New York Model Contract (NYMC)
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Complaints / Queries


To Whom It May Concern:

I am responding in regards to the issue of New York Model Contracts (NYMC).

First of all I want to make a quick point. The NYMC convention is the free open call seminar where they interview prospective models, and the NYMC showcase is the seminar where the models actually meet the agents hoping to get signed.

As far as NYMC is concerned, I want to break my comments into two points: 1) whether NYMC is a scam, and, 2) if NYMC is charging too much for their services.

A scam is defined as a company which deals in fraudulent activity; however, there is nothing fraudulent about NYMC. They told us everything upfront. I am an aspiring model/actress, and I have gone to their "convention" where I was selected, and then I listened to what the spokeswoman was saying.

The key is to keep a level head when these spokespeople come up, and not get your head so wrapped up in stardom that you are not listening.

Do I think NYMC is a scam? No, because like I said, they told us everything up front in the convention, and then we had seven days after that to do any type of research we wanted to do on the company before applying.

I was able to check out their models' references through top model agencies and from what LA Models has told me, they checked out okay. LA Models do go to their showcases when possible, and they have received new talent through them.

I also emailed Elite, Ford, The Lyons Group, Next, Wilhelmina, Karin, Company, and Page Parkes, but they have not responded yet.

I have received an email back from the consultant of Page Parkes regarding NYMC, and she told me to call her. However, I was not able to get through to her today due to inclement weather (their offices were closed due to floods).

I will check back with her on Monday and give you the details. I am still awaiting all of their responses without making a long distance call, but if I have to call, I will.

If someone chooses not to hear something they said at the convention, then when something bad happens they swear up and down the company is a scam, but that is the person's fault for not paying attention.

An example is the testimony of one lady on the web who declared they were a scam. Apparently, she did not listen at the convention, because there were some faults in her message.

After I paid $575 upfront to attend the seminar in Dallas on December 1st and 2nd, I began hearing things from other girls who had attended prior seminars. Nothing that is promised by these people will happen.

So what did these people say? NYMC did not promise me anything. NYMC simply stated that they choose "potential" models from the crowd at these conventions, and then they go on to the showcase where all those they chose in the region will present themselves and their photos to the agents.

They also have model consultants that help you, workshops, and a party you can attend. That is all NYMC promises to do —nothing more —nothing less.

They do not promise that they will sign anyone: that is up to the model agents who sit at the tables at these showcases.

NYMC just lays down the setting for the agents to see you instead of you driving all over the country to these agencies' open calls.

So just because one is chosen, and pays $575, and goes to all of the workshops, you may come out a winner, or you may come out a loser.

Knowing the risk she went in and took the risk and came out a loser. But it is not a total loss, either, because in their pamphlet they state that even if you are not signed by an agent, you are then worked with through their development division where they work with you.

It is nothing to get disgruntled about. She should take what she learned from the experience and apply that to her career. If she thinks $575 is bad to lose, just wait until she starts taking photos and making comp cards. On those alone she will spend hundreds just trying to find jobs and/or an agency on her own, and an agent may not even open her envelope!

A cousin of mine who now works for a modeling agency pointed out some things to me. "Why should we have to pay the cost of the hotel for the agents? They have business expenses that will cover that?" We were told that the $575 was to cover the cost of flying the agents to Texas and putting them up in the hotel.

I think it covers the costs of much more than that. She failed to mention, like I mentioned before, the $575 does not just go to the convention; it also goes towards your training. You get a consultant to help you, and tons of education on the modeling business. However, it still would be a good idea to see what parts of the $575 go where.

What we attended in Houston and thought was an open call, was really a scam. The real call is in Houston where the agents will be. There are already about five to six girls who will be there and are already models. They are there as part of the scam to make it appear as though they have gotten what is called a 'Call Back.' Anyone who bothers to show up is only spending extra money on a hotel and food.

This lady is confusing me now. I think she has the convention (free open call) confused with the showcase (where the agents will be).

When I went to the convention, there were also those who were already models. They were simply locals in the area who had gone to modeling school, or had been working on their portfolios independently.

They had their own portfolios ready to give the scout, and they looked very professional; however, they were not part of a scam. They were just regular local people like me who were already modeling, but just needed an agent.

Modeling is work, not an open invitation. They had experience modeling, they were serious about it, and they came to the convention, just like I had, and displayed in their portfolio previous work they had done.

And what is she talking about when she speaks about a "call back"? There are only two seminars: the open call convention and the showcase seminar. And they only do call backs after the showcase seminar in which if anyone received a call back, SHE would not have seen them nor even known about it.

This woman is not sounding consistent. And as far as her last comment about the hotel and food, sad to say, that is part of the business. No pain, no gain. Not only models go through that, but also Broadway actors.

Also, my daughter is a minor, yet they are charging me $100 to attend this thing with her. Is that right? I don't think so!

I do agree with her statement on this; however, just because they charge it does not mean it is a scam. Even the top young models have their parents with them on calls for free.

I called and requested a refund. They refused!

What does she want a refund for? She attended the showcase and used their services. In her long message she did not once say that anything unsatisfactory happened at the showcase, so I also don't think she deserves a refund. Besides, like I said, it is written clearly on the application: "NO REFUNDS. TRANSFERABLE TO ANOTHER EVENT ONLY."

They have no intention of doing anything to further your career.

EXACTLY! YOU have to further your modeling career. All they can do is give you the tools, but modeling is work, and it is up to YOU, the model, to make it what you want.

It is not just a hand out because you are pretty. Models are artists who take their work seriously, and you still have to WORK to get what you want. This lady is expecting NYMC and anybody else to wave a magic wand and, poof, you are on the cover of Mademoiselle.

Sorry, but it does not happen that way, contrary to what people believe. There is no quick fixer. And even if one does make it as a model, they still have to work harder, because they can be easily replaced. Pretty faces come a dime a dozen.

Modeling is like college: teachers can blab all they want, but if you sit on your butt and do nothing, expecting for it to drop in your lap, and not do your homework, well, you are going to have a short career, if any.

I guess there is always a way to work around the law.

Wow, what law did they break?

Now comes the second issue: the $575.

This is something to be researched; however, you have to look at all they are giving you. They give you a consultant, educational workshops, speakers, ballrooms, finger food, private parties, time, etc.

Believe me, this is not all for free. I bet the $575 also incorporates the convention which is supposed to be free. How else are they going to pay the spokespeople?

Is it a fair price? I don't know. One would have to call and ask NYMC.

If you ask me, it does seem like a small price for all the things they offer. And besides, they informed us that the $575 is tax deductible, so you really aren't losing much.

Also you have to look at the price if you try to do what they are doing on your own. It would probably cost 3-4 times as much for one model to skip town to go to the agencies herself, spending gas; driving back and forth across the country; hotels; outfits; and scheduling appointments with the agents.

A model could mail her photos, but the agent will want to meet a prospective employee, just like any other employer would. So, either way, you still have to go to the agent.

Instead, NYMC brings them all to you. Not to mention she would have to invest in her own comp cards to be mailed, and photo shoots, getting dozens and dozens of copies of her comp cards and photo shoots. In the long run, the amount spent will be well into the thousands.

So, yes, after thinking about all of that, $575 sounds worth it, even if you don't get signed.

Who knows, a new style might come later, and they call several months later, so all is not lost. At least you were seen and the agencies know you are out there.

Reading the info here from NYMC, even if you are not chosen, they still keep your information available to the agents for later.

Who knows, the model they chose might not have been able to take the heat, and dropped out, and you are next on their list?

Like any other career including acting, there are risks. We artists take them all the time. Some you win; some you lose.

And to add, it is about five months from the time the open call convention is held to the showcase seminar.

During those five months, NYMC gives you training and photo shoots, so that you can present yourself professionally to the agents.

So you have a whole five months to prepare. All that is included in the $575.

When I used to play in the orchestra, it was the same way. We had months to prepare for performances to make sure we were perfect at showtime.

As for me, I just went to the open call convention last night and I have seven days to pay the $575.

I started researching them as soon as I got back from the convention. I am still checking them out, though, because I still have questions for them.

After I am done checking out a few things about them, I will then decide if I want to pay the $575.

To me it is worth it, because I really don't have the method of traveling all over the country to get my comp cards out, and meeting with agents at open calls.

But I am still going to think about it. On Saturday they are having another free seminar during which they are going to talk to us, so I will probably go to that, too.

They DO have financial services, so that you can make payment arrangements. They do not ask us for the $575 upfront like that lady depicted it. She CHOSE to pay the amount in full on her own accord.

I have been to model conventions before which turned out to be scams, but I have never been scammed, because I research before I put my money into anything.

I was a finalist with Manhattan Model Search. I think I remember someone on this site saying that MMS took thousands from her and left her with nothing.

Which is odd, because I was selected as a finalist, but the fee was only $80; so I don't know if she was exaggerating the truth, or if I remembered it incorrectly, or what, or if they seriously raised their rates.

I don't think MMS is a scam either, just a big gamble. Because when I got there, I was very disappointed to find out that I was model #1,111!

There had to have been 2,000-3,000 girls there, so my odds were about zero. But I used it as a stepping stone.

I was intrigued by the NYMC open call, because there were many people attending it at the beginning, but by the time they finished doing the cuts, the room was almost empty. To me that was a good sign that they are looking for real talent, and not just trying to make $575 off everyone.

Manhattan Model Search was only $80, so I really did not care.

However, there is one company that is a scam that you might want to put on your site which is OTG, formerly known as EM.

They are a crock of lies. They are being investigated in three states, have 33 complaints on the BBB site, and have been labeled as an unsatisfactory merchant by the BBB.

OTG basically provides a place where models can put their portfolios and pics online; however, any model who knows modeling knows that agents do not just sign on models from the net, because digital pictures can be made to look however they want them to appear.

Top modeling agencies do not look at those; or only the lowly ones who probably have bad contracts.

Sorry this was so long, but it is not a short subject. I just hope I cleared some things up for some people.

Modeling is what one makes it; although companies like NYMC can get your foot in the door, one still has to WORK!

N.G.


Reply:

The NYMC convention is the free open call seminar where they interview prospective models, and the NYMC showcase is the seminar where the models actually meet the agents hoping to get signed.

Most modeling conventions are preceded by a free open call. The free open call is called a free open call, not a convention. The seminars, showcase of faces, and meeting with agents is called a convention.

A scam is defined as a company which deals in fraudulent activity; however, there is nothing fraudulent about NYMC. They told us everything upfront.

You might want to qualify that statement because you said you are still investigating. For example, "I have seen nothing fraudulent."

Were they upfront about the NYMC success rate? In their presentation did they tell you their success rate? Is their success rate in their brochure? Is it on their website? Is it in the BBB record?

Are they upfront about everything? Does NYMC ask agents who are going to attend their "showcase" to screen the faces of aspiring models BEFORE the showcase using the same approach as they normally do (Polaroids)?

Do I think NYMC is a scam? No, because like I said, they told us everything up front in the convention, and then we had seven days after that to do any type of research we wanted to do on the company before applying.

Again, like I said, was NYMC up front about their success rate? Did they tell you their success rate? Did you ask them? Are they upfront with agencies by sending Polaroids BEFORE the showcase?

NYMC simply stated that they choose "potential" models from the crowd at these conventions, and then they go on to the showcase where all those they chose in the region will present themselves and their photos to the agents.

Does NYMC present their photos to the agents BEFORE the showcase? If not, why the hell not?

They do not promise that they will sign anyone: that is up to the model agents who sit at the tables at these showcases.

Making promises would probably prove they were a scam, but the ever-popular no-promises disclaimer fails to prove a company is not a scam.

NYMC just lays down the setting for the agents to see you instead of you driving all over the country to these agencies' open calls.

You do not have to "drive all over the country." You do not have to attend open calls at modeling agencies. You can send Polaroids. The agencies ASK for Polaroids; they DO review them. Models ARE signed after they first sent pictures to agencies in New York. Did they make a mistake by not driving "all over the country"?

Knowing the risk she went in and took the risk and came out a loser. But it is not a total loss, either, because in their pamphlet they state that even if you are not signed by an agent, you are then worked with through their development division where they work with you.

What?

You get a consultant to help you, and tons of education on the modeling business.

Buy a book, or if you want "tons of education on the modeling business," buy several books.

Now comes the second issue: the $575.... Is it a fair price? I don't know.... you have to look at the price if you try to do what they are doing on your own. It would probably cost 3-4 times as much for one model to skip town to go to the agencies herself, spending gas; driving back and forth across the country; hotels; outfits; and scheduling appointments with the agents.

Wrong. This sounds like a repeat of the convention sales pitch. Again, you do NOT have to do any of that. The conventions want you to think you do otherwise you would say, "To hell with them!" and deal directly with the agencies and send your pictures.

You do NOT have to "skip town." You do NOT have to go to the agencies yourself. You do not have to spend money on gas. You do NOT have to go back and forth across the country. You do NOT have to stay at hotels. You do NOT have to buy new outfits. You do NOT have to schedule any appointments with agents UNTIL they have seen your Polaroids.

A model could mail her photos, but the agent will want to meet a prospective employee, just like any other employer would. So, either way, you still have to go to the agent.

This is not right. Models are not employees; they are independent. Also, agents will not want to meet prospective models unless and until they have seen pictures. It is a waste of their time and the prospective model's time.

Instead, NYMC brings them all to you. Not to mention she would have to invest in her own comp cards to be mailed, and photo shoots, getting dozens and dozens of copies of her comp cards and photo shoots. In the long run, the amount spent will be well into the thousands.

No. An aspiring model does NOT have to invest in comp cards. NY agencies do not want comp cards. Next Model Management's president, for example, said they want Polaroids. They do not require, they do not prefer, and they don't even want professional photos. They don't want the prospective model to wear makeup. They want the Polaroids because they show the real person, and no makeup for the same reason: they want to see the real you.

The amount spent on Polaroids and postage stamps will NOT be "well into the thousands."

And to add, it is about five months from the time the open call convention is held to the showcase seminar. In that amount of time, NYMC gives you training and photo shoots so that you can present yourself professionally to the agents. So you have a whole five months to prepare. The $575 is included in that, too.

Five months is plenty of time for the agents who are invited to NYMC to SCREEN THE ASPIRING MODELS USING PHOTOGRAPHS.

Why are they giving you training and photo shoots when the modeling agencies want simple pictures or Polaroids which were not taken by professionals? What is wrong with this picture?

As for me, I just went to the open call convention last night and I have seven days to pay the $575. I started researching them as soon as I got back from the convention. I am still checking them out, though, because I still have questions for them.

Please ask them about two fundamental issues: 1) success rate, and, 2) agency screening.

After I am done checking out a few things about them, I will then decide if I want to pay the $575. To me it is worth it, because I really don't have the method of traveling all over the country to get my comp cards out, and meeting with agents at open calls.

You do NOT have to travel "all over the country." You do NOT need to get comp cards out. You do not even need comp cards to get started.

I was intrigued by the NYMC open call because there were many people there at the beginning, but by the time they finished doing the cuts, the room was almost empty. To me that was a good sign that they are looking for real talent, and not just trying to make $575 off everyone.

All well and good IF their success rate is extremely high. If they weed out a lot of people but STILL have an extremely high failure rate, there is a big problem. The bottom line is not how many people they weed out; it is how many people get signed. What percentage is it?

There is one company that is a scam that you might want to put on your site which is OTG, formerly known as EM. They are a crock of lies. They are being investigated in three states, have 33 complaints on the BBB site, and have been labeled as an unsatisfactory merchant by the BBB.

Which states? And where are the 33 complaints? I was only aware of the unsatisfactory rating.

OTG basically provides a place where models can put their portfolios and pics online; however, any model who knows modeling knows that agents do not just sign on models from the net, because digital pictures can be made to look however they want them to appear.

This is why agencies like Next want Polaroids. The president said they prefer Polaroids over comp cards or professional pictures because they show all the flaws.

Top modeling agencies do not look at those; or only the lowly ones who probably have bad contracts.

Most likely bad contracts, little work, or only promotional work, which some people feel isn't really modeling.

One final question that nobody has answered but it must be worth asking. New York Model Contract apparently is not based in New York. And in fact it is nowhere near New York. Why? How does NOT being based in New York give NYMC a stronger position and greater ability to get an aspiring model a New York model contract?

Redacted Info


You brought up some very good points and I will definitely call and ask them what their success rate is.

I think the problem is that NYMC *DOES* do what it says it can do; however, the issue is like you said, what are your odds in getting signed? High? Or like MMS, next to nothing?

And while there is a five-month gap in between, you had an excellent point about how they could spend that five months actually doing something FOR you for free.

I had not thought about that, which is why it is a good thing that boards like this exist to exchange ideas and give input. Two heads are better than one.

But still, NYMC does what it promises; it's just that people go there expecting them to do more than they say they can and get nothing, and then when they don't get anything, they are ready to whine, and say that got scammed, when it was actually their own fault in assuming that these people can so something more than they can do for themselves.

Maybe I tooted my horn too soon, but I just hate it when people whine about things because they invested in something they should have checked out first. It is like buying a used car without test-driving it first.

But like I said I am still looking into it. I have written down your questions and I am going to give them a ring.

Thanks again,

N.G.

 


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