Take2 Talent (take2talent.com) Take 2 Talent - Folsom, California

December 9, 2004

[Last Updated: May 28, 2005 ]

Consumer Inquiry

Have you heard of an agency called Take2Talent? I took my children for an audition and I was sceptical about their agency. The "director" who talked to us (and also other "directors" for that matter) looked like they were under 18 years of age. They looked like they were aspiring models than any professional agent.

Additionally, the "director" didn't seem interested in looking at the kids at all, but was more interested in giving me the information.

Well, after our audition, the "director" called me the next day and said that they had decided that they definitely wanted to work with my toddler. And after a little bit of talking, she said that they would be willing to take the baby as well.

(Just yesterday, she said that they were only going to selct 10 kids, but she decided over the phone herself that she would consider the baby too.) And in ending the phone call, she said to bring a method of payment (for the pictures).

I'm supposed to meet her today, but I'm not going to do that. I'm uncomfortable paying money upfront and after reading the statements from your "Expert Advice" column, I'm glad that I am making the decision not to meet with them.

Please let me know if you have anything on this agency. It's located in Folsom, California. Their number is 916-985-7800. I tried looking them up on the internet and in the Better Business Bureau, but could not find any information on them.

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Reply

It's illegal for a California talent agency to collect fees for pictures (photo mill scams). A California talent agency must also be licensed. The database of licensed California talent agencies is here:

http://www.dir.ca.gov/databases/dlselr/Talag.html

Intuition + Stop Payment Saves Mother from $800 Price-Gouging Photo Mill Scam

I'm not sure if you have had another experience with this company, but I just wanted to put the word out about my experience.

I was told to take my toddler to Take 2 Talent in Folsom, CA from someone whose child supposedly models for them.

We went for our initial appointment and were told that we would hear back on their final decision the next day about whether or not she had been chosen.

Something was nagging at me about this company, but we went ahead the next day and called to see if she had made the cut.

Of course, she had.

They needed us to come in that day to schedule her photo shoot for her cards. We went in and asked a bunch of questions to make sure we were clear on what was goin on.

The "director" really seemed to have all the right answers. She assured us that they only get paid when my toddler got work and even then it was only a finder's fee that would not come out of my child's pay.

After assuring us that they get nothing until she gets work we booked the photo session. There was never any talk of which photographer to use. She just pulled out the appointment book and made the appointment with us. She said that we would need to pay for the photos right then.

I started to write my check for $800 and then asked: "Who should I write it to?"

"TAKE 2 TALENT," she said.

I almost didn't write the check because it seemed weird that I would write a check to them instead of the photographer. But I went ahead and wrote the check, anyway.

That night I just got a pit in my stomach that said something wasn't right.

I called our bank and put a stop on the check.

On Monday I also called Take 2 Talent and cancelled my photo session.

The receptionist tried to tell me that it was too late, but she had the "director" call me back.

When the director and I spoke I told her I was uncomfortable with paying T2T for the photos.

She told me that they need to "verify everyone's funds before they cut a check directly to Neil's Studio."

I also did some research about this photographer. I looked up his company and found no record of "Neil's Studio." But since I had the address of the studio I did a reverse search of the address and found that the name of the business at that address was "1000 Words Photography," and on their website I discovered that the photographer's name there was also Neil, and that they had the same phone number.

From his website it appreared that this photographer does a lot of print work with models.

I called the number that was listed and said that I found "1000 Words Photography" online and wanted to know about their pricing. I told them what kind of pictures I wanted done just like Take 2 had told me I would have done (6-8 different outfits and at the end of the shoot I get the CD with all the digital pictures on them), and I was told that I would get two hours of shooting with Neil and end up with 100 pictures on a CD for $150!!!!

Wow, that was a far different amount from what I had dished out to Take 2 Talent. Not even in the same realm as $800!!

Now I'm just wondering if Neil is aware of how much T2T is making on each of his shoots or if he's in on this deal!

Since I had already put a stop payment on the check, I'm not out anything, but I wanted to just put the word out there so that no one else makes the same mistake I almost made.

I plan on reporting them to the BBB who has not yet had any complaints on them. But I understand that what they were doing is also illegal and I'm wondering if the Folsom Police Department should be filled in on this or if it's kind of out of their area of enforcement? How is that usually handled?

Sincerely,

[...] (please make sure this is anonymous if printed)

They should change their name to "Take 800 Talent"!

Complaint

May 27, 2005

I heard an ad for Take 2 on the radio and set up an appointment.  When I went in with my X-year-old and X-month-old the "director" seemed very impressed, telling me she was glad they weren't "blond haired, blue eyed."

She told me no decisions would be made until the next day and to call back then.  At that time she told me Take 2 wanted to represent both my children. I inquired about how many kids they normally accept and she said only 2 or 3 of each catagory (race, age, etc.) so my kids did very well.

Then I  asked about photos.  I had in mind getting my own photographer because theirs cost too much.  She assured me that they worked with the best photographers that shoot for the big-name companies (then she did some 'name-dropping').

I was concerned about the money but she made it seem like a deal to have both kids photographed for the $800 price... which was supposed to be 3 rolls of film.

She further went on to tell me that all the photo shoot was done digitally and would be on a disk and I would have to pay additionally for the comp cards. ($800 for some digital pics?......where does the "3 rolls" come in?)

After reading the other complaints on this site and looking into photo/comp card costs, I am sure Take 2  is making a profit.

My first red flag should have been when I missed the first scheduled audition and didn't even call them.  They called me to reschedule!

I remarked to my husband that it was odd for a modeling agency to track down someone they haven't even met yet.

Second red flag:  okay... my kids are cute... but she said she only picks 2-3 kids out of each category (and they advertised on the radio).

Third red flag:  wants payment right away.... payment plan okay BUT nothing can be done til full payment is made; no photos, no representation.... nothing.  Why not still represent us while the comp cards are in process of being made?  Why not live auditions?

Advice: research, research, research...

When I read only two letters on this site but they told the exact "unique" story as mine, I KNEW I was being ripped off.  I called my credit card immeditately and stopped the partial pay I made.  If T2T wants to represent my kids it will be on my conditions... with my photographer and my comp cards!

Angry Parent

Information

May 20, 2005

I KNOW THAT THE "DIRECTORS" NEVER GOT ANY LICENCING, OR EVEN TRAINING.

I KNOW THE "DIRECTORS ARE PAID 100% COMMISSION.

I KNOW THAT THEIR PHOTOGRAPHERS ARE PAID LESS THAT $100.00 PER ROLL OF FILM WHILE PARENTS PAY UP TP $500.00 PER ROLL OF FILM!!!!!

THE OWNER IS AND WAS IN BUSINESS WITH JOHN ROBERT POWERS.

I KNOW THEY GO ON A DIFFERENT RADIO STATION EVERY WEEK CLAIMING TO BE SEARCHING FOR "THIS WEEK ONLY."

I KNOW THAT 99% OF THE KIDS ARE CHOSEN, WITHOUT ANY TYPE OF CONSULTATION WITH CO-WORKERS. THERE IS NO SELECTION PROCESS. (EACH DIRECTOR MAKES UP THEIR OWN MIND AS TO WHETHER OR NOT YOU WILL PAY... NOT WHETHER OR NOT YOU WILL GET WORK), AND THAT 1 OUT 100 KIDS THERE WILL GET WORK... WITH LITTLE OR NO HELP FROM TAKE 2.

A FEW TIPS:

* ALWAYS ASK IF THEY ARE A LICENSED AGENT... AND IF THEY KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN AGENCY AND OTHER CO.  FYI: AN AGENCY CHARGES A PERCENT OF $ AFTER YOUR CHILD GETS WORK.

* CALL TAKE 2, PRETEND TO BE CLIENT, AND HAVE [STUFF] FAXED TO YOU... THEY WILL PROBABLY FAX YOU A LIST OF AGENTS IF YOU ASK ALSO ...THEY ARE SO UNORGANIZED. THEY DO NOT EVEN KNOW WHO THEIR CLIENTS ARE... NO COMPUTER RECORD, NOTHING! JUST A PAPER FILE WITH YOUR INFO SOMEWHERE IN THE BACK WITH HUNDREDS OF OTHERS!  IF YOU ARE PART OF TAKE TWO I BET IF YOU CALL AND MAKE UP A NAME THE "DIRECTOR" WILL PRETEND TO KNOW YOU... PRETTY SAD, HUH?

I'VE DONE MY HOMEWORK... DO YOURS! BE CAREFUL. AND USE YOUR RESOURCES.

Anon

P.S. IF I THINK OF ANY OTHER INFORMATION THAT CAN HELP PEOPLE I WILL WRITE AGAIN.

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