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Thread: [Talent/modeling] MTM Agency

  1. #1
    Finestkind underthecity's Avatar
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    [Talent/modeling] MTM Agency

    I thought I'd share this one in B&BC, even though I'm sure most of you have already heard to beware of so-called talent agencies that work surprisingly like scam literary agencies or certain vanity presses.

    I went to a Halloween store Sunday and was stopped by a pretty woman in front asking if I had ever considered modeling.

    (I'll stop the story right now because A. I'm not model material, and B. As soon as she said "modeling" I knew exactly what the scam was.)

    I let her do her spiel about the agency looking for models and they'll find you jobs blah blah blah, and eventually I said no and she let me go.

    As I wandered the aisles close to the front of the store, I noticed she stopped EVERYONE who walked through the door. Race creed, gender, nothing mattered. I had no idea so many people could be professional models.

    The company was MTM modeling agency, so I looked it up online, the same way you might google "Publish America and SCAM.

    I found the ripoff report page. It was exactly what I expected to find. Sign up for this "agency" and you have to pay for their expensive useless classes, then supposedly they find you work, which apparently includes being a person sent to a Halloween store to canvas for future models. And then never getting paid for your work. And being treated nastily by the agency when you ask any questions. Sounds like PA's model, for sure.

    I'm sure nobody at AW would actually go for something like this, but I wanted to share the story.

    When I was a kid, about 8 or so, I met another guy, 10 years old, who soon turned into a good friend. He had recently been to Barbizon school for modeling, and I could tell you all the modeling jobs he ever got in the years I've known him: zero.
    Last edited by underthecity; 10-05-2009 at 11:51 PM.
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  2. #2
    New edition of my third-ever book! AW Moderator Calla Lily's Avatar
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    Allen, I was thinking "Barbizon" all through your post and then you said it! They snagged a friend in HS and we all squee'd for her and thought the the money she had to pay for all the classes were soooo worth it. You guessed it--result: zero.

  3. #3
    The King and Queen of Cheese BenPanced's Avatar
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    Yup. My younger sister went to one Barbizon class before my mom put a halt to their shenanigans.
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  4. #4
    practical experience, FTW the addster's Avatar
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    Yep. It's a whole lot like publishing. It's just pictures instead of queries to legit agents. If they like you, they'll pick you up. No schooling required.

    I've always wondered what exactly they teach you in modeling school anyway.
    "They're fancy talkers about themselves, writers. If I had to give young writers advice, I would say don't listen to writers talking about writing or themselves.
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  5. #5
    Moderator AW Moderator Maryn's Avatar
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    When I lived in Boston, two of the guys I worked with made some money modeling, one for Filene's print ads, the other for a few catalogues. It amazed me, because neither one was especially attractive (although they had real good hair), and were so skinny as to look tubercular. One had pretty bad skin as well.

    (Man, I seem to be in 'yesteryear' mode today. Sorry.) Anyway, modeling scams are pretty common in stores where people who care about how they are perceived are likely to shop, until the store runs them out. I'm kind of surprised store management didn't get complaints and remove the woman, if she's approaching everybody.

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    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    As there are many talent agencies with MTM in the name, I just wanted to note that the RipOff Report mentioned above is about this one: http://www.johncasablancasmodeling.com/home.html
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    Finestkind underthecity's Avatar
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    You're right, I hadn't realized that when I looked them up. There's no guarantee that the lady I ran into at that store was with that particular group.

    However, it's highly unlikely that a legitimate modeling agency would send a scout to a Halloween store to canvas potential models. Even worse, stopping every person who walks through the door.

    There was an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond where something very similar happened to Ray's brother Robert. He was stopped by a "scout" somewhere and was told he was model material. He went to the agency's very busy office to speak with the guy and sign arrange for a photo shoot, for which he paid several thousand dollars. He later figured out it was a scam, and when he went back to the office, everything was gone. The whole place was cleaned entirely out. Lesson learned, and he was a police officer.
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  8. #8
    Shut Up and Write Sarashay's Avatar
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    I was actually signed up for one of those for a while, since someone I knew was working as a 'scout' for them--they had a monthly membership fee and periodically hit me up with product-sample-handing-out type jobs in my email. They'd also hit me up for 'portfolio shot' offers, but I never took them up on it.

    My roommate later got a job as a 'scout' for them and eventually quit after earning only $75 in one week of working her tail off. I wouldn't be surprised if the gal at the grocery store was on a similar commission basis (you get paid if they sign up) and that's why she was asking everybody who walked in the door.

    Eventually I twigged it was, if not quite an outright scam, not quite what was advertised and cancelled my membership. I probably got off easy as far as all that goes, since my expectations were fairly minimal.
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    The King and Queen of Cheese BenPanced's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaoPaux View Post
    As there are many talent agencies with MTM in the name, I just wanted to note that the RipOff Report mentioned above is about this one: http://www.johncasablancasmodeling.com/home.html
    Yeah, you need to be really careful when you're looking up MTM. There are dozens of agencies that use the abbreviation (Model & Talent Management), plus it stands for "medication therapy management" in pharmacology.
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  10. #10
    Oh, the humanity. Giant Baby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenPanced View Post
    ...There are dozens of agencies that use the abbreviation (Model & Talent Management), plus it stands for "medication therapy management" in pharmacology.
    And Mary Tyler Moore (commonly known as MTM). They mighta made some headway in the biz.

    Not an agency, but could confuse the noobs.
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  11. #11
    Finestkind underthecity's Avatar
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    Just an update, this agency did finally call me to schedule a "free" photo shoot. I politely turned her down.

    And the caller ID said it was John Casablanca modeling agency, as referenced in the ripoff report.
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    Quote Originally Posted by the addster View Post

    I've always wondered what exactly they teach you in modeling school anyway.
    According to an "expose" article I read quite a few years ago, they teach bad make-up techniques, how to flounce down a runway, and really old-fashioned and cheesy "poses" to use, like standing with one finger on your chin.
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  13. #13
    The King and Queen of Cheese BenPanced's Avatar
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    Do they charge extra to teach that vaguely constipated/confrontational look that suggests the model is thinking I HATE EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE, ESPECIALLY YOU! that seems to be the norm in runway shows?
    I still poop rainbows.

    I won't steal any of your ideas. I have enough of my own I'm not using.


  14. #14
    practical experience, FTW the addster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DecemberQuinn View Post
    According to an "expose" article I read quite a few years ago, they teach bad make-up techniques, how to flounce down a runway, and really old-fashioned and cheesy "poses" to use, like standing with one finger on your chin.

    Well, I'm sorry I missed out on that.
    "They're fancy talkers about themselves, writers. If I had to give young writers advice, I would say don't listen to writers talking about writing or themselves.
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