Celtic Talent Agency aka Celtic Talent International Model Agency (Dolores Corcoran) (www.celtictalent.com)
February 3, 2005
[Last Updated: February 03, 2006 ]
Celtic Talent International
36 Parnell St. (just beside Hearn's Hotel)
Models have previously made inquiries about Celtic Talent Agency. The information below is provided as a public service in response to public interest so young people can make informed decisions.
Celtic Talent Agency is owned by Dolores Corcoran. Celtic Talent is very involved with a controversial modeling convention in America called IMTA, which has been exposed by the U.S. media. IMTA has been offered as an award or models have been asked to pay their own way. Celtic Talent promotes IMTA heavily on its website and to the media. Dolores Corcoran, the talent agency's owner, promoted it like this (speaking of new model June Murphy):
- “June is at the right age to begin modelling. In New York, she will be exposed to more than 400 of the top cream of modelling agents in the industry. We are talking about agencies of the calibre of Storm in London, which looks after models such as Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell. This is huge exposure and the lucky break that June needs. She has a great look and we are confident she will do well.” ("It’s official - Mullingar girls are best!," Westmeath Examiner, Apr. 5, 2003)
Models or their friends who inquired about IMTA said they were at Celtic. It has been discovered Celtic is associated with IMTA and this is a close association. Indeed, the press reported: "Celtic Talent is the only Irish agency invited exclusively to IMTA in New York and Los Angeles bi-annually with actors and models of international potential so they may gain exposure to top casting directors, entertainment managers and model agencies worldwide." ("Hollywood beckons for Ashbourne actor Ryan," Fingal Independent, July 22, 2005).
Celtic Talent has been involved with IMTA for more than five years. One Irish paper reported the gushing CT comments:
- ASPIRING young Irish models looking to cash in on their stunning good looks will take to the catwalks in the US later this summer. The first ever team of models to compete at the International Model and Talent Association (IMTA) convention on July 16 in New York, the group of hopefuls also includes a number of actors looking to sign the deal of their lives. The historic trip is being organised by Celtic Talent Modelling Agency and is the brainchild of Grainne Vaughan, a former international model and actress, and Grainne Boyle, an actress and former dancer. Anne Keegan of Celtic Talents said some of the models are hoping to put their name to lucrative contracts as a result of the trip. “Celtic Talent is more than just a platform for aspiring stars. It also offers opportunity to those who wish to become involved in the glamour and model industry on the Irish scene. interested in grooming, confidence building and self development. It was a supreme honour in the fashion and talent “It can help those industry for Celtic Talent to be invited to become a member of IMTA,” she said. The conventions take place every six months and are attended by casting directors and model scouts from all over the world. (Tom Ryan, "Irish hopefuls ready to storm the US on the way to fame, fortune and a film deal," Irish Examiner, June 20, 2000)
Celtic talent are advised by their agency to attend the IMTA convention in Los Angeles or New York. They are told this is a good way to get discovered, but the cost of the trip is astronomical: €6,000!!!!!! Some are advised to hold fund-raising events to cover the extreme expense.
Talent are also asked to invest a lot of time for the one-off event: a "six-month training program with Celtic Talent." (Ibid.)
CT's website said of one IMTA, "Celtic Talent received 100% callback success from agents in Milan, New York, LA, Miami, Paris and Tokyo." (www.celtictalent.com/newsandevents.asp) [Feb. 3, 2005]. Unfortunately, however, "callbacks" do not put bread on the table. A callback is nothing more than an expression of interest, sincere or insincere, with absolutely no commitment. A callback is certainly not a modeling contract. It does not pay the bills, and it does not pay for the convention. Calling a callback a "success" is hype, to say the least. Models do not pay €6,000 to get a conversation; they want a modeling contract and modeling jobs.
The recurring and unrebutted criticism levelled against IMTA and associated talent agencies is threefold: 1) the extreme price; 2) the low/undeclared success rate; and, 3) the financial interest of the agency. Nobody honestly disputes the price is high. It is also an undisputed fact neither IMTA nor the agencies disclose their success rate, where success is defined based on investment, i.e., models earning more from work following IMTA than they paid to attend the event.
The press in America discovered at least one agency was secretly splitting the huge IMTA fees with IMTA. The Better Business Bureau has also learned and confirmed an agency in New York was splitting fees, too. It is not known if or to what extent Celtic Talent profits from IMTA fees. Celtic has not disclosed on their website if they have a financial motive. Celtic hasn't confirmed or denied if, like the American agencies which strongly encouraged participation at IMTA, Celtic Talent make secret profits from IMTA sales.
Model Scam Check encourages all talent to require a signed statement in writing from every agency which promotes IMTA disclosing its financial interest or lack thereof in IMTA. The public should note that modeling conventions are not necessary and have been criticised by some agents for their greed and fraud. It should also be noted that agents can promote talent directly to New York agencies without a convention, and this is conventional wisdom or the common practice. Furthermore, mailed pictures to the agencies is a legitimate option, certainly far less expensive than €6,000, and does not require an agent, just someone who knows how to mail an envelope.
Wrote one former Celtic model: ". . . having worked with Celtic Talent myself a few years ago, I can say I got a bit of work, but this America thing is a money-waster if I can give you my opinion. Know two people that went that got nothing out off it, sadly, but a huge bill to pay after. If you really want to make it overseas, I suggest you email, and send pics to international agencies yourself."
Helen Rogers, the founder of IMTA, left. She made the following statement to a New York Times reporter: “There has been a proliferation of these things [showcases] because people feel that they can be extremely profitable. And some of them operate in a way that it really abhorrent – where kids that really don’t have the talent, or the height, or the body, or the look are sold on going to a convention for eight to ten thousand dollars. And I have a real problem with that.”
IMTA does work for some people. So does Vegas. You have a right to know the odds. You want to know how many earn decent money and who profits before you spend a penny.
One online criticism of IMTA: "I asked another girl on this forum about it who actually took part and she said it was a complete waste of time. Even if you do get a manager they won't sponsor Irish people to work over there. It is very hard/impossible to arrange a visa for Irish actors in America unless they are really famous. I did further research on it, it costs 6000 euro and a lot of Americans have said it is a complete [. . .]! A lot of the agents and managers there are not legit and just there to get a free holiday."
Another comment about IMTA: "I JUST WANT TO WARN YOU PEOPLE WHO ARE INQUIRING ABOUT IMTA CONVENTION IN NEW YORK AND LA . . .IT IS A TOTAL [. . .]. I THOUGHT PEOPLE WHO WERE TELLING ME THIS BEFORE I WENT WERE ONLY JEALOUS AND I AM A BIT OF A RISK-TAKER MYSELF, BUT THIS WAS THE WORST MISTAKE I HAVE EVER MADE. BELIEVING THE LIES I WAS TOLD. . . I DID RECEIVE 2 CALLBACKS AND HAD INTEREST FROM A FEW AGENCIES IN NEW YORK, BUT WHEN I WENT TO THE DIRECTORS OF [. . .] THEY WERE IN THE BAR DRUNK SPENDING MY HARD-EARNED MONEY.
"PLEASE IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A MODEL GO TO ONE OF THE DUBLIN AGENCIES AND THEY WILL TELL YOU TRUTHFULLY IF YOU HAVE POTENTIAL OR NOT. SAVE THE 6 GRAND FOR YOURSELF! [. . .] ARE MONEYGRABBERS AND SHOULD BE EXPOSED FOR WHAT THEY ARE. I HAVE AROUND 20 FRIENDS WHO WILL TELL YOU THE SAME STORY AS ME. . . AS SOON AS THE NEXT VICTIMS COME ALONG THEY FORGET THAT YOU HAVE PAID THEM ALL YOUR SAVINGS!"
There's a lot of fast easy money flying around IMTA. Who is getting what is a good question. If you consider €6,000 is an investment, do research and due diligence the way you would stocks before investing. How long did it take you to earn €6,000? How much time will you spend researching the convention?