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Report: #335179

Complaint Review: John Casablanca's - Brookfield Wisconsin

  • Submitted:
  • Updated:
  • Reported By: Menomonee Falls Wisconsin
  • John Casablanca's 200 N. Patrick Blvd. Suite 700 Brookfield, Wisconsin U.S.A.

John Casablanca's Warning! John Casablanca's and MTM is a total scam..the only thing they are good at is taking your money!! Brookfield Wisconsin

*UPDATE Employee: Setting records straight on "John Casablancas is a scam"

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I was a student at the John Casablanca's center in Brookfield and to my surprise, I learned how dangerous this center is! First of all, I totally agree with everyone who has posted an article on this site about JC. Everything you read about them being a scam is true and I have proof. First red flag, you should NEVER have to pay to be with an agency! Most acting classes are usually only about $150. I lost $2050 on classes at JC and they were useless. They were repetitive and the instructors were rude, unprofessional and were always late to class. A very common line they use is, "you have what it takes to be a model/actor but first you should take some classes so you really know what you are doing." They tell this to everybody, they want you to pay thousands of dollars for their classes, why would they not accept you, that would mean they lost a sale! They told me I had a very unique look and that I would go far because of that, later I found out that everyone in my class had been told the same thing! That was a real confidence booster!

Beware of when they say they can get you on tv or in magazines/ print ads! They have no connections with local department stores. I found out that Kohl's doesn't even use area models, they fly them in from L.A. This is where it got really scary, I was given a job by JC to be a supervisor of freeze models at local malls. I was told to get people to sign up for a "free photoshoot." The catch, there is no photoshoot...I was told that directly by one of the instructors! They use that as a ploy to get contact info from people so they can call them and try to get them to pay for these supposed classes! They also do a photoshoot with you at the JC center, the pictures are extremely poor quality and you have to pay another $50 if you want the cd of photos. After my photoshoot at JC, I went to two freelance photographers in Kenosha and the photos I received were of exceptional quality!

Also be cautious of the agent at MTM, Pam. Everyone makes her out to be such a big deal but in all reality she is as useless as the classes they offer. She is rude, unprofessional and is not afraid to tear you down if she senses that you are onto the lies that they feed you.

When I contacted the center about my disappointment and frustration with them they seemed like they could care less. I called several times about getting a refund and received no response. I also called corporate where I was stuck in voicemail jail and hung up on three times! Would any legally operating business treat their customers like this? I think not! I am now with an actual talent agency in milwaukee where I am a working model/actress. I have done commercials, feature films and several photoshoots. I am writing this to try to protect unsuspecting people from the lies of this company!

Papaya21
Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/28/2008 02:55 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/john-casablancas/brookfield-wisconsin-53045/john-casablancas-warning-john-casablancas-and-mtm-is-a-total-scamthe-only-thing-they-335179. 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 UPDATE Employee

Setting records straight on "John Casablancas is a scam"

AUTHOR: Addy - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Friday, November 07, 2008
Papaya21,

I want to clarify a few grave mistakes that you have made in your complaints on John Casablancas.

First of all, You do NOT have to pay to sign with any agency, including MTM. I don't care who you are though, there aren't many (if any) agencies that will sign you with no marketable photos, acting resumes or experience to show that you belong in their agency. That is what JC tries to prepare their students for. Furthermore, that does not mean you'll get immediate work, and this is always something that people are told.

You mentioned that you are now with a "real" agency, and if that link to "explore talent.com" is what you call an agency, then you probably should be in a modeling school, because those sites are nothing more than public viewing pools for any person to go gawk at women. Yes, they will send you info on auditions, but there is no special recomendations to whom they send these to, they are not secure sites that only reputable clients and agencies may view. Whereas Agencies must discriminate to some degree in order to properly service the clients they work for.

You also stated that MTM does not work with any local stores in mentioning KOHLS, and that is simply wrong. Kohl's uses many of MTM's models for on going print work and even fashion shows. The issue is that Kohls's (and any other department store) is very specific on their look and size criteria. And for many of MTM and local models, the harsh reality is that they simply don't stack up to the models coming in from NY. And you if are who I THINK you are, that reality applies to you too. That is just the way this industry works and always has. Having a thick skin and being able to deal with rejection is something that is ALWAYS discussed upfront with JC students.

Your experience with freeze modeling was also high on my list to clarify. The freeze model program is meant as a way to get new models & students experience in what it takes to become an actor or model. Again, not EVERY student is going to be able to freeze model as many of the stores JC works with have size restrictions in the line of clothing they carry. If you were a supervisor, it was because you were intrusted to be outgoing, informative and friendly, and I doubt that was the case. The individuals who sign up for more info and to win a photoshoot DO have the opportunity to come into the center and be photographed. But do you really think that ANY drawing or contest actually gives prizes to everyone that signs up??? If thats the case, then I'm still waiting on my millions to be delivered by Ed McMan!!!

The photshoots are real and typically take place every other month, where several individules are invited to come in and shoot. In the case of YOUR photoshoots. JC tries to teach the students how to do their OWN hair and make-up for themselves, because many of the clients that agencies work with (MTM included) expect that the talent they book are CAPABLE of doing it themselves if there is not a stylist/make-up artist on set. FYI such is the case with KOHL'S, BOSTON STORE, etc

So the fact that you did not like your photos is probably because you did not put in the time and effort to prepare yourself, instead expecting that an instructor or photog would work their magic on you in unnatural light or photoshop. Furthermore, many photogs will shoot you for free in exchange for pics or disks, but it is only because they are looking to bulid their book and cannot afford to pay a professional model their standard print rate (From $75-$135/hr locally). This is just as much a benifit to the photog as the model, and is another source the JC students are informed of when they go through class. Again, if you are who I THINK you are, you never completed class thus not giving yourself the chance to PROPERLY learn.

As far as your comments about the MTM agency director goes; a word of caution. Pam is a very capable, knowledgable, and experienced agent. Having been a very successful model for decades is not all she brings to the table. If you felt she was rude, it was because you were not prepared. If you felt she tore you down, I encourage you to take all you so-called experience to any agency in Chicago, LA or NY and see what they tell you. Furthermore, everyone who is anyone knows each other. Talent seem to think agencies are all competing againt each other, and thats not fully true. Good news about talent spreads quick...bad news spreads even faster. You never want to burn bridges in this industry.

The bottom line is this, many people come to JC for many different reasons. Some are for self confidence, others to network, and some for shaping their acting and modeling skills. Is it absolutely a MUST for everyone? No. But the center is a school, and cannot discriminate against an overweight girl coming to us or a 45 year old man that wants to act. The hope is that through their training, the staff can help guide them in their best direction in life.
I am also a parent. Does that mean the $1200 I spent for my daughter to take dance class means she's going to be traveling around the world dancing professionally? Or that the money spent for my son to be in tae kwon do means I EXPECT he'll win gold in the olympics so he can pay MY bills and we can live in a mansion in Europe???

It is very important to hold fast to your dreams and do all you can to acheive them. But to simply ignore the realities of life and hear only what you want, can and will only cause difficulties in your life. I am sorry that your experience was less than satisfying, thats always the worst part for me to hear being that I believe in JC. The next time you call to complain, ask for me and I'll be more than happy to discuss anything further with you.
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