Report: #1305372

Complaint Review: Applause International

  • Submitted: Fri, May 13, 2016
  • Updated: Fri, May 13, 2016
  • Reported By: mommyrealist — Florence Montana USA
  • Applause International
    30701 Lorain Road, Suite B
    North Olmsted, Ohio

Applause International Applause Rising Talent ShowcaseThe ARTS The Arts Showcase Heartless, No refunds, Overpriced, Not worth it, Do not waste your money, False hope North Olmsted Ohio

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In 2015 my daughter heard an ad on the radio - It was an ad for the The Arts Showcase holding an audition in our town. Her eyes lit up and she immediately started planning out what she would do to wow the judges. Long story short, we brought 2 of our 4 daughters in to audition and they both got a call back. The email came late that night and we were over the moon!! Our girls have dreams to be famous and on TV and this COULD BE IT! Their big break! Not so fast... we were then invited to come to a meeting about their Showcase in next day in a city 2 hours away. Now that the girls were "chosen" I couldn't tell them no.. I couldn't tell them that we weren't going to go to the call back meeting and find out what this means for them. 
We went.. the entire time I felt excited, yet a little skeptical. My husband wasn't having it.. he felt like there was something off. Why would we have to pay to have our girls talents be noticed? 
What I kept telling myself is this : Its like an entertainment industry job fair! We go and perform in front of all the big wigs and maybe they will see something in our girls and hire them.
Seems legit.. and in a lot of ways, it is. 
It COULD happen.. you could get 1 acting job or maybe 1 commercial... but honestly, it could happen just as well if you walked into any audition.
The cost is unreal... $2,495 for the first kid.. and a "family discount" for any additional children. 
For my 2 girls the cost was $3,745 to attend a 4 day event in Florida.
But this is not it.. IF your child wants to do anything in photography you must get a photo shoot for a head shot and you MUST go through their photographer - which is $800 !!
And if you want to actually watch your children on stage while they perform in front of the "agents" you will have to pay for a Parent Observer pass - $200/per parent (who is going to go on a trip for their children and NOT watch them?)
If you child wants to get the maximum exposure and do more than 3 categories, you will have to pay an additional $75 per category.
ALSO! You cant forget about flights.. ($4000 for my family of 5 to fly to Florida from Montana) 
AND!! Hotel! $1200 for the 5 day stay.
They will tell you that this is a great deal and well worth it because of their "workshops" through out the week. They will tell you that you are "family" ..
So.. now that you have taken your child to an audition and THEY MADE IT.. you now have taken them to the Call Back Meeting.. where Kim Myers and her retired loveable school counselor talk to you like this is your big break.. they will even shed tears and make you feel like this is bigger than anything you have ever been involved in.
How do you walk out of that meeting and tell you children No.. nope... kids, you practiced your lines, you got a call back, you are talented and they love you.. but we arent going.

Im not wealthy.. but I will do anything I can for my kids. The thing is, most people that go to these auditions arent wealthy.. and most can not afford this "opportunity". People do GoFundMe's , they take extra jobs, they do anything in their power to make sure their child gets "their big break"
The truth is folks... Your child could get discovered in a grocery store just the same. Out of the hundreds of children that attend these Arts Showcases - 1 or 2 may get a gig.. and even then, you will be put in the same situation of not wanting to tell your talented child no... because these gigs and agents require you to move to their area. They purposely come to small towns to give people BIG hopes.

Im telling you all of this because I was in your shoes.. I believed this company.. I believed, if anything my girls would get to go and have a wonderful experience.. It forced us to finally plan that family vacation and we were SOOO excited. Even if they didn't become famous little movie stars.. I was so proud of them and they were doing something they'd never forget.

Except.. on Dec 14th, at 5:30am.. my family and I waited in line at the United Airlines counter to check in.. as we approached the desk we were told that our flights were canceled due to a snow storm. That COULDNT BE! There surely has to be another flight, another airline, another time to fly out.. But no.. There wasnt. There wasnt anything anyone could do to get out of our town and on our way to florida. My girls, half tired and only running on pure excitement stood in that line and we cried.. I couldnt even be strong for them or hold my tears back.. all we could do was cry.
I immediately tried to get a hold of the Arts directors, I called, I messaged.. I had to let them know we were stuck.
I didnt get a message back.. I didnt get a call back.. nothing.
We went back home.. not even sure what to do, but I wasnt willing to give up. I spent 6 hours on the phone with airlines, and online checking other cities.. In the end, there wasnt anything I could do. The only flight out with seats open wasnt leaving until 2 days later.. and I knew that would be too late. The showcase would be half over and the girls would have missed their performances.

I didnt get an email back until 10 days after the showcase.
And the email I got was something like this
"There were other people from your town who still made it. We can transfer your funds to the next showcase, BUT there is a fee! $400.. I can ask my boss (rick myers) if he can wave it."
Nothing more.. Nothing like "Im so sorry this happened, what a terrible thing for your poor girls.." nothing.
I did get an email from Rick Myers.. explaining how generous he was being for willing to wave the transfer fee.
I declined the transfer because our oldest daughter goes to camp during the summer and that happened to fall on the same week. She has gone to this bible camp for years.. and its something she looks forward to all year. On top of that, why would I ever set my girls up for anything but a sure thing from now on? This company didn't care that we couldn't make it.. they didn't care why we weren't there.. they didn't even notice we that weren't.

If you do anything for your kids.. dont do this.
Spend the $2500+ on lessons.. or on a family vacation. 
I can promise that being part of the entertainment industry doesnt COST money like this.

I understand that the myers are in business to make money.. and they do. But that is all they are in this for.. They do not care if your children get call backs, they do not care if your children become successful. Once they have their money, there is no turning back.

So if you are feeling even the slightest bit of skepticism .. trust it. Trust your gut. heart emoticon

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/13/2016 10:01 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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