Modeling Scams

Donna Groff Modeling Agency

To Whom It May Concern:

I am an aspiring plus-sized model in the Memphis, TN, area, and I recently attended my first "open call" for a local modeling agency. That agency is The Donna Groff Modeling Agency.

I received a telephone call the day after the audition and was told that they are interested in signing me and becoming my "mother" agency. I also received a letter stating the same.

A red light flashed when I was informed that I would have to attend at least two modeling classes with the agency that would cost me $275 before they would send me on auditions and jobs.

I can understand their commentary on how they want their models to have the training to represent the agency in a fine light, but I did not understand why anyone would have to pay for the classes if the agency was interested in signing them.

I really need some help with this. I have tried finding out some things on this agency, but have been unsuccessful thus far.

They seem to know their stuff (I have done my homework on the plus modeling industry and all that is required of models), but paying that money is so difficult while I am in school.

If anyone could find out any information, or knows anything at all about the Memphis, TN, Donna Groff Agency, please get in touch with me as soon as possible.

I would appreciate this very much, as the dream of modeling is one I have had for some time. But I don't have the money to be swindled.

Thank you so much for your time.



You're right to be suspicious; most agencies do not charge for training. They train their models free.

Even though there is a BBB record for this company, and it is a BBB member, if you read below their BBB record, it said:

Many non-reputable agencies make their money on photograph fees alone. Look out for agencies that pressure you into having a portfolio done through their designated photographer often requiring a deposit of several hundred dollars.
Other agencies make their money on courses or seminars on acting make-up and clothing. They will generally high pressure you into signing up for one or more classes.

The Donna Groff Agency may be legitimate, and they may get models work, but ask them why they charge for classes when the industry standard is training models free.

If you cannot get them to accept the industry standard, ask them if they will take the cost of their classes out of your first paycheck.

Based on how they answer these types of questions, you can figure out how much if any work they think they will be able to get you.

Read this interesting comment on another site:

Try and go to an agency rather than a school. However, if the agency you go to is in a small town or rural area, chances are that they will have to supplement their model bookings with the revenue from training models to stay in business and provide your area with modeling services.

You are in a smaller market, but this claim is open to debate. The point is aspiring models in smaller markets may be more likely to be asked to pay for classes. There is less modeling work available, therefore there is more pressure on an agency to require upfront fee payments. But that does not mean the agency cannot use the ethical standard which protects new models by making the payment due after the model works so she cannot get scammed.

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