As a former model scout, I was blessed to have learn a few things over the years. Aside from that, I am an avid fan of former supermodel Tyra Bank’s hit reality show “America’s Next Top Model”. Tyra taught me the golden rule of dealing with talent and management agencies.
”If an agency of any kind, ask the model to pay for anything, run the other way.”
This rule applies with dealing with adult modeling agencies and management. A model should never pay for anything. If anything, it is suppose to be the other way around. If an agency is interested in you, they will INVEST in you!
Unfortunately there are a lot of models in this business, who are not educated about this type of business. But Luckey is here to help.
Here are my top ten tips of spotting a scam agency!
10). They are pressuring you into a contract- If you find yourself being pressured into a contract, it’s probably never a good idea. So often they will try to woe you with outrageous claims of what they could for you. Either that, or they try to intimidate you or bully you into signing with them. They last resort is often stating that you will never find an opportunity better than what they are offering. The red flag is when they give you a short time limit as to when you should sign. They often try to over talk you and seem impatient when you ask questions.
The truth is if any agency is interested in representing you, they don’t have to do much to sell you. Their past experience and work should speak for itself. Before you sign ANY contract, you should be able to ask as many questions as you can think of. This shows that you have interest in their company and it’s just smart business. You need to know what you are signing up for. Before signing a contract, if you don’t understand what you are reading, it is OKAY to request for your lawyers or legal advisor to look over the contract for you. If the agency refuses to comply, it’s probably not in your best interest to sign with them.
9.) If They Ask For Money- DO NOT SIGN If They ask for money up front. FOR ANYTHING. This cannot be repeated enough. No matter what reason they give you, DON’T. Even if it sounds legit, DON’T. If they won’t represent you, count your lucky stars you didn’t sign anything and walk out the door. Agents make their money by taking a commission WHEN YOU BOOK A JOB. If you don’t make money, THEY don’t make money. Keep in mind, THEY have to book the job for YOU. A model should NEVER have to pay for ANYTHING. The job of an agent/manager is to book your gigs and make arrangements in which you pay for nothing. That includes but not limited to travel expenses, room and board, food, and anything that pertains to the particular gig. If they did NOT book that gig for you, THEY DO NOT GET PAID!! They should NEVER ask you to submit funds into a “money pool” or share funds with other models. YOU AS A MODEL PAY FOR NOTHING!
8.)They Require You To Open A Bank Account/Manage Your Money- If you see this mess, RUN THE OTHER WAY! Talent/Management agencies are not suppose to look after your money. That is an accountant’s job. You should NEVER open a bank account with ANYONE and if they require you to do so, you are being SCAMMED. RUN THE OTHER WAY!!! They are not suppose to audit or look after YOUR money. If you need one, I would hire an accountant but make sure it is someone/business you can trust. If anything, I would educate myself and manage my OWN money but that is just me.
7.) They guarantee you work.- There are no guarantees in this business and not even the top agents or managers can promise you work. As I have said countless times before a model can be HOT SHIT today and stale tomorrow. Depending on the model/studio, there is no promises that you will receive work. If a talent/management agency is steady promising you they will help you get more work, you probably should not work with them.
6.) If the agency don’t have office space- If the agency does not even have office space, they probably don’t have much money which means you shouldn’t sign with them. If they can’t afford rent, what makes you think they have the money to invest in YOU?
5.) They ask you to change your name from the jump- I will never understand why one, who have worked hard to develop a brand and name, would change it at a drop of dime just because somebody ask them to. I wish a mutha’shut yo mouth would ask me to change my name. #BYEFELICIA. If ANY agency/management pressures you into change your name upon signing with them, I would not deal with them. Your NAME is YOUR BRAND. You should never sign your brand away to someone you don’t know. What end up happening is they ask you to change your name and instead of you owning the rights of your name, they own it instead which means you have no real say. Only time you should change your name is when you have been working with this company and YOU decide to do so. Make sure you own rights to your name and brand.
4.) If the agency has only be around less than six months- I would be weary of new agencies. In most cases, the agency is probably running a “get rich quick” scam and you might be their next potential victim. I would ask a LOT of questions and request for receipts (receipts- meaning physical references and examples of their past work). This is not to say ALL up and coming agencies are like this but I would go with a more reputable agency.
3.)They require you to take classes- It’s okay if a talent/management agency offers you to attend FREE classes. You should not feel obligated to do so if you don’t want to and you should NEVER have to pay for them. I would take the classes anyway ONLY IF THEY ARE FREE. In this business you constantly have to educate yourself on what is going on and what the trends are. You can’t rely on just your mug and your BODY. Exercise that brain too!
2.) If they advertise their talent/management agencies on social media/ online ads- REAL agencies do no have to advertise their business. Most of the time, it’s word of mouth and models come to the agency. If anything agencies have their own websites and post open calls on those sites. If you see an agency marketing their business on Craig’s List or social media, they are probably not legit and I would NOT deal with them.
1.) If something doesn’t make sense or if it sounds too good to be true- Remember the old cliche’ of “If it’s too good to be true [like becoming an instant porn star in one month], it probably is.” TRUST YOUR GUT THE FIRST TIME! 98% of the time, you are right. As I said before, no manager or agent can guarantee you that you will receive work or that you will be this BIG porn star. If they are doing a lot of fast talking and name dropping, they are probably FULL of shit. Again #BYEFELICIA!!
Bonus #1 GET A DAY JOB- For some models in this industry, I understand you may have setbacks (ie- felonies, lack of education, lack of resources etc.) that may prevent you from getting the ol 9 to 5 job but you gotta create some other source of LEGAL income. There are plenty of ways of making multiple streams of income. GOOGLE is your friend!! Don’t rely on this porn industry to put food on your table. The industry has change dratically and it’s definitely not like the good ol days. Everybody is not going to make a lot of money in this business. You gotta be realistic and pratical.
Bonus #2 Take. Your. Time.- You are NOT going to be this BIG adult film star overnight. Take your time and educate yourself on this business. SO many times, I watch porn models come and go. Many of them end up burned out, bittered, broken, jaded and BROKE. Take care of your mind, spirit and overall health. Get into the gym. Develop hobbies outside of porn. Surround yourself around positive people and stay away from drama. KEEP YOUR CIRCLE SMALL AND TIGHT! Don’t let nothing or no one come into your business and f#$k shxt up.
Bonus #3 There is NO such thing as a dumb question- Ask a lot of questions. If a talent/management agency is truly interested in you, they don’t mind answering as many questions as you ask them. If they come off impatient or quick to get you off the phone, do not deal with them. I would ask the same question twice just to see if they are giving me the same answers. DON’T SIGN A THING!
Bonus #4 There are ethical and legitimate talent and modeling agencies in the adult entertainment business- Before becoming involved with an agency, know exactly what they should be doing for you. An agency should be engaged in the marketing and booking of talent. Usually a state license is required to book work for a fee. The agent’s role is to promote the talent who has contracted for their marketing services, negotiate the most favorable contract for the talent and collect a commission from the talent. You should interview your agent as thoroughly as you would interview your doctor, lawyer, or any other business. Remember, the agent will be working for you, not vice versa. YOU DON’T WORK FOR THEM!!! Carefully review your contract with your agent. This is your agreement regarding what the agent will do to earn the commission you pay. DON’T BE AFRAID TO SPEAK UP!!
I really hope I covered everything. I know my starz will back me up if I did. It burns my soul to see good models with potential get taking advantage of. I know of one agency that is doing pulling this very stunt and they shall be revealed soon. There are plenty of scam artists out there and they are closer to you than you think! With this information, you can now identify them and AVOID THEM AT ALL COST.
If you know of any, PLEASE report them to the BBB (Better Business Bureau)