Crimes of Persuasion

Schemes, scams, frauds.

Modeling Schools

Former Employee Speaks Out


To Whom It May Concern:

I am a former graduate and employee of the [...] Modeling School in [...]. Having been both student and an employee, I can verify that the school is a total waste of money.

I paid $800 for my lessons back in 1996; I know that the school now charges more like $2,000 for the classes.

I am writing this letter after several years of denial. I have never been one to burn bridges, so I always tried to look on the positive side. However, there is just no denying any more that [...] is a total scam.

I was fortunate enough to have an excellent instructor who had great contacts. I did get A LOT of work after I graduated. I did print work for Haughton Mifflin and a ton of hair shows.

I always got paid at least $80/hour or $500/day. I was working 1-3 days/week. I knew that this wasn't going to make me rich -- but it definitely paid for some college courses.

My point in disclosing my success isn't to brag, but hopefully to give me some credibility to anyone who might read this.

My main point is [...] didn't get me ONE job. My training with [...] didn't get me ONE job. Yes, [...] does teach makeup and runway. However, I have NEVER, EVER had to do my own makeup at a job.

And, furthermore, when you audition, people don't want you to wear makeup. Girls that have on too much makeup are asked to either wash it off or leave.

As far as runway goes, you would be better off watching models on the runway and copying their moves. Rent a movie like "Gia" that features a lot of runway, and then copy it in front of a full length mirror until you get it.

Also, what [...] doesn't tell you is that runway shows are generally CHOREOGRAPHED!! That means that you need to be able to copy what someone wants. You are better off not getting stuck in one particular style. You would be better prepared by practising a variety of styles, so that you get used to mimicking what a choreographer wants.

All of my success as a model (and I would say I am a success story from a small market point of view) came from practice. The best thing to do is go on as many auditions as possible. Part of learning to be a model is learning to audition. So the more you audition, the better you get.

Furthermore, when you get a job, watch everything and learn. I learned to do makeup from watching the artists that did mine at every job. I perfected runway from watching other girls.

I also worked for the [...] in [...]. When you work for the company, however, you see a whole new side. It was this experience that finally convinced me that it is a total scam.

Until then my only experience had been with the classes I took. Back then the classes only cost $800 and I had a great instructor. True, [...] didn't get me any work. However, I always felt that my instructor had been great and she did a lot to boost my self-esteem.

My instructor was also a working model and actress. When she was offered contracts in Los Angeles, and turned in her resignation, the owners of the [...] [...] actually tried to blackball her.

They called the agencies in Los Angeles and told them that she was an addict and a bunch of other lies just to keep her from moving. They also tried to tell her that the agencies which wanted to sign her were fraudulent (pot calling the kettle black!).

Just to support her side, she is a stable mother of two and she was offered a contract with Matthau Incorporated. That agency is run by Walter Matthau's son. Hardly a fraudulent agency!

When I was working as an instructor, they refused to pay for ANYTHING. I was required to put on a fashion show and a graduation with NO budget.

I was told to get money from the students. I couldn't believe that. My students were already paying $2,000 to attend the school, and now they were being told that they would have to pay for the fashion show and graduation as well.

I just couldn't bear to do that to the students. I had 75 students who were paying $2,000, and I only got paid $500 per class for six classes.

When I was teaching, [...] was taking in an astounding $150,000 in tuition (for just my class), and paying $3,000 to me.

Now, keep in mind that the [...] in [...] has about 30 classes going at any given time. That makes for $4,500,000 every six months or $9,000,000 per year in tuition.

That also means that they are taking advantage of 4,500 students PER YEAR.

Now maybe you are thinking that it is worth the $2,000 to get lessons from an experienced instructor. Think again. I was an exception. Most modeling instructors at [...] are former students that couldn't make the grade. That's right, they are former students that weren't able to get any work as models so they teach.

They are told to lie so that the students and parents won't figure out that they are clueless. Also, the [...] in [...] does not even have a complete curriculum to give the instructors. So many teachers just make up the class as they go.

I also worked on the recruiting end of [...] (once again the recruiters are people who couldn't get any real work). When I did the recruiting shows, the "talent scouts" would make up jobs that they had done in the industry. They would claim to have walked the runway in Milan, etc. This was all crap.

No model who has ever been successful enough to walk a runway in Milan is going to come back to be a "talent scout" for [...] at a Holiday Inn. Girls who are that successful in the modeling industry go back and work for reputable agencies, and they don't need to recruit. They hold open calls out of their office.

Furthermore, those girls get a bonus for each student that enrolls in their courses. They get $100 for each student they enroll. So basically, the more students that sign up, the more money they make. So everyone gets in to the school. The whole "audition" process is really a sales pitch to get you to pay for the classes. There is no audition -- if you can pay, you get in.

I could go on and give more examples, but hopefully, this has already gotten through to the readers. These people do NOT care about the students. It is a total scam. All they want to do is make more money. I am sorry that I didn't see through it faster.