session," which contained flashy videos and women giving a sales pitch on how these classes 'are the best in the industry'. She told us that the program was very selective, and not very many get called back.
    Well, guess what, I got called back, as I'm sure everyone who attends those things are. And we fell for it. 

    My mom dished out $2500 for the classes. We didn't know any better. They took us in with there pressuring methods and promises. I would give anything to go back and undo that.

    I attended all there 'classes', which consisted of crappy runway training and makeup tips. I learned absolutley nothing of any value. They ended the course with a runway show and a photo shoot, in which you have to pay another $200.

    Sadly, it dosen't end there. They invited us back a couple weeks later for an audition. It turned out that the "audition" was a sales pitch for IPAC, a convention in Los Angeles that agents and managers go to looking for talent. However, what they don't tell you is how much those agents and managers get paid to attend. 

    They seemed so trustworthy, and we fell for it again. $5000 for me, another $1500 for my mom to come with me, plus all the photos and travel expenses and crap. Yes, I know it was a stupid mistake, but we were already trapped into it by the time we came to our senses.

    We went, only to walk the runway, perform a few commercials and monologues, and attend a dance. I got a few callbacks that didn't lead to anything, and that was it. Our money had been thown out the drain. Not only that, but my reputation was now shot, because if I were to put Barbizon or IPAC on a REAL resume, I would get laughed out of the room.

    That was two summers ago, and I haven't heard anything from them sense. I've have been scarred from this experience and can easily say that getting involved with Barbizon and IPAC was the worst mistake my mom and I ever made, or ever will make. 

    But despite being robbed out of the well-needed $10000 and having my hopes and dreams shattered, I won't let this stop me. I'm now working with a REAL modeling agency in my area were IM acually being paid, and I'm taking REAL acting classes at a theater. If I ever do go on to something big, I will make sure everyone knows about these frauds I got involved with and how not to make the same mistake I did.

    If your reading this after considering taking classes at Barbizon, listen to this and all the other scam reports out there. We didn't listen and look were it left us.


    For those who have been scamed like me, I want you to send me an email. If we all get together, maybe we can stop these bastards.       


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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/19/2011 04:02 AM and is a permanent record located here: 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Consumer Comment

Barbizon amazing

AUTHOR: Tina lamb - ()

I'm not sure what your complaint is you seem confused...your modeling now! and I've been to Portland barbizon it's a beautiful facility large spacious make up studios runway studios and more ...the coaches ..trainers are dedicated most have been in the business modeling etc...I put my daughter thru there program no one promised her the moon just ample training and she received it..we see a huge difference in her self esteem and she has done a few shows we love that the helped her focus on her grades at school this was a I recommend barbizon hands down the problem with you is your outlook's impossible you got nothing from barbizon I don't believe you. You are unhappy with you .

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#2 General Comment


AUTHOR: Rose - (United States of America)

Hey lauren, my facebook is 2Btheprincess, add me so we can chat? I want to be as informed as possible, as I have a chance saturday to be looked at for Barbizon and want to see all sides to make the best decision. thanks,

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#3 Consumer Comment

Portland Barbizon review

AUTHOR: Shaq2012 - (United States of America)

If you are approached by a Barbizon salesperson and are trying to decide whether to enroll in the training program, the following informative link may prove useful in helping you to decide whether to enroll or not:

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#4 UPDATE Employee

IPAC/Showcase Response

AUTHOR: Barbizon of Portland - (United States of America)

Because your report included issues with the Performing Arts Showcase, we have discussed it with our IPAS contact. Please refer to their statement below.

"While we find it unfortunate that a past employee would feel
so negatively about our company, we find this to be a great opportunity to
address many concerns that the public tends to have about talent
conferences/events. Sadly, many companies have come and gone who have bad
business practices and have given the industry a bad reputation. 

Here are some facts about the International Performing Arts

We agree that you should not have to ever pay for an audition.  If fact, it is against the law.  An audition consists of trying-out for a paying job.  Participants in our event are not there for a job or a role, therefore, they are not auditioning for us.  We do, however, have to evaluate their skills before allowing them to attend the Showcase.  This is for several reasons: 1. We only bring 300 participants to the event.  This allows us to keep the event intimate and provide everyone adequate time to
showcase their talent to all the agents, managers and casting directors. 2.  It would be unfair to allow someone to attend our event if they were not properly trained.  He or she would not be successful and would feel overwhelmed during the competitions. 3. We base our evaluations on other factors, for example, commitment, desire and family support. 

A common misperception is that we select participants based on their looks.  Yes, high fashion modeling does have its industry standards (height and age especially).  High fashion models are hard to come by, and we have very few participants in that category each year.  Our successes, and all working models or
actors for that matter, have such a broad range of looks that there really is no look anymore.  Consider child actors such as Rani Rodriquez, Rico Rodriquez and Moises Arias.  They all have unique and different looks, body types, hair color and facial features.  Not all child models or actors are mainstream, and there is plenty of work available for any look or type in acting and commercial modeling.  In fact, we find most of our successes were signed based on their bubbly and infectious personality rather then their looks.   If you watch our agent and manager interviews, you will find that they hardly ever mention looks as criteria.  The majority mentions things like natural clean faces, energetic, lots of smiles, professionalism and training.

Yes, it is absolutely an important and significant personal and/or family decision to pursue a modeling or acting career in Los Angeles, which is why we host the Support vs. Sabotage parent seminar on day one immediately following registration.  Our guest panel includes Lyndsy Fonsecas mother, stepfather and younger sister who discuss with parents their experience of raising their children in San Francisco (where Lyndsy attended modeling and acting school) and moving to Los Angeles after the Showcase to let Lyndsy follow her dreams.  Lyndsy Fonseca attended the Showcase when she was 13 and can now be seen in major motion pictures and TV shows such as Nikita, Desperate Housewives, Hot Tub Time Machine and Kick a*s.  We are proud to have her family speak to our participants every year about their journey as a family and how a candidate becomes a consistently working model or actor in the entertainment industry.  The panel also discusses the exact opposite scenario on families who choose not to relocate.  All our families make the decision based on whats best for them and their children.  The Showcase seminars are there to provide all the information possible regarding any situation.  Additionally, the seminar also touches briefly on important topics like child labor laws, on-set tutors, work permits and Coogan accounts, should a family decide to relocate.  We dedicate a lot of time in seminars and pre-showcase training to encourage families to work together as a team in making these life-changing decisions.  That is not to say that a family or participant would not have a positive and successful experience at the Showcase without relocating to Los Angeles.  A lot of our participants choose to attend the Showcase as a challenge, to be able to say they accomplished one of their dreams and be proud of how far theyve come.  Our number one goal is for our participants to gain self-confidence. They can stand up in front of a camera and deliver a solid commercial read or stand up in front of class at school and deliver a solid presentation.

Agents, managers, casting directors and record executives attend our event because this has become the norm.  Families and young adults do not have the time or the finances to go door to door to auditions, castings and go-sees for several years before getting signed.  This route takes a lot of time and energy and requires the model or actor to be in Los Angeles day to day.  Our Showcase allows the participant to audition for multiple agents/managers in one weekend.  The agents/managers that attend are all licensed in the state of California and have a strong working client list.  The industry
professionals attend our event because they know our participants are well trained, which allows the agent or manager to book them jobs immediately.  Even if the participant has not gone through modeling/acting training with a local academy, as part of their Showcase package, they receive six months of training to prepare them for the event.  The six months of training is included.  Six months of training at any other location could cost several thousand dollars.

Our Showcase is the only talent conference/event that is licensed and bonded by the state of California. 
We are also the only talent conference/event that operates in Los Angeles, the center of the entertainment industry, because we are the only company that complies with all state laws protecting families from scams.  Parents should never attend an event or work with a talent company outside of California without doing thorough background research.  Prospective models and actors should also never pay for representation.  And above all else, please remember that no one can guarantee anyone work.  It is up to the participant to train hard, keep practicing, stay persistent and positive before landing their first job.  At the Showcase, we are here to give everyone the best possible chance to fulfill
their dreams."

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#5 UPDATE Employee

Response from Barbizon of Portland

AUTHOR: Barbizon of Portland - (United States of America)

Hi Lauren,
We are very sorry that you are unsatisfied with your experience at Barbizon. While we aim to provide the most up-to-date material to prepare students for work in the entertainment industry, we do not promise jobs or agency contracts to anyone. After graduating from the Barbizon program, students are expected to take the initiative to go out and find jobs using the skills they have learned. We are happy that you have been successful in finding work after our program as many graduates have been, but we are sorry that you feel your training was less than satisfactory. Please contact us at 800.556.6335 to try to amend the situation.

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