I first signed with United talent group in August of 2007. I signed up for the VIP membership. This was the most expensive membership they offered but it came with extras like a personal trainer, a personal shopper and 3 photo shoots to name a few. The most important was that it guaranteed you at least one casting a month. I was told by my new face agent that not only would this membership help me to get a casting once a month but it would help me get booked sooner and more often. I left feeling very excited and my new face agent promised she would email me the schedule of the classes.
I had my photo shoot just a few weeks after I signed. I received no direction at my photo shoot consultation on what to bring or even what to look for when choosing clothing. I ended up buying hundreds of dollars of clothing hoping I had bought the right thing for me. I should have been able to use my personal shopper but I never received any information on who it was or how I would get in touch with them. When I got there they were not ready. The girl that was doing my hair showed up late with huge dark circles under her eyes and was talking about the crazy partying she had done the night before. They finally picked out what they wanted me to wear and I was sent to hair and makeup. The girl doing my hair proceeds to tell me she is still in hair school and not even close to graduating or taking her state exams! Here I had just coughed up all this money for pictures for my portfolio and was promised the best United talent group had to offer and they couldn't even hire a professional hair stylist. The girl that was doing my hair wasn't even getting paid to do it! They should have just had me do my own hair because there would have been no difference. How unprofessional of United talent group.
In the middle of my shoot a random girl shows up with her parents. They say that they also have a shoot scheduled for that day. Everyone starts complaining about the new face agents and how they over schedule the photo shoots. So my time gets cut short and when I go to get changed for my next look, my hundreds of dollars worth of clothes have been tossed on the ground to make room for this new girl. At this point I am questioning what type of business United talent group runs. I finished my first shoot with little to no direction in my posing and hair and make-up that looked as amateur as it gets.
I knew that I would have 3-4 weeks to wait until my CD was in and after my fourth week of waiting I started calling wondering where my pictures were. I kept calling every week and every time the receptionist was extremely rude. She finally told me to stop calling and they would call me when it was done. To me a real business is true to their word, deadlines and promises and if they can't keep them they explain that to their customers. I was a little confused as to why I was getting yelled at when they were the ones not fulfilling their promises. I finally received my CD more than several weeks after it was promised. When I got it and took a look it only had five pictures on it. No one told me that I should have a copy of all the pictures so I never thought to ask for them. By the time I learned that I should have all the pictures United talent group had erased them all. To me that is a huge waist of money.
They told me to approve my stats on my comp card (a business card
for models) but my stats were not on the comp card. I called and the receptionist read the my stats they had to me and they were correct but when I received my component cards they were wrong. They all said 5'6' instead of 5'9'. That is a huge difference in modeling. What another huge waist of money.
I had not been receiving one casting a month and was told that even though I had paid extra for them I would not receive a casting unless I came to what United talent group thought was enough classes in a month. I finally got someone to send me the class schedule and I started to go. I was starting to learn a few things about the industry and I got to know some of the people that work at United talent group. There are a few really good and sincere people that work there. I kept working and pushing. I went to a few castings and I even got booked for two paying jobs in January. I still have not been paid or even notified that I will be paid for either.
I kept going to class but then I started hearing more and more things that made me very uncomfortable about being a part of United talent group. At one casting I went to I was actually told to be careful at W because I would be taken advantage of. I also heard so many rumors from inside and outside sources that made me that United talent group was just a huge scam that couldn't manage their resources and took advantage of peoples ambitions.
I finally went to my new face agent and explained that I needed the difference between the VIP membership and the cheaper membership. I had not been able to use all the 'extras' promised in the VIP and I felt that I deserved a refund for that. At this point I was still ok with United talent group. I had a second photo shoot that I thought went well and I was planning on sticking it out for the rest of the year I was signed. My new face agent said that the refund would be no problem and she would talk to the finance person and get it going right a way. Well after that conversation she avoided my like the plague. She never took my calls or returned my messages and at United talent group she ignored me. I even sent her a few emails.
I then learned from a friend that she was quitting or being 'let go' and a new guy was taking her place. I emailed him and told him my frustrations and that I just wanted my money back. He never emailed me back. I finally called and asked him if he had read my email. He said that he had but apparently he didn't find my worries important enough to respond. He talked to me for a while and said that he work as hard as he could to remedy the situation. He said he would call me back with some ideas to get everything worked out because I was an important talent to the agency. He never called back. I have called and left several messages but he always seems to be in a meeting or away from his desk.
I am sure that United talent group has helped some people but I just feel that I am not one of them. I think that United talent group completely misrepresented not only it's ability to help talent but also their faith in me. If United talent group is not willing to run a professional business then I think others deserve the right to know before signing with them.