Models Center Studios aka Model Center Studios (www.themodelscenter.com)
Irvine, CA. Vincent Gray, President
April 21, 2005
[Last Updated: December 28, 2005 ]
The Models Center (Irvine, CA)
Additional Trade names:
Gray Derosa's Institute
The Model Center
The Models Center
The Models Center Studios
Email if you want your money back. Consumers
complained to the BBB that Models Center Studios sent a collection agency
after them. However, there are laws which may apply to enable you
to get your money back. This company advertises as if they are a modeling
agency, but they aren't.
The Models Center Studio, 9281 Irvine Blvd., Irvine, CA 92616, claims
to be a model management company.
Screening test: $195 includes movement & Make-up Training, Photo Session,
Contact Sheet and 1 8x10 black and white print.
However, after the screening test, require $2,900 to put together a portfolio
prior to representation to SAG agency.
The price include 12 photo sessions, composite layout & Design, movement
and make-up instruction, business seminar and private coaching for
auditioning and agency referrals.
The Models Center does not have a talent agency license:
It is illegal for a management company to charge for or make money from
photography, comp cards, or training.
Labor Code 1701.2:
(b) "Advance-fee talent service" means a person who charges,
attempts to charge, or receives an advance fee from an artist for one or
more of the following:
(1) Procuring, offering, promising, or attempting to procure employment
or engagements for the artist.
(2) Managing or directing the development or advancement of the
artist's career as an artist.
(3) Career counseling, career consulting, vocational guidance,
aptitude testing, evaluation, or planning, in each case relating
to the preparation of the artist for employment as an artist.
1701.12. An advance-fee talent service, or its agent or employee, may
not do any of the following:
(a) Make, or cause to be made, any false, misleading, or deceptive advertisement
or representation concerning the services the artist will receive or the
costs the artist will incur.
(b) Publish or cause to be published any false, fraudulent, or misleading
information, representation, notice, or advertisement.
(c) Give an artist any false information or make any false promise or
misrepresentation concerning any engagement or employment, or make any
false or misleading verbal or written promise or guarantee of any job or
employment to an artist.
(d) Make any false promise or representation, by choice of name or otherwise,
that the advance-fee talent service is a talent agency or will procure
or attempt to procure employment or engagements for the artist as an artist.
(e) Charge or attempt to charge, directly or indirectly, an artist for
registering or listing the artist for employment in the entertainment industry
or as a customer of the advance-fee talent service.
(f) Charge or attempt to charge, directly or indirectly, an artist
for creating or providing photographs, filmstrips, videotapes,
audition tapes, demonstration reels, or other reproductions of the artist,
casting or talent brochures, or other promotional materials for
(g) Charge or attempt to charge, directly or indirectly, an artist for
creating or providing costumes for the artist.
(h) Charge or attempt to charge, directly or indirectly, an artist
for providing lessons, coaching, or similar training for the artist.
(i) Charge or attempt to charge, directly or indirectly, an artist for
providing auditions for the artist.
(j) Refer an artist to any person who charges the artist a fee for the
services described in subdivisions (e) to (i), inclusive, in which the
advance-fee talent service has a direct or indirect financial interest.
(k) Accept any compensation for referring an artist to any person charging
the artist a fee for the services described in subdivisions (e) to (i),
The BBB record for the Models Center (as of November 7, 2003):
Complaints allege failure to disclose there were additional fees
for the program prior to accepting payment for the initial screening,
and denial of refund requests.
One complainant alleges his credit card was charged when it was to
be applied as a deposit to reserve a date.
Another complainant alleges access was denied to attend classes.
In one case, the company failed to honor their offer for a refund
when the toddler was unable to cooperate at two scheduled appointments
with the photographer because of his short attention span.
Why is a toddler getting professional photography?
The company denied refund requests according to their policy which
does not allow for refunds or cancellations.
The advance-fee talent service law allows 10 days for cancellation. Failure
to provide the full refund within 48 hours results in the consumer being
allowed to get 100% penalties in addition to the full refund.
On their web page "FAQS," they said:
- 1. Do I really need pictures to work in the business? How much do pictures
cost? What other expenses are there, to get prepared to work?
- Answer: Yes, if you are going to model or do acting/commercials you
need a book and a composite card. Putting together a good book and composite
card can range in price from 1500.00 up to 3000.00. Other nominal expenses
may be incurred. Knowing how to "read" or audition is important
as well as knowing different model poses and expressions for print work.
- 2. Isn't it true, if someone likes me they will pay for my portfolio/ZED
- Answer: NO!! Agents would go broke! That is a totaly untrue myth! What
if an agent/model management co. paid for your book/ZED card, etc., and
you decided not to pursue your career? They would not be able to stay
This is a false! You do need pictures and comp cards, but you don't need
a book. The price for photography can range from $0 (TFP) to the cost of
the film (test photographer) to a few hundred dollars. The price for comp
cards can range from $100-200.
These people are not even licensed agents, but they want to tell you how
agencies work, yet they quote nobody to back up their claims. They claim
agents would go broke if they paid for portfolios and zed cards. Firstly,
models do not need portfolios starting out, only comp cards. Secondly,
as already stated, comp cards don't need to cost more than $100 (for 100).
Thirdly, if the models do TFP, it doesn't cost them or the agency anything.
"When a test is arranged by an agency, you will usually not be asked
to contribute any photo fee. At most, you will be asked to cover the cost
of film and processing (less than $100 at most sittings)." -- Natasha
Esch, President of Wilhelmina, New York, 1996 (The Wilhelmina
Guide to Modeling, p. 25)
"A legitimate agency does not charge money to be a model. You may
pay for some test pictures, but it won't be more than $300 for the entire
shoot and everything." -- Joel Wilkenfeld, President, Next
Model Management, New York
"If you are signed by a model agent, they will recommend 'test' photographers
for your portfolio. Test photographers charge a lower rate since they are
looking to build their own fashion portfolio." -- Nina Blanchard,
The Nina Blanchard Agency
"According to talent agents, portfolios are developed over the course
of a person's career. Therefore novices do not need expensive portfolios." -- BBB
"Do not get a portfolio before getting an agent." -- Nina
Blanchard, The Nina Blanchard Agency
Why is this company recommending getting a portfolio before getting an
If you'd like to share your experience, discuss this company, or get your
money back, see the email address below.
How to File a Complaint with the District Attorney's Office
From the DA's FAQ:
- I think I have been cheated by a [contractor, tradesman, shopkeeper,
other person who provides labor or services]. Can the DA's Office help
The DA's Consumer Protection
Division may be able to help, or they may refer you to an agency that
can help you. You should send your complaint in writing to:
Orange County District
Consumer Protection Division
401 Civic Center Drive
Santa Ana CA 92701
Phone: (714) 834-3600