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Red Flags in Tampa

The manager scam is a pretty common con you will see in the industry. They will sit there and contact you out of the blue sometimes on the street either with claims that they are a talent manager working in the film industry there in Tampa. They will usually request a “submission fee” when you start working for them, so they can submit you for auditions. Do not be fooled though, a real manager will get paid when you do and will not require you to pay them fees to get yourself submitted to auditions. A real manager usually only makes about 10 to 20 percent based on your pay for an acting gig or photo shoot in Tampa.
This next scam may be somewhat similar to the manager scam; this is involving a “legit” talent agent here in Tampa. Yes, there are some similarities here; however they will say they are a talent agent that is working with a big agency; maybe even using the name of a legitimate agency but I guarantee if you call that agency in Tampa, that agent will not even exist or the agent that they stole their name from will be pretty confused. They typically will walk up to you on the street most times and claim you have the look and give you empty promises of fame and fortune. They may claim that they helped a super famous actor or model get to where they are today; for example George Clooney. Obviously this agent is a no one because they would still be working with that talent if they were that good to begin with. These agents will only bring broken promises and failed dreams in Tampa. If the promises seem too good to be true, more than likely they are.
The con artist “talent agent” will hand you their contact information there in Tampa after they have painted you the ideal and perfect career opportunity, however when you go to reach out to this “agent” to get more information there in Tampa, things get interesting at that point. They suddenly have a fee to obtain their services or even some random silly sounding fees too. The fees were never mentioned before of course and if you do your homework before talking to agencies in the area you would know already that the agent gets paid when you get paid. This should be a huge red flag to you if it isn’t already; listen to your gut and walk away before you end up paying unnecessary fees and still don’t have anything to show for it, because once this agent gets your money, they will disappear and you will still have no auditions to go to in Tampa and you’ll be hurting in the pocket book to boot.
Online agencies are a good target too, don’t be fooled for one second. Online in general is far from being your safe bet. Don’t create a sense of false security here, stay sharp as you start in this industry. It is so easy for these con artists to set up a fake acting and modeling website, it is pure insanity. With that being said; it doesn’t help that we are more online that off anymore, so tread with caution. Between fake websites and fake social media accounts it is easy to get roped in before you even know what is happening. In fact many scammers have taken their fraudulent activities online. There are platforms out there that charge performers to post their headshots and in the end the actor is just out of cash and no job in hand. To help protect yourself from online fraud; you should only visit well-known and legitimate websites and stay away from any service that is requiring you to pay a fee up front before working with you.
Scammers are not sympathetic, they will not suddenly develop a heart if they take the scam too far. They will simply just see you as another payday. They will even go as far as drawing up fake contracts in Tampa. These contracts are usually littered with loopholes that will ensure that they make a fortune off of you. Contract fraud is becoming increasingly popular amongst the scammers in Tampa. Even seasoned actors and models can fall victim to this type of fraud. You should always read everything when you are signing official documents and should also seek legal counsel before signing anything. After all that fine print will get you if you are not careful. You can never be too certain even if you think you are working with a legitimate talent agent or manager. You would not believe how easy it is to get trapped by the fine print in a contract that is produced by a scammer; you may just end up signing your rights away to a scammer. So for your peace of mind, even if it costs a bit to do so you should have some legal counsel to go over your contract before you sign any contract in Tampa.
A professional that is honest and legitimate will not be offended if you are asking questions about them and their agency in Tampa, there will be no red flags and complete transparency. And they will not be offended either if you ask for a couple of days to look over the legal document or have someone that is in legal work to look over your contract before you sign with them in Tampa. If they are offended, that is your cue to leave the document on their desk and look for more legitimate opportunities. A good agent or manager will be completely flexible and will already have an awareness of the scams and cons that are occurring in the Tampa area. If they keep on insisting, take your leave and don’t sign away your life.
You will be able to see through the smoke and mirrors as you go through the journey and steps it takes to make your acting career in Tampa something you can be proud of and a successful one. If something seems too good to be true, that should be your first red flag. Trust your own gut as well, if you feel like something is not as it should be you are probably right. You should always exercise caution even if you are a seasoned actor or actress and you should be able to be confident in who you are working with and happy with the contract that you have entered into with them. It is always good to be aware of who you are working with and don’t let fake promises of fame and fortune make you give up on your career dreams and deter you from your path as you work your way to becoming a good actor or model in Tampa.