Report: #1048919

Complaint Review: Gary Spatz' The Playground - David Terry

  • Submitted: Mon, May 06, 2013
  • Updated: Mon, May 06, 2013
  • Reported By: Arodri08 — Alabama
  • Gary Spatz' The Playground - David Terry
    Costa Mesa / Los Angeles
    Costa Mesa, California

Gary Spatz' The Playground - David Terry Deceptive Business Practice by David Terry and all those representing Gary Spatz' The Playground -Performers Group Costa Mesa California

*General Comment: They are the best out there

*Author of original report: You have evaded te underlying issue - Your deception

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Rebuttal to Report#1048919 from

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

First off... 

Let me start by saying that I am in no way shape or form representing any talent company in any capacity.

I am simply expressing what has occured to me while @ The Outlets in Orange or formerly known as "The Block @ orange".  

My 3 children ( boys ) and I had lunch at the mall. While walking back to the car, a woman approached me and said "Ooohh dad?"  "are you dad?"  to which I answered Yes.  She then proceeded to ask my kids if they had heard of a Disney television show called "True Jackson". They anwered yes. She then invited us to what she referred to as a "Screening" that was by invitation only and was being held at the DoubleTree hotel on the corner of Chapman / The City drive. Right around the corner from the mall. I thanked and her, we left.

I could see in my 13 year old's face that he was excited over the whole thing so I decided to drive around the block and see what this was about. We arrived and found that this By Invitation Only screening had a very... very VERY long line. Hundreds of kids and their parents were in line, dressed their best. Countless boys with nice clothes and girls in princess dresses all with happy faces.

I explained to my son the line was too long. We were walking out and I saw that the line was moving quickly. Thats because they herd people in, in large groups. 

We were given a clipboard to fill out and sign a disclosure form in which they Immediately state that the pictures of The Suite Life of Zach and Cody, True Jackson and a few Other posters they had were in no way related to this event. The represented themselves as "The Performers Group". They disclose that they are NOT talent agents, managers, representatives, casting agents etc.... etc... 

To which I immediately questioned.... Well then, who are you? What do you do ? and more importantly... What are we doing here?

Here it goes people.... As a salesperson who's sold Real Estate, Stocks & Bonds, Telecom Services, Wireless Services, Media Services and anything else that has required me to have people Pay any sort of money.... 

This is the scam....

They have hype the kids up by letting them know that they are looking for "regular" kids.. Not stars... Simply energetic kids who want to be on TV.  The credibility piece relies on their bringing out a girl ( whos name I'll reserve ).. and talk to the kids. Shes been on a few episodes of known Nick & Disney channel shows. 

They have the kids say a small line. Very small... "I had the best time ever at Disney the other day"  Done This is all done in front of a green screen in a rented hall inside the hotel. They make it believeable because of the introductions of the people in the back who the crowd assumes to be the "Talent Scouts" They even made a representation that one of them DISCOVERED Jessica Alba. 

You walk up to them after your child reads and they ask a few questions.... Here is what I was told.

"Were going to be having a Reading for VANS. Were looking to bring in around 6 teens. If there is any interest in your son we'll call you".

They called us ---  Along with who knows how many other teens. Another big group, being brought in 1 group at a time. This was held at a Costa Mesa office which was seemingly unprofessional due to No signage and looked like one of those rented office spaces from Regus, if youre familiar.

My child does the Vans reading.... and again they call us back. This time, it's the pitch...


Hes not professional

We offer classes that are 6 months + Long

They start at $2700.00 of your hard earned well deserved bad economy survival Dollars.


They made a few efforts to steamroll my wife into committing and she really believed them. As did my poor teen. I am a father who has been around and seen somethings telemarketers do. Let me tell you... This is about as greedy as people get. 

It all boiled down to one thing....  Gary Spatz' The PlayGround. 

I called back one Mr. David Terry who was our contact from the gate. I probed him and asked about Ad or Film work guarantees. Asked about what role they play, asked what company he represented. Asked what role does the VANS company played in all this... None. It was all downhill from here. 

He became agitated and defensive. "We told you from the beginning were not talent agents, You signed"

"We hire field people who are CONTRACTED to find the kids"  

After dodging all of my questions.... including the financial ones... he has the nerve to say 

"Your Son Isnt a good fit"  Why because his father is looking out for his best interest? How did my son all of a not fit the mold they were looking for due to my questioning their deceptive business practices.


Here is the charming part, My son talked about his screening with his friends at school. 2 of them happen to be students at The Playground. One little girl for close to a year...  Has gotten NO WORK, no film, no print, nothing. 

I am so sick of writing this that it turned my stomach. I have already contacted my attorney who is looking into the matter... People,  these crooks are organized. Violating the peoples trust in such a way in public venues... I dont care that they may think they are slick in covering their trail. My congresswomans office will soon be receiving a letter. Along with the OC District attorney, Senator Barbara Boxer and the office of consumer affairs. Not to mention the executive committee at the BBB. 

Do yourselves a favor. Believe the postings... these arent competitors posting slander. We're parents posting our experience. These crooks have no respect for their fellow men and women in their communities out at the mall for the afternoon. Save your kids the heart ache... I'm still trying to mend my 13 year old

Shame on David Terry, John Phillipson who is supposed to be from Europe, Martha Conroy and also Gary Spatz...  the assumed talent scouts... or not.. who knows  they never clarified this.


Regular dad... Orange CA

PS: I have the video of the event, there was No sign about NOT recording.

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/06/2013 08:35 PM 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 General Comment

They are the best out there

AUTHOR: Tony - (USA)

 They are teaching you the real ins and outs to this business! I am a professional producer and send all my kids to Gary and they come back better prepared as actors! Even the co-president of SAG-AFTRA said the same thing online...Google it for yourselves! Doesn't GET ANY BETTER THAN THAT folks! I recommend them to everyone because they are the best!

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#2 Author of original report

You have evaded te underlying issue - Your deception

AUTHOR: Anthony - ()

1.   My name is not "Regular Dad".  It's Anthony Lewis. I am investment banker for a reputable company. I work and live in Newport beach. I have nothing to hide and everything to prove including evidence, regarding my experice with your "observatory".

2.   The fact that this system defaults to the first state available for Location, if one is not selected does not mean this was not a legitimate complaint.

Lastly, you failed to address any of the true underlying concerns as they relate to your deceiving recruiting practices, your method of rushing parents into purchasing Schooling Packages or anything else.


You obviously failed to address anything. You did nothing other than failed at trying to discredit my heartfelt post about your shady practices. You mislead people and try to steamroll them into spending thousanForgot classes. I am not the only "Regular Parent" who has complained about this. 

To set the record straight.... I am a Regular Dad!! And because I care so much for my children I protect them from Has Beens like you who at some point at ther career were in a way associated with Hollywood figures, and now prey on innocent parents who earn an honest living. You keep clinging to the past and keep showing the same "suite life of zack and cody" material.


youre a liar, your company is bogus. A reputable and respectful company doesn't have a need to defend themselves online. Their integrity and references take care of that.

Listen Gary Spatz, no matter how you want to spin this.... This many people can't be wrong.


We'd all have more respect for you and you're observatory if you acquired clients in an honest fashion.

I hope I run into one of your recruiters again, I'll make sure we expose them land your entire sham.

dont kid yourself, you're not spending thousands to clear your name, you're typing rebuttals yourself on the weekends.






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#3 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Rebuttal to Report#1048919 from

AUTHOR: LetsTalk - ()

Before we address the response to the grievance filed, we wanted to take this opportunity to make sure the reader is aware that sites like this one exist and depend upon revenue for reputation management services (i.e. so that the impacted company will hire a reputation management service company – the parent company of the site and their advertisers - to restore the company’s reputation for a price). While this practice is currently within the law, we believe this is a conflict of interest as there is no screening process for negative reviews (are they valid and true?) and the only recourse for a business such as ours that has been targeted is to file a rebuttal and/or pay for the reputation management services available on this or other such site. In addition, because of how search engines work, referencing specific names (of people, TV shows, networks, etc.) only increase the ranking of the negative content. This is a vicious cycle as every time a user searches on a name and clicks on the link to content like this, it only serves to make the article rank higher on search engines like Google.  This is why our response does not mention any specific names (as the saying goes “names have been changed to protect the innocent.”). However, we trust that our response will still communicate the truth of the matter in a fair and balanced way and educate the consumer so they can make informed decisions that are based upon facts.

We also want to express our distress at hearing anything negative about our acting conservatory and we take these complaints very seriously. We encourage anyone who has a complaint to please call and discuss the matter with us directly (all relevant contact information is available on our website). We will do our utmost to resolve any grievances if it is within our power to do so. Targeting a company like ours on a site like this never yields positive results and further serves to propagate negative content which many times is not factual.

Now to address the specific complaint:

We are an acting conservatory for kids and teens.  We are always searching for kids and teens that are interested in learning the craft of Film & TV Acting. Marketing companies invite us to their events. These events are supposed to gather kids and teens that have expressed an interest in acting for Film and TV. All promotional material is reviewed and approved, making sure proper legal verbiage is covered in the promotion. Basically speaking, it is clearly written that these are events for kids whom have an interest in acting, but not as an event for gaining representation or work.  This particular event had a young actress as its guest speaker. This actress graduated our conservatory’s two-year curriculum several years ago.  The marketing company obviously knows that we are more likely to hire them if they frequently use graduates from our program that have gone on to star in television and/or films. Many of their events do not feature a graduate of ours as the guest speaker, but in this case, she was.

The marketing company’s promoters mentioned  the name of a popular TV show because one of the stars of the show would be at the event. The event is by invite only. The “girl” in which “Regular Dad” refers to is the aforementioned actress; she has starred in over 100 episodes of several cable network TV shows, not “a few episodes.” Namely, over a four-year period she starred on three cable network shows regularly.

Our goal at these events is to find kids that not only would want to study acting at our conservatory, but to find kids that are qualified to do so. We cannot and do not take just anybody. There is a process to get into our conservatory. Part of the process is testing the talent’s potential. We do that by providing one of nearly 100 sample commercials to practice. The “Vans” commercial was simply one of these. No one ever implied there were any casting calls.    

The second meeting at our Orange County office was to allow the kids to perform the commercials they have practiced. We do this in one of several of our studios equipped with studio-grade cameras, lights and monitors. “Regular Dad’s” comment about us having an unprofessional office is a first for us. We have signage on the building directory, signage on the front door, and a five-foot logo upon entering our suite. We have a 3,500 feet space and a five-year lease with the highly respected “Offices South Coast Plaza.” The over six-figure build out is anything, but unprofessional. When “Regular Dad” questioned the professionalism of our offices we began to question the legitimacy of the complaint. It should also be noted the poster states that they are “Regular Dad…Orange OC” but the “Reported By” information provided by Ripoff Report reveals this post was created by “Arodi08 – Alabama”. This also calls into the questions the legitimacy of this report.

“Regular Dad” was convinced that our conservatory was a scam; we are not. He was convinced that we own the marketing company we hire for events; we do not. He assumed we offer and guarantee entertainment industry jobs, careers, fame and fortune; we don’t. We offer the best film & TV acting program for kids and teens. That’s it. No more, no less.  When “Regular Dad” comments that some of our OC kids haven’t worked, he clearly shows his ignorance. He refers to “that one girl who has been going a year…” - she must be getting something out of our program because she re-signed for a second six months after the first six months.

We are in our 9th year of doing what we do. The BBB has rated us with a top rating of AAA. Complaints like this are never from our clients, but from individuals who do not have the facts straight. We have found that often these errors are fueled by false material found on the internet. We are licensed to do what we do, and your senators, your congressmen, and the District Attorney are all very aware of that.  In addition, the President of two premiere acting unions would not be thanking us for the good work we do if indeed we were doing anything unethical (ref. link

This review is patently false and slandered us erroneously. We will always stand up for the truth and set the record straight to put an end to anonymous defamation.

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