Avoiding Modeling Scams

Wednesday, March 28th 2007, 7:45 pm
By: News On 6

People trying to break into the modeling industry often times face broken dreams and empty wallets. That's because there are money-making scams many runway hopefuls fall for. News On 6 anchor Jennifer Loren got the dirt on the good and the bad of the modeling industry.

"I always wanted to be a model. It sounded fun," said Natalie Potvin.

Potvin is now a pageant queen, but she says her original ambition to become a model almost led her right into a so-called scam. After hearing an ad on the radio she met with a group who asked for money. They said they’d send her to class and then get her jobs.

"It was about $500 per class,” Potvin said. “They wanted at least three to five classes taken."

Natalie is far from alone, she says one of her best friends paid for the classes and never got a single job.

Model Jeremy Kuykendall says he’s seen several people become victims, partly because of where we live.

"Do you think they focus on people here in the Midwest?” asked News On 6 anchor Jennifer Loren.

“Oh yes. I'm sure they do,” Kuykendall said. “Because the industry is not focused in Tulsa, you know, its elsewhere."

Enter E. Kirby, the owner of Kirby Kasting Studios and a former Broadway performer. He opened his performing arts studios partly to protect people from those types of situations.

"And I thought this would be a great way to pass along the trade secrets and to help the people in the middle United States not fall pray to some of the scams or money gimmicks, or things you typically run into in the casting or performing arts industry," Kirby said.

Kirby says paying for classes, or an experience is one thing, but there is a thin line wannabe models should pay attention to.

"You know it really doesn't cost,” he said. “Training is one thing, but you really shouldn't be paying for opportunities, they occur."

And your opportunity to become “America’s Next Top Model” is this weekend, and it’s definitely not a scam. The News On 6 and the CW12/19 are looking for the next reality TV star. We are holding open casting calls for "America's Next Top Model" and "Big Brother." They're both Sunday April 1st from 12 p.m. until 5 p.m. at the Cherokee Casino in Catoosa. We'll tape your audition for free and send it in for you. You just need to bring an application, two forms of identification and some photos.

For rules or to download an application click here.