Millie Lewis AMTC
(American Modeling and Talent Convention)
To Whom It May Concern:
There was an advertisement on the local radio station
(92.3) in Macon, GA, about a local talent search.
I called the number and got an operator who asked me
which categories we would like to try (dancing, acting,
modeling, or singing).
I was told what to do and bring for my 11-year-old daughter's
audition. (I was told to bring a CD for her to dance
by, and a script would be given for her to read.)
No money would be involved in this, I was told. No COST
(This seems to be fraudulent, because this gave the
incorrect impression of who would be viewing the audition.)
I was told this was a talent search for possible commercials,
Disney movies, magazines, etc.
This was held at the Macon Centreplex at 10 a.m., 2:00
p.m. and 6:00 p.m. on June 15, 2002, in Macon, GA.
My husband, my daughter, and myself went to the "audition" which
was primarily a sales pitch and a 30-minute video talking
about a Modeling Convention in Charleston this coming
There were posters of alleged clients lining the front
of the room. This is an indication that they may be fraudulent.
Also, they asked for $500 up front if my daughter was
called back on Sunday (during church hours). By the way,
they claim to be family-oriented, but call back while
the family is in church; so I guess they don't care much
about the family value of church in the Bible-oriented
Upon call back, you are asked to bring the $500 up front
and sign a contract which obligates you to pay $1,795
by January for a convention in which there are OF COURSE
no guarantees. Be prepared for rejection in this industry,
you are told.
Extra fees include (to mention a few, $200 local admin
cost, and $100 parent/participant pass to the convention,
and hotel fees of $149 per night).
Legitimate companies don't get paid until I get paid.
We were very disappointed because the amount of money
asked for was high and there was no way to check out
They "prey" upon eager children who have worked
hard to get their routine together. It was disappointing.
I would like for my comments to be posted about what
really happens at one of their so-called auditions.
There are conventions weekly in January. I feel they
are taking people's money for no result or projected
Also, I would like for the BBB to take this into consideration
in their rating of this company and to give them an unfavorable
To Whom It May Concern:
If the scenario is that a reputable talent agency does
not ask for ANY up front expenses, then why is the comment, “IF
you have the time, the funds to spare, as this becomes
very much the expensive weekend.” (Quoted by Mona
as a response to another mother.) Even to be expected
I understand from my findings this is a reputable convention
and backed highly by models and other agencies, but it
seems quite contradictory.
I am not quite certain as to how the response to an
inquiry such as this is handled, but could a reply be
sent directly to this email address.
Are you going to the convention?
I have gone and was invited to show up in Detroit this
coming April. Simply doing a little digging to help me
understand what to expect as much as possible.
So you've been to one and you're thinking of going to
a second? What is in Detroit? They had said they only
had two conventions, one in Orlando, the other in Kansas
What did they tell you was their success/placement rate?
Yes. I am thinking of going to a second. The explanation
for the event in Detroit is the event in Orlando was
too expensive for some great talents and they couldn't
afford the trip so they are "congregating" so
to speak in more local areas. This will perhaps be more
advantageous for those talents. It was mentioned that
this is a miniature event to the Orlando escapade.
Success/Placement Rate? I am not certain what this question
is, but it is required of those invited to make a payment
of $495. It is required that $250 immediately be paid
and the other half in April when we show up in Detroit.
Isn't this the contradictory part I mentioned? Or is
it my misunderstanding that because they are not an agent
they can do as they feel?
Yes, they are not an agent, so they are not accountable.
You said: "the event in Orlando was too expensive";
this is what others said. It sounds as if they are now
adopting the same pricing as their competition, Model
Search America, Proscout and Manhattan Model Search,
which all seem to be around $500.
If their real motivation for Detroit is to offer opportunities
for great talents who cannot afford Orlando because it
is too expensive, and not simply to line their own pockets,
there will be advance screening by photo (models) or
video (talent). This will keep the waste down and keep
ML in check.
Did they say they were going to screen people before
they make downpayments? Did they ask for photos/videos
to be submitted which they will send to agents who are
going to attend the Detroit meeting? Do you think they
should? Maybe you should ask them about that.
If they are now going to be in Detroit are they also
in Las Vegas? Las Vegas would be a perfect location because
their whole operation is like a giant casino. Without
the screening that is all they are. They want the players
to gamble. Whether the price is $1,795 or $495, it makes
no difference; it's the same as a casino.
No, they did not say they would screen people prior
to the down payment. Should they? They have provided
us with a packet of information and instructions that
I have yet to go through, maybe there is something with
this information in there. I will let you know more tomorrow.
Shouldn't we be provided a list of the agencies that
will attend prior to our arrival? Aren't they supposed
to provide the pictures/videos prior to the event? Isn't
this normal procedure and to be expected?
You said: "No, they did not say they would screen
people prior to the down payment. Should they?"
No, they should not screen people prior to the downpayment,
the agents should. The AMTC employees have already
claimed indirectly to screen people (a given in their
selection or scouting), but it's a conflict of interest,
and their failure rate is unacceptably high.
The head of AMTC has claimed they cannot know their
failure rate, while another person said printed material
from AMTC said it was 75%. Even if you believe the 75%
claim and contradiction, don't you have a problem with
hiring someone who has a 75% failure rate as their track
Either the conflict of interest or the high failure
rate is cause for concern, but both at the same time
is obviously cause for great concern, especially when
at stake are hundreds if not thousands of dollars.
Based on information Modeling Scams has learned, AMTC
scouts earn a commission of $250/contestant recruited.
Therefore when you pay $1,795 for the AMTC, $250 goes
to the scout.
Therefore in essence you pay the scout $250 for his
or her opinion of your child's chances of success. Essentially,
you are hiring the scout for their professional opinion,
willing to pay their rate of $250. Which leads of course
to the question, is their opinion, a) unbiased, and,
b) worth $250?
Since there is a conflict of interest (they are paid
in advance by the number of people whom they convince
to go, not by the number who are signed and get work),
the answer to a) is you never know.
Since their failure rate is 75% (or worse, again, since
the number is unsubstantiated), the answer to b) is highly
Would you hire anyone for $250 for their unbiased professional
opinion if even one of the above cases were true (conflict
of interest, high failure rate)? What is their opinion
worth? How much more than two cents?
Based on their failure rate, these scouts are arguably
not qualified to be professional scouts. They do not
work for the agencies which know what type of models
clients want. They are not in the position to say who
has true potential.
The only people are the agents who are scouts, attending
the AMTC as agents/scouts. These are the people who are,
first and foremost, professionally competent to scout,
and who can actually get models work.
Secondly, these agents/scouts are also not in a conflict
of interest to say who has potential. They are not paid
in advance, there is nothing to financially motivate
them to say someone has a potential modeling career ahead.
And, furthermore, besides being professionally competent
and not in a conflict of interest, these agents/scouts
can screen potential models prior to the AMTC, simply
by print photo or digital photo submission.
If you see the basic logic, ask AMTC why they don't
ask agents to screen potential models before they make
any payment, such as a downpayment.
Regarding your second series of questions, they are
certainly fair questions: "Shouldn't we be provided
a list of the agencies that will attend prior to our
arrival? Aren't they supposed to provide the pictures/videos
prior to the event? Isn't this normal procedure and to
One list was previously sent to the site by Carey Arban,
so the list should be available to those interested to
attend AMTC. Ask for it. You have a right to know if
the agents whom you would pay to see are reputable and
Then you could do a little experiment. Find the mailing
addresses of all of the agents who are going to attend
the convention, then mail them Polaroid snapshots of
your child. Find out if they are interested. If they
do not respond, go to the convention and see if they
do not respond.
If they do not respond to seeing your child in person
as they did not respond to seeing your child in pictures,
you will have proved advance agent screening by photos
is effective, while lack of advance agent screening can
waste $1,795, or, if you add all the associated expenses,
You had asked, "If the scenario is that a reputable
talent agency does not ask for ANY up front expenses,
then why is the comment..."
Millie Lewis AMTC is not a talent agency.
But you raised a good question. Why do supposedly reputable
agencies get involved with a convention if it charges
upfront fees and why do these agencies turn a blind eye
to the clear and significant conflict of interest?
They could stop hundreds of people from wasting their
money by advance screening, but they are so self-centered,
they don't give a damn what happens to the models and
their parents, if their hard-earned money and valuable
time is wasted.
When the top "most reputable" modeling agencies
in New York are all being sued by the models, you really
need to start rethinking what "reputable" really
means in this industry, especially when the allegations
center around a conspiracy and breaking anti-trust laws.
Whose definition of "reputable" are you accepting?
The issue of scouting ethics came up in an interview
with Trans Continental Talent's Chairman Lou Pearlman
published in the Orlando Weekly:
- Pearlman is adamant about the company's new direction,
right down to the recruitment of talent. Scouts are
now on salary, he says, so the pressure is off to sell
dreams to those who will never attain them. "Unlike
Options, talent scouts will not work on commissions," he
says, "We're not using their business plan."
While Mr. Pearlman's claim contradicted his company's
SEC Filings, he is right about the fact there is pressure
to sell dreams to people who will never attain them,
when scouts work on commissions.
But that is apparently exactly how not only TCT scouts
are paid but also Millie Lewis AMTC scouts. Both work
on commissions. Modeling Scams has learned AMTC scouts
are paid $250/enrollment and the TCT scouts make $20/enrollment.
How do parents whose kids are scouted trust the AMTC
scouts when they are paid by commission and therefore
could be trying to "sell dreams to those who will
never attain them"?
If you want to find out what is really going on in the
modeling industry, you need only discover who is getting
paid, and how much they are getting paid. Follow the
To Whom It May Concern:
I have information for you in regards to Millie Lewis
International. I do not think they are operating on
the up and up. Millie Lewis is not telling the truth.
First of all Millie Lewis claims they do not do talent
searches via ads or hotel visits. They do. Here in Asheville
they did , but they use the name of a talent agency called
Carolina Talent out of Charlotte.
We went and they showed us a video and asked each person
from very small children to adults to read few lines,
I am sure they could tell who had the money up front
and those that did not.
That evening or the next day, they said they would call.
They called both of my daughters back.
At this point in time, no money or costs were explained.
We went back the following afternoon and they talked
it up very big and would not state out loud the cost.
They gave out a huge packet with the costs inside. The
cost initially was $1,795.
I asked what exactly that covered and what other costs
there were. They said it did not cover the cost of the
convention trip, hotel and food, transportation, the
booklet, and the photo shoot, but they could not explain
the break down of the $1,795. They would only state it
cost money for these scouts to come to the convention,
and we would be receiving many hours of training and
We told them it was just too much money for us. In about
a week they called and offered $500 scholarship and and
stated my daughters were just what they were looking
I opted to just do one.
Initially, the only training they mentioned was a weekend
workshop in Asheville and any that we could attend in
The first workshop was the most unorganized workshop
I have ever witnessed. It could have easily been accomplished
in about three hours, but it took two days.
One of those days was a professional photo shoot. What
a joke!!! The guy that did the training the day before
showed up with a camera and took pictures of each contestant
in the hotel lobby and outdoors. There was no special
lighting. They hired a makeup artist that made my daughter
look like a street walker.
All through the training, the day before, they emphasized
how natural they wanted everyone to appear. This photo
shoot took a whole day and by the time he took photos
of my daughter is was nearly dark.
This photo shoot cost $400 per person. I asked them
what that covered. They said they had to pay the makeup
artist $900 and they would be helping us pick out the
good photos which they would use in the presentation
at the final convention in January.
WE HAVE TO PAY FOR THE PRINTS, THE BOOKLET THEY GO IN
, THE COMP CARDS, AND THE LIST GOES ON. (At least another
$100 or more.)
They collected $400 from about 15 people that one day.
I could not believe the fees that were still coming at
us on top of that.
In about a week, we received the slide proofs, but he
had to come back in to take more pictures of my daughter
again. They handed me the slides and said they were wonderful.
The photos are absolutely awful and not worth $40. I
would never allow these photos to represent my daughter.
We have had professional photos taken before and know
We were told that it would be a professional photo shoot
with at least four looks. I told them my daughters school
pictures were better and they took about 5 seconds.
Well, they just said they have their own style which
is like an Abercrombie look... What a crock!
Anyway, they said we could come to Charlotte on the
Thanksgiving weekend and spend another whole day on having
theses photos taken by another photographer.
We did not want to waste more money doing that.
This weekend, they said we needed to come to another
two-day workshop in Charlotte.
At the beginning of this whole thing, it was stated
we just had one workshop in Asheville, the photo shoot
and the convention. Now, they state we need to be coming
to this workshop as well.
My daughter is a junior in high school and she has finals
this next week. She is attending a very demanding college
prep school. I told them we could just come for one day.
That day is today and my daughter cannot go. She is sick
so we will miss it.
I have this strange feeling they are going to say that
because we did not attend all of their so called workshops
we will not be able to attend the convention.
We are suppose to have out outfits chosen at this point.
My daughter used some clothing she had. One dress was
very tight that she used at the photo shoot. We chose
it for its color, not fit. My daughter said she could
not and would not wear it in the show. I agreed since
I purchased it for her when she was in 8th Grade. They
told her to just lose some weight. She is 5'9" and
weighs about 120. That 120 is just muscle so she does
not have any fat to lose. We could not believe that request
so I told them, no way.
As of today, I am going to cancel our contract and demand
my money back due to financial problems. I owe them $895.
I have shelled out $1,000 and that does not include their
These people are operators and they know how to hook
people. They called us when I was upset about the photo
shoot and stated that Wrigley's spearmint gum would be
doing an ad in Asheville and they needed my daughter
the first weekend in November.
That never materialized and I think they used that to
keep us interested. I do not like the fact that the brochures
and website do not show the breakdown of expenses. The
expenses never end.
There are people doing this that do not have that kind
of money and we are one of them. Some are repeat customers.
It should never cost that much to be represented.
All of my checks and charges have been made to Millie
Lewis International so this talent agency is under their
wing. They do indeed use talent searches and flashy ads
on the radio. Millie Lewis in written all over everything.
You may wonder why I fell for this. My daughter attended
a Millie Lewis modeling school in Greenville, SC. It
is not part of this international operation. It was run
very well, the fees were fair, and their were no promises
of any kind. We truly enjoyed it, so I thought this operation
would be similar. It has been a total scam.
The money they have collected is incredible and for
little work. They use the same guy for training as for
photos so they are forking little money out for so-called
The training and preparation is something to be desired.
I checked out the BBB site and could not find any complaints
that were not resolved against this Carolina Talent.
What do you know about complaints or issues with this
whole agency that is called Millie Lewis International?
How can such talent agencies be allowed to roll into
a town and collect these huge fees for nothing other
than their so-called knowledge of the industry?
Please do not print this on your website until I have
this resolved. At that point, I will gladly let you use
Lewis (AMTC) Letters Index