My DD was called for an audition/open casting for a Halloween Store commercial in the Toledo, OH area. I was skeptical from the start because the ad looked unprofessional and they claimed the highest pay rates for speaking parts, etc. Ok...its in our back yard, so why not check it out.
Wow...what a joke the audition turned out to be. It was a disorganized fiasco. We drove about 5 minutes to get there and felt like that was a waste of time. Felt really bad for the people who came from West Virginia, Washington DC, Rochester, NY etc. Most of them looked pretty livid...I probably would have set the place on fire if I drove that far for that mess. The lady running the show was a total loon and her handouts were hand written on scrap paper. The business cards were run off a printer and cut out by hand with hand written phone number on it. It was a great learning experience for, though. LOL
The "agency" in charge was USA Models out of Farmington Hills, MI. I didn't know this until we arrived because the casting call stated it was "Dan's Models" which I could not find in any sort of searh and again, I was expecting some sore of scam when I walked in the door. Debbie Hocking was running the show. I've heard of this woman before about how rude, obnoxious, and disorganized she is. That description pretty well nailed it. I felt really bad for the rest of the parents that were there from out of town. We just kind of laughed it off and drove 5 minutes back home.
Her "audition" consisted of Debbie lining up about 6 to 8 people at a time in two rows, then going down each row with a handy-cam asking name, age, and where they are from. That was it. That was an "audition" for a TV commercial? Really??
Oh, the great news is - Debbie was telling EVERYONE she needs 200 people for a movie coming up - national movie...going to be in every theater in the country - and everyone who walked in was "just what she was looking for" and she gave out handwritten scraps of paper with audition date and time for this movie block buster.
Thankfully I warned our DD before we got there that this could be a total joke. Then when I saw Debbie's name on the sign in sheet I warned her again...this could go badly. On the way out, she also felt so bad for the other girls who traveled for several hours for this joke.
Now all that being said...I can't (yet) say this is any kind of scam, because she didn't ask us to pay for anything or buy anything or whatnot...so I do not know the motivation. Is this lady for real? I've read nothing but similar complaints about her online. Wow....that's all I can say!
Thanks for the post. It saddens me though because we are from Michigan and it already seems tough to get started here, as most of the castings I see are in other states. Well like I said thanks for the warning because I surely do not want to drag my toddler along for a ride to nowhere.
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