Memphis Actors Warned About Possible Talent Scam

Posted by Alexandra Pusateri on Tue, Nov 5, 2013 at 1:30 PM


Some Memphis actors have expressed concerns online about Local 24 News' decision to report on the "Showcase of the Rising South," an event in Olive Branch later this month that claims to connect young performers to talent scouts from Los Angeles and New York. According to that article, actors must pay $650 to audition.

Lisa Lax, the CEO of the Lisa Lax Agency, said she has heard of similar setups, but it’s not all legitimate.

“These kinds of things are out there,” Lax said. “They’re always scams. Talent should be auditioning and going out for jobs. The last thing they should be doing is paying [for auditions].”

Nora Childers, a Memphis actress, took to the comments section of the Local 24 News story to voice her concerns.

“You should never pay a talent scout and most certainly should never pay for an audition,” she wrote.

The comment she left appeared to be deleted from the Local 24 News website, but was apparently restored.

“I find it odd that the ‘big name’ producers had no names [in the article],” Childers said. “I believe the matter should be investigated to be sure.”

Angie Grant, the founder of the event, said she's charging because she's bringing scouts to the Memphis area. According to her, the local actors unhappy with her event should do more research before writing
it off.

"'If you have to pay money, it's a scam.' That's just not fair," she said. "I understand where they're coming from, because there's a lot of scams that go through this country. If my daughter didn't go to an event like mine, she'd still be in Tupelo. Let's see where they are ten years from now."

According to both Lax and Childers, a typical auditioning process usually begins by submitting headshots to a reputable agency and then going through interviews and booking a gig, which the agency will take a
commission from.

“In this business, it's easy to tempt others for possible fame,” Childers said. “Yes, these individuals might have some connections, but asking people to pay $650 for a gamble to fame — only saying names
of people they've represented and not giving their own names — sounds pretty shady.”

The story was published online and ran during the evening segments of the broadcast Monday night.

Comments (18)

Showing 1-18 of 18

Angie I'm a SAG member been in countless films. Please don't run scams like this. It's tough enough for me to go to Nashville to argue tax breaks without this redneck tactics going on. If it were worthy of 650 please tell us these great names.

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Posted by JW Williams on 11/05/2013 at 4:56 PM

This is something working actors pretty much know. The pay to audition scams tend to target low information people with dreams/delusions.

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Posted by Chris Davis on 11/05/2013 at 5:54 PM

They've been doing this to hopeful screenwriters since forever. People will pay good money for the merest glimpse of an open door.

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Posted by Jeff on 11/06/2013 at 7:53 AM

"Don't pay to audition, don't audition in a private residence, and don't take off your clothes at an audition," used to appear in every issue of Backstage magazine with the audition notices.

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Posted by RonGephart on 11/06/2013 at 3:36 PM

I read the article and the comments. There is so much I could say. There is one thing I do want to be very clear on: NO, you do not pay an agent to represent you . Nor , should you pay ungodly amounts for head shots. Showcase of the Rising South DOES NOT PROMOTE THESE IDEAS. SRS is EXACTLY as the title states: a showcase!!

Lisa Lax has been speaking with the press, making horribly misguided claims such as "this is a scam." In most markets, the local agents always ask to attend events such as this as it helps them to widen their network and people to work with. I was going to ask Ms. Lax to collaborate with me on the event as well as other local agents, for I am sure many participants will need follow up. Though I can do this on my own, as I have access to the Breakdowns in both Los Angeles and New York markets. However, on Friday night November 22 at 8:00 pm there is going to be a Q&A with our agents and managers from Los Angeles and New York. I would like to personally invite Lisa Lax and Nora Childers to attend as an opportunity to shed insight and enlightenment upon their groundless claims. You will need a picture ID as we will have security officers at each door. You can then personally state the remarks you have written to the mangers and agents your self, as they are in fact the ones whose credibility you are questioning.

I believe when the discussion is truly about the betterment and welfare of the talent there is no place for personal agendas and self seeking interests such as Ms. Lax's and Ms. Childers'.

I am very easy to reach. I am on Facebook: Angie Grant in Los Angeles and will be more than happy to answer any and all questions you may have.

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Posted by Angie Grant on 11/11/2013 at 12:56 AM

Can Chris attend the event and follow up on this article?

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Posted by RonGephart on 11/11/2013 at 1:03 AM

First Who is Chris ? Can he attend the event ? How do you mean as a observer or participant? And follow up upon the article ? Follow up how and what article ? This was posted by Ron Gephant who post earlier do not take off your clothes etc , audition in a private residence etc so with that type post I need to know exactly who is Chris and RonGephart , please.

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Posted by Angie Grant on 11/11/2013 at 2:59 AM

Mr. JW Williams , first let me ask you to check out our website so you can see who is attending . My event Showcase of the Risisng South is anything but redneck . I am very aware of the tax break argument going on in Tennessee. Actually , some of the people attending are looking for projects to invest in . When you say you have been in countless films are they listed on IMDB ? Are you listed on IMDB ? I will check following this post .

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Posted by Angie Grant on 11/11/2013 at 3:08 AM

I did go to IMDB JW Williams and found you . Reviewed the 14 films that you were in . Saw where you attended Lee Strasberg. Looks like you have been at it awhile . Living in Los Angeles , New Orleans and now Memphis . As we all know this business is feast to fathom , I mean you could be the next big thing . Why do you feel you are where you are today in your career ? Do you like the place where you are ? What is your goal ?

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Posted by Angie Grant on 11/11/2013 at 3:25 AM

"Feast to fathom" isn't exactly Shakespeare.

Oh, the perils of defending oneself from the press in online comments!

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Posted by Brunetto Latini on 11/11/2013 at 6:03 AM

Showcase of the Rising South has delivered........ local talent Chelsea Davis attended our Nov. 2013 and received a full acting contract with one of our Scout Managers out of New York,all this due to attending "Showcase of the Rising South"
Thanks SRS

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Posted by Thomasine Eisenbrei on 03/13/2014 at 8:00 PM

Showcase of the Rising South has come in and taken the participants to the next level.
We had many at our Nov.2013. event that will go on after the school year ends. Scouts and parents alike want the children to complete the school year before embarking on there career.
Due to the negative remarks posted in the Memphis Flyer and the local agency we have proven to be the real deal.We look forward to bring hopes and dreams to the South.

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Posted by Thomasine Eisenbrei on 03/13/2014 at 8:06 PM

Showcase of the Rising South will be back with a vengeance in June 26-29, 2014, bringing Scouts from all over the United States and abroad seeking new faces and talent in all genres. Dreams are being fulfilled with the top scouts in the Industry. Showcase of the Rising South is an opportunity to Showcase your God given talent and realize your dreams. Negative remarks from the local agency and media that tried to slander our name
have seen 1st hand the opportunity and the results of our presence in Olive Branch, MS.


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Posted by Thomasine Eisenbrei on 03/13/2014 at 8:47 PM

We at Showcase of the Rising South can be reached at any time to answer any question or comments regarding our business. Our website is posted with all our information both phone numbers and email addresses. All scout information is available also for you to review. Our purpose is finding new talent and making DREAMS come true.
Visit us on Facebook/Twitter

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Posted by Thomasine Eisenbrei on 03/13/2014 at 8:56 PM

I can speak on the behalf of Allie and Angie Grant these are the two most earnest people that is walking on the face of the earth. I have seen them bring people to Dallas Texas and their creditability has already been proven. Angie and Allie go into the all the world and carry this showcase because it is very much needed. Love, Ernest, Tonda and Elijah!

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Posted by Ernest Parham on 05/07/2014 at 11:58 PM

This is not a scam! Iv'e known Angie Grant for 5 year as well as her daughter Allie Grant who is a actress. I know agents come from New York and La to scout out new talent. You're not paying to audition, these showcases run for a weekend and you go in front of casting directors as well as the agents,singing dancing or for acting. Angie helped my daughter and now were living in Ny going out on auditions and doing well.Thank you Marie

Posted by Marie Arnold on 05/24/2014 at 1:58 PM

For my audition I would like to perform a monologue inspired by Ms. Grant's user comments entitled "The Internet Confuses Me, But I'll Give You a Piece of Candy If You Get In My Van; It's Cool, My Daughter Also Eats Candy."

Posted by Kate on 05/24/2014 at 6:26 PM

I can tell anyone Angie Grant and the Showcase of the Raising South is the real deal. Angie went above any beyond for my daughter a few years ago. Going out of her way to give my daughter a chance to be seen by casting directors, agents ect. This chance that Angie gave my daughter those few years ago has given her the determination and confidence to continue on with her dreams. My daughter got call backs from agents in the music industry. She received such very important feedback and information. My daughter is now graduating High School and is planning to go to Nashville and pursue her dreams. If you want to be seen by Agents ect. this is the best way to do it. You will NOT be disappointed. Thanks Stephanie Draus

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Posted by Stephanie Draus on 05/24/2014 at 11:27 PM
Showing 1-18 of 18

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