Is CastHub.tv a Casting Hub Spin-off? Is it Legit?


I can always tell when Casting Hub hosts one of its big weekend “auditions”, because traffic on my blog always skyrockets on Sunday, as parents start to go online to research the company after their child gets the “good news” that they’ve been selected for a call back.

This weekend was no exception. But I also got this comment on one of my older posts on the company. I don’t know the author, but I thought the comment was worth posting:

“We just experienced the same pitch from Casthub which is just another incarnation of the same type of business and probably of the same business Casting Hub.

“We went to the first “meeting” or audition yesterday and last night the sales pitch came for the Follow up visit today with a requirement for almost $8,000. I really feel terrible that there may be people today actually trying to come up with that money and falling for this.

“If you listen very carefully when the service is described it is nothing more than a website to store your childs profile and pictures which YOU can choose to forward (email) to an agent who will take his normal percentage of any work your child receives.

“The other thing your readers should keep in mind is that scammers have ways of keeping a low profile on the internet such as changing Domain Names (Casting Hub to casthub.tv) and that US corporate LAW means the individuals running companies through various legal structures make it very hard for people to come home and just Google the company that is claiming to be able to help them.

“Several people said it best that you don’t pay several thousand dollars for the right to be able to be seen by a talent agent. You work directly with a talent agent who is paid a commission to provide you with work and therefore work with people who are most likely to obtain work.” — Ted Kruzinsky

Kameron Badgers and Kevin Sorbo on set Gallows Road

What do I know about helping a child actor’s dreams come true? Not a lot — my 12-year-old has been in “the business” for just under 2 years, and has filmed 6 movies and 2 TV shows in that time. This is a shot of him on the set of Gallows Road (he was an extra on that one) with Kevin Sorbo. But what I do know is that it costs nothing to submit child actors to legitimate agents or casting directors, and we did not pay a listing service or advertising service to help Kameron get his amazing SAG-franchised talent agent, and we’ve paid nothing for the auditions or roles he’s gotten. In fact, his college fund is nicely fatter for the work he’s put in — he’ll be paying taxes this year for the first time.

Casthub.tv: What They Sell

Based on the comment I received, I paid a visit to www.casthub.tv They’re more up-front than many sites. At the very top of the company’s home page, it says the company is a commercial advertising service.  At the bottom, is the same disclaimer found at the bottom of the old Casting Hub website — the only change is the name of the company.

“CASTHUB.TV (“Cast Hub”) “a commercial networking service”™ is not an employment agency, school, performing arts academy, management company or a talent agency. Cast Hub does not engage in training, procuring, offering, promising, or attempting to procure employment or engagements for artists. Cast Hub only provides Internet exposure, networking resources and tools for you to match your talent with available listings of auditions and casting calls. The content provided by Cast Hub through this website is without warranties of any kind, whether express or implied, including, without limitation, warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purposes. Please refer to the Terms of Service for more information. ALL TRADEMARKS, LOGOS, LISTINGS, NAMES, WORDS OR PHRASES OF A COMPANY OR ORGANIZATION (INCLUDING A STUDIO, PRODUCTION COMPANY, NETWORK, BROADCASTER, LICENSED TALENT AGENCY, LABOR UNION, OR ORGANIZATION DEFINED IN LABOR CODE §1117) APPEARING ON THIS WEBSITE ARE THE PROPERTY OF THEIR RESPECTIVE OWNERS AND NOT TO BE CONSTRUED BY ANYONE AS AN ENDORSEMENT, SPONSORSHIP, APPROVAL OR AFFILIATION OF THAT COMPANY OR ORGANIZATION WITH Cast Hub.”

Going to Casting Hub’s old website — www.castinghub.com — no longer gives the public access to the company’s information.  The website is now simply a log-in for clients who have paid the company for its services. The Facebook page Casting Hub Auditions is still active, and I continue to get inquiries from parents who say that they have attended a Casting Hub audition.

So is CastHub.tv a spin-off (or reincarnation) of Casting Hub? Is it legit? I don’t know. If it is a spin-off or reincarnation of Casting Hub, then it’s likely that it is selling a perfectly legal service — that is, it doesn’t qualify under the legal definition of a scam.

Both www.castinghub.com and www.casthub.tv are registered by a company called Domains by Proxy out of Phoenix Arizona, according to the Whois look-up function. Casting Hub was created in 2004, while CastHub.tv was created on Christmas Eve in 2013, and the domain was moved to new servers just a couple of weeks ago.  CastHub has a video on Vimeo  that explains what the company actually sells — and the video is quite similar to one about Casting Hub that has since been removed. The video does a good job of talking about actors and models as independent contractors or small businesses (which they are), but it implies that actors and models have to spend big dollars to “market themselves” to agents. That certainly has not been my personal experience.

As the comment submitted by the father who was unhappy about being asked to pay $8,000 for an Internet advertising service for a child says, it’s a high price for the ability to do something you can do yourself for free. On the other hand, any company is free to set the prices for their services — and publishing links to casting calls, offering advice and suggestions on how to get an agent, and publishing online directories of available talent are all perfectly legal services.

The problem I hear over and over is not what the companies sell — it’s what parents THINK they are buying when they sign up.  Many parents attend an “audition” for what they think is an acting job — often a Disney or Nickelodeon series or movie. Then they are told they must enroll their child in the company’s service — at fees ranging from $2,000 to $8,000 — before their child can be submitted for the opportunity, even though a “director” is very excited about their child’s talent and potential.

If your child has gotten a “callback” from CastHub.tv (or Casting Hub), or if you are a current client of either company, I’d love to hear from you. Here are links to my previous posts on this subject — I hope they are helpful to other parents of would-be actors.

Kameron Badgers in make-up for Ghede Origins

Dallas child actor Kameron Badgers was a principal in Ghede Origins, a horror film currently in post production. To get your child from acting class to the make-up chair on a major film production shouldn’t cost you a dime. Pay for training, headshots, video demo reels — and find the right local agent to help them get auditions.

One final note to parents with a child who wants to get into the movie business — dreams do come true, but not every dream will come true. For an unvarnished look at what it’s like “in the trenches” for an undiscovered young actor, send your child to Kameron’s website — www.kameronbadgers.com.  It’s a preteen’s view of the good, the bad, and the disappointment that come with auditions you never hear back from, waiting for films to come out and wondering if your scenes landed on the cutting room floor, and the many hours of rehearsal, training, and practice that go on behind the scenes.

About debmcalister

I'm a Dallas-based marketing consultant and writer, who specializes in helping start-up technology companies grow. I write (books, articles, and blogs) about marketing, technology, and social media. This blog is about all of those -- and the funny ways in which they interesect with everyday life. It's also the place where I publish general articles on topics that interest me -- including commentary about the acting and film communities, since I have both a son and grandson who are performers.
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37 Responses to Is CastHub.tv a Casting Hub Spin-off? Is it Legit?

  1. Peter Murrow says:

    So my daughter calls the number she heard on the radio and hands me the phone. I’m, like, whatever, and I get her signed up for an “audition” and then I get an Email confirmation. But later the same day, my spidey sense tingles. I call the number in the Email (855-677-2350, press 4, iirc) and ask for their mailing address (half-expecting a UPS box address ) and also their web site address. They reply that there’s no web site (except for members to log in to), the address is 187 E Warm Springs, Suite B120, Las Vegas, NV, and the company name is “Talent Search”.

    (Red flag when a company uses a name that makes it more DIFFICULT to Google them instead of easier. Ya know, like “Rachel” from “Card Member Services”…)

    Googling their street address matches up with stuff about Casthub. Googling further gets me to this here web page. I don’t know if the address they gave me is a real office or not, but now it doesn’t matter. I’m cancelling.

    Great stuff here, Deb. Thanks.

    • debmcalister says:

      Hi, Peter — Thanks for the kind words! Your daughter is lucky to have a dad with great “spidey senses”! Best of luck in helping her make her dreams come true the right way! Regards, Deb

      • Peter Murrow says:

        Yeah, spidey sense went off when the Email confirmation seemed vague on who’s managing the audition. It said only “talent”. Hmmm. My daughter has no training/experience in acting. I think she just thought it was an easy way to get on TV even if just once. No real desire to be a bone-fide actress.

        FWIW, when I cancelled the “audition”, I was expecting to be subjected to some high-pressure spiel. But they only said that since it’s an “open” audition, it’s ok to just not show up.

  2. K Pottsim says:

    They are back at it, this time as “talent”. Same brochure same story as others. I am exhausted from the activity that happened this weekend in Reston,VA at the Sheraton hotel. But happy to report that my little girl explained to the so called “judge” that I was was responsible for making her audition and she really did not want to be there. But my heart and soul goes out to folks who didn’t pick up on this scam early in the game. Learning experience but so very sad!

  3. Kelly says:

    They were just in Charlotte, N.C. Over the weekend (sept. 5-6) at the Omni Hotel. I was naive enough to fall for it. I am in the process of trying to get our money back. Luckily, I think I caught it in time. I feel horrible thinking about the families in lobby as we were leaving. I fear they may not be able to be to caught it in time given they (Talent) requires the cancellation within 3 days of contractual agreement.

    • jeff says:

      How were you able to get your money back? Also they mentioned about sponsorship money that has to be owed? Thx you…

      • debmcalister says:

        Hi, Jeff —

        I think that your question about a refund is aimed at someone else who commented, rather than at me. My child has never attended one of these sessions, and we never paid them any money.

        A neighbor of ours did, and she was unable to secure a refund. Others who have commented on this post, and similar ones about other costly mistakes parents of would-be child actors have made, have reported that they got refunds, but I have no way of confirming that, and take them at their word.

        I have not hearrd the term “sponsorship” money used in regards to this company, so I don’t know what that means. Sorry I can’t help!

        I hope you wind up financially and emotionally “whole” after your experience with one of these pay-to-be-marketed companies!

        Regards, Deb

  4. Nicole helbing says:

    Have you heard of the company being called talent? Auditions are happening in Durham , NC at Marriott.

    • debmcalister says:

      Hi, Nicole —

      No, I have not heard of a company called “talent”. If you are attending a casting call or audition for the first time, I wish you good luck. Simply pay attention to any request for payment, and make sure that you know exactly what you are buying (and whether you’re paying a fair price) for the service BEFORE you give anyone your credit card. It shouldn’t cost you anything to audition, so “break a leg”!

      Regards, Deb

  5. Joe Miller says:

    I believe Casting Hub/ Cast Hub is now called MAT Entertainment INC / Model and Talent.tv are the same entity. They have the same address except for the suite number has changed.
    We went to the Orlando “Audition”, and was offered a reduced rate but had to give them credit card information not later than noon the next day.

  6. Ruth Carson says:

    Thank you for your blog on this subject. It was very helpful to me and I was able to advise a friend to dispute the charges on his credit card after he was scammed in this way. The agency contested this but my friend won out in the end.

    • debmcalister says:

      Hi, Ruth — Happy to hear that your friend was able to get his money back. Always good news when families win against those who misrepresent or mislead them! Thanks for letting me know the information was some help. Regards, Deb

  7. Pingback: Parents of Child Actors Beware: Is There a New Talent Scammer in Town? Maybe! | Marketing Where Technology Intersects Life

  8. Roy says:

    Here is your answer:

    Same scam different name(s)
    CORPORATION FILE DETAIL REPORT

    Entity Name MAT ENTERTAINMENT, INC. File Number 65057018
    Status ACTIVE
    Entity Type CORPORATION Type of Corp DOMESTIC BCA
    Incorporation Date (Domestic) 08/10/2006 State ILLINOIS
    Agent Name GORAN DJENADIC Agent Change Date 07/17/2013
    Agent Street Address 5450 N CUMBERLAND AVE STE 160 President Name & Address GORAN DJENADIC 455 38TH ST DOWNERS GROVE IL 60515
    Agent City CHICAGO Secretary Name & Address GORAN DJENADIC SAME
    Agent Zip 60656 Duration Date PERPETUAL
    Annual Report Filing Date 06/26/2014 For Year 2014
    Assumed Name INACTIVE – IACTANDMODEL
    INACTIVE – CASTING HUB
    ACTIVE – CAST HUB

    Old Corp Name 02/25/2011 – MERIDIAN ENTERTAINMENT, INC.
    01/10/2012 – GRD INVESTMENTS, INC.
    03/26/2012 – IACTANDMODEL, INC.
    11/29/2012 – IAM, INC.
    04/08/2014 – CASTINGHUB, INC.

  9. Darnell March says:

    Pretty great post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to mention that I have really loved surfing around your blog posts. In any case I will be subscribing in your rss feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  10. Melissa says:

    Do you know if this is the same company (or likely similar) as “model and talent?

    • debmcalister says:

      Hi, Melissa —

      I believe that the companies are owned by the same group, and share staff, contracts, and “back-office” systems. But I am not sure enough of it to say so definitively.

      My evidence is circumstantial. Here’s why I believe they are the same:
      1. I have received emails from people claiming to be employees of the company who tell me they are the same organization.
      2. I have reviewed the domain registration and other public documents, and the different groups share a common “registered agent” to handle legal correspondence, their Internet domains are registered to the same street address, and the public information on their websites is the same.
      3. I have reviewed several contracts and several legal agreements from the two companies, and they are identical except for the company name.

      Does it really matter if the companies have the same ownership or not? Either you feel that paying several thousand dollars for an Internet marketing service is a good idea, or you do not. For my family it was never a question — the answer as to whether we’d “invest” thousands of dollars in an untrained child’s “career” was always a resounding no.

      Instead, we invested the time and money in training, work on unpaid student films, and plain old fashioned practice. For us, it was the right choice.

      Regards, Deb

    • t12ab55 says:

      Cast Hub is EXACTLY like Model and Talent. I got sucked into paying for the service when my daughter auditioned and got a call-back from Model and Talent, now I can’t get out of it.

  11. Yaya Yimbu says:

    Hi, my namei s yaya and i recently signed up to cast hub. The made my dad pay 7000 dollars and afterr that, never called or emailed him. They are fake nad dishonest. The person who signed me up cahnged her number nad went to europe.can we Sue?

    • debmcalister says:

      Hi, Yaya —

      I don’t know if you can sue or not — I am not a lawyer. Just because one person left the company doesn’t mean you can’t contact the company. Some families HAVE gotten refunds without suing. Please see this article I just posted this week that includes some tips from a father who got a refund: https://debmcalister.com/2014/04/16/good-news-on-casting-hubcasthub-refunds/

      There are several companies using similar names. If your contract is with Cast Hub (not Casting Hub, or CastHub.tv), the company’s legal address is:
      Cast Hub, Inc.
      3651 Lindell Road
      Suite D475
      Las Vegas, NV 89103

      Also, there is a “members only” contact form on the company’s website. Before thinking about suing, try contacting them and trying to work out a refund. If you can’t negotiate a settlement that you and your dad are happy with, then contact a lawyer in your home state and see what legal options you have. The rules are different in every place, and the contract your dad signed may limit what rights you have. (For instance, some contracts say you can’t sue, you have to go through a process called arbitration, where both parties agree in advance to be bound by the decision of an arbitration firm.)

      The bar association (lawyer’s organization) in your city probably has a lawyer’s referral service where you pay a small fee ($20-$50) for a one-hour consultation with a lawyer. Take all your paperwork with you, and have your questions ready. Don’t waste time telling the lawyer a long story about why you are thinking of suing or the point you want to prove by suing, just ask what your options are in the state where you live. Then, once you know your options, you can find a lawyer to represent you if you do want to sue. However, it is generally quite expensive to sue someone, so be prepared.

      You also have to have some “tort” or legal reason to sue. The documents I’ve seen from Cast Hub are usually quite well written (for them) and I have not seen anything so far that gives people much ground for litigation. That said, please remember that I’m just the grandmother of a child actor — I am not a lawyer, and I could be very, very wrong. So don’t take my word on this: ask a lawyer if you can’t talk to Cast Hub about your situation.

      When your dad talks to them, I suggest following the advice offered by another dad who did get a refund. You’ll find it at this link https://debmcalister.com/2014/04/16/good-news-on-casting-hubcasthub-refunds/

      It’s really, really important when you contact Cast Hub not to threaten them or accuse them of anything illegal. I know you and your family are upset, but when trying to negotiate a refund, persistence and politeness pays off more than angry name-calling. It’s hard when you are hurt and angry, but it does work better.

      Best of luck with your acting career, and with getting a refund if that’s what your family feels is best for you.

      Regards, Deb

  12. My daughter and I just returned from a Cast Hub pep rally. Because I’ve talked to parents who have gotten roles for their kids, I was suspicious when we arrived for our, “We have an opening at 2:00”, audition and saw 300 blessed souls who were all able to make the appointment. Imagine that!

    Here’s the shtick. They swoop into town, blitz you with radio promos (Can you believe that “Christian Radio” accepts these peoples’ money?), and heard families to a local hotel for your “auditions”. Once you’re trapped in the ballroom they expend great amounts of energy and air to whip you to frenzy. There is about an hour of speechifying including a “special guest who flew in from L.A.”, Zeak from Wizards of Waverly Place. He regaled us with tales of guts and perseverance required to be a childhood star. He never mentioned Hub Cast, not even once. There’s talk of priorities and the many valuable benefits in being part of Hub Cast. All are assured that confidence and personality are key to an audition; how you deliver your lines is secondary.

    Finally, all the marks… I mean actors line up to wow the judges; each of whom, BTW, is a renowned artists and astute assessors of talent and revealers of tomorrow’s celebrities. It takes but Ninety seconds for these prodigious evaluators of star capacity to divine my little girls’ potential. Then the waiting is excruciating. Will we get called for a second audition?
    I know, you are holding your breath too. YES!! We got the call, really just a text, in less than 3 hours.

    Hold on now big fella. In a brief moment of sanity, I took a minute to see what you all are saying about Cast Hub. How many hours could I have saved if I had done this before hectically running from play rehearsal from 8 AM till 1 PM then to the ballroom for 1:45, we actually were 5 minutes late. I’m getting ahead of myself though.

    Where was I?

    I texted Anna back to ask about the bad stuff I’d read on the Internet. She quickly corrected me. “All the bad reviews belong to Casting Hub not us. We are Cast Hub.”
    I replied, “Aren’t both owned be the same company?”

    This is straight from her text:
    “No they are not. Unfortunately those are two separate companies with very similar names and people get it confused all the time. That’s why they are linking it together, but we have nothing to do with the Chicago based company.”

    But, we know differently, don’t we?

    And so ends our first trek into the vast wilderness of raising a child star. Thanks to debmcalister.com and some other very helpful sites; we will not have to navigate this new, at least to us, frontier alone. We hope to proceed along the trails blazed by those who have already passed this way and left markers on the internet for us to follow.

    Thank You, to all who take the time to warn the unsuspecting.

    • debmcalister says:

      Hi, David —

      Thanks for your amazing reply! I still haven’t been able to link the two companies directly. There are many similarities — same domain name registration, IP address, lawyers — but I cannot say definitively that they are owned by the same people.

      I do believe, however, that their business model is the same. They provide an online service where would-be actors promote themselves in the hope of getting an agent. This is something you can do on many sites (NowCasting, Actor’s Access, Backstage/Breakdown Services, Casting Networks, etc.) at a much lower cost ($15 per month or less, compared to the prices quoted by Casting Hub or CastHub).

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience, and best of luck with your child’s acting career!

      Best regards, Deb

  13. Nate says:

    CastHub.tv and Casting Hub are the same. I got a call from their service department and they left a message to call them back at another number. The number from the message says ‘CastHub’ and the one they called from says ‘Casting Hub’. So definitely the same.

    My wife signed my daughter up to audition this past weekend in Austin, TX. When we got there it was non-obvious that this was a sales pitch until I opened the booklet to a page with a $2k price tag for the smallest time frame. I felt cheated. My son, 3 years old, learned his sister’s lines and so we signed up for him to audition too while we were there (despite being below their age threshold).

    My daughter was very shy and didn’t even say her lines, much less sing like we had been practicing. Later that night he called back to offer my son a spot, and said some very nice things that definitely resonate with my opinions of him.

    I had told him ‘no’ because I could not afford to spend $2k, and he immediately responded that they could probably do something about that “and talk to upper management” to sponsor my son since he was so young. And offered the 3 month plan for $500.

    There were all sorts of claims like we’re only going to call back 40 people, and select only the top 10 to invite. But it seemed to me like they called back everyone that they thought could afford something, and the callback audition was not much of an audition. He was ready for me to pay before listening to my son’s pitch again.

    That should’ve been enough for us to change our mind. I was on edge about it, but my wife suggested going through with this. After signing a normal contract he pulls out a second form that I needed to sign that said as a sponsored member we need to waive our right to cancel to accept the reduced price.

    The next morning my wife got an emailing very much like another on your blog post saying that my daughter was selected for a callback in a few weeks. And she had the worst audition possible (save barfing on his face; which in hindsight wish had happened).

    So… it is very clear to me that the “limited space” pitch was purely just another sales tactic.

    I am disappointed and am currently in pursuit to cancel the three month term. We’d much rather send him to music classes.

    • debmcalister says:

      There are tons of great classes, agents, and auditions for kids in Austin. Your son is at the age where few agents will handle them, but that doesn’t mean casting agents aren’t looking for them. I’d start by registering him on MyCastingFile.com. It’s free, and some of the biggest casting agencies in Texas use it for extras for TV series like Revolution and Dallas, and movies like Transformers IV.

      All you need if a headshot (shoot it yourself, outdoors, and get close to get a good look at his face) and one full length photo. Then see if there are any local casting calls to take him to. This site is for extras only, but if the casting agent likes him, he will be considered for other work.

      Lessons are always good. Start with classes at the children’s theater, and add film classes as he gets older.

      Best of luck!

    • Connie stallings says:

      We had my 5 year old great-granddaughter at an audition in Orlando, Fl on Saturday and Sunday (3/29 and 3/30). I paid 3,000 down and the rest was to be due in 1 month. We also received a sponsorship of 1,000 and we’re told that if she signed up, she had to complete the service. He did not say that we were waiving our rights to the 3 day cancellation policy. Now I know that they set the price high so they can give every one a sponsorship. What a scam. Today I sent them the cancellation notice but they are telling me they are not going to give me my money back because of the sponsorship but I as the person paying never saw this paper and while they sent me all signed forms by email, he tells me that this form signed by my daughter is in our folder which he gave to the 5 year old. I told him that it didn’t seem right that I as the paying grandmother didn’t see this but my daughter signed. I saw the cancellation part and knew I had 3 days but now they say they have to investigate and may not give me back my money. At no time during our “auditions” did the talent scout say anything about waiving our cancellation rights. The talent scout said that he didn’t show that form to me because they considered it a permission form. I told him if it talked about the sponsorship of 1,000 and waiving our rights that I as the paying grandma should have had to sign it to or at least seen it because I would have left there without exchanging any money. It seems to me that they are mixing apples and oranges and saying they are all apples because they say so. Sorry for rambling but I am very upset about this. I really didn’t think you could be tricked to waiving your rights and it would be legal. I told him that I read the cancellation policy and then when I got home started doing some research on this company. I told the talent scout today that they had a lot of bad reviews and he said it was another company that was trying to copy them but on research, it appears that they were the other company and then changed their name and/or website. In their contract they say everything is handled through arbitration in a federal court. Makes no sense to me but I will start checking this out. I love my great granddaughter but she appeared very shy the first day and needed direction to complete the lines in the two commercials the second day. Although she is truly a beauty, I really did not think we would get a call back but as I think about it! they asked if money would be a problem and my daughter said no but I as the money person thought I’m not so sure about this. Any advice anyone can give me would be appreciated. I’m going to call the state attorney’s office in Tallahassee and report this also and see what they have to say. I am also going to Las Vegas next week and I may pay a visit to their office to try and talk to their Director. Somebody please help!!

      • debmcalister says:

        I’m sorry you had a bad experience. I wish I could say that this is the first time I have heard such a story, but it is not. DEFINITELY talk to your state attorney general, to your elected state and Congressional representatives, and to your family attorney if you have one.

        I can’t offer legal advice, as I am not a lawyer and I don’t know Florida law, but I do know that this company has successfully held other parents/grandparents to their arbitration agreement. The arbitrators are private companies, hired by the company. Federal court records show that the arbitrators side with the company in most cases — consumers win very few arbitration cases before private mediators. I hope you are more successful than others have been. Common sense (which is unfortunately not the same thing as “legal”) would seem to indicate that since they took your money, but do not have your signature on a contract, you should have some rights.

        What I have heard from other families is that the “sponsorship” is used to enforce a clause in the contract that says that you can’t cancel the contract because you accepted a reduced price. I have not spoken with anyone who has successfully challenged that — but, again, I hope you are successful.

        Start with the attorney general’s office in your local community. I don’t think you need to go to Tallahassee for that. Also, you might consider advertising on Craig’s List or talking to the local news media to see if you can find other parents/grandparents in your area who are in a similar position. Sometimes, hearing from a large group of unhappy consumers can motivate the consumer watchdog agencies in a way that hearing from a single consumer can’t.

        Regardless of what happens with CastHub, I hope that your great-granddaughter achieves the success she wants anyway. At 5, she has plenty of time, and with an active and involved grandmother, I am sure she will go far.

        Thanks for taking time to post your story on my blog!

        Best regards, Deb

      • Nate says:

        Hey Connie, I’m sorry to hear you ended up where I did. It does seem dishonest and unfair. I ended up emailing back and for with their COO, Abigail Baker. She had misunderstood what I had written in the first few emails and said that they take threats very seriously even internet ones. I had to calm down and be very objective. This is the final message that I wrote:

        Abigail,
        I apologize if you believe that I am making threats or am committed to defame Cast Hub / Casting Hub. As a company with such a high reputation, you must already know that it takes consistent positive experiences to continue to maintain an earned reputation. You must certainly also know that you cannot censor the negative experiences when they do occur. I am not threatening to defame or destroy Cast Hub; I am merely reminding you that I truly understand the potential of sharing the experience that I am currently having with you. People who are on the fence and said ‘no’ once on the phone only to immediately be offered a ‘sponsorship’ should have the possibility to fully understand the consequences before they return for the callback audition Sunday morning.

        Similarly, the testimonial is going to be perceived differently if those who hear my experience are able to perceive that there is an honest and respectful company behind the sales pitch. So far, in my experience, I promise there is nothing in this conversation or in the sales pitch, up to this point, that will allow anyone to conclude that they can trust doing business with you. This is not a threat; it is merely a valid analysis. I’m sure you’d prefer for people to discover that you’re honest and that you really care about your customers.

        I am not making a threat when I say that I’m going to try, by any legal matter, to enforce the cancellation portion of this contract. As I’ve stated before, I was forced to sign an additional waiver after the original cancellation rights of the contract were explained to me, after I signed the contract and after the payment was completed. I believe this to be an unfair practice. Plus, who does it really hurt to free this sponsorship and award it to a family, who is in a position to be more readily committed? (However, it hurts both of us to not respect my request to cancel.)

        It appears that according to the sponsorship agreement, that I also signed, that we may revoke the sponsorship at any point in time. So, why can’t we revoke the sponsorship and re-enable the cancellation portion of the contract? It seems like an easy way to help both of us out.

        Thanks for working this out with me, Abigail.
        Nate

        She did not write back personally to that email. Two days later I got an electronic refund receipt to which she responded: “DESPITE YOUR CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATIONS your refund has been issued (your receipt is below) and your account has now been closed. Please note that it can take up to 7 to 14 business days to process depending on your financial institution.Please have your financial institution contact me directly if there’s any discrepancy. Best of luck.”

        So, be consistent, be clear, and be objective. You may be able to work something out with them.

        In my research I also found this guide, which I think will be very useful to protect me from future scam-like-scenarious. How to be persuasive / detect subconscious persuasion: http://www.wikihow.com/Persuade-People-with-Subconscious-Techniques

      • debmcalister says:

        Hi, Nate —

        Thank you for the very helpful reply to Connie’s comment. You are the first person I have heard from (out of more than 300 individuals who have sent me email or called me since I started writing about this last year) who has actually received any portion of their money back. That gives me hope!

        As I have said often, this company does nothing illegal — the problem isn’t with their service, it’s with the gap between what parents thing they are buying and what they are actually purchasing. It’s nice to know that the company does value its customer relationships and is willing to work things out at times.

        Thanks again for taking time to post on my blog — I really appreciate it!

        Regards, Deb

      • Nate says:

        Hey Deb,

        I think it’s a little more than just a difference between what people believe they are buying and what they are really buying. The physical material is very clear about what they offer. However, the company’s sales pitch intentionally leads your imagination far beyond what is realistic. They say that they gate access to their program by talent, but, actually, they do not. Instead they’ll call back as many people that they believe can afford some portion of their service. They say that they intend to only callback 40 people to return the following day. And then during that day they will do a “cold” read audition (even for children who can’t read!) and then select 10 to 12 from the cold read. But, they don’t make any additional selection; they have the child read and press the parents in front of the child to purchase it during that audition. They intentionally tell parents (during the pitch) that they need to talk to their children that they may not get a callback, so that the child will feel lucky and special and important to hear they got called back. Our callback included some very nice comments about my son, such as, “Every week we go out to dinner after the audition and we usually talk about a few children. Your son came up; he’s the youngest child I’ve called back in probably six months.” I appreciated every word; they resonated with me. My son *is* very special; he will be able to do whatever he wants in the world.

        It’s fine if what they do is not illegal… but they certainly drum up a different picture, and blatantly lie about a few things, though not everything. On the phone he also confessed very clearly that he is, in any other industry, a headhunter and that’s all they do.

        On the second day, I went in and noticed a handful of things that didn’t seem right. There were three sheets of paper on the table per recruiter. There were a few typo’s, that I pointed out to them (maybe I shouldn’t have?), in their promotional print-out. Each “audition room” was fixed with an ipad ready to read credit cards. When we went in for the audition he started by trying to hear any concern we had as parents as if the audition piece of it didn’t actually matter. And by the time we had left (we got there for our appt at 9:45am, and probably left by 10:15 or 10:30) there were at least 15 people who had checked in for the day… which seemed to be about the rate to see about 100 to 150 people over an 8 hour period.

        I’m happy that I was able to get out of that…

        Nate

      • debmcalister says:

        Hi, Nate,

        I am happy you were able to get out of it, too! You are an inspiration, as very few people I have heard from have managed it.

        I feel very blessed that my 12-year-old “future star” was able to get an agent quickly, without any need to resort to a company like CastingHub or Actors, Models, and Talent for Christ or one of the other services of that kind.

        Again, thanks so much for sharing your insights and counsel! I feel sure that your son will do just fine in the industry, and that in the long run you’ll be glad you invested in classes instead of a “marketing service”.

        Best regards, Deb

    • Connie stallings says:

      Please see my reply to debmcalister as I meant to reply to your email.

    • Riley says:

      Just a note, I know someone in Austin that got called back for Sunday after the initial audition Saturday but didn’t make the cut from there, so some do get turned down. My guess is that in the entertainment industry they go off of intuition of perceived potential and just “see it” (or not) in some (whether or not the delivery was consistently polished.)

      • debmcalister says:

        Hi, Riley —

        You’re right, of course. Not everyone gets a “callback”.

        For instance, I know two very talented young actors whose father happens to work for the state attorney general’s office and whose mom happens to be a reporter weren’t selected for “callbacks”. (I know this because the kids happen to go to school with one of my grandchildren.)

        Since I have seen these two perform, I doubt very seriously if it was their talent that caused them not to be called back. I may be cynical, but I suspect it’s much more likely that questions their parents asked about the contracts, costs, and deliverables are far more likely to be the reason they were not asked back. But, of course, we’ll never know since “casting decisions are confidential.”

        Thanks for taking time to leave a comment, and best of luck with your own acting dreams!

        Regards, Deb

  14. Wendy Castro says:

    Im glad I found this website because I was recently selected as one of the “finalist” for Casthub. Point of my comment is to say that now I am a member of this and would like to share my experience and personal intake if interested. I am also commenting for personal advice on this matter.

  15. Skinner Hu says:

    CastingHub and Cast Hub have the same employees. I don’t know if legally it’s the “same company” but it’s the same group of people doing the same thing.

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