Talent-industry scams to avoid | AspenTimes.com

Talent-industry scams to avoid

Shelley Polansky
Better Business Bureau

Whether you’re interested in a modeling career, looking to make it big in the singing industry or hoping to break into the acting world, be on the lookout for scammers. The Better Business Bureau warns that some talent agencies are just trying to make a fast buck and have no intention of keeping their promises of fame and fortune.

The Better Business Bureau offers the following advice to avoid becoming a victim of a talent-business scam:

No company can guarantee your success. You should recognize that your talents, no matter how outstanding, may have little or no commercial potential, and you should expect nothing more than personal satisfaction from the experience.

Use caution when entering into any agreements in the talent industry. Ideally, a licensed attorney with knowledge of and experience in the field of entertainment law should review any contracts and advise you about the terms of the agreement before you sign any documents. At a minimum, carefully read all documents for specific details of services to be performed by both you and the contracting business (or individual).

Be especially cautious of agreements that require you to pay advance fees to the agency for services that will not necessarily result in a tangible return.

Be aware that many contracts will bind you for several years, making it virtually impossible to get out of the deal in order to pursue a better opportunity. Although many businesses may fulfill the terms of the contract, their efforts on behalf of the artist, musician or songwriter to produce a commercially profitable product may not necessarily be successful.

Ask around. Get referrals from friends and business organizations and check out the company’s Better Business Bureau Business Review at http://www.bbb.org.

Look for credentials. Find out if the company is affiliated with any professional organizations or licensing agencies, and check their status.

For more tips, visit http://www.bbb.org.

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