SAMA - South Asian Modeling Agency — Fraudulent Agent.
The South Asian Modeling Agency(SAMA) is run by Mala Singh, her husband and business partner. She is a FRAUDULENT talent/modeling agent. Beware of this woman. She charms her way through conversations, but when it comes to money - she's vicious and selfish. People fall for her when she speaks, but as soon as they start working with her, attitudes change...
If she wants to sign you, she'll persist until you sign. She'll sway you by telling the story about one of her models that made $7000 off of one gig and you'll think you can do that too (then after you sign, you'll find out that the most you make on fashion shows is $100 - see below). Once you sign, she'll insist that you pay her SAMA's registration fee upfront. She'll be as nice as possible, and always answer your phone call until you pay her. The second you pay her, it's next to impossible to get ahold of her. And when she does answer, she'll always tell you she's in a meeting...or that she's with someone. And if you persist to call her, eventually she'll just hang up on you. SAMA saves their ### by providing ridiculous gigs and shows.
If you seriously don't believe, just ask a few of the models signed to SAMA. Even they don't like dealing with SAMA. They just do it because they paid and they want to make the money back. The first audition I ever went to just check out had models complaining amongst each other about SAMA...saying to only do enough shows to make your money back and leave quit.
SAMA charges $500 total - $250 for representation, and $250 for your portfolio. Many of the girls havent even had their photos taken even AFTER they paid! And the photographer that they set you up with SUCKS! Don't believe me? Check out SAMA's website: www.samamodels.com and see for yourself. The photographer doesnt even touch up the photos. So, $250 just to click photos that barely come out good? They sign any ramdon person...take a look at those models...do they look like the ones you see at real agencies like Ford, or Elite? Only a few do...
On top of that, I overheard models talking about the fee they were charged. It turns out, some models were charged only $150, while others charged $500! Now if that's not a scam...I dont know what isnt!
The fashion shows that SAMA sets their models up with are something else...The girls were told that no matter what fashion show they do through SAMA, they would only make $100. What ###! In many cases, the models are told its a paying show, then after the show they are told it's for CHARITY, or that they are still negotiating pay, so no one gets paid. These girls/guys in the show REHEARSED for days for the last show, and they were told they were only going to get paid $50! ...to think these models even worked this show after that...Then after the show...many of the models didnt see a dime.
There are only a few people that get paid decently, and those are SAMA's "team leaders", or odd model - very nice people I tell you, but I'm sure they have no idea what the other models deal with.
The best part about some of the gigs SAMA sets up is that the models have to sometimes bring their own clothes to model!!! There was once a shoot, the agency said their'd be makeup, hair and clothes provided, but that the girls should still bring one outfit of their own. Upon arriving, there was no hair/makeup artist (they apparently cancelled at the last minute) and there were no outfits provided. The girls had to use all of their own things for this Promo Ad. What kind of shoot is that??? Not a real one, that's for sure...
Even SAMA's top models dislike working with them...it's the talk of every audition, practise or rehearsal...some of the models are blind to this...but many of them can see what's really happening.
When one girl began voicing her opinions about SAMA to other models, Mala actually told other girls not to talk to her.
There was another girl that asked for her money back, and Mala laughed at her on the phone.
Another said that her photoshoot ended up being in the basement of photographers house...wow. Safety anyone?
She also expects you to meet her wherever she wants as soon as she says to meet her. I asked to meet with her once, she said ok, and then "forgot."
There's also no address to their offices...considering SAMA represents a few hundred, you'd think they'd have a place to do business...
Everytime I tried getting Mala's attention, she'd be too "busy" to talk, picking up her phone, pretending to talk to someone when she wasnt. Then when I was firm with her, she rolled her eyes and sighed in irritation.
SAMA claims to give people of the South Asian community in Toronto an opportunity to be discovered. What SAMA really does is scam their own people who are just trying to make a living...What ashame... and what's unfortunate, is that there's the odd model that can't see through her plot, and will stick up for her because she's so smooth with her words...
BEWARE of SAMA. I'm an actor, and SAMA is NOT the agency to go to if you think you're going to get your face out there...the top models at SAMA all happen to be signed to other agencies that have given REAL work...SAMA scrambles like a chicken with its head cut off when a good model threatens to quit...
...or you can try it out for yourself...wait and see what happens.