Millie Lewis AMTC
(American Modeling and Talent Convention)


To Whom It May Concern:

My name is Carey Lewis Arban. I am the President of The Millie Lewis American Modeling and Talent Convention and Millie Lewis International, Inc.

Your email was forwarded to me yesterday from our Charleston office. I am in Atlanta.

I tried to navigate through your site a bit, and ended up connected to the Models Guild. Rhonda Hudson [President of the Models Guild] has been to two of our events. Do you know her? I tried to email her, but the email was returned saying "mailbox was full."

Rhonda has been given all of the information on our event, as well as having personally witnessed part of what we do.

To think of our event as a "modeling scam" would make my mother, Millie Lewis, roll over in her grave. (She passed away last June.)

We are a family business and are believed to be the best this industry has to offer. We are not IMTA or MAAI. We do not accept franchise schools. We are not a traveling search.

We have been in business for 20 years (since 1982), and have had 36 conventions. The success stories on our website represent a small portion of our placements.

This summer we will have 100+ agents, managers, and casting directors at our Orlando convention.

I agree that this industry is ripe with scams, but I believe a good convention is an excellent way to get seen by many agents in one place at one time, without traveling all over the world to do so.

For actors, it is almost impossible to get seen, unless you know someone "who knows someone," or you are performing while an agent or casting director is there.

The agents who come to our event are among the best in the world. For modeling, we regularly have Ford, Wilhelmina, Next, and Elite, among many others.

Why don't you call Emmanuelle Rey (Ford); Judy Linton or Ray Lata (Wilhelmina); Tony Perkins or Joel Wilkenfeld (Next); or Karen Lee (Elite) in their New York offices, and ask about the Millie Lewis Convention?

All have been in business for many years, and all know us quite well. Many other regularly attending agents can give you information about us.

Quotes from some of them are included on our website. (By the way, we are currently re-writing our web site entirely, to be re-launched at the end of June. We had one good webmaster who retired, two others who were terrible, and our current one can hardly make "heads or tails" of all the different programming. Success stories will be significantly expanded.)

Our event, the Millie Lewis American Modeling & Talent Convention (AMTC) also includes training by reputable Directors.

One fringe benefit of training and positive involvement in the modeling or talent industry is a tremendous boost in self esteem.

Teens that attend our event must sign a "Behavior and Ethics Agreement." As a parent of teens myself, I know that personal development is why many parents send their kids. They want them lifted above the peers, and less subject to the bad influences of peer pressure.

Let me try to answer your questions about placement, although I would rather speak with you in person.

Placement is never promised or implied in any way during our sales or scouting interviews. All we promise is a positive learning experience with excellent agents, managers, and casting directors in attendance. I'm not sure if you have seen our mission statement, but I include it below.

We have not tracked our placement rate in several years, as it has become impossible to do so.

In 1994, over 30% of our contestants received an offer of representation. However, since that time, we have let over 35 Directors go (owners of regional modeling or talent schools and agencies largely from North America).

Every year we release Directors that we feel do not meet our standards. After our January event, we released three Directors, including the Director who had brought the largest groups to AMTC for several years.

What does this mean as far as tracking placements?

Since we do not work directly with the public, we rely on our Directors to inform us when someone is placed or successful.

Indeed, we have many, many editions of what we call "Placement News," which I would be happy to send to you.

Many hundreds from the last few years are included, with specific information, and in many cases, tear sheets.

When we lose or release Directors, we have no means of tracking placements. In addition, some models or actors do not keep in touch after they are placed, even if we do still have their Director.

Mena Suvari came to AMTC in 1992, when she was 12. She was placed with the Children's Division of Wilhelmina. Needless to say, we were thrilled when we saw her "resurface" as a young adult movie star.

She has been working steadily since AMTC, but we had lost touch. People move on with their lives. Those that keep in contact with us are a minority. We are a "bridge" along their path, but many people do not look back to the bridge they crossed before success.

Because of the issues above, we decided at the beginning of this year that we would no longer refer to "Placement Rate" in any of our scouting or advertising, although ours in the past has been the highest among conventions.

We are still asked that question many times.

Since we cannot provide accurate placement percentages, we now refer our Success Stories as well as to "Call Back Percentage."

At AMTC, all contests and call backs are computer collated. Tracking call backs is easy, as it was written into the program many years ago in this way: "Percentage of contestants receiving one or more call backs"; "Percentage of contestants receiving two or more call backs."

It goes up to four, I believe.

A call back may not be a contract, of course. However, it is an open door. Contestants receive contract offers, encouragement for the future, referrals, and advice in call backs. The "ball is in their court," so to speak.

If they receive one or more call backs, I think we have succeeded in opening a door to placement. Contestants receiving one or more call backs have averaged over 65% at AMTC.

Statistics are easily available. All it takes is one. We have an extremely successful model with Ford, named Valerie Sipp. She has done major campaigns, like Calvin Klein and Prada, all of the big shows, as well as covers, like French Vogue beauty issue.

Valerie only received one call back at AMTC. She was not a "run-away" favorite at the time, but one was all it took for her to be a major success.

Sometimes we have placements who received no call backs. That's why we still have open interviews, unlike the searches or IMTA.

Sometimes a contestant's personality or book will open doors. Sometimes the right agent was not in the ballroom at the right time (when that contestant performed).

Therefore, call back percentage may be slightly skewed in the opposite way, but it's still the best way we now know to talk about.

Sorry this email is so long, but we believe that we wear the "white hats" in this industry. We believe that the Millie Lewis Convention has set a standard of excellence for many years.

I would be happy to answer any other questions.

Sincerely,

Carey Lewis Arban
President,
The Millie Lewis American Modeling and Talent Convention and Millie Lewis International, Inc.


THE MILLIE LEWIS AMERICAN MODELING & TALENT CONVENTION MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of the Millie Lewis American Modeling & Talent Convention is to promote excellence and integrity in the modeling and talent industries.

The AMTC Directors and Scouts hold a great responsibility: the hope, dreams, and potential of each contestant.

These prospective models, actors, and entertainers entrust their vision of the future with us. We pledge to use our knowledge and connections to teach them, to promote them when advisable, and to protect them always.

We strive to be the best modeling and talent convention in the world: to give fair representation to all contestants; to provide them with optimum exposure to the most reputable regional, national, and international agents; to host an open forum for learning about this exciting industry.

As a family business, we are in this business for families. Each contestant's best chance of success lies in his own motivation built on the foundation of family support.

Our goal is to provide a protected environment: one where talent can meet with select industry leaders and make an informed decision about his future, with the understanding of his family and the guidance of his local AMTC Director.

Each contestant is a winner! Each works to improve his skills, appearance, poise, and self-confidence; each chooses to make the most of himself; each meets the challenge of competition, and opens himself to constructive criticism with an enthusiastic and positive attitude; each performs his visual and verbal skills before a large group of people. These accomplishments build a positive self-image for any present or future career.

Not everyone can model, act, or entertain professionally; these fields are highly specialized and competitive. The Millie Lewis American Modeling & Talent Convention offers the opportunity to excel, a chance to be discovered, and assurance to meet the future with no regrets.

Carey Lewis Arban
President,
The Millie Lewis American Modeling and Talent Convention and Millie Lewis International, Inc.


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