Forums > Model Colloquy > Website called "ExploreTalent" -any good, or scam?

Model

The Dave

Posts: 320

Los Angeles, California, US

The actual website is http://www.exploretalent.com and I was wondering if anyone has used it?  Basically asking about good or bad references on it.  Anyone have some info on this ?

Feb 16 06 10:43 pm Link

Feb 16 06 10:57 pm Link

Model

Angelus

Posts: 3642

Atlanta, Georgia, US

Yes. They are a scam.
They post unpaid (low paid), outdated or phony castings. Every now and then there is a legit casting but they've more than likely stole it froanother website. So that is what your monthly fee goes for.

You can also set up a free profile and get casting alerts. But before you recieve any info you will either pay per casting or enroll was a monthly member.

There is so much behind the owner it's rediculous. And the employees are non-the-wiser. Which these employees are always let go (fired) after a certain amount of time if suspected that they are catching on to the company's business practices.

They're a scam. A subtle scam...but a scam non-the-less.

Feb 16 06 11:23 pm Link

Model

CarmenSantiago

Posts: 24

San Francisco, California, US

You should never pay anyone.  If they believe in you they will invest in you!!
I think we have all heard that a million times.

Feb 17 06 12:08 am Link

Model

CarmenSantiago

Posts: 24

San Francisco, California, US

You should never pay anyone.  If they believe in you they will invest in you!!
I think we have all heard that a million times.

Feb 17 06 12:08 am Link

Model

The Dave

Posts: 320

Los Angeles, California, US

Fyre1704 wrote:
http://www.easybackgroundcheck.com/exploretalent.html

Thanks a lot Fyre, that site was very informative.

Crazy-Evil Angelus wrote:
Yes. They are a scam.
They post unpaid (low paid), outdated or phony castings.

... And the employees are non-the-wiser. Which these employees are always let go (fired) after a certain amount of time if suspected that they are catching on to the company's business practices.

Ouch.  That really sucks.  I spoke with someone who was pretty nice.  He told me over the phone that about half the castings that came up for me were expired, but there were also good ones.  He seemed like a rather nice/legit guy, its kind of sad to think he could be one of the "good" employees that will be fired eventually.

CarmenSantiago wrote:
You should never pay anyone.  If they believe in you they will invest in you!!
I think we have all heard that a million times.

Thats fully understood.  I havent paid a dime so far, but I think I've come a long way already and I owe it to the photographers.  They believe I'll go places, and help me on my way, RDSPhill (MM#43582) especially.  Great photographer, good businessman, and a damned nice guy.



Thanks all, for the timely heads-up about the site. Very much appreciated.

Feb 17 06 04:23 pm Link

Model

Victoria Elle

Posts: 688

New York, New York, US

Explore Talent!  I must admit: they got me.  When I was just starting out (about 2 years ago) they called me up (I have no idea how they got my number; their call back number said 'Aqua Matrix': be aware they are the same company) and sold me a membership to their website along with 'free' photoshoot and business cards for $60 (some people have been charged hundreds and even thousands for the same).  I figured: $60, what the heck, if nothing else I'll get photos.  The photoshoot was a joke.  There were about 30 other people, all taking photos at once, men, women, and children.  Red warning lights were going off in my head the second I walked in the door, but I had already paid, so I waited my turn.  The hair/make-up artists were giving all the girls the same exact look, including sausage curls on my straight hair.  "Um...but what will people think when they cast me for this curly hair and I show up with straight hair?"  "Mmmm," the hairstylist said.  The make-up was atrocious.  After the shoot we had to meet with a rep to go over pictures, and sign paperwork.  I could hear the rep's conversation with the person in line in front of me, and quickly deduced he would try to sell me something.  Everything, it turned out.  The pictures were okay, but I would have had to pay for prints, and although we got to pick one to put on our webpage, they wanted us to pay for the CD as well.  "The one we put on your page is basically useless because it's so low quality," the rep actually told me.  Uh huh.  I stood my ground.  I refused (nicely) to purchase anything else.  I explained that the pictures didn't look anything like me, therefore I could not use them to promote myself.  "Well, I don't know anything about acting or anything," the rep actually said.  Wow.  By this point I was sort of having fun, because the rep was so mad at me!  His eyes just went dead and bored.  Either no one was buying his crap, or I was the only one who wouldn't.  "I got sucked into a photomill!  Huge scam!" I yelled on my cellphone to my mom as I walked home.  A girl and her boyfriend who were also coming from there gave me dirty looks.  Sometimes the truth hurts, people. 

Before the end of the month I had cancelled my membership and asked to be removed from the site.  To this day they have not, although I deleted all my photos and information from the page.  I still get audition notices.  When you call the number provided ('audition hotline') you are immediately connected to the line to sign up for a premium membership.  Douchebags.

There is a class action lawsuit against them.  It's mentioned on craig'slist every few months.  I'm not a part of it, because I honestly think the entire situation was funny (it was $60.  I've spent more than that on pairs of jeans I've ended up never wearing), but I'm sure I wouldn't be so amused had they scammed me out of thousands.

Edited to add: I never did get those business cards.

Feb 17 06 05:34 pm Link

Wardrobe Stylist

splashswim

Posts: 178

Cocoa Beach, Florida, US

Looks like you actually won in this case - since you probably cost them more than the $60 you paid them smile

Feb 17 06 08:30 pm Link

Photographer

Eddy Torigoe

Posts: 468

Boston, Massachusetts, US

They received an F rating from the Better Business Bureau:

We strongly question the company’s reliability for reasons such as that they have failed to respond to complaints, their advertising is grossly misleading, they are not in compliance with the law’s licensing or registration requirements, their complaints contain especially serious allegations, or the company’s industry is known for its fraudulent business practices.

Feb 17 06 08:39 pm Link

Photographer

S W I N S K E Y

Posts: 24358

Saint Petersburg, Florida, US

ughh..exploretalent.com is a free networking site like model mayhem...

Feb 17 06 09:10 pm Link

Photographer

S W I N S K E Y

Posts: 24358

Saint Petersburg, Florida, US

Fyre1704 wrote:
http://www.easybackgroundcheck.com/exploretalent.html

that site is a waste of time....plenty of reputable companys are in there listed as scams..its more hearsay then anything else...

Feb 17 06 09:11 pm Link

Model

Angelus

Posts: 3642

Atlanta, Georgia, US

Doug Swinskey wrote:
ughh..exploretalent.com is a free networking site like model mayhem...

roll
https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/UdoRPhotoArchive/MakingAPointGifs/ROTFLMAO-24.gif

Feb 17 06 10:54 pm Link

Model

Angelus

Posts: 3642

Atlanta, Georgia, US

Doug Swinskey wrote:

that site is a waste of time....plenty of reputable companys are in there listed as scams..its more hearsay then anything else...

https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/UdoRPhotoArchive/MakingAPointGifs/thinking.gif
Doug............
Are you being led astray??
https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v495/Wrekkastow/Ian.jpg
I have some KFC chicken that's about 4 days old. I'll only charge you twice what you pay KFC for a fresh bucket. It's vintage stale flavor w/ that refrigerator taste...you'll love it.
https://www.whydidthechickencrosstheroad.com/images/dancechick.gif

Feb 17 06 11:06 pm Link

Model

Annalyn

Posts: 198

New York, New York, US

Wow, I had no idea that Explore Talent and Aqua Matrix were the same company.  I was with Aqua Matrix and they didn't do $hit for me and I ended up paying money for crappy photos and per month for no gigs.  needless to say i stopped w/ them after a few months

Feb 18 06 11:27 am Link

Model

BeccaNDSouth

Posts: 1670

Olympia, Washington, US

hadn't heard of Auqua Matrix until now...Explore Talent...well, I've known for a while that it was a crock. I feel for anyone who has dealt with them and got screwed...I hope they atleast get/got their money refunded.

Feb 18 06 11:50 am Link

Photographer

S W I N S K E Y

Posts: 24358

Saint Petersburg, Florida, US

nevermind....

Feb 18 06 12:17 pm Link

Model

Lamar Scott

Posts: 223

New York, New York, US

exploretalent is definitely a scam...they called my house saying how they liked my portfolio and all this crap when i haddnt uploaded any pics yet..they wanted to charge me $30 dollars a month to find work...i thought it was so funny...but its definitely a scam.

Feb 18 06 09:38 pm Link

Model

nsew

Posts: 1

Haleiwa, Hawaii, US

Thank you guys! I am so glad I read all this because they just called me and now I know that i am absolutely not gonna pay em.

May 26 11 06:00 pm Link

Model

mbdee

Posts: 87

Washington, District of Columbia, US

They are scam beyond belief! It's amazing how long they have been pulling in unsuspecting aspiring models and getting away with it

May 30 11 08:51 am Link

Photographer

ChicagoModeling

Posts: 382

Chicago, Illinois, US

S W I N S K E Y wrote:
ughh..exploretalent.com is a free networking site like model mayhem...

This is correct. They work on getting the talent and getting people to use their talent. It's not an agency. Had a nice talk with one of the representatives years ago who was trying to get my business.

I explained how most people on a website don't really want what they say they want, and explore talent website was no different than other websites. The person agreed.

Will talent will use real agencies for work. One in a million might be the odds when trying to find someone on a website, and that includes craigslist.

Real talent go to agencies and you can be assured that real agencies will dump any talent, regardless if it's actors or models if they don't show up.

Real talent does not show open to auditions with an escort. Minors show up with an adult.

Real talent will not try and qualify the client. Clients of agencies are contacting agencies because they really are who they are.

Fake casting calls, guys with cameras, etc., will not use a real agency.

So if you want to use explore talent, go ahead, but real clients find it more beneficial to go to an agency instead of taking the one in a million chance of finding someone on a website.

May 30 11 09:02 am Link

Model

Rachel Sewell

Posts: 5

Pembroke Pines, Florida, US

I'm so glad I read this because I also just got a call from them, and now that I know it's a scam I will definitely not be working with them or giving them any money. Thanks!!

Jul 13 11 01:32 pm Link

Photographer

Regal Studio

Posts: 20

Los Angeles, California, US

The general "you should never pay for anything - if someone believes in you, they will invest in you" comment that is made on these boards so often may be misconstrued by new/newer models. 

As with any career, building your own business, working as an independent model, etc. in most cases, you MUST invest in yourself before others are willing to invest in you.  Treat modeling as any other career path - someone who would like to be a successful doctor/lawyer/business professional, etc who is unwilling to invest in their own education is going to have a tough time building themselves into what they'd like to become career-wise.  Same with modeling. 

Not sure about the website/company that is mentioned in this post (and I'm sure there are plenty of scams out there), but there are plenty of companies out there that do charge certain fees whether it's for shoots, comp cards, marketing material, etc. that are definitely worth the price for new models.  I don't know of any successful models who have not invested their own $ in building their career. 

So for new models - just make sure you check things out, talk to people, get references etc.  But don't believe the whole "you should never pay for anything if you're a model" rant.  If you believe in yourself, invest in yourself. If you're not willing to, why would others?

Jul 13 11 03:08 pm Link

Model

K I C K H A M

Posts: 14689

Los Angeles, California, US

Somehow they got my number and now I get a phone call from someone who hardly speaks English saying I could be up for a role in "Twalight" if I give them my two hundred dollars.

No.

Jul 13 11 03:17 pm Link

Model

K I C K H A M

Posts: 14689

Los Angeles, California, US

S W I N S K E Y wrote:
ughh..exploretalent.com is a free networking site like model mayhem...

No, they call "talent" every 5 minutes trying to get money from them. if MM did that, I wouldn't be here.

Jul 13 11 03:18 pm Link

Model

Kylie A Smith

Posts: 3

Chicago, Illinois, US

SCAM. They tried to get me to join their little business and I said no because they told me I have to pay a fee in order to do it. Stay away!

Jul 13 11 03:36 pm Link

Model

Alisyn Carliene

Posts: 11756

San Bernardino, California, US

pretty lame site if u ask me.. have never got anything off of it.

Jul 13 11 03:44 pm Link

Photographer

Bare Essential Photos

Posts: 3605

Upland, California, US

Was thinking of joining that site then this one model who I shot less than a week ago said it's a scam. They look for ways to take your money without your permission.

Sorta reluctant now.


Gabby

Jul 13 11 03:44 pm Link

Photographer

American Glamour

Posts: 38813

Detroit, Michigan, US

The irony is that I have booked and paid a number of models from that site.  On the other hand, I wouldn't advise anyone to join it!

Jul 13 11 04:09 pm Link

Model

nicole marie

Posts: 1

Brookfield, Massachusetts, US

thanks guys. glad i researched them before i agreed to anything. funny i cancelled my profile after the free week because i didnt want to pay 119 for 6 months and i get a call today. its rediculous. they offered 4 free months if i payed for 2 and wanted my credit card numbers over the phone. from that point i knew something was wrong! MUST BE A SCAM

Aug 24 11 04:45 pm Link

Photographer

UnikImagez

Posts: 96

Dallas, Texas, US

They do have bad ratings and reviews.

Aug 24 11 05:09 pm Link

Photographer

Patrick Walberg

Posts: 44514

Salinas, California, US

Is this website associated with them?
http://www.exploremodeling.com/

I've been checking both these websites out in the past, but never joined.

Aug 24 11 05:27 pm Link

Model

Nitaya

Posts: 1

Ontario, California, US

thank u so much for posting this!! people need to know!

Feb 18 12 04:46 pm Link

Model

Tina Desaro

Posts: 657

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

I am sure they scam but there are legit casting agencies that charge small fee or monthly fee and do get people work, mostly as movie extras though but still work.

Feb 18 12 06:42 pm Link

Photographer

udor

Posts: 24739

New York, New York, US

CarmenSantiago wrote:
You should never pay anyone.  If they believe in you they will invest in you!!
I think we have all heard that a million times.

Really???

Sorry Carmen;

That is way too broad of a generalization to let it just stand there.

An unproven face is always a risk to the company, unless you are so exceptional, so above average and your look so much in demand by clients... is the "current IN-look", companies may charge all kind of fees... or advance to you and take it out of your gigs... at a huge mark-up... double billing etc.

Often, they want you to take test photos with approved photographers who may charge anywhere from a few hundred bucks to over a thousand, and you have to go to several shooters.

If you have the above described special look..., the photographer may shoot you for free, for his own portfolio as well... but that is rather rare.

There are even online portfolio hosting fees with some companies.

Read up on the fee structures, because agencies/management companies have often two income streams... from the model... and the paying client.

Facts of the real world!


udor

Feb 19 12 07:27 am Link

Model

McKensey Nall

Posts: 1

Dallas, Texas, US

They called me today and told me that my profile had been "pre-screened". They said that Revlon was interested in shooting with me for an ad, as well as some other up and coming big bucks clients. I thought to myself "how could this one online profile get me three times as much work as my actual professional agency?" I was just waiting for the catch. The salesman, Herbert started selling me the one-year package of $300 or something and then the 6 month package of about $200. I told him there was no way in hell I would pay that and asked him about a month to three month deal. That would cost me around $60. Just by the way he was talking about the auditions, I sensed it was a major scam. He mentioned things like expired dates, out of state, and all travel expenses paid. And the pre-screened $hit... wtf? It's such a scam! It's so hard for aspiring models to stay out of this kind of stuff. I wish it didn't have to be like this.

Mar 19 12 07:07 pm Link

Model

Samantha Scarlette

Posts: 456

New York, New York, US

i have no memory of ever signing up for the web site, yet these people that work for this site call me at least once a week to register with them.. it creeps me out to be honest.

Mar 20 12 12:43 am Link

Model

Fur Elise

Posts: 1814

Seattle, Washington, US

yeah no. my cousin uploaded images of me to their site w/ info. they called, i hung up. scam.

Mar 22 12 02:35 am Link

Model

Nurjan

Posts: 1

Los Angeles, California, US

I've registered once in October, 2013 and then got a call to pay money. An old woman on the line told me how Unique I look and all other cheesy cheap compliments. Which made me suspicious. I know whole LA is fake but still))))) then in March, 2014 I got a text message saying:'exciting new Johnny Depp movie casting opportunities. Call this ... Number. Roles are limited.' I immediately suspected that was them again and called them to confirm my suspicion. I was right. Now a young lady told me I match even a part in Tom Cruise's film, and for both films I'll be paid 840$ per day. But first I have to complete my registration. I said I can do it by myself online, to which she replied on phone it would be cheaper. Of course I didn't agree and hang up.


P.S. Scam or not, you decide.

Mar 26 14 04:48 pm Link

Model

BrittanyZebraa

Posts: 44

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

When I was really young and just starting out I found them on the internet and made a free account. They later called my mom (I had put her phone number) and she asked me if I thought we should pay for a membership. Not knowing any better and seeing that it was a pay per casting application type of thing, I said yes in order to not pay per application. I applied for everything that I could for a good 8 months. I got absolutely nothing, and my mom had lost $200. We cancelled. The only thing I got were horrible looking business cards. Do not go with them!!

Mar 26 14 04:58 pm Link

Photographer

Bare Essential Photos

Posts: 3605

Upland, California, US

The  Dave wrote:
The actual website is http://www.exploretalent.com and I was wondering if anyone has used it?  Basically asking about good or bad references on it.  Anyone have some info on this ?

Those models who I've shot that have commented on Explore Talent have all said that it's a scam. Haven't heard anything positive about it.

Mar 26 14 11:37 pm Link