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Seedy Overseas Sex Tourism, hitting Online Modeling and Talent Agencies! - Articles Surfing
Sacreeta here, and no it's not a joke..
There has been sex slave ring operators posting casting call ads on Online Modeling and Talent Agency Websites!
In regards to online casting, and the partaking in these sites. I just want everyone to tread with caution when transacting, as in posting, and submitting to auditions, on any online site. I will post a link at the bottom of this note, that no one should miss seeing.
There are not only potential scammers who are after your money posting on these sites, but also people who are out to do you physical harm. They are shopping for beautiful people to lure as escorts, or sell on the black market as sex slaves. Yes, that is happening across the United States. There are some warning signs we'll explore in a minute..
But first, ask yourself this question.
What if someone's child was next? Parents also go on these sites, post pictures, names, addresses of their children on these sites for all the strangers to view. If you know of any parents who post on these sites, please tip them off about what you are about to read.
Online casting sites have no powers that be, to guarantee your safety, other than post their own warnings to their actors to tread with caution, and they do their best to ensure the postings are legit. They are no more capable of tracking than a local news paper.
Regardless, like the rest of the world, there is a reality of danger there, and it is a potential problem. What better way for a con, to go shopping, than post a fake audition, sift through pictures, and pick the people they plan to sell. And on some of these sites, to gain attention, the women will upload inappropriate pictures of themselves. And it's not rocket science folks, everyone knows a full body nude photo is not a HEAD shot, it is explained on ALL the sites what a headshot is, and a serious CD (casting) will only be interested in an 8'10 headshot only. The nude full body will certainly draw attention. But it makes one wonder, are they aware of what type of attention they will draw?
Kristin Stinar (KSTP Investigative Reporter) has been investigating a story about a ring who was posting fake casting call ads with an online modeling and talent agency, New Line Cinema. And she so far has covered two relating stories. Apparently one of the actors was from the Midwest, she had posted her resume and photo on the site, and thought the casting company seemed legitimate.
After a friendly invite by the casting company, she traveled to New York at her own expense, for the audition. She wasn't familiar with the area, so she had, luckily for her quick thinking, invited a male employee from the hotel to accompany her. She really felt she needed a bodyguard, as she was uneasy being in a big city like New York all alone. She also, went to scope out the agency prior to her appointment with her male escort. (Lucky for her the employs from the hotel was a decent man'trusting a total stranger.. that's another story now isn't it?)
She arrived at her destination, and discovered it was in an industrial area, and the office was in fact a real estate office. (How many real-estate offices are located in an industrial area.. honestly?) And the people working the real estate office had never heard of the casting company, and had no idea what she was talking about. One thing she knew for sure, was that if she had gone on time, and alone.. she would have been in serious trouble. The logical conclusion to she, and Kristin Stinar, was that she was either going to be robbed, or killed, or kidnapped. She feels very strongly that because she brought a male escort, the kidnappers would have seen her from the parking lot, and changed their minds. It saved her life.
Later KSTP reporter Kristin Stinar investigated and found out the ad was placed by a person who posed as someone from New Line Cinema, and that the imposter worked for a 'family business' that deals in white slavery. Stinar said she spoke to this person herself, and that the person admitted to using online modeling and talent agencies to lure young women to an 'audition' site, where they're kidnapped, stripped of their identification, and shipped overseas to work in the sex slave trade. The woman also told Kristin that she intended to use some of the women as escorts, and if they refused, she would to, sell them on the black-market as sex slaves.
Kristin Stinar also interviewed an actor from Connecticut, who also was lured to New York, by an online casting ad, to the same address. She to brought someone with her, and found nothing.
KRISTIN STINAR was also on The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch http://www.bigideadonny.com/ last week to tell about a sex slave ring that posted fake casting call ads on an online modeling and talent agency website. Appearing with her on the show was the actor mentioned above.
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS tracks sex slave ring across country.
Here is a link of a news broadcast, made by eye witness news, KRISTIN STINAR. Kudos to Kristin for her bravery in following this through, and I have no doubt it won't be the last we'll hear about it from her savvy reporting.
FYI-- This is very disturbing. I hope everyone on this network, passes this information along. Please, please, please, always use caution when answering to auditions in the news paper, or online. And always trust your instincts. I know it's so hard to believe it, but no matter how badly you want to be a star, you'll regret it if you let that excitement cloud your judgment.
In relating this story to you, there were some things jumping off the page at me, and I hope they jumped off the page at you to.
Didn't you think it was weird that she was getting an invitation to go from the Midwest, to New York for an audition? NY is congested with actors, agented and not, why would they solicit an actor from 100's of miles away? Why wouldn't they be using New York's finest first?
That is a valid question, and there is a simple answer to that. New Yorkers (or even those from LA'big city) stick together, they know who's who.. it would be too easy for the con to get caught, because the New Yorkers, or even from LA, would know too many legitimate people. Someone from out of town would have no way of knowing whose a somebody, and whose not.
Didn't you think she was equally gullible to ask a total stranger from a hotel to accompany her, on a mission to a destination unknown, and unstable? Never pick an escort that you don't know, or don't trust. Let's face it, she could have placed herself in a whole different scene of danger.
Once again, never go to an audition, photo session, or any interview that you are unsure of.. alone. Make sure someone can go with you, and if not make sure that your cell phone is fully charged, you have money for a cab incase your car breaks down, or the bus isn't a quick enough escape route. Make sure someone who pays attention, knows when, and where you will be, and when you expect to be back.
If you are close to arriving to your audition, and the surroundings become dimmer by the moment, and you get that feeling that it's just not all right. Turn around and go home, you are an actor, no one is more intone with your instincts than you are.. so listen to it! Missing out on an audition is well worth saving your life.
And one more thing. Any research you do on the net, will pull you in two split corners, and very aggressively I might add about online casting.
In the Left corner: Dead against online casting!
These sites see these companies as scavengers, scums, scam artists. They'll tell you, REAL casting directors only go through their favorite agents, and legitimate actors. REAL CD's don't have time to waste sifting on the internet, through crappy photos, and unaccredited actors. You will also read repeatedly, that it is illegal for agencies in most states to charge a monthly fee, because in those states it's illegal for agents to charge in advance for services, and can only be paid a standard 10% commission'after you get paid. (I have actually said that one myself.)
In the Right corner: Online casting companies.
First and Foremost. Online Casting Companies are not employment agencies, nor are they agents, or casting companies. These sites simply put, are trying to make a happy medium between union and non union film directors who can't afford advertising. They claim they need to charge the actors to keep their sites going, and they claim they need to keep it free for the CD's because the films that do get posted on their sites, have little to no funding. They provide a service to make it easier for actors to track down auditions when they have no agent.
At the end of the day, it's up to the actor to do what they feel in their gutt is best. I have seen actors who've taken the Kamitic Acting system, connect with their inner instincts and develop a new confidence. The meditation classes, and truly getting in touch with your inner being, really has enhanced their acting abilities, and it has also sharpened their instincts. They also have grown to trust their judgment through the techniques in self awareness.
Surviving in this mad dog industry, takes gutts, and it takes instinct. As long as the actor is doing what's right by them, and they are being cautious about transacting online, and not running silly with glittery eyes, than go and post my friends. It's exposure! But for goodness sakes, be careful.. We all at the RKA Cinema Society, and no doubt the casting sites, do not want to ever hear of any actors, ever befalling victim to sex tourism.. or scams, nothing but good auditions, and great reviews for all.
Love to all'
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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