John Robert Powers Modeling School
Testimonials / Scam Complaints


To Whom It May Concern:

I recently took acting and modeling classes with an agency called John Robert Powers International in Denver, Colorado.

Everything seemed normal, and there were many other people attending this school, but I have not seen anyone get any work from this agency, even though it cost $2,000 for the coaching.

Have I been taken? We did auditions with people who claimed to be producers. Were they really producers? 

Please let me know as soon as possible.

Thank you,

U.N.


To Whom It May Concern:

When I was 19, I saw an ad on television for John Robert Powers in Chicago. It advertised their success rate, so I attended their "cattle call."

At the cattle call, they told me I had what it takes, and told me all I needed for success was a class costing me about $750.

I took the class and was signed to their in-house agency, Premiere Model and Talent Management.

I then purchased a photo shoot with a "recommended" photographer for $700, turned the comp cards in to the agency, and never heard from them again.

I received all my cards back from the agency six months later, further evidence that they didn't send any out, with a letter attached saying they had gone out of business.

In the end, I shelled out nearly $1,500 for nothing.

If you're a Chicago resident, beware of John Robert Powers and their subsidiaries. All you'll get are empty promises and an empty wallet.

R.S.


To Whom It May Concern:

JRP is NOT an agency, it's a school!

P.D.


P.,

You said: "JRP is NOT an agency, it's a school!"

Are you sure all JRP's are only schools, none are agencies? Some call themselves "School and Agency."

BBB examples:

JOHN ROBERT POWERS MODELING SCHOOL AND AGENCY
390 Main Street
WORCESTER, MA

JOHN ROBERT POWERS SCHOOL & MODEL AGENCY
26500 Northwestern Highway, #330
SOUTHFIELD, MI

JOHN ROBT POWERS MODELING/FINISHING SCH&AGCY (JOHN ROBERT POWERS)
1528 SPRUCE STREET
PHILADELPHIA, PA

Most just use the name John Robert Powers, but some are more up front and actually call themselves a school or a finishing school:

POWERS, JOHN ROBERT, MODELING SCHOOL (JOHN ROBERT POWERS ENTERTAINMENT CO.)
13601 Preston Road, #C-14
DALLAS, TX

JOHN ROBERT POWERS MODELING SCHOOL
University Mall
P.O. Box 24451
LITTLE ROCK, AR

JOHN ROBERT POWERS FINISHING& MODELING SCHOOL
50 S Belcher Rd Ste 100
CLEARWATER, FL

One just calls itself a school without modeling or finishing:

JOHN ROBERT POWERS SCHOOL
15301 Ventura Boulevard
SHERMAN OAKS, CA

And the BBB sometimes or often lists them under "Modeling/Talent Agencies."

Redacted Info


Yes, I am quite sure that JRP is NOT an agency.

There was ONE agency which actually started trying to sign people and make deals. I don't know if they ever did anything more.

They were not professional, and only wanted to work with the big-time winners of IMTA who can make them big bucks (surprise).

It is actually against the law to have a school and agency in the same address. (Ask the Screen Actors Guild for clarification.)

The agency must have a license, and be signed with the SAG franchise to operate as a legit agency, or no casting companies will work with them.

This year has been strange, due to the changes in SAG, and contracts are up for negotiation, so no agents are really "signed" with SAG.

Most legitimate ones do agree to continue using SAG contracts, and abiding by the union rules and pay structure.

If anyone signs with an "Agency" they feel is not professional, they can write to SAG or call the local number in the yellow pages to complain.

SAG keeps a list of complaints for professionals trying to avoid scams...

JRP is NOT an agency, and half of the people in their brochures they "claim" to have discovered, are fakes.

A lot of them happened to be in IMTA competitions with another school (some private owners), and JRP just puts them up on the walls, and claims to have discovered them.

Like Katie Holmes of Dawson's Creek! That one makes me so mad! She came out of Michigan or Ohio (can't remember) in a well-known private lady's school.

She worked years with them, then got a nice starring role on Dawson's Creek. JRP had nothing to do with it! Yet they claim year after year to have discovered her.

And the JRP locations you mentioned are quite outdated. Dallas was closed down by the owners three months ago. Sherman Oaks Galleria in CA burned down over 10 years ago. They just now rebuilt the Galleria, and, I assure you, there is no JRP school there any more.

As far as San Fran, JRP has the worst reputation there, since Ron himself owns that one. The BBB won't even give him a meeting any more. He has had so many different staffs there, that they actually closed down for good last year.

The owner who tried to buy it from him tried to turn things around, and she had such a terrible time, she gave up and moved.

They opened one instead in Santa Rosa, then Sacramento. Both locations have numerous complaints, since the managers are all personally trained by the man himself, you got it, Patterson.

He is GREAT at the sales pitch! His motto is "Cash today" and worry about refunds in court later. He banks on the fact that many people do not wish to go through the legal system, and he wins automatically.

I would recommend that you tell all people to investigate the laws of agency, and be sure they trust the manager completely at each JRP. Ask the backround and professional references like SAG franchised agents.

Good luck!

P.D.


To Whom It May Concern:

I was recently a student at John Robert Powers.

The first thing I have to say about them is they are just fake, money-hungry people.

I went to a casting call back in March, and at first it seemed like a dream world for me (or probably for any other 15-year-old girl, as well).

The booking agent (I'm not going to say names) kept talking about how great the school is, and how they were having a big graduation for some of the students the next day.

That went on for about an hour before another girl and I were pulled from the class to be given a tour from one of the "Advanced" students, who was obviously taught to butter us up.

Then I went in to meet with the owner of the school, who, when I came in the room, told my mother to get out of her chair and let me sit there, because it was my day.

(My mom wasn't happy about that and neither was I.)

He told me I was very marketable and called me a "Triple-threat" for my dancing/singing/acting/modeling/athletic abilities.

Eventually he got to telling me that he knew actor Mark-Paul Gosselaar, and said he comes in often, and that he would get me to meet him, also hinting that he was making a new show as well.

He also told me that he would get me plenty of work including a photo shoot for a well-known cheerleading magazine.

He told us how much it would cost (about $1,200), and said we could pay in installments.

So now I get on to all the juicy stuff that happened during my training...

From the beginning, he called me his "Key Girl," and told me he wanted me to help the teacher run the class.

The classes weren't all that great. We only learned a little modeling and acting. All the rest was hair, makeup, etiquette, and some wardrobe. Most of the stuff I learned anyone could have learned elsewhere.

The photo shoot wasn't amazing, either. The photographer did all the same poses on all of us, and we had to do our own hair, makeup, and clothes. Plus the photos were just simple black and whites that I could have gotten anywhere.

Throughout the whole time, both the booking agent and the owner made sure to suck up to my mom from whom they were getting their money.

Also right from the beginning I was confused, because they would never specify anything. I knew everyone had to start out in the "beginning" class, but I was never told how long I had to be in it, or that there was even an "advanced" class I had to go into, until almost halfway through it.

The whole time I was in that class, I was never told anything about Mark-Paul or the cheerleading magazine or anything.

They also almost didn't let me get my diploma because I was late on a payment, and when that happened, they turned very rude, and gave the award that I was supposedly supposed to get (being the "key girl") to someone else. Who, by the way, the owner made a comment about to me during the photo shoot, saying, "She needs work."

K.G.


To Whom It May Concern:

I think what you are doing here is misleading people yourselves. You have no idea if these letters are legit or just angry employees. This happens at all companies so don't get all high and mighty and play God.

My daughter went to JRP and has worked on two commercial and done two movies. I guess that's not a scam, but I am sure you won't print this.

Who are these people you are quoting to know it all. The Storm Agency etc. Everyone has an opinion, especially the bitter people who sit around worrying about how others make more money.

Happy JRP Mom!!


Y.,

Who is misleading whom? Why is it that a message was posted online using the exact same email address as the one by which you sent the above message from Kentfield, CA, USA, on Monday, February 04, 2002 at 11:47:06 (PST) on behalf of John Robert Powers?

We are looking for new faces to run our beautiful office in Marin. Need young excited people to fill jobs for Bookers 5-9pm, Admission Reps 1-9pm mon,tues,thurs, Sat some sun, and weekend receptionist sat 9:30-4:00, Sun 10:30 to 6pm call 415-259-3910 for interview. Check out our website at JRpowers.net

You said: "You have no idea if these letters are legit or just angry employees."

Are you legit or are you just an angry employee?

You said: "Who are these people you are quoting to know it all. The Storm Agency etc. Everyone has an opinion, especially the bitter people who sit around worrying about how others make more money."

You can be assured Sarah Doukas at The Storm Agency is not bitter or sitting around worry about how others make more money, because not many people make more money than her. She is one of the most successful women in modeling. She negotiated the multi-million-dollar Calvin Klein contract for Kate Moss. She also represents other supermodels.

Redacted Info


To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing this message in regards to a company by the name of John Robert Powers.

I have never been involved with the acting industry and likewise do not have any close friends in the business. I was naive and got caught up in a scam.

My three-year-old daughter is beautiful and very bright. I heard an advertisement on a radio station for an audition.

On a whim I called the number and (of course) there was an opening in the schedule for my daughter to come in the next evening.

My husband and I took her to the "audition" to find out that it was actually to get her into their "academy."

These people are trained professionals. They are very convincing (for people like me who are uninformed).

They asked everyone at the audition to call the next day at a certain time to find out about acceptance.

I did this out of curiosity. My daughter had not behaved well at the audition and I did not think she would be accepted.

My phone call was returned by the "director" and I was informed that my daughter was accepted along with a spiel about how she is going to be great and that children her age are in demand and that she'll most likely be picked up by an agent while attending the academy.

In fact there was going to be an agent there that Saturday.

"This will pay for her future college," they said. Blah, blah, blah.

I was hooked.

I was asked to bring a down payment of $300 to get her started right away.

I was very nervous, as this was a large sum of money for a young family to spend, but I was excited.

I brought the money in CASH and signed a contract in the director's office. I agreed to pay $50 a week while my daughter attended the academy for 10 weeks. This would pay off the entire $795 by her last class.

I asked the director about my daughter's age since the youngest class was listed as ages 4-7.

She said that she really wanted to work with my daughter and would make an exception.

Upon arriving home, my husband and I started to have very bad feelings about my decision.

My husband called right away to cancel and ask for the $300 to be returned.

He was told that we could cancel by certified letter, but that a $500 "registration" fee is non-refundable, and that we must send the other $200 to them regardless of cancellation!

Sure enough, in my nervousness and haste, I did not read the contract carefully and, in the fine print, it does say that this fee is non-refundable.

How can it be legal for a company to force someone to pay over 60% of a cost with NO services rendered?

They already have $300 for NOTHING and have still been harassing me for the other $200!

I also did not get a response to my complaint with the Better Business Bureau.

I am taking them to small claims and the hearing is in two days.

Wish me luck... and do NOT do business with JRP. They are only out to get your money no matter what. They are ripping people off!!!

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

A.M.


A.,

In certain states, there is a three-day cooling-off period to protect consumers from hard sales pressure and emotional manipulation. The grace period allows you to cancel within three business days and be fully refunded.

Find out if this is the case in your state. The three-day cooling-off period must obviously supercede any contract statement about non-refundable fees, otherwise companies would simply be able to get around the law and make it meaningless.

You asked: "How can it be legal for a company to force someone to pay over 60% of a cost with NO services rendered?"

It may not be. You'll have to check. If it is legal, it is extremely unethical. Not only have they provided you with nothing, it has cost them nothing!

The idea that they could get and actually harass you to pay for something you have not already received and which cost them nothing is so twisted it really shows what they are made of, doesn't it? What kind of people think like that?

Why don't they just say, "We want free cash. Why should we have to earn it!? Give it to us now!"

Report them to the Attorney General.

Redacted Info


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