Modeling Scams

Modeling Association of America International (MAAI)

To Whom It May Concern:

I have tried to be "discovered" as they call it in this business through modeling agencies and schools, but so far I have not made much progress.

I was invited to go to a convention called Modeling Association of America International (MAAI). It is a model and talent convention.

When I was little my mother found an agent who worked with us one on one to try and find jobs and would get paid a commission from the work. I got a lot of auditions through my agent back then, but now, after so many years this company no longer exists. I've searched online and I cannot find an "agent" (not agency, but an agent) that would be able to help me get jobs.

I don't want to put any more money into something that will get me nowhere. I was hoping you would be able to tell me more about this MAAI, and tell me where I can get in contact with an agent.

Thank you so much for your time.




The BBB gives them an unsatisfactory rating.

Based on our files, this firm has an unsatisfactory record. In October 1996, the Bureau wrote this firm a letter requesting the names of ten individuals who have earned money as models by attending their modeling conventions. The firm failed to respond.

The listed contact/principal was Ms. Georgette Callas.

The website for MAAI claims MAAI have been holding conventions for over 40 years. In fact they claim they started modeling conventions. Apparently it is not a for-profit business; instead it is a non-profit organization. Indeed they say what sets them apart from all the other conventions is they are the only ones not trying to make a profit.

That does not help you much and it is basically beside the point if the applicants are not screened by agents who attend the convention using photos before anyone pays for the convention. Just because an organization is non-profit does not mean it cannot waste your money through poor management and lack of quality control.

The other issue is the Modeling Association of America International success rate. It is not on the website. Nor is the price. Those are usually strong clues the price is high and the success rate is low. The price could or should be a reflection of their success rate. But even if it is not, you should ask basic questions of MAAI and any other conventions:

What is the total cost for the convention?

Are there any hidden costs?

What is the expected total cost including all expenses (hotel, travel, food)?

What is the success rate of your convention in the last five years?

What was the success rate of your last convention?

How many aspiring models attended your last convention?

How many of those aspiring models at your last convention were signed with agencies at the convention?

Regarding agents, it is much more difficult because they often do not advertise. If they don't advertise, you need to break into a network in the modeling industry, for example through a referral. You need to "know someone who knows someone" (an agent). Possibly consider contacting a local agency and see if they know an independent agent who could help you.

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