ED Magedson – Founder
Soundtree EntertainmentDel Ray Beach, Florida USA
Soundtree Entertainment Gregory James Blount,Casting Camp,Pilot Season Camp,Talent Camp, False Promises, Did not follow through with promises, Cheating Children Del Ray Beach Florida
We were contacted by Gregory James Blounts assistants and were told that our child was invited to attend a special Casting Camp. We were told that our child has obvious talents and would do well. We were told that Gregory James Blount represents Jake Short of Disneys Ant Farm. We were told that Casting Camp would provide our child with the training necessary to launch a great career in show business. On their website, they boast names such as Jason La Padura and Ty Harman. When we were contacted we told them that we really couldn't afford the $2,500 tuition, but they said that we qualified for tuition assistance. They suggested many ways for us to help with more of the tuition by using Crowd Funding sites. We were told that this is common place in the industry and were given many examples of actors that use crowd funding to help pay for their needs. (The examples given were Jake Short, James Franco and a Veronica Mars movie.) We were told that if we did the crowd funding and didn't raise enough funds to pay for the tuition we could back out. Of course that was not the case. We could only cancel after 10 days of signing the contract. Crowd Funding (if it funds) takes at least 30 days minimum. By this time it was too late to cancel.
We were told that we had to stay at the Bevery Garland Hotel. It was a requirement of camp. That it was a requirement of all kids attending camp. But that was not the case. Many of the kids stayed at less expensive hotels. But these were only kids that had already signed Greg as their Talent Manager.
Here is a list of promises that we did not recieve:
1) COUNSELORS: All kids were to create a PSA (public service announcement). The camp was to supply counselors to help write the scripts. The camp counselors were "Paid" with the ability to display their own PSA. They were very nice to the kids but they had their own motivations and priorities. Help wasn't really given to the kids. The kids were told what was needed for the PSA, but not how to do it. They were left on their own to write the scripts.
2) COPY OF PSA: At the end of camp, we were to receive a copy of the PSA. It was to have a green screen background so that we could add our own background later. It is now three months after camp and we have not received anything.
3) TRAINING: Camp was to consist of 4 days of trainings. Two sessions per day taught by industry leaders. We were told that Jason La Padura (Disney Casting Director), Ty Harman (Disney Casting Director) and many others were to teach each of the sessions. We were promised that there would be 4 days of trainings. The fifth day was to be a day of preparation for the PSA. The kids were going to have the opportunity to have acting coaches teach them. Camp was to culiminate with a PSA to be performed in front of 20 Talent Agents and Talent Managers on the last day of Camp. On the eve of the first day of camp, we were given a schedule. We were told that some of the originally scheduled teachers had schedule conflicts. Gregory James Blount said that he was trying to find replacements for those that could not attend. He was unable to do so which left slots open during camp with nothing for the kids to do but hang out at the pool.
4) LUNCH: Camp was to include lunch for the kids every day of camp. On the eve of The last day of camp all the parents received a text telling us to make sure the kids had a big breakfast because they would have a big day ahead of them. What they meant was, they decided NOT to serve lunch on the last day. They actually SKIPPED out on feeding kids lunch on the last day of camp. Camp was over at 3pm. Parents were charged $150 for lunch. Again this was a mandatory fee. For the $150, parents received lunch for 5 days. Lunch consisted of a dry sandwich, piece of fruit and a pasta salad. The same meal was served all five days at a cost of $30 per lunch.
5) SHOWCASE: The last day of camp was to be an event where each student was to perform their PSA in front of 20 Talent Managers and Talent Agents. During the week, Gregory James Blount stated that many of the scheduled agents and managers had schedule conflicts. He said that he was going to use the extra money that he had from the teachers who didn't show, to pay for more agents and managers to arrive at the PSA on Saturday. There were only 7 who showed up for the PSA.
6) TOUR OF DISNEY SET: Friday evening after camp (evening before scheduled PSA) the entire camp was to take a tour of the set of Disneys Ant Farm. On Wedneday of camp, we were told that all of the cast of Ant Farm was on a Cruise to Alaska and that Gregory James Blount was going to find an alternative for the kids. There was no replacement to this. This was a promised made by Gregory James Blount to the entire camp.
7) ACTING COACHING - Acting coaches were supposed to be on hand for individual teaching. Ezra Weisz and Sean Caulin Young were both teachers of individual sessions. Both were very professional and extremely good with the kids. Because of the many teachers who did not attend because of schedule conflicts, both Ezra and Sean were spread thin trying to help out Greg James Blount with the trainings. They both acted as acting coaches where parents had to pay $110 for 1/2 hour session. Greg chose who was to get those sessions. If Greg didn't feel that the student was going to do well at the PSA, he dropped them and didn't allow them the additional coaching.
8) HEADSHOT PHOTOGRAPHY - We were told that a photographer would be at camp to take professional headshots of the kids. This was not mandatory but was an option. At a fee of $250 for 1 and a half outfit changes. I asked "What is a half change?" and was told that it was a shirt only. So we were going to get 3 different looks for the fee. What we really got, was Gregory James Blount taking the pictures himself with only 1 look. We had to supply a USB flash drive.
9) NETWORKING: Throughout camp, Greg James Blount stated that he would send email addresses of the teachers from each of the sessions to the parents. Some of the teachers would start to give the parents their contact information. Greg would interrupt saying that he would send this out to all the parents at the end of camp. This was never done.
10) AGENTS and MANAGERS: We were promised that this was a camp that would culminate in a Showcase performed in front of 20 talent agents and managers. Soundtree Entertainment never promised that any child would sign with agents or managers but we were led to believe that the opportunity to "show your stuff" was going to be their. That opportunity was not there. Soundtree Entertainment and Gregory James Blount could not fulfill their promises. ONLY SEVEN actually showed up to the PSA event on the last day of camp.
The week was a very disorganized chaotic mess. Gregory James Blount justified it by saying that at the last minute he had to fire his assistants and he was left to do all the work. He didn't say why he had to fire the assistants, but as of the morning of our departure to go to camp his assistants were still working for him in Florida. As of now, three months after camp his assistants are still listed as working for him on his website. I can only assume that he did not want or have the money to spend on travel costs for his assistants. The only assistants that Greg had was the counselors who were paid with being able to showcase their acting abilities at camp and a photographer that filmed the PSA's. He also performed in the showcase. Other than Greg James Blount, it seemed there was no other real staff to manage and event of 35 plus students attending casting camp.
Gregory James Blount also brought his eleven year old daughter to camp. He did not bring anyone to supervise her after camp hours. She and her friends ran the hallways of the hotel until 11pm or on some nights after midnight. On one occasion, I saw her pounding on Gregs hotel room door saying "Let me In". This was after midnight. There were many kids in her group that were left unsupervised. This caused alot of tweenage drama where one little girls was accused of hitting Gregs daughter. Then the little girl was shunned the rest of the week. If Greg had someone (a nanny perhaps) hired to supervise his daughter, there would have been adult supervision. But there was none.
It seemed Greg had decided which kids were going to "pay-off" for Greg and which would not. The kids that he managed were treated a little better than other kids that Greg deemed to not do so well. There were some parents that Greg treated professionally, others he treated as if they were "Momagers" even though they had done nothing to deserve the treatment. It was very clear that he "wrote off" those specific familys.
This was a very unprofessional camp. They take money from kids under false pretenses. Many of the schedule conflicts were obvious that Greg never had these people scheduled. Ty Harman was supposed to teach one of the traininings but he was on the Alaska Cruise with the cast of Ant Farm. A cruise of this nature must of been scheduled months in advance.
The biggest problem with this entire situation, is that Greg made it clear that he would "blacklist" kids if parents complained. There were many very upset parents on the last day of camp. But everyone is afraid that Greg will give their kid a bad name. This was made clear by the way he treated some of the kids especially the little girl that was accused of hitting Gregs daughter. Many of the parents and kids stopped talking to the mom and little girl because they didn't want to be associated with them. Those who knew nothing about the situation and still talked with this mom and little girl were then shunned also. Greg would literally snatch papers out of the parents hands. He lost his temper with most if not all of the camp counselors. At one point, I saw a little boy chasing Greg down the hall, while Greg completely ignored him. Another time, I heard Greg tell a parent "Nope, your child tanked it, Susie Mains hated him". Susie Mains (a talent agent) was one of the session trainers who by the way also lost her temper when parents were filming their kids session.
This is what we paid almost $5,000 for. The cost of travel, hotel and tuition accumulated to almost $5,000. We were lied to and mistreated every step of the way.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/15/2013 06:18 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/soundtree-entertainment/del-ray-beach-florida/soundtree-entertainment-gregory-james-blountcasting-camppilot-season-camptalent-camp-1084637. 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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