The Barone Agency (www.baronemodel.com) cautions you to be careful of the following method used by some organizations:

A very disgruntled parent informed Barone of how a certain modeling organization operates, and how in her words she lost hundreds of dollars. Her daughter a teenage beauty, completed the courses prescribed by the organization and received no work or money back at all. This particular organization heavily tries to promote acting lessons, and the only parts they really get you (IF ANY) are parts as "EXTRAS" WHERE YOU ARE MERELY PART OF THE SCENERY RATHER THAN AN ACTRESS. Keep in mind, it takes no training to be an EXTRA in a movie. Some Movie Companies have even asked people who are merely passing by the movie set to be EXTRAS.

This parent was told if her daughter completed the courses she would then have access to the names of companies that use models/actresses.

AT THE INTERVIEW she had to put down a $300 deposit. THIS IS SOMETHING YOU SHOULD NEVER DO! An organization that operates this way is taking advantage of your inexperience. GO HOME AND THINK ABOUT IT FIRST, AND INSIST THEY PUT THEIR PROMISES IN WRITING.

She then signed a contract including the following statement:"Deposit is not refundable and signee is responsible for payment of contract in full, at $140 per month for five months." The contract indicates that you, "further understand...(taking their courses)... will not result in receiving any work assignments or earnings". "This contract takes precedence over any other oral or written agreement" (In other words, IF they lied to you and told you they would get you modeling/acting jobs to get you to sign this contract, you are now relieving them of the responsibility to get these jobs, by signing the above statement).

You also agree to,"pay all collection agency, and attorney fees", should you decide to withdraw (after discovering most of the instructions are common sense, not worth the money.) In other words, once you sign you can not get out of this contract without paying the whole $920, even if you stop going to the classes. In the words of this parent, "Once you sign up they will send a collection agency after you if you don't pay, and it's $140 per month for five months. (Note: $920 is an initial fee, the complete course is about $3000)

The parent then told Barone, after my daughter completed the courses the organization said, "now that you are trained you can use us as a reference, but, you must get the modeling or acting jobs yourself"

Therefore, if you went through their courses with the understanding that they would get you work as a model or actress after you completed them. You will find that they will not do any more than give you a reference for work you find yourself.

What can you do if you find you have gotten yourself into a situation like the one above.

The Barone Agency recommends that you contact the OFFICE OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS in the county where the organization operates. Consumer Affairs will help you correct the situation. If the organization does not have an office locally, and was set up in a hotel, you can contact the FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION IN WASHINGTON, DC.