We met Dianna Davis in July of 2012. Our daughter submitted a audition for her television show the Praise Cafe. At the first taping of the show we started seeing signs such as we were asked for a $10 donation per person. In exchange for the monies each week we would receive media such as a YouTube video and link of her performances. For weeks the shows never aired.
Since our daughter began performing at the age of nine, this was the first time we were ever asked to pay to be on someones show. But the exchange of media seemed worthwhile. Especially a Christian Gospel show. Also on that first day, we were told that her performance was burned onto the wrong media and that she would have to come back and retape. The problem is we trusted Dianna and because we are Christians we believed that what she was doing was honest.
From July thru the end of November, Sariya performed on her show almost every other week. In those four months we only received two performances on YouTube and one of them is so poorly taped that you can't hear the audio. And she was featured in one newspaper article in the Charlotte Observer. We asked her time and time again for tapings of the show but have still never received them. It has been one excuse after another.
It all boiled up in November 2012. At this point she started having dinner catered in for the artists and family members in the audience so that their $10 didn't seem like it was for nothing. The food is one very basic hot pasta dish and absolutely nothing for vegetarians. But she still insisted that the performers and their families must pay these monies in order to be on the show. Around the 10th of November Dianna created a website for the Praise Cafe TV Show and wanted to feature Sariya on her web page. Over the phone she asked us for $30 to showcase her, put up a bio and a link to a website. She offered to make Sariya a website but wanted $200 to do so. That evening we created one for her for $10 with the help of HostBaby. When we met up that Thursday evening she said the costs to be on the Shows Website was now going to be $50. That the $30 was if we had agreed to do it on Sunday, not four days later. We gave her the $50 that day along with another $40 for that evenings show even though I couldn't eat the food and we brought a meal for our five year old who wouldn't eat the food.
That same week in November, our daughter performed at a Celebration of Life event an NAACP executive that she met at one of the shows tapings. Dianna was at the event and was supposedly taping the event as well and offered us a copy of the taping. However, the camera man James did not tape any of Sariya's four performances that evening. This really wasn't that big of a surprise after what we had already been experiencing. At the end of the night Dianna asked our daughter if she would like to be in the Carolinas Parade on Thanksgiving the following week and ride on her float. She was delighted to be invited. Started planning the songs, wardrobe, etc...
On this same week Dianna started asking us about making a video for our daughter. A video CD not a audio CD. She wanted $450 and thought that with this she would be able to help promote her some more. We agreed on a $350 video that Dianna would tape at the studio using the professional sound equipment since we still have not received any professional show tapings in four months. Because Dianna seemed very desperate to get money, we gave her a $250 for a deposit leaving a balance on the video of $100 and she also asked us for an additional $50 to help with signage for the float which we also gave her that day for a total of $300. She also suggested that our daughter sing on float so we began preparation for her songs as well.
That evening we met her at her church because she needed the monies that day, of all places to give her the $300. The next day we met her to check out the float and do a sound check, this is where one of her colleagues who represented herself as Dianna's Financial Advisor told us that in order to be the center of the float, whoever gave the most additional monies would be the one to do this. Imagine after giving her $90 on Thursday at the show, $250 for a video deposit and $50 in signage all in the same week and nothing to show for anything for four months... To hear this woman say this made our daughter want to cry. Now she knew that the kind of person Dianna really was and she knew that it would be really wrong to do anything else with her. I honestly became so upset. She told us that if there were no additional monies then our daughter would not be able to perform on the float whatsoever.
Now since this has happened. She refuses to give us back the $250 dollar deposit. She never gave us the signage or the $50 we gave her for that. And to make matters worse, she took down our daughters bio and links from the webpage that we gave her an additional $50. We even suggested that since she has a "no refund" policy that she just do right by the situation and provide us with a $300 video since that is what we have given her and she refuses to do so without an additional $100. It honestly makes me sick to think we trusted her, believed she was a Godly woman and that she is hiding behind the facade of our Lord. Be warned like it says in Mathew 7:15 -- Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves...
We were not going to pursue a law suit against her or report this because we just wanted to forget it ever happened. But then this past week we've noticed that she is sending out flyers and web links telling young girls to sign up and give her money to be in a Miss Queen City Pageant and the prize is 4 yearly Television Contracts. Imagine that. Now she's also sponsoring the Charlotte African American Festival.
Honestly, if we can only save one person, one family, one child from being hurt then it is all worth it. If you or someone you know is an aspiring Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Actress, this is not the way to go. In addition to taking your money and giving you nothing in return you'll realize that you shouldn't do business with people like this.
We are going to proceed with a law suit against her. I'm terribly sorry I did not post this sooner.