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ExploreTalent.com

Posted:    

Nightmare

Complaint Rating:  92 % with 103 votes
92% 103
4.6
Contact information:
ExploreTalent.com
United States
exploretalent.com
I feel really stupid now after reading another report about Exploretalent.com. I had signed up on a free membership a while back and in late January/early February received an email saying that a casting director was interested in me. When looking to see what it was, it turned out to be for a local hair show and it paid $100. I was really excited about the audition and I looked up the company and they were legit. When I had called Explore Talent to get the information, they looked on my page and said, 'oh you're not a pro-member, I can't give you that information unless you sign up as a pro-member.' I asked how much it was and they had said something around $33 a month or I can get a 'deal' and pay around $70-75 for three months and that I'd have more of a chance getting more work with a longer period of time. I thought it was kind of weird that I had to pay to get information and told him I'd have to call back because my funds were low so I'd have to ask my boyfriend if he can spot me the money. He then said 'you have to ask your boyfriend?' So I then told him yeah and explained again because I had no money at the time. My boyfriend said to save money I should do the three month thing and when I had called back, the guy took my information and 'set up' my pro-membership and started giving me all these compliments like 'you have some pretty pictures' and even told me once that 'did you know you have other casting directors interested in you too?' I thought he meant I had others who had sent me emails that I hadn't gotten or something. So this made me even more excited. Well I didn't end up modeling for the one company that emailed their interest to me, but did model for another one I met at the show anyway. When I was looking at my 'pro-member' casting page, I saw that they had these pretty 'generic' casting that you would find in a newspaper or on a theater website or something. Another thing I found odd and I didn't appreciate was that the 'booking department' would 'submit' me for these roles that I didn't even fit! One that I remember was for an MTV True-Life that wanted lesbians and another MTV True-Life that wanted people going off to war or coming home from war. First of all, I see these castings already on the MTV.com website. Second of all, I'm not a lesbian and I haven't been to war nor come home from any kind of war so I was wondering 'why am I being submitted for these?' I felt mad because I didn't know before reading the other response to this rip-off that they don't actually submit anything to anyone. I was thinking that they were submitting me to these and that I would be getting calls or emails or something and have to explain that no I don't actually fit their criteria they want. Another thing I didn't like was that they had me list three cities that I prefer working in. I live in the Midwest and had locations such as Missouri, Iowa, and Minnesota. I was getting casting calls for New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, etc. I feel totally ripped off and wish I would've just turned down the offer to become a 'pro-member' so that I could get that audition information. I hope that something gets done about it like a class-action lawsuit or somebody puts their foot down that has a powerful say in the matter because Explore Talent don't care about their 'models' and just worry about how much money they can rake in.
Complaint comments Comments (66)    Updated: Complaint country United States Complaint category Products & Services

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A  18th of Sep, 2009 by    +1 Votes
Odd how it is assumed they are complaining simply because they didn't get work. I have visited several websites myself, as well as ExploreTalent.com. Even on this very page we have someone who is dissatisfied not exactly because there was ExploreTalent did not "make them famous" but because her young daughter was taken advantage of, and her bank account was charged without permission. I also see that it appears the same person keeps popping up to defend ExploreTalent. If you guys are so adamant that all companies as "large as yours" get "some complaints" then why not just drop it? Business is going to keep on going if that is the case. It seems to me for being a professional and reliable business you guys aren't really handling anything either of those ways. You are seeing what you want to see in the complaints posted here. You obviously have some very unhappy customers, or ex-customers.

But like I said, if it just comes with the deal to get some complaints, instead of attacking them for voicing their experiences, why not let it go? Standing up to each and every dissatisfied customer who has the guts to say something makes you guys look even more shady, but that's just my opinion. I also see a trend in the fact that you like to wave your numbers around in peoples' faces... but as they say, you can make statistics say whatever you want with the proper education on it.
N  15th of Oct, 2009 by    -1 Votes
I recently signed up for the free membership, with explore talent.com. I got a call today, about a possible minor role in the 4th movie of the Twilight saga; Breaking Dawn. I am excited! The voice mail that was left for me stated I met the criteria, and to give him a call back. But before doing so, I need to activate my account. I came home to tell my husband the news, he of course right off the bat, was suspicious. I told him I would research the company before making a decision. I agree with the guy on the first page.

On your page it says matched auditions, you click that and it takes you to a page where for your age, height, etc. you fit the criteria. I don't believe explore talent knows whether you are a lesbian or not, or if you have gone to war, or what ever the case may be. They know your name, your weight, your height, your credentials... So if you are matched with something like MTV true...what ever and it is for lesbians, does not mean they want you. You have to actually submit...wow shocker..SUBMIT your profile to which ever audition/s you are interested in. You can not expect this company to do ALL the work for you. They don't know what kind of modeling or acting you would be interested in. So if you are serious about chasing this dream, pay the money, everyday check for new auditions, submit yourself for them, and see if you get a call back. Worse case, you don't...but you at least tried and gave it a good shot. So I think I might give them a chance as well. I am going to do a little more research on them, and we'll see. Maybe you will see me in the movie Breaking Dawn...then you will know whether or not they are true. My name is Tara...be looking for me. :)
A  31st of Oct, 2009 by    +2 Votes
Hey aspiring actors: I'm an actor too. I've been on TV and Movies. Don't ask my name, I prefer to keep my anonymity.
I started on my own with no help. I AM from Hollywood...since a young teen. I've seen almost every kind of scam out there.

The reason I'm typing here right now, is a friend of mine said she just got hired by a internet casting company...I asked "Not Explore Talent I hope, and she said oh my God" She and I plan on exposing these lowlifes and will be putting together a class action. I know the history about everything having to do with this company and its aliases.

LOOK PEOPLE!!! Never ever cough up money up front to a company to get exposure!
The REAL business NEVER EVER works this way! Once you've paid your dues...like everyone else (not born into the industry) The only time you should ever pay anyone is to YOUR AGENT. YOUR AGENT DOES NOT GET PAID UNTIL YOU DO...AND THAT IS A STANDARD 10%...SOMETIMES 15%

OK WITH THAT SAID,
Here's my suggestion:
Get headshots cheap to start off of craigslist...until you can afford better(I don't care what anybody says here) then go to one of the KNOWN self submitting casting websites:

1.) Casting Networks (they're in L.A., New York & Chicago) $10 bucks a month
2. Now Casting $10 bucks a month
3. Actors Access $68 bucks a year

These 3 ARE especially helpful to those who are NON-UNION and have not joined AFTRA or SAG yet.
(although they all list both union AND non-union gigs/auditions)


While busting your a** putting feet to pavement on these sites and going to auditions from these sites EVERYDAY,
go register at Central Casting...yeah, it's low-brow, but I did it and eventually landed my 3 NEEDED "union" vouchers in order to join S.A.G. It's only a ONE TIME REGISTRATION FEE OF $20 BUCKS

IF YOU REALLY HAVE GOD GIVEN "TALENT" and are not grandiose you will eventually get somewhere...
and start racking up I.M.D.B. credits...

THEN, go shop for an agent.
Any good agent will not even look at you until you have a bit of a resume.
Land roles in student films from the above 3 mentioned sites as well.

REASON? To start building your "REEL" to present to prospective agents.

****** IN THE MEANTIME, AVOID THESE SCAMMING F***'S AT EXPLORE TALENT AND ANYONE ELSE LIKE THEM.
IF YOU HAVE A GOOD HEADSHOT, AND ANY COMPANY SAYS YOU NEED TO USE THEIR PHOTOGRAPHERS...RUN IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION!

Break a leg...

Thank you for allowing me to be of service anonymously,
1 talented humble guy
N  1st of Nov, 2009 by    +2 Votes
Explore Talent is a SCAM! Go look them up on the Better Business Bureau (bbb.org)

Explore Talent STEALS free castings from sites like Backstage and Craigslist and CHARGES money for them. I have also seen them steal from LEGIT sites like Actors Access as well.

Some of my friends have posted castings on Actors Access or Backstage and have found their stuff listed on Explore Talent WITHOUT their permission. I remember seeing a friend's casting on Explore Talent a week after she posted it on Actors Access. I called her and she was like "What the heck?! I ONLY posted on ACTORS ACCESS!"

One such Casting Director who has had this happen to her is Bonnie Gillespie (http://more.showfax.com/columns/avoice/).

Explore Talent also MISLEADS!
They entice people with bogus links such as:
http://disney-channel-auditions.com

Some kid thinking he or she will get Disney Channel Auditions will end up at Explore Talent and not see any Disney Channel Auditions.

Explore Talent has been around for 5 years. In EVERY Acting Reference/Business Book written no earlier than 5 years and even in the books written or edited in 2008/2009, there is NO mention of Explore Talent!

Let's reference some of the Top Acting Business Books out there:

In "Acting is Everything: Gold Edition" by Judy Kerr, she mentions LA Casting, Actors Access, and NowCasting.

In "How to Be a Working Actor:5th Edition" by Mari Lyn Henry, Lynne Rogers, and Joe Mantegna, LA Casting, Actors Access, and NowCasting.

In "Making it in Hollywood" by Scott Sedita, LA Casting, Actors Access, and NowCasting.

WHERE ARE YOU EXPLORE TALENT?
N  24th of Jan, 2010 by    +1 Votes
I myself to fell to explore too.I signed my son up and we have been them for almost 8 months and have not got one call.When i called thwy offered me 3 free months becouse she said becouse of were i livw is in alabama there is not much around here but i have tennessee and atlantla i even said we could travel but nothing i think they just make up the audtions. i tried to contact some of the members the have gotten work but it seems like there are fake too. But good luck to those of u who have got work from them.
N  27th of Feb, 2010 by    +1 Votes
Sooo glad I came here before I signed my three daughters up! See ya Exploit Talent.com!!!
N  27th of Feb, 2010 by    +1 Votes
Just got off the phone with an agent that said to "Run as fast as possible from this site". And if you possess any talent, go to an agent and get involved with them. THEY... do not get money until you get paid... the way it's supposed to be. Unlike some of the postings previous to mine stating otherwise!!!
A  5th of Mar, 2010 by    0 Votes
Stay away from this place!

I signed on thinking after my profile was complete, I could try their 7 day free offer. When it asked if I wanted to activate it, I clicked "no, " because I wanted time to set up my profile first. I did so, they called me today pressuring me to pay for their service now. I was actually on the air when they called, I told him I thought I hadn't activated my service yet and he said I had and now it was time to pay. I had a live break coming up, told him it wasn't a good time to talk and hung up. He called back saying it was too bad I'd "hung up" on one of their representatives, because they were going to offer me a voice job from Disney. (Cough "bullsh*t" into your hand at this point.) The snotty message told me to have good luck in my radio career and to never in the future hang up on an agent again if I want to get anywhere, they deleted my account. Now that I've researched the company more, I'm glad to have gotten out when I did!

Friends don't let friends join exploretalent.com!
A  5th of Mar, 2010 by    0 Votes
Stay away from this place!

The only phone call from this place was them trying to pitch their services! They called while I was on the air, to grill me about why I'd not paid, I told him it was not a good time to talk and I'd have to talk later.

They called back with a snotty message, saying I'd never make it anywhere if I "hang up" on agents, and too bad, because I'd lost a Disney casting they'd now have to pass on to someone else (cough "bullsh*t" into your hands at this point), and they deleted my account.

Thanks goodness I got out before getting in too deep!

Friends don't let friends sign up for exploretalent.com!
A  28th of Mar, 2010 by    0 Votes
After reading all the complaints online I am astonished that exploretalent.com is still business. I should have read all those complaints before because I to have fallen for this scam. I canceled three months ago and am still being charged with out my permission, so I called my bank and filed a complaint against these scammers. I went online and sarted doing google searchs and found a bunch of stuff about them like that they own hundreds of websites to try to confuse people into thinking it's another company so they can scam the same person multiple times.

I even found out that thecutekid.com is also owned by the same scammers. I found one of the owners his name is Ami Shafrir and he has quite a reputation if you just search for Ami Shafrir scam. What really bothers me is that there are complaints dating back years and no one has done anything to stop this guy! Isn't this America where the rule of law is observed! I feel like I am n the twilight zone, you have a proven scam, tens of thousands of victims, going on for years, no law enforcement or media effort to stop it!

I am getting my money back because this clearly a scam and I called my bank about and if you have been scammed you should to! I am so angry at myself for falling for such bs, I should of known! Well next time I will know better. Hopefully my story is helps others avoid my fate. God Bless
A  17th of May, 2010 by    0 Votes
Ami Shafrir and Ben Navon are two of the biggest slime balls in human history, they have no compassion for their talents or their own employees... Not Only are they using explore talent as a front to fund their other "operations", but he also runs hundreds of scams all over the world. I personally know some people that worked there, and its nothing but horror stories! They just shut down the L.A. Office "On the Run" from lawsuits and the feds and fired every single person that was working for them! If you do your research you will find that the original owner actually raped a 14 year old girl and is in Jail right now! When Ami took over the company he actually put a guy from the Mafia in jail, and put him on the line for a credit card fraud they had going on before that! He sued him for over $40, 000, 000... Also Ami is under investigation for child molestation and bank fraud, over the last couple years they have stole over $100, 000 illegally from YOU. If you give them any information, let alone a credit card number, you are another one of their victims! I suggest to sue sue sue sue!! Get your money back! Their auditions are 90% Fake, if you actually look up some of the projects, most of the information is all false if you do get work you can get the same ad on craigslist! They have no idea how the entertainment industry really works and is victimizing America! They want to take advantage and steal money without giving you anything back! They need to be Deported, or better yet locked away in Jail! THEY ARE FAKE!!
D  31st of May, 2010 by    -2 Votes
Amazing. First of all, many of the people on this site who use phrases like "they look my money" when its usually followed by "... they said it was free...".

Let us take a step back. If it was free ... like hotmail, Gmail, or Craigslist ... they would never need you to enter credit/debit card information. Usually, when something says, Free Trial or Try It for Free; it means just that, you can try it out for free. What do you think happens after the "trial period" is over? You get charged for something. You can't expect a free trial to be free forever.

They didn't take your money; you paid them for a service. Now, whether or not you allowed yourself to get caught up in the emotional "what if's" and forgot/declined to listen to/read the terms of said agreement ... well then that's your fault/lack of attention/sheer stupidity.

And finally, many people on this site say words like "scam" "fraud" "cheat" when you really have no idea what goes into the websites/companies you're talking about. Nothing is free. There is a cost to everything. Regardless of how/where they get their information - they pool it all together in one neat resource. Sure you can look all over the internet yourself, or you can pay someone else to compile it all on your behalf. The information may be free and readily available ... but you're not paying for the information, your paying for the service of someone else finding it all for you.

Its not a scam if you don't pay attention. Its not fraud because you had unrealistic expectations. Your not being cheated just because you didn't get EXACTLY what you wanted. And to be really honest, many of the people on sites like [redacted] & complaintsBoard expect the world for a few $$$.

And What is wrong with making money? Do you think that Bill Gates would have declined going to grad school if he didn't think he was going to get paid? No. Business are here for one reason:

To seperate you from your money. That's it.

To go about doing that, they usually provide a product or service. They want to keep customers happy because it allows them to continue to operate, thus bringing in more money. Business are not here as a social service to the people they serve. So when someone says, "they just want your money" they're 100% correct. They may be nice about it but that is the ultimate goal of any company; and because your broke, uneducated @ss is jealous of others' success, you trample on the motivation of money.

The US is not a socialist Society. We base things off of capitalism. Businesses are here to make the owners rich, the investors a dividend, and supply jobs to people who complain on these boards. That is their only obligation. They follow a code of ethics, only to stay in business, not to be "right" "fair" "honest"; those are bi-products of their want/need to say in business.

I've digressed from the original post. I will close with this:

Yes, they want your money; but so do I and so does everyone else, wake up and join reality ... its really great down here. So when you decide to leave your bloated, self-entitled, victim of the world attitude back in never-never land (or as most of the smart ones call it; your imagination), you will realize that you get whats coming to you. You need to read things before you hand over financial information. Understand what you are paying for. Learn common sense or find a friend who has some and spend more time with them. LISTEN, don't just wait for your turn to talk. LISTEN, because when your daydreaming or formulating your response, you're probably missing one of those details that you're going to later claim they didn't tell you ... a la (bait & switch, fraud, scam, cheated me).

And to the lady who was asking if someone thought you were stupid, with a low IQ ... most people are, 90% of the people who post on here are, and without people like you ... well these sites wouldn't exist because us smart people cruise these sites for a lunch-time laugh at your expense.
A  15th of Jul, 2010 by    +1 Votes
It appears that employees at Explore Talent have a remarkable amount of time to spend on many, many blogs and websites posting long messages that attempt to rebuke posts citing their bad and fraudulent practices. Need I say more? Or is it they have a lot of time because they are wealthy now. Again, need I say more? Legit casting companies will take a percentage. They will not charge upfront. Ever. Be sure to read Explore Talent's response to me connect the dots. I am sure it will follow...BTW: I am an actor, and not unknown. Stay away from them. (Now read Explore Talent's response attempting to discredit me).
A  3rd of Aug, 2010 by    0 Votes
I used to work for explore talent. and all i can say is david your wrong.
N  3rd of Aug, 2010 by    0 Votes
i used to work there all the complaints are true.
D  11th of Aug, 2010 by    0 Votes
summers4
if you are really work for a compnay but after you dimission but you talk about the bad words to the compnay which you work for in used . then you lost your respect to yourself too...remember, you work for them before! you take your income from them! you lost a human nature. if i were your new boss and i will fire you at once, no one can stand the kind people like you ! that just could hurt the copmany, and remember, one compnay not only boss can get money, all the people who work for this compnay all get money from this company too, they need to subsistence to their family or their samll children, so you are fire if i were you new boss .
i am Chinese, and manage the trad compnay for my boss, if my underling all like you and i can say... all of them i already let them go home !
and all the complain people in here for a compnay and i hope before they complain and need to do 2 things before go to complain others . 1st. before you give your money out and need to sure why you need to pay out the money, if you pay out and the largest what you can gain and the largest what you will lost, thinking it well before you action to pay money out, dont do act the stupid like fool after you pay money but can not gain what you want back. you should know youreslf well before to do anything, 2. before you complain anyone and you should know well youself if your complain really come into existence, your complain maybe will let the an innocent person into the trouble condition even maybe lost their life if you done the compain not real .

why i be here ? why i saying this in here? as i told above, i am chinese, i go on net to get the info. from over the net and get well more knowledge to work well the compnay where i work for, and the complain is the good way let me know more about the people thoughts . but today i just waste one morning to be there to read the compain about a compnay . then i check this company's web too, i found they already statement well to everyone whom want to be the members there, they seems just give a chance to the people to find more chance to get what they want, but not promised anyone they must let anyone get what they want . see...this compnay write so clear in there, why they complains not saw them before the go to anywhere to complains? just act like a fool .

today's china if all the people like the complain in here, i can say our life maybe just saty in 5000 years ago, like primitive communes ... goog luck our chinese ...our know well whom we are, we can account what we can get or not get before to do a thing or talk too... now i understand why our china can be so strong today in world!

tell the true, i really look down to those people who just no pay but can get what the largest want in their mind!

our china have a old word mean, no pay no gain, , , hope anyone who want to complains a thing or people and have better to sure what you compains is a reasonable .

too poor those people whom complains like that way!

too poor that compnay have to fact thouse fool complains and get F rate by those fool complains!

good luck i live in china and work in china, and dont need to face thouse stupid things each day. i am good luck i have good employee work for me, good luck i have unite with all forces that can be united team, good luck i have good employee still stick up for my work even the leave my team. if there are have member like summers4 i would rather go to hell not hire the people like summers4 .
A  30th of Aug, 2010 by    0 Votes
Well Well. I applied to explore talent like 5 months ago just because I wanted to wing it and see how it would go. Then I forgot about it, and 5 months later they called me and complemented me and all the same BS. Funny thing is, I believed it. But as soon as he mentioned the fee...I was on the phone with him at the time, and I immediately searched for a review of them, and I didn't find what I liked, hence forth, why I'm typing this right now. So I told him, I would call him back, and he said " Ok that's fine, I'll wait on the line", So that was more suspicious, and I told him a second time I would call him back, he responded, "is there a particular reason?", I played it smart and told him I couldn't find my credit card and needed to call him back but he was still persistent and said he would wait, so I told him, in a more serious tone, "I will call you back". He finally let me go but not before he made sure I had his number. Sooooo, when I hung up, I placed him on my block list xD. 5 minutes later, I got a voice message. I wonder who its from? :)
A  16th of Nov, 2010 by    +1 Votes
I had an incoming call from a weird number so i picked up and the person said my full name and i hung up. And then they tried calling me back again but i let it go to voicemail. I just listened to the voicemail 30 min ago and it was some guy named Lemar calling for me and to call him back with his extension. I called back but he was not in his office but i talked to the receptionist and she told me a little about it that they were a worldwide company. I said oh well I'm not even from those states and she said that it was worldwide so it didnt matter, but she also did say this guy would be calling me back. But after reading all these comments about ExploreTalent...I feel like i got TOO excited for nothing, for just a scam.. So now i feel like an idiot. Does anybody know legit sites to sign up for modeling etc.? I got asked to be in a calendar shoot but i wasn't able to make it but i think i would have potential. I am also 19 years old.
N  18th of Nov, 2010 by    0 Votes
I feel really stupid now after reading another report about Exploretalent.com. I had signed up on a free membership a while back and in late January/early February received an email saying that a casting director was interested in me. When looking to see what it was, it turned out to be for a local hair show and it paid $100. I was really excited about the audition and I looked up the company and they were legit. When I had called Explore Talent to get the information, they looked on my page and said, 'oh you're not a pro-member, I can't give you that information unless you sign up as a pro-member.' I asked how much it was and they had said something around $33 a month or I can get a 'deal' and pay around $70-75 for three months and that I'd have more of a chance getting more work with a longer period of time. I thought it was kind of weird that I had to pay to get information and told him I'd have to call back because my funds were low so I'd have to ask my boyfriend if he can spot me the money. He then said 'you have to ask your boyfriend?' So I then told him yeah and explained again because I had no money at the time. My boyfriend said to save money I should do the three month thing and when I had called back, the guy took my information and 'set up' my pro-membership and started giving me all these compliments like 'you have some pretty pictures' and even told me once that 'did you know you have other casting directors interested in you too?' I thought he meant I had others who had sent me emails that I hadn't gotten or something. So this made me even more excited. Well I didn't end up modeling for the one company that emailed their interest to me, but did model for another one I met at the show anyway. When I was looking at my 'pro-member' casting page, I saw that they had these pretty 'generic' casting that you would find in a newspaper or on a theater website or something. Another thing I found odd and I didn't appreciate was that the 'booking department' would 'submit' me for these roles that I didn't even fit! One that I remember was for an MTV True-Life that wanted lesbians and another MTV True-Life that wanted people going off to war or coming home from war. First of all, I see these castings already on the MTV.com website. Second of all, I'm not a lesbian and I haven't been to war nor come home from any kind of war so I was wondering 'why am I being submitted for these?' I felt mad because I didn't know before reading the other response to this rip-off that they don't actually submit anything to anyone. I was thinking that they were submitting me to these and that I would be getting calls or emails or something and have to explain that no I don't actually fit their criteria they want. Another thing I didn't like was that they had me list three cities that I prefer working in. I live in the Midwest and had locations such as Missouri, Iowa, and Minnesota. I was getting casting calls for New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, etc. I feel totally ripped off and wish I would've just turned down the offer to become a 'pro-member' so that I could get that audition information. I hope that something gets done about it like a class-action lawsuit or somebody puts their foot down that has a powerful say in the matter because Explore Talent don't care about their 'models' and just worry about how much money they can rake in.
A  25th of Nov, 2010 by    +1 Votes
There is no EASY road. Unless it's an agent you aren't going to talk to anyone who can really help you. If you live in LA grab a copy of all the local rags...this is about work and paying these crooks $70 to look through the want ads is ridiculous. To all the people that said, "well you paid for a service", very true, unfortunately when you as the provider have no intention of providing the service it is fraud. You can be certain Mr. Shafrir knows the ropes. Just like finding any other job, you can't wait for someone to GIVE it to you, if you want it bad enough, hit the bricks. It's not easy, but well worth the effort.

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