Acting Talent Resource Agency (ATRA) - atrareel.com - Robert Revel
November 2, 2004
[Last Updated: November 02, 2004]
(Most all the information available about Acting Talent Resource Agency is from its website. No record was found in the BBB database. It is evidently a new company.)
This company calls itself an agency ("Acting Talent Resource Agency"), but it is not a talent agency. They do talent marketing: "we are not in the business of representing actors, we are here to showcase them."
It is based in Phoeniz, Arizona, and lists only one business address there, yet claims representatives in major cities and says they travel across America making it some kind of a national talent scouting company.
It offers seminars and workshops and a demo reel for aspiring actors at the extreme price of $6,500. Paying this vast sum of money will supposedly launch an acting career. After the seminar you can get a so-called "honest evaluation" of your talent, even though there is a conflict of interest towards a biased view of your potential ($6,500 worth of bias). If the assessment "in all sincerity" determines you have star potential, you may even get your reel onto their "website database" so talent agents across America can review it. Then before you know it you'll be the next Tom Cruise or Nicole Kidman.
They claim exclusivity: "The database at www.atrareel.com is the only talent-profiling tool of it's kind."
The reel question is does it work? For such an extreme price, you would hope to find thousands of success stories, but not one was found.
They claimed they are connected with agents who would use their site and service: "we have taken great care and time to network and meet many of the top credible agents in the industry," but not one name of an agent was found on their site.
The background of the owner, Robert Revel, is not as a talent agent, but as a film producer. The stated background of his associate, Dereth DeHaan, is marketing, but not in, or to, the entertainment industry.
The credentials of the principal people involved make it look as if it is a high-end video production company trying to get extra work on the side by appealing to the vast demographic of aspiring actors, the same way some photographers try to get extra work on the side by appealing to the vast demographic of aspiring models.
The purpose of the business is nothing new, marketing talent, and there has been opportunity during the last ten years for website marketing of talent, yet similar companies charged far less money and there are no reputable similar companies because the demand is not there from reputable talent agencies. If the owners of this company had background in the talent industry as talent agents, they would know this.
On their site there was not one quote from a recognized reputable talent agent recommending Acting Talent Resource Agency and advising talent to spend $6,500 for their services. Who is endorsing it?
For more information, contact the Screen Actors Guild, the Better Business Bureau, or talent industry expert Ed Hooks (edhooks.com).