ED Magedson – Founder
CastingHubInternet, Illinois USA
CastingHub Casting Hub Thought it was an audition, trapped in a sales pitch Internet Illinois
Let me start off by stating that I gave no money to CastingHub and therefore I was not officially ripped off. I want to report my experience, however, after investigating this company and the practice used by similar companies through internet searches. We didn’t go back for the hard sell but I do suggest that if you are thinking about taking your child to one of these open calls, check out www.bizparentz.org before doing so. It is eye-opening and very informative. My granddaughter still wants to be on T.V. but we’ll look for more traditional ways to help her fulfill her dream. Take special notice of the page that addresses the fact that pedophiles can link to sites like this: http://www.bizparentz.org/images/pedophiles_predators.pdf.
The Casting Hub advertised open casting calls in Salt Lake City through a radio ad and mentioned Disney Channel and made it sound like an audition. My granddaughter wanted to go and after looking at their website, I thought it couldn’t hurt to just go and see what this was. When we called we were given a time for our audition and a few lines to memorize from a commercial for Lifesavers.
When we arrived, there were about 40-50 children there and their parents. After a long talk regarding commitment and what to expect from show business, we were introduced to an actor that I confirmed is an actual actor according to IMDB and has had about 3 jobs so far in the industry. He did not state that he used Casting Hub as a service. He reiterated that acting is hard work but he had really committed parents to help him. Another person who did most of the talking stated he was a child model at age 13 but could have started at age 4 if his dad had been more supportive. They used the word “star” numerous times and even mentioned that we, as parents, may have to sacrifice by getting a second home in L.A. or have to fly around the world for our kids. It was stated that any costs incurred through this process can be written off as a business expense so we also received tax advice.
We all then were directed to the back of the room where each child took her/his turn to say their memorized script to the interviewer. The interviewer asked my granddaughter a few questions and asked me if I am committed to doing this with her. In all, we spent 30 minutes waiting for the meeting to begin, another 45 minutes listening to the speakers and about 3 minutes with the interviewer. We were then told that they were narrowing down each age group to 5-7 kids. If our kids were lucky enough to have been chosen, we would get a call or text by 11 PM that day and need to come in the next day. We did receive a text message about 4 hours later congratulating my granddaughter on how well she did and an invitation to return the next day.
We were given very slick, full color marketing material with pricing listed in it as well as a long list of T.V. shows and movies that they claim to be connected to because their members have found roles on them. When I went to their website, they had short videos that appeared to be interviews with people that I recognize from the Disney Channel but not a single one claimed to have been connected to The Casting Hub or to use their services. This site and marketing material name drops very well but doesn’t really say that any of the companies or actors has used their services specifically. Member testimonials claim to have found agents through this site, as well. I found through my search that finding an agent is very easy, actually, and inexpensive without being a member of a specific website.
Though this company, CastingHub, appears to be a legitimate business, they are not a talent agency, manager, or casting company. They simply post pictures of (mostly) children on their website for a fee. There is no official commercial or T.V. show spots that need to be filled. They are not asked to fill a specific type or “look” by anyone. What they are selling is access to their website, the ability to upload pictures and videos of your child to it, and search for casting calls and auditions yourself. The minimum investment in the brochure was $1900. They also claim that casting directors go to their website to find “fresh faces” but according to www.bizparentz.org, that is not a common practice in the industry for casting directors to search websites as there would be thousands of photos to look at and they wouldn’t waste their time.
This was our experience and we decided to apply the old adage if it seems to be too good to be true, it probably is. I can invest in my granddaughter in better ways.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/22/2013 11:54 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/castinghub/internet-illinois-internet/castinghub-casting-hub-thought-it-was-an-audition-trapped-in-a-sales-pitch-internet-illi-1086473. 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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