Report: #880748

Complaint Review: Karisma Talent Group

  • Submitted: Thu, May 10, 2012
  • Updated: Tue, August 14, 2012
  • Reported By: AnonyMatt — North York Ontario United States of America
  • Karisma Talent Group
    33 Villiers Avenue
    Toronto, Ontario
    United States of America

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

$650 for 2 headshots (go on, do your math) is definitely not my idea of what a talent agency should charge their clients unless of course, the agency knows that their clients are not going to dish out any more money after the horrendous service provided by them.  The pictures, about 25 in all, are emailed in passport size format and not even clearly visible to pick the two shots that they asked for.  After collecting the cash and in return sending out the 'so called' headshot pictures, the agency sends you 2 final headshots in size 5x7 and then goes mum but their bottom line gets healthier.  All other agencies give you a selection of about 150-200 pictures on a CD and you chose 20 of them.  They then send you blow ups of at least 6 pics, some more shots in size 5x7 and of course they also send you comp cards as a calling card for when you go on auditions but of course since Karisma knows there are going to be no auditions, why bother to print all those pictures which would only cut into their profits. 

The receptionist at Karisma is the only point of contact whether you email, phone or go in there personally.  She is always rushed and I have stood there in front of her on a couple of occasions for at least 15 minutes before she even acknowledged me.  She never does have time to answer questions patiently and as for emails, she never replies to them promptly or better still, NOT AT ALL!!  This is absolutely contrary to when you go for your initial interview.  That time you are the focus of attention and promises of all kinds are made.

I suggest it is better to go to a professional photographer who has a hair dresser/makeup artist as part of the package, pay him his fee (between $500-$600) and come away with satisfaction of knowing that you will have a great looking portfolio.  You can then make your own comp cards with the help of Kinkos or Black's photography. 

Karisma means 'charm' or 'appeal'.  Karisma has just the right name.  The agency surely is a CHARMING RIPOFF!!!!!!!!!!!

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/10/2012 08:35 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

Total Ripoff..

AUTHOR: SB1408 - (United States of America)

Unfortunately, I was almost fooled into buying into their .. shall we say .. "product"

I attended their audition, and unbeknownst to their secretary, my
boyfriend was in the lobby, listening to every word she was saying.
Every single person who had auditioned was told that they will most
likely get a call, which I could only assume is reserved for the people
who "made it through".. too bad everyone does. When I attended the
audition, we were told we would have to pay a $60 upload fee to upload
our portfolio to some website (which I was fine with).. and then we were
told that we MAY have to pay $600 for head shots to be done by a
specific photographer (who has had many "companies" that have been
convicted of fraud). I received a call by Jackie, their talent scout you
could say, telling me that I had been chosen to join their roster. She
then proceeded to tell me that I had to pay the amount of $508.50 plus
another $80 for their stylist. My credit card did not have that high of a
limit, so she said she would pay it in full, take $208.50 off of my
credit card and then accept the other $300 in cash on the day of my
photo shoot. Not truly thinking about it because I was so excited and
bombarded with information, I accepted and gave my credit card number..
only to realize after hanging up the phone that they were a scam
company. That resulted in me calling back and asking her not to charge
my credit card, as I wanted to think it over. Then I was told that it
could not and would not be refunded because it had already gone through.
I called my bank right after I had hung up, and found out that it had
not been processed. Following the advice of the agent on the phone, I
had emailed Jackie, as well as the film company stating my consumer
rights as per the 10-day cooling off period, and then received an
interesting phone call. Their secretary called me up, told me that they
were laughing at my email and how silly it was, and was told that they
hadn't put the payment through yet and that they could refund it. First
of all, they can't refund it if they haven't processed it yet. Second of
all, that means that Jackie lied to me initially. The secretary was
extremely unprofessional and had an attitude, and when I called
Charmaine out on it, I was told that I was the one with the attitude. I
then, hung up the phone. Even if they are in fact a "legitimate"
company, I strongly suggest that no one, and I mean, NO ONE, attempt to
do business through them, especially seeing as how they handle a
particularly serious situation. I almost hope that they charge my credit
card anyways, so then they will get the prosecution they deserve.
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#2 Consumer Comment

karisma has gotten me work

AUTHOR: kevin - (Canada)

I have been with them for a few years now and although it took me a while to start booking by jobs, i was with 3 other agencies before who got me nothing and charged me over $1200 bucks. It's unfortunate some people have had a bad experience. mine has actually been really good. I work full time and try to get my auditions and when i can't they are pretty understanding. I received my 1st audition after about 3 months and got my headshots done by someone Karisma referred me to and everyone loves them. I nloved the make up artist they used too. I think on average i go to at least 1 or 2 a month but now that i feel better at the auditions i am booking jobs and have made at least a few thousand now over the past couple of years. I have done jobs like Pfizer, CIBC, Holiday Inn, Tridel and I just did an episode of Cold Blood. All the casting directors i have spoken to have always spoken well about these guys. I have always been able to talk to the girls and didn't get a hard time. I think personally before people just go on line and write stuff they should try to call them and sort out their disappointments. I was never asked to go to such things like CMTC, i think they peobably didn't go because i've heard most people who do to there pay allot and get nothing. But karisma has never pushed me to do stuff like that. I can say that I get auditions and I try to go as much as i can and i've made some money. i know the agency would want to clear this up if someone called to talk about it for sure. Good luck and try to clear it up, maybe they can help. Just trying to help
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#3 Consumer Comment

Response to the Setting the Facts Straight... and straight this is

AUTHOR: Heraa - (Canada)

Having read both the initial report and Setting the Facts Straight posts, it is evident that the second post, in response to the Ripoff Report, is either by Karisma owners or someone who benefits through Karisma.  I am neither at the giving or the receiving end but this is what my findings are.

Upon inquiry from certain actors, I was informed that Karisma encouraged their talent to participate in the CMTC (Canadian Models & Talent Competition) and those who participated were very amazed when they realized at the event that other talent companies had held special sessions/classes to ready their talent unlike Karisma who did not once contact any of the talent participants to see if they required any help or assistance.  Even at the event, held early May 2012, all the other talent agencies had their officials attending the event and encouraging their participants whereas Karisma Talent had nobody representing them at all.  The Karisma participants did not know who they were to approach if they had questions or needed clarification.  Other talent groups were coaching their participants right till they went on stage.  As a result, the Karisma participants were felt neglected.

At the gala dinner event, Karisma talent participants were the only 2 tables who had no rudder.  When they discussed among themselves and found that Karisma had just dumped the participants, there was a lot of ill feeling towards Karisma and their handling of the event.  No wonder, they said, that all the prizes went to participants of all other talent companies and none to Karisma.  This surely was in bad taste, whatever the reason Karisma has for such non-attendance.

I am hoping that Karisma does try to call a meeting of the CMTC participants from Karisma and give them the facts as well as assure them that they were not left in the ditch to fend for themselves.

A company has to take ownership of what wrong has been done since word of mouth is much more important than any online reports.

Before I end, even if Black's charges $12-16 for a 8x10 the end product quality is excellent.  I have seen pictures that were the final product sent by Karisma, and it is nothing compared to Black's quality.  Just two simple head shots where the talent's best side is not taken into consideration.
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#4 General Comment

Setting the Facts Straight - Must Read

AUTHOR: Karisma Talent - (United States of America)

This post was clearly written by someone who has not dealt directly with Karisma Talent Group in Toronto as I have. Here are the facts.

I have worked with Karisma for over 12 years and am happy and would never leave. Karisma has been in business since 1994, operating out of the same location for 17 years (the Warner Brothers building, hardly possible if they were a scam) and since moving downtown to an another legitimate, well established building known for over 40 years as Cherry Beach Studios (another impossibility of leasing to a scam).

Karisma has never once been or claimed to be a modelling agency, never sold courses or represented models what so ever and has no interest in representing models. That said, any industry professional or informed individual should know that a comp card does not get used for actors. Karisma has never once used or sold a comp card since it's conception.

Karisma has also never once used a passport size, 5x7 or any other substandard size headshot provided by a photographer or anyone else that uses anything other than an 8x10 (as all industry professionals use and expect).

Here is what should be posted. Karisma (and all principal agencies) requires all talent to have a proper TV headshot and resume to be marketed to the casting directors. Karisma is joined with every legitimate casting director distribution site possible and has been accepted and approved by them all. These headshots can be provided by the talent if they have a great headshot done by an industry photographer. If not, it is imperative that they get one. Talent can get their headshot done by any industry photographer.

At which time Karisma, unlike most other agencies, has absolutely no fees to pay at all. If talent does not know where to go, they can refer a TV headshot photographer to them. The cost of a proper TV headshot in Toronto is fairly standard today. A basic photo shoot is $450. The talent will receive 90-150 images all in colour, high resolution format.

Included in that they receive up to 50 original 8x10 prints with name printed. Any photographer that is referred by Karisma offers a 100% guarantee on their photo's. If at any time the client, the agency or the photographer is not happy they will be reshot at no expense to the client. If a reshoot has to occur the agency or photographer will even pay for the make up and hair and styling for the talent in order to get the best print needed to get the most auditions possible. This is hardly $650.00 for 2 prints.

It is very discouraging for individuals outside of the industry to try to learn on the internet when these days you can post anything you want, be it truth or lie, and have it posted publicly for the person seeking to determine what to do with that information. Like this post for example.

I know Karisma encourages these same people who might be easily confused to see their blog. to view the talent who do get work on a consistent basis. See the website for more information on the industry and frequently asked questions, client testimonials, talent's jobs and their roster. Like their face book page for immediate updates with auditions and jobs booked by clients. Please feel free to contact Karisma for any client testimonials, they gave me one who I spoke with personally.

After almost 20 years in business it is disheartening to see that these types of things go on in this industry. Karisma concentrates on promoting the talent and dedicating their time to marketing and promoting their clients and has been successful for many years in doing so. Karisma has a great reputation with all the casting directors, production houses, photographers and all industry insidersand that is what is important to me as a client. I know the opportunity is there, but I as a client have to do my part.

Sure, you cannot make everyone happy. Does everyone have what it takes? No. But Karisma will give them an opportunity to be seen and auditioned by the same industry professionals that work  and hire the people we see on TV everyday. Karisma represents non-union as well as union actors and is an equal opportunity agency. That's what I like. There are over many industry professionals (casting, production, actors etc) that have supported and referred Karisma over the years and all have provided written recommendation letters on Karisma's behalf.

To the public, you have to decide what is important to you. Reading posts from out of work actors who may not have been successful in getting auditions or jobs and who most likely dont want to work hard enough in order to do so. The talent who didn't have what it takes usually post these comments. Or hearing from talent who did get work and auditions, are currently getting work and auditions and making money or are just auditioning and applying themselves to mastering what it takes to become successful in this industry.

In regards to the receptionist. This is someone who works at calling out auditions, emailing and faxing scripts. Taking calls and managing the existing roster. Helping talent with rsums etc. Thankfully fro Karisma this is what she has to do instead of doing nothing but hanging around doing her nails like most agency receptionists .

Lastly, Black's charges $12-$16 for an 8x10. If you need 50...Do the math. A happy, successful, long time clients of Karisma and the Karisma Team.
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