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ExploreTalent.com

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Nightmare

Complaint Rating:  92 % with 99 votes
92% 99
4.6
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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) Complaint country United States Complaint category Products & Services

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A  15th of Jan, 2009 by    +4 Votes
I figured as much! David is an employee with Explore Talent. Everyone do not listen to him. I recently have been receiving emails, text messages, and phone calls still from this company. They have recently claimed that they have an audition for me but when I ask where, they hang up the phone-when I call them back they give me the run around. I also have not sent them a photo of myself so why are they giving me auditions? Everyone don't be stupid like I was. Don't give any money to these cheats. They are a scam. If no one believes this then they can search the Better Business Bureau in which I have turned Explore Talent in. Explore Talent has not responded to the Better Business Bureau and they even have a Giant F on their record please don't be scammed.
N  16th of Jan, 2009 by     Best Advice +4 Votes
To everyone who sees this complaint. I contacted the 1-800# for Explore Talent and they told me that there is no David that works there. That proves that this is nothing but a scam artist company. RIP OFFS! People don't be fooled by these people. DO NOT GIVE YOUR ACCOUNT INFORMATION OUT! IF SOMETHING SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE THEN YOU CAN GUARANTEE THAT IT IS!
A  30th of Dec, 2008 by    +3 Votes
I agree with the complaint about Explore Talent. I was told by Explore Talent that I was going to get acting jobs. They took $119.64 out of my bank account in which they were not supposed to take anything out of my account. They told me that everything was going to be for free. They withdrew all of my money out of my account and went over $49.00 which I have over $200.00 in fees from the bank and I am going to lose my account now because this is not the first time that Explore Talent has done this. On top of that I am not getting anything from this company. I am not going to give them my photo because I know that they are scamming just like they did to the person above in their complaint. I have tried to log into the account and every time I can not log in. Every time I try to log in they want more money out of me. So now I am out of money and getting nothing for it. I have taken them to the Better Business Bureau but Explore Talent has not responded to them. Don't give them your account number no matter what! You will not get your money back and you will lose everything because of it.
N  15th of Jan, 2009 by    +3 Votes
David, why do you keep bringing up other people in this. Ralph's, Trader Joe's, who cares about them. All I know is that you people have cheated me out of money, bank account, and now my credit is ruined. You people are scams if you are so sure of yourselves then why don't you tell everyone that you are going to give me my money back. I am willing to show anyone who would like to see my statement that my bank account has been closed because of your business and this is not the first time that your company has cheated someone. As soon as I put Explore Talent through to the internet you don't see your web site. The first one is Explore Talent scam! If you are so sure of yourself then why don't you let me tape record while I am on the phone with one of your representatives and then we will see what kind of scam artist that you really are. Also you owe me money so where is it and don't say that you don't because I am even taken your company to the Better Business Bureau and your company refuses to acknowledge the complaints. Bottom Line David Give Me My Money Back! Also what in the heck are you talking about this is not the first time that you have taken advantage of a good service. HMM something is fishy here. I have recently put my name through another company claiming to be a talent agency too. Now how would you know that with just my name? HMM! Seems like you are using two different companies names. Now how about my money back! Scam artist!
N  25th of Jan, 2009 by    +2 Votes
I have recently have complained again to Explore Talent. One of the supervisors Jennifer told me that she did not care about my complaint. She told me that she had about 2.4 million other people so she didn't care. Then she hung up the phone on me. I called back and I got another supervisor whose name is Ben. He is refusing to give me my money back and wanted to contact my bank and wanted to get my bank account number with my credit card information. I said no way. He hung up the phone and that was it. Nothing! I am not getting my money back and I hope that more people see right through these people and do not give them any of their information.
N  13th of Apr, 2009 by    +2 Votes
This is very sad to read this . Explore talent it seem has no moral fiber. I'm sorry to say. That it is your fault for not checking them out before you gave them any money. This blog has been available
for a very long time. If I where you I would compose a very nasty blog against there endorsers ie...Snoop Dog, Mr Pat Boone, and the rest of the celebs on explore talents home page. Boycott there music say bad things about them. After all it is their testimony that
really makes this co. seem legit.
If you really want to break in to showbiz do this. Go to Barns and Noble by a book called CALL SHEET by BACK STAGE. It will give you a list of legitimate Casting directors and talent agents cost to cost.
Send your head shots and resumes to them this does no cost any thing
and it is the way business is done in Hollywood.
good luck.
A  27th of Apr, 2009 by    +2 Votes
Violated by Internet Scavengers
A Specialty of Explore Talent.com

My 17 year old daughter and her best friend fell victims to these internet sewer rats. My daughter goes to school full-time and works part-time as a clerk in a department store to support her modeling and acting dreams. She does volunteer work at an animal shelter on the weekends reads to the elderly twice a week. The funds illegally extracted from her bank account amounted to almost a week's salary. When she tried call she got the proverbial runaround and eventually was hung up on. "Like taking candy from a baby", huh guys? Bet you got a nice yuk out of that one. It is not only the money but also the gross violation of a kid's sense of trust and decency. These are predators that will rape the dreams of young hopeful talent. The only thing lower is a pedophile. They steal call sheets from other sources, list outdated casting calls, or just post their own phony auditions that they write up themselves.

Explore Talent.com is by far the sleaziest and most disgusting talent scams operating on the internet. They lie, they cheat, and are constantly breaking the law by double and triple invoicing members. It is just a matter of time before the authorities catch up with them

Being a journalist it didn't take much digging to find out who these insects are. The company is owned by Ami Shafrir, an ex pimp and porno broker. He keeps Exploitation-Talent in the name of one of his employees we found out. The coward hides behind other people because there are so many judgments against him. They are located at 4312 Woodman Avenue Suite 301 in Sherman Oaks, California. One of the major network news shows has them under investigation along with other intrnet modeling scams.

Mr. Shafrir owns hundreds of websites between here and China all steering traffic toward Explore Talent.com. This, by the way, is against the policies of Youtube. They have been branding and posting phony endorsements by celebrities. I was told by a someone who attended one of these events that these Celebs had no idea they were endorsing a commercial. These clever thieves used the "old bait and switch." The unknowing celebrities were smooth-talked by a sweet hostess "can you give a little advice to our young members out there?" Then asked to give "a shout-out" to Explore Talent. Essentially getting them to say the name of the company. The clips were then cut to make it look like an endorsement. I will personally send this blog link to each and everyone of those celebrity's managers, agents and publicists. Some of who I work with on a regular basis.

THE SALES PITCH IS A LIE FROM BEGINNING TO END. If someone calls you hang-up the phone before they can even get out the word talent!! THEY ARE NOTHING BUT A BOILER ROOM filled with desperate young sales people trying to get money out of your pocket.

http://www.exploretalent.com/model_page.php?talentnum=661702

Even their own employees are not safe from their vicious tactics They make agreements then decide to "change the terms after the job is done", I was told by a young model-actress . They indiscriminately steal clips from other websites and upload them to their own. Are you listening Youtube?

Shame on you Explore Talent . Something must be done! Folks, these people are nothing but lowlife cowards hiding behind aliases and lies. These are ruthless cyber -scorpions ripping off easy prey, the young and the vulnerable. I'm not done with you Explore-Talent.com THAT IS A PROMISE I INTEND TO KEEP!!!
N  17th of Sep, 2009 by    +2 Votes
well I agree with the complaints its really ###ed up that ppl take advantage of any one whos trying to make it in this industry PEOPLE ANY AGENTCY THATS ASK YOU TO PAY IS A FROUD first they book you and then when you get a gig you work out all the money issues and i bet ll you mofos that agree with jack ### that are doing this work for them you guys are worst then drug dealers at least they're up front about what they do but all y'all hide behind a computer scream n a phone and dare talk shet about what I had to say I dont care at the end of it all you still are worthless pieces of shets
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?
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.
N  12th of May, 2009 by    +1 Votes
feeeewwwl...
I just talked to a person on the phone who named himself as Craig. Listened for about 5 minutes how cool I am, and "since I am so tall I will be flooded with offers"... But when he told me that I have to pay a one-time fee of 69.99. And something (that I didn't get what exactly) will be absolutely for free for me... I immediately suspected something wrong here and told him that if just in case I decide to be a model of theirs I would "definitely" give them a call.
The only thing that confused me that they have my address and phone number. Do you guys think it's bad enough to worry about?
A  15th of Jun, 2009 by    +1 Votes
HEY GUYS,

LISTEN. WHAT YOUR TRYING TO DO IS COOL LETTING EVERYONE KNOW JUST WHAT IS GOING ON IS COMENDABLE. BUT, THE GOOGLE LINKS ATTACHED TO THIS E-MAIL BLOG ARE JUST AS BOOGIS.
A  14th of Jun, 2009 by    +1 Votes
To: "DAVID" and "EXPLORETALENT.COM" you ought to be ashamed of yourselves. What kind of human beings are you? You think everyone is a stupid, low-###, nobody because you are?? That our IQ's are incredibly SO low that we would ACTUALLY BELIEVE WHAT YOU SAY?? "David" Do you not have a family that you would hate to see fall prey to someone's outrageous claims and have a scam company stealing money from them?? YOU HAVE NO LIFE. I feel sorry for all of you, you are the failures in this world, you are the people we have pity on, because they are worthless pieces of trash littering this world with their inhuman and unbelievably detestable practices. You spend your precious life scraping at the heels of strangers for money, did you grow up poor? Was it such a tragic and traumatic experience that you said you would do anything to make sure you would never be in that situation again? You have psychological issues that a therapist needs to evaluate. Perhaps you guys can go and sign up and pay somebody else to help you with your troubled mind. YOU DISGUST ME. WHO CAN LOVE OR LIVE WITH SOMEONE OR PEOPLE LIKE YOU. YOU ARE THE ### OF THE EARTH. GO GET REAL JOBS...YOU NO GOOD LOW LIVES. DON'T BOTHER RESPONDING TO MY COMMENT, YOU HAVE NOTHING INTELLIGENT THAT I WOULD EVEN BOTHER READING. WHAT A CRYING, CRYING SHAME.
N  14th of Jun, 2009 by    +1 Votes
Also, Snoop Dogg had no knowledge of these complaints before he endorsed them. He was approached and without a hesitation began to advertise for them, because he thought they were a legitimate talent scout, he had no idea that they made money off of bogus and outrageous promises. He regrets that he had not been informed of the above intolerable activities.
N  14th of Jun, 2009 by    +1 Votes
I at least I believe that Snoop Dogg regrets it now.
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.
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.
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).
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!!!

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