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John Robert Powers - Acting school Complaint - John Robert Powers - Sandbagging

Review by Mikee123 on 2010-03-21
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA -- What you can look forward to with JRP (John Robert Powers):

I went to a small festival in Las Vegas in front of one of the booths stood a lady handing out business cards. Hanging on the booth was a banner for John Robert Powers (with verbiage concerning acting). My son whom had done modeling work previously asked me to see about doing acting recently so I approached the lady and asked her about JRP but couldn’t get a clear answer. I wanted to know if it was an Agency or an Acting School. I was not interested in an acting school. She only said she wasn’t involved in that (school). She was hiding what JRP business was. The first red flag went up.

I was in a good mood and just in case it would lead to acting or modeling job/s I filled out a short form and took a business card from her.
Ten days later we were called for an ‘audition.’ I thought wow that was fast maybe JRJ was OK.

NOTE: I am somewhat familiar with the acting casting procedure and know when you audition for anything in the acting business it is for a possible job!

The lady who called ‘studiously’ did not say what the audition was for (shampoo, Coca Cola, Toyota etc.). She did say that they had casting type people coming from different places. She studiously didn’t state when these people were going to be here nor if we were going to audition with these people for a job. A second red flag went up.

NOTE: After our JRP adventure I reviewed complaints concerning JRP on the internet and found that the ‘Audition’ word was constantly used and casting people are always looking for new faces (especially for Pilots shows) implying these people come to JRJ to find new faces. From more than one JRP insider would registered complaints stated these casting people frequently simply JRP staff from other offices. I don’t know if this is true or not but I have seen this tactic before in other businesses.

I thought well OK going to this ‘audition’ might give our son something to do regarding acting so I accepted the audition. I told the caller that we had already had plans around when was the ‘audition’ was being held I asked how long the audition was and was told and it would take two hours this fit our schedule so I accepted. A third red flag went up as to why it would take two hours for an audition when normally 30 minutes for a first audition. Additionally, the ‘audition’ lasted 2.5 hours.

We arrived at the JRP office on time for the ‘audition’ and were provided a form to be filled out with a mass of personal information for our son as well as my wife and I. I did not appreciate being asked a bunch of unnecessary for an ‘audition’ personal questions, especially, since we did nothing yet and knew nothing yet about JRJ. A fourth red flag went up.

Instead of being called in one by one for the audition we were rounded up in a room by a guy in a suit that was desperately too large for him (I thought this was very unprofessional) and sat down told to turn off our cell phones given a piece of paper with multiple paragraphs on it regarding various products, ours was for peanut butter. I thought OK this looks like the real stuff for a first audition (they usually take three to get the part). Afterwards were introduced to a Director of this particular JRP (they don’t tell you this is a franchise establishment around the country like McDonalds (found out myself)). This lady Director, while having a lot of good things to say generally, started in on her family, in the singing and show business, and went on about her family for two straight hours acting/singing successes never letting up over and over and over about them. I am happy she is happy for her family but we were not there for this. This was a pressurized sales tactic. A fifth red flag went up.

While 30 minutes would have been good and interesting to hear about any success story she beat us over the head with it without respite, going on and on and on and on and on………… I my wife and my son and many others had to go to the bathroom it took unmercifully long. There were a lot of children wiggling in their seats and sitting sideways with complete boredom about things that they did not understand or concern them. They didn’t even need to be there, parents could have handled the sales pitch. Additionally, as usual with these Positive Power speakers who never shut up they never, never, never let you question them or their presentation, this is for a good reason on their part.

This pressurized, unrequested, lecture/’audition’ was unnecessary, everyone there was there because of the promise of an ‘audition,’ this meant we were all sold on acting/modeling/commercials OR WE WOULDN’T HAVE COME in the first place! So the only reason this marketing effort was shoved on us was because was not to sell us on acting, we were already sold, it was because to sell us on something else.

Halfway through the Amway style sales pitch (Sandbagging people into listening to them without telling you what they are about and what their product is is until the very end of the pitch) she mentioned ‘training’. A sixth red flag flew. I told my wife “here it comes” (meaning the real reason we were there). I was wrong; this was just a bit of chum.
An hour and a half after the start of the diatribe in final brute force came ‘Training, Training, and Training!). Which was the real reason we were sucked into JRP. After finally letting us know what JRP was about the lady stated ‘we are not agents!” This revelation took two hours of wasted time for me and my family and was what I wanted to know all the time (requested at the festival (red flag one)) but was side barred with implications when attempting to discover this - especially because this was ‘supposed to be’ an audition.

An agent gets people work, this is what I, and I am sure other people there, where there for - ‘work’. This was ‘not an agency’ was studiously hidden from attendees whom, like I, thought we were ‘auditioning’ for acting or modeling jobs.

Note: There is nothing in the JRP office at all except posters of movies. No brochures - nothing. A walk in has no info provided to them. Red Flag number six; there is a brochure but it ‘must’ come from the Marketing people only ‘after’ the so-called audition.

I asked the lad Director while bored out of my mind with her repetitive monotony 2.5 hour speech “ what we were auditioning for?” She got perturbed and said she talked about this previously - she did not (unless I was in the bathroom at the time) otherwise I would have walked out.
There was no audition, what there was a short video and the statement of a line they provided us earlier and a last ditch high pressure marketing entrapment. What ‘audition’ there was, was an audition to ‘let’ JRP ‘work with us’, IF, we were accepted and good enough!

The marketing Director lady said ‘if we passed the audition” (which she was the audition person) we would be called the next day for another audition. At this point people are given the brochure about JRP. They actually give ‘industry inexperienced novices’ a day to look over the brochure (and decide if you can pay) and if you are still interested you can go back and pay for the classes the next day. Oh I forgot to mention the hook. We were told the next week casting people would be there for auditions (they are not an agency?) so if you paid up for the classes you might audition with these people. Of course who are they, who pays them and will they show. JRP said there would be people there for our audition as well, who were they – JRP people – A JRP Director bombing us with the 2.5 hour lecture. This so-labeled ‘Audition’ is nothing more than a used car salesman’s ‘closing ‘pitch. Which will be finalized on the next day on the automatic ‘call back’ (or JRP would say audition ‘acceptance’).
Of course everyone just happens to be good enough for JRJ ‘to work with,’ they are a business and a business is to make money and they make money by making people pay for training courses and headshots and other photographic cards. Do you really think they would turn you down! This ‘audition accepted to work with you’ praise of themselves was nothing more than reverse psychology.

JRP sandbagged me and likely all others not telling you anything about who they are what they are producing until you are psychologically manipulated and psychologically entrapped to give them money for something we were not wanting and were not looking for.

Take a look at the JRP website and see what it is about (only a form to give away marketing information to them). The only transparency on the website is directly below the ‘John Robert Powers’ name in the logo, in small letters (small letters means what is hidden psychologically) is the word School which is something.

Don’t fall for JRP financial predatory tactics. Read the other complaints about them (ignore those that state they are great, whom is writing these no doubt someone working for them). Anything you hear good about JRP was likely written by themselves.

Search directly for a reputable Agent if you want to get in the acting business, not an acting school, you don’t need one but when involved looked into training.

Also, note one thing all the real work goes on in Los Angeles and that is where most auditions for real acting work are done and you will have to pay your own way there and back and you might have to go to bunches of auditions to get anything and if you do you may have to relocate there to do the job. In a local area you will only do commercials, day-player roles in movies or a series and modeling.
Comments:4 Replies - Latest reply on 2010-03-22
Posted by Venice09 on 2010-03-21:
Mikee, I know you were being optimistic, but the first red flag should have been enough, especially in that type of industry. If you couldn't get a direct answer, that was a good indication of what was to come.

Good luck to your son. I hope he gets a real audition soon.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-03-21:
Six red flags?! Were you looking for a specific shade of red?
Posted by PepperElf on 2010-03-22:
if you son does modeling has he been to the "model mayhem" site?
there's usually good info there
Posted by Ytropious on 2010-03-22:
Most real actors didn't go to "acting school" anyway.....fyi

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