I was in the Westminster Mall with my 13 year old daughter when we were approached by a scout from Be Productions. Myself along with my wife and our three daughter went to their initial screening process at their very elaborate warehouse in Santa Ana, CA that was decorated with pictures of child actors all over the place. They even led us to believe that Milley Cyrus was a product of their program. They consistently mention her name and tell the children they "are going to meet her." All of the children went through what appeared to be a very legitimate screening process in front of three talent agents and a very expensive Cannon XL2 production camera which broadcasted on a 60" plasma T.V.
After having the children read a script for some very well known companies in front of a camera we were called into an office where we met with a "Talent Agent" named Jo Anna. Jo Anna claimed she has placed "Thousands" of children in commercials as well as in T.V. shows and movies. She talked with our daughters then thanked us for our time. She stated she would call us if they were interested in our daughter(s).
The initial screening test was on a Sunday. On the following Wednesday, Jo Anna called and told my wife they had reviewed the videos and felt one of our daughters would be a great asset to their production. Jo Anna set up an appointment for the following Thursday. She requested both my wife and I be there along with our daughter.
After receiving a call from my wife, I called Jo Anna and asked her some very straight forward questions:
1. Was this a scam,
2. Was this going to cost us any money out of our pocket,
Jo Anna assured me they were a very legitimate company and proceeded to name bomb Milley Cyrus and a few other child actors. She went on to tell me what a scam other agencies like Powers and Barbrazon were. How they wanted thousands of dollars from you and never delivered. She said we would not be paying them and our daughter would be getting acting jobs. Jo Anna did however, tell me that my daughter would need to take some acting classes, but they did not offer them there. They would make referral to another company or we could find someone on our own if we wanted.
On the following Thursday, my wife,myself and our nine year-old daughter went to this "Second Call" meeting. Upon arrival, we were seated in the main screening room along with about eight other families. They showed us movie trailers, commercials, and television shows staring all kinds of well known child actors. After the videos and several names being bombed they went after the children emotions by asking "Who wants to be on T.V."?, Who wants to meet Milley Cyrus and other celebrities"?
After the children were all pumped up on excitement and peanut butter and sugar cookies we were all called into the Talent Agents office one family at a time. Once inside they went after the children's emotions again getting the all fired up. After a long drawn out speech they broke out the price list (the one that I was assured didn't exist).
The price scales were broken down into three groups. The fees were from $2,200.00 to $4, 995.00. As she (the co-founder and "B" rated actress) explained the pricing to us.
In an effort to be nice (because my daughter was in the room) I said my wife and I would need to discuss this as it was a lot of money. She and this other lady in the room with a camera left. We asked our daughter to step outside of the office so my wife and I could talk. When the agents came back in we told them we could not afford to do it and thanked them for their time. We were then presented with a three month payment plan and was told since I owned a small commercial production company they would extend an industry price break for our daughter. THey knocked off a whopping $500.00 for the big plan.
We told them this was not going to work. After some serious hard pressure sales, the co-founder asked me in front of my daughter "don't you care about your daughters future"? "Don't you want to make her dreams come true"?
My wife and I stood up and left. After we walked out our daughter told us " when I was in the hallway, the lady you were talking to told me to tell you I really wanted to sign up and that if you signed me up I would be good."
This place is a scam and should be sued. What they do with the children's emotions and the positions they put the children in unacceptable. I will be filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau as well as forwarding a complaint letter to Milley Cyrus publicists, Disney, and all of the others they named bombed.
STAY AWAT FROM THESE PEOPLE.