How to Tell Legit Acting Schools from Scams

Sometimes you just have to say something. We at Break Into Hollywood Studios (BIH) feel we need to warn beginners about scams, and teach them all about how the acting industry really works!

Beginner actors need to know how to properly get started in TV and film acting. Often kids and parents search the web for auditions without realizing the high caliber of skilled talent that they will be competing with for roles at auditions. To actually get booked for these desired roles, the casting agent and director needs to be confident in YOU – the actor or actress. Certainly in your performance, but equally in your ability to approach the experience in a professional way. To get there, it takes much more than participating in one of these acting scam organizations that misrepresent both themselves AND what they can actually do for you – besides taking your hard earned money.

In Some Ways It’s Similar to Sports

You can’t just go online and sign up for a guarantee to become a professional, major league ball player. There is a process. Your talent for playing the game proceeds in stages from childhood, through high school and college, to the minor leagues to the pros – if and only if – you are so much better than everyone else trying to ‘try out’ or ‘audition’ for the same thing. Throughout this path you are gaining knowledge, experience and confidence in your abilities and when you get to the point where there is an opportunity to go to the next level – all your hard work and training and practice helps you put your talent on display to impress those who can green light your advancement.

Break Into Hollywood Studios acting school students getting makeup and in front of the camera.

It takes training and knowledge of HOW to truly break into hollywood. It takes time, talent and commitment to get picked up by an agent. Kind of like baseball and signing with the Yankees!

An audition is a job interview and a professional actor must be trained and ready to audition for a role. There is no fee to participate in a legitimate audition, and real industry auditions are not contingent on any money paid or signing up for anything. It is a job – a career that an actor trains and prepares for like a great athlete or professional dancer. The casting director will hire the actor that is trained and ready to work on the set. It is a waste of the casting director’s time if the actor is not ready for the demands of the role, and they won’t hire them for the job.

Fake Talent Agencies & Non-Legit Acting Scams

When beginners search the web, they unfortunately find and sign up at companies that present themselves as “talent agencies” but they are not legitimate and licensed agents. It is a marketing gimmick, and these companies often charge fees just to take your photos and put your picture on their own website. They have no real credibility in the industry, and it is all a worthless visual display of nothing.

These fake agencies also post auditions that they just cut and paste from legitimate acting websites or industry publications. These auditions are public knowledge to anyone seeking these opportunities, and they are certainly not exclusive to the bogus agency, nor do these agencies have any advantage to the actor as far as them succeeding during these listed auditions.

Talent agents must be licensed by the State Department of Labor and the agent can only receive 10% of the actor’s earnings. There are NO fees up front with a legitimate talent agency. It is against the law for agents to solicit any services like classes, photos or online services. So, the buyer must beware of any talent agency selling services. They are fakes and misrepresenting what they do.

Managers can take anywhere from 15 – 20% of the actor’s earnings but again there are no up-front fees asked for by a legitimate talent agent or manager.

Bogus Acting & Modeling Talent Conventions

Also, clients should NEVER spend thousands of dollars to go to these so called ‘conventions’! The fees are an outrage and the agents are generally from the heartland – states that have minimal real acting opportunities. As far as your career advancement goes, it is not even worth meeting the people at these silly manufactured events.. Additionally, there are modeling schools affiliated with these conventions who sign up their graduates to go to these conventions – and these ‘models’ get a commission on every one they send to these companies.

If only the PEOPLE read the REVIEWS before signing up with these illegitimate acting agencies, and schools! The reviews on all these places are HORRIBLE with hundreds of complaints, yet new faces continually show up and pay money to perpetuate their scams

Finally, there is the bait and switch approach. Kids and their parents go to an audition for a casting call and the casting director says they have to pay to take their offered classes in order to be in a particular movie or show. There are agents and casting directors that do this across the county. There are supposed to be NO fees collected for an audition, or services affiliated with landing a role after the audition. Casting directors and agents cannot sell services. It is fraudulent.

The only thing an actor should prepare to pay for is their education, training, and professional head shots. Real interviews and auditions are always free.

The Real Acting Agents

The only way to get a real agent is to submit directly to their offices, or to go to an actor’s showcase in person. Only the top acting studios offer showcases and it is part of their educational program. They are quite affordable and truly are the best way to get in front of the real agents, managers and casting directors.

A close up view of a Break Into Hollywood Studios gray T-shirt with the logo and New York City & Las Vegas printed.

Break Into Hollywood Studios hosts one of the biggest and best showcases for aspiring actors! Our program gets you comfortable and confident as a young actor, and prepares you to do your best at future auditions when that opportunity comes to you. We are known for training and introducing aspiring, new actors to the Hollywood marketplace.

We hope that the information in this blog post helps to DIRECT and PROTECT you – the beginning actor – and gives you the best path to refine your talent, become comfortable in the audition process, and allows you the best shot to actually break into the business. You need to go to a professional acting studio where you can acquire the training and tools to pursue something real. Education is always the right investment for any career. In the acting profession, it always comes down to the three BIG E’s:

  • And the Right EXPOSURE.

We deliver it all at Break Into Hollywood Studios!

Start by coming to our Intro Session for Beginner Actors!