Is A-List International in Glendale, CA a scam?

We received an email asking for our daughter to audition, we did and she got a callback saying they want her to be part of the A-list International team ( singing, acting and modeling). When I looked them up they seem like a legit company. They have a website and they also explain who they are and what they do. Basically, they are a program that help guide and support talent and to give talent the opportunity to be seen by top industry professionals. There is training, workshops and seminars involved. After training you have the showcase day which will be held at warner bros. studios. Of course this is not free. The entire package cost about $3,999. We are just concerned parents and are wondering if someone else has signed with A-List International and if they had a great experience. I can only find great, positive reviews. We spoke with them via zoom and they seem very friendly. 

6 Answers

  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    Of course it's a scam. 

    (Much like Trump University, but a different target.)

  • Cogito
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    It's a total scam.

    Reviews can easily be faked.  And of course they seemed friendly!  They want your money!

    It takes many years of good quality acting school and more years of stage and film experience, as well as huge talent, for anyone to get an agent and get any real auditions.  

    Any company advertising like that is simply trying to get lots of money for as little effort as possible.

  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    100000% scam. Reviews are sometimes faked. And anyone can open a website. That doesn't mean it's legit. There's pretty much every single common red flag I can think of just based on what you included:

    1. The industry doesn't work that way. Simple as that. No professional production or person hires or auditions beginners or amataurs, only HIGHLY-trained and HIGHLY-experienced people with an impressive resume to back it up. So no legit agency would even consider someone who's a beginner or amateur either.

    2. No agency picks up clients through email, phone or fax or whatever. At best they spot (your daughter) at a showcase, where she performs after and while studying acting. But agents almost always get referred to by someone who knows them, someone (your daughter) has worked with and impressed (like a director, producer, an acting teacher or even a fellow actor). For that, (your daughter) would have to network to get someone to agree to refer her to an agent. She'd need something to show (a show reel, a resume with a long list of leading roles she's landed, etc.) One or a few successful auditions is not enough. It doesn't come down to talent. There's much more to it. 

    3. Legit agencies never ever get paid upfront. They get paid only if and when their clients book a job. They take %. Which is also why they're very picky as to who they take on. They can afford to be because there's far more people wanting to be actors than there are roles.

    4. You need to keep in mind that this is show BUSINESS. No one is in this to make your dreams come true, they're in this to make money. Professional productions invest tons and they need to know it's in the hands of people who know what they're doing. They need people who have already demostrated that they can book jobs and work at a professional level. No one has the time to start teaching (your daughter) everything on the spot.

    5. That's just not how it works. How it works is, when a new project starts casting, a casting director is hired. The casting director reads the script and then creates a "character breakdown" specifying the roles they're looking to fill based on the age-range, looks, ethnicity, special skills, etc. Then they approach the best agents in town, agents they know and trust. The agents go over the breakdown, go over their client database, then submit (send the headshots and resume) to the casting director the ones they believe may fit those said roles. The casting director then invites to audition only the handful *they* believe may fit those said roles. Those actors will then come in and audition as many rounds as needed till only one gets each role. Casting is not done randomly. It's not done for actors, to discover talents, actors come to them when there's something that they may be right for (through an agent).

    6. Acting, singning and dancing are 3 different, seperate fields, which require different skills, backgrounds, training and talents, and so they require different agents. By the way, modelling classes is more or less a scam also, but let's leave that for now.

    7. Legit agencies don't run classes. That's not their job and, like I said, they only take people who are already highly-trained, from the best acting schools in the country and not just any acting classes. That's how scams make money. That's what they tell you the money you pay is for.

    Aside from those flags, understand that part of the scam is looking friendly and giving fake compliments to support their lies ("your daughter is so talented, we'll turn her into a star!") and  throwing at you big names they represent or work with. Trust me, every single person they see "gets accepted" or "gets a callback".

    At the end of the day, it doesn't matter how talented and beautiful (your daughter) may be. If she (or rather her parents if she's a minor) doesn't run her career like a business, like a product to be marketed and sold, it'd be unrealistic to believe any industry professional is going to waste their time and money. You were right to question it. RUN. If you've already paid, for anything, see if you can get your money back somehow and file a complaint with the police.

    If your daughter is interested in acting, and I mean not for the unrealistic notion of becoming rich and famous, start doing the research with her. Learn all about the business side. Learn about the realities of it. Then, after the Coronavirus, get her into some acting classes. She'd need to make sure she has the talent, the passion for the craft, and the mental and physical capability to pursue a professional career. After that, if she has what it takes, look into good acting schools in the Los Angeles area. Schools where well-known and respected professional teach and successful people graduated from. In addition, she can start building her resume by auditioning for things that don't require an agent, like student and indie films. In addition, she should join or audition for youth or community theater. She could also produce her own projects. She should also take vocal and dance lessons and any other skill she can master and then add to her resume to give it a boost ( like horseback riding, ice skating, martial arts, acorbatics, dialects, etc.)

    Building a resume that will impress potential legit agents takes about a decade. It takes a huge investement of time, money and work. Understand that. Also understand that until your daughter is 18, most of it will fall on you, the parents. But if you're all realistic about it, becoming a professional actor may be a realistic career goal for your daughter. Note that since the vast majority of professional actors will never get more than a few minor roles, on minor productions including things no one's ever heard of, including theater, your daughter should also get a "normal" day job she can do alongside acting. Make sure she realizes all that and is willing to work hard. That she's not just looking to get discovered, to be famous. That she's not in fact in love with the fantasy. That's the difference between a dream and a goal. Make sure she NEEDS to ACT. That's how it really works.

    Good luck!

  • 4 weeks ago

    It’s not an outright scam where they take your money and run.  They’ll provide the services they say.  Whether it’s worth it depends on what you’re expecting.

    If you’re going/expecting your kid will be “discovered” and given an acting career, you will be disappointed.  Attempting a professional acting career is basically starting and running a business where your child is the product being marketed and sold.  You would have to be the CEO of that business which means learning and understanding the business end of the industry.  That including the casting process (agents, breakdowns, casting directors); legal issues (contracts, unions, entertainment work permits, Coogan trust accounts, legal restrictions/requirements); marketing (head shots, resumes, show reel, website, social media), networking and many other things.  It’s not that you get an agent or a manager for your kid and they take care of everything.  This is a huge investment of time, effort and money.

    But if you think it’s something your child would enjoy exploring and you have the money to spend, it could be a fine experience.  I don’t have any personal experience with their program nor do I know anyone who has.  I don’t know the quality of their training and their workshop.  But I know this program won’t give your kid an acting career - that’s something you would have to work very hard to get.

    Check out the backstage website for more information about acting careers for children and how to evaluate classes and other things like that.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Mark
    Lv 6
    4 weeks ago

    They have a website!  They much be legit!

    C'mon, none of the pay-to-play companies offering "lessons" will do nothing more than take your money.  And they won't stop once they've found an easy mark.

    You'd be better to move to the apt complex in Hollywood every stage mom moves to with their kid and go to auditions there.  I think they are only about $4K/mo.

  • 4 weeks ago

    It is a scam. I am thinking this was an unsolicited e-mail.

    Asking for money upfront is a dead giveaway.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.