A few nights ago I was on Craig's List looking for some casting calls/auditions just for fun. I use to act/model a few years ago but I am not trying to seriously pursue the acting/modeling industry now. I just have a lot of time off in the summer and thought going on some castings/ auditions would be fun! Hell, why not? I saw this Ad on Craig's List that said, "Extra Work & Speaking Role CW new show THE HUNT Males & Females needed". I applied, it took two seconds. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?
The next day some lady named Robin called me and left me a voicemail saying, "Hello, this is Robin, I am the casting director for The It Factor Productions. I saw your application & photos. I am calling to personally invite you to a casting I am having tomorrow. Please call me back if you can make it." I listened to the voicemail and thought, ' wow I can't believe the casting director called to invite me herself. [continued below]....
.....' I know some of you may think I am naive for believing the casting director actually called me herself, but a few years ago another casting director from another well known, credited casting company invited me to a casting he was having for a commercial , I went to the casting and got the job. So I did believe her voicemail. I called her back and she sounded like she was very interested and told me to come the next day to her casting and that she personally wanted to meet me. She also told me her assistant would email me the address.
Once I got the email from her assistant, I asked what exactly was the casting for? The assistant emailed me back saying, "the casting is for The Hunt, a new show for CW." When I arrived I signed in and told the receptionist I was there to speak with Robin. She told me Robin was in a meeting and that I would be meeting with someone else. I told the receptionist that Robin specifically called me herself, and I was willing to wait until she was done her meeting to speak with her. Literally 5 minutes later this lady comes up to me and with her emotionless, monotone voice tells me to come back to her office. I told her I wanted to meet with Robin and she told me she was Robin. She proceeds to ask me, "what brought you here today? How did you find out about us?". (I knew it wasn't the same person who left the voicemail. Her voice sounded NOTHING like the one on my voicemail. This lady had no idea who I was or why I was there.) I simply replied, " I am here because YOU called ME and invited me to a casting." She played off my comment because she didn't know what to say because she wasn't Robin. She then had me perform a monologue. She told me to practice the monologue she gave me and to come back the next day to speak with the CEO of the company. This was weird to me, but I thought she was just pretending to be Robin because Robin was in a meeting and they didn't want to keep me waiting and that when I come back the next day I would meet with Robin.
I came back the next day and met with the CEO, Alycia Baback. She looked at my resume and told me I barely have any acting experience and I don't qualify for their management company but I do qualify for their commercial print division. She told me if I qualified for their management company they would cover the fee, but since I only qualify for their commercial print division there would be a fee of $700.00. I told her I was only there for the casting of CW's new tv show The Hunt, I was specifically invited there to cast for it. Her exact words were, "I can submit you for it but you probably won't get pick. There are thousands of people casting for that." She continued to tell me about the two event packages she has to offer. The package includes head shots and access to an event in NYC where you supposedly meet directors/managers/ actors in the industry. There are two packages to choose from, $1,700 or $2,400. I said, "you didn't even ask to hear my monologue. Don't you even want to know if I have talent?" I knew it was a scam but was trying my best to keep my cool. She continued to try talking me into forking over $700. I told her I wanted time to think about it and I would let her know. That was my professional way of saying, please leave me the F$%# alone. She then got aggressive and told me I needed to decide now. It was now or never. If I couldn't decide right then and there, then she would put me on the 6 month waiting list. I kept saying I needed time to think. She told me I needed to put a deposit down before I left or to just forget about it.
In conclusion, I have been pursuing acting/modeling intermittently since I was 2 years old. The lady named Robin didn't exist, it was just a tactic they used to get me in there. Its a strategy deceitful people use called the bait and switch. Never in my life have I come across anything like this. Alycia Baback must have been a used car salesman in her past life because that is exactly what she sounded like. Not to mentioned she used the F$%# word in every other sentence. I don't know how someone like her can actually live with herself, scamming people left and right.
If you want to pursue the entertainment industry, avoid this woman. She has 27 pending complaints and is NOT backed by the Better Business Bureau. FYI, The It Factor also goes by many other names; VIP Talent Connect, Kaback Model Management (KMM), Colby Models and NYC Women's Empowerment.