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Actors` Exchange/The acting/modeling school: John Robert Powers


Billy Davis wrote at 2006-09-26 22:53:15
I used to scout for John Robert Powers, and I will tell you this:  It's a great place to go to prepare yourself for a long-term journey in pursuing the entertainment industry.

In Hollywood, like pursuing any other business, there is no such thing as a silver bullet.  If you or your child applies themself, studies, and sticks with it, John Robert Powers can go a long way in giving someone the competitive advantage over someone with no formal training.

Also, it's important to understand that JRP is not an any way an agency.  Agencies do not charge up front fees.  JRP is a talent development school that is providing people with service in exchange for a fee.  

victom wrote at 2006-10-10 04:45:41
Dont do it they ripped me off for $5,900 they are con artists...and thats no me dont do it.

IAMANGEL wrote at 2006-10-23 23:15:13
Sorry to say this is a SCAM.

I live in Toronto. I heard a radio station ad where JRP announced that they were looking for kids to cast in a movie. I called and they asked us to come to their office.

When I arrived, there were about 200 kids there with their parents. They called each family and they asked my son to do a slate and read three lines. Their representative told us that they really liked my son. They called the next day and asked us to come to their office again ASAP.

That's where the selling starts. I told them that we couldn't afford that kind of money. The rep tried to make us feel guilty, then treated us like garbage when she realized we wouldn't fall for the scam. My son started to cry.

I saw a lot of parents sign up that day. I feel sorry for them because they wasted their hard-earned money. Please beware.

Tammy R. wrote at 2006-12-05 17:38:06
I believe that this is a scam too. I am from Houston and JRP is now operating here. As with the previous response, we answered a radio ad with the expectation of auditioning for a new Disney show. We showed up with our two daughters, they read a few lines, interviewed with an agent from Los Angeles and got called back for a second interview the next day. We came and were made promises of a contract for print and commercial work from the agent in LA. But he suggested that we take advantage of the classes from JRP so the girls would be better prepared when we were called for work. He made statements like "You both have the look that I can market in both Houston and LA and I can definately find work for you from my agency." He gave us his website address so we could research his company and said that he would email us a contract for us to look over within the next few days. We were hesitant but signed both our girls up for 20 classes totaling $3,900.00 with JRP. We left thinking our girls had an agent in LA ready to sign them. They were so excited.

The end of this story is that the agent never emailed us anything and he didn't even work for the agency he said he did. I located him at a different agency in LA. I did some research on JRP and have found the JRP has a bad reputation all over the country. They have bad BBB reports and law suits have been filed in cities all around the country. I cancelled the girls classes within the 72 hour cancellation period and it took me 4 weeks to get my money back.

Parents Beware.

Sharamers wrote at 2007-03-29 00:16:03
I just took them to court and won.

They are all about money. They don't care for any child or their future. Do yourself a favor and turn your back on them. They will lie to you and say that your child has been chosen out of the many kids they interviewed, but in reality they say that to all the parents.

Trust me, it's a scam. They just "look" professional because of their location, nice building, fake persona, fake facts. DON'T DO IT. IT'S A BIG WASTE OF TIME. THEY TAUGHT MY SON FOUL LANGUAGE AND EVEN THREATENED US IN THE COURT HALLWAY. I AM SURPRISED THEY STILL EXIST.

Marchese wrote at 2007-05-06 03:04:26
I am an actor and theatre/film/Improvisation instructor in Toronto, Ontario.  I have had many many students come to me with questions about this company, John Robert Powers.  They were told that they were the most talented children ever, and while I think that they are all brilliant, I would never promise them the stars.  I also wouldn't charge them $3600 for 30 weeks of classes.  I work for two reputable companies that are affiliated with the actors union, the code of ethics for children actors, and who are members of the Toronto Association for Acting Studios (TAAS).  They do not charge anywhere near that amount, and the students are taught by seasoned theatre/film proffessional actors/directors and playwrights.  

My advice would be to steer clear of John Robert Powers.  Type in google, john robert powers agency comments and you will get a website up called bad business bureau.  The comments on that site should give you all you need to run far away from this company.

This business is hard enough for adults, why should we make it even harder for children to make them have to deal with scam artists as well.  It breaks my heart that there are people out there taking advantage parents and children.

It's sick.  

Michelle wrote at 2007-12-04 21:08:56
My father intruduced this audition to me. Told me that he heard it on the radio and said that we should check it out. I went there had a small interview, read a cold play. The fees that they told us seemed outrageous and I know that we didnt have the money to pay it. So we waited a few days and we got a call back. They wanted me in there the next day for the second audition. We lived 2 hours away from this audition, and my father didnt want to drive all the way back there again knowing that we had to bring all that money. I was totally devastasted. This place seems like a total profesional place. But there is something about them that you want to question. Money up front? Saying stuff like "your daughter is definitly what were looking for"? I mean seriosly it doesnt seem right. Im not sure how many kids they say that they "pick." But I guess I was one of them. I am now doing some research on this company and most of the stories I hear are people that spent thousands and thousands of dollars to find themselves dissapointed. So it would be better off not to do it.

Jordana wrote at 2007-12-16 04:46:52
JRP is the reason I have pretty much given up on my dream. I went for an audition in Toronto, because I heard the ad on the radio. They seemed all very nice and professional...gave us a litle lecture and everything. There wasnt even enough seating for the 200 kids and parents. I ended up auditioning and we got a call the next day telling us to come in. So my parents and I went in and we went through with dad was smart and knew something was up. I was getting upset because my father was stalling...but little did I know was that he had a feeling it was all a scam. So we went through with it. We ended up doing a lot of thinking within 24 hours to decide to get our money back (we were allowed to according to the contract. They gave us a VERY hard time, didnt stick to their words. We ended up getting our money back by threatening them to go to court. They are VERY fake people. Ever since then I feel guilty asking my parents to go to agencies and meetings. Soooo pretty much they ruined a lot for me.

celly1 wrote at 2008-03-20 18:21:25
JRP Parsippany, NJ

Total scam and a thoroughly berrating rude and untruthful "National Director" Jem Wiltshire. I can't stress it enough.  Stay Away!!!!  My child was accepted then refused because we wanted time to think about it.  We were told that because we were not ready to sign that night ($2800 - $5900), Jem didn't know if she would ever have room again for him.  She did this right in front of him! Not to mention the fact that she said, and I quote ,"I don't work with skeptical parents!" and she felt that we were "being ridiculous."

He's is now signed with an agent and filming a feature movie.  Listen, if your filling out the a form that asks your parent's occupation, that should tell you something. All one needs is your address and where you work to search the net to see if you can pony up the $.

I can't speak for their other locations, but judging from the posts, I suggest you do your research.

happy5 wrote at 2008-04-04 17:12:39
A note of thanks to say I'm grateful i saw these comments before taking my nine year old to JRP Parssipany. After checking the BBB site which shows zero complaints against jrp parssipany,  my instinct says this site might be more accurate or real time than the BBB thanks to all for the heads up.

MTVActress wrote at 2009-05-20 22:05:45
There are several controversies, however it all depends on how one makes the best of this acting school. If you sit back, pay money, do not attend auditions, call for feedback and so on... not even some of the best actors will get anywhere. It is all about working hard, preparing a porper monologue, and not expecting THEM to give you the acting jobs, but instead going out there and getting them yourself. You do not pay money for their agency, as they are only an acting school - meaning that you pay for exactly what you get - about 50 dollars per class. I have been attending this school for 1 year now, and so far I have received a commerical on MTV, as well as an acting job for McMaster University. For those actors who are just starting out, this place is great - as they give you proper representation, and an outlet to casting directors across the country. Also, you can call the head manager of the office, and he will give you feedback on how to improve your acting or modeling. I have worked with him one-on-one for hours without any extra charge. I have many friends that are with agencies, and I hav ereceived more acting jobs through John Robert Powers. Then again, its all about what you make of it.

realmom wrote at 2009-05-31 05:10:32
you are obviously from this scam school trying to save face. its too late! we were there and i saw the scam coming! i can't wait for the fake scam lines i am going to get when i call back to see how my daughter did. when they ask for money from me i will be glad to tell them about the research i have done.

hockeygirl wrote at 2009-06-20 00:48:25
I am very relieved b/c of this website...thank you. I had an interview with these people tomorow, but my aunt sent me this link showing that John Robert Powers is a total SCAM! I'm glad I didn't go there just to get scammed out of all of our money and get treated badly if I didn't sign the contract.

robbie22424 wrote at 2009-06-20 17:11:06
Initially I had an addition with them and good thing that I googled them before showing up! It is a complete rip off. When I asked them what they were auditioning me for, they said that this big casting director from L.A. is coming and doing a casting call. However, they did not tell me an exact name of the show I was going to audition for. As I didnt show up for my "audition" they keep on calling and calling me non-stop asking to reshedule. I simply told them to back off. My friend went for an exact same thing - JRP "casting call" and she told me an exact same thing, that its a scam. People do no buy it!!! AND DO NOT GIVE THEM PICTURES OF YOUR KIDS!!! That was one of the reasons why I did not go because they requested 2 pictures of me to keep - and how would I know what they are to do with those pictures?!?!? their number is  1 888 999 5278 I saw it on TV and thought it was something good, but I guess NOT.

Mary wrote at 2009-07-16 15:50:36
don't do it.  JRP are rip off artists.  They have been ripping people off for years.  They get your children all geeked up thinking they are auditioning to win an opportunity to be on one of their favorite TV shows.  I took my granddaughter to one of these knowing full well what it was all about.  I took her only because I was so very proud that she had the "guts' to do it.  I did warn her ahead of time that if during this audition I was asked for money that this would not happen. I informed her that if this was legit and she won they would not ask for money.  So there were two opportunities for me here.  One to allow her to perform, but also to make her aware that everyone isn't honest and to proceed with caution.  When you arrive to the agency you will see how cheesy everything and everyone looks. You (the parent)will receive a nice little brochure outlining the costs to send your unsuspecting innocent child through this sham of a school.  I could say more, but I think you get the message.  Please look at other comments on the Internet and check the BBB.  You will see that I speak the truth.

JP Lorens wrote at 2009-09-01 21:46:30
My daughter went to this school last year and went to i-POP. 9 call backs, 1 kids show, 1 commercial, 2 short films, and many high scaled auditions with reputable international company.  I guess its the old, you get out of it what you put into it, right?

If you take your lessons seriously and learn, and go to all the auditions, and your GOOD!, you will get something out of it.

Sorry but its true.


jrp sucks wrote at 2009-09-05 05:12:37
jp lorens what 2 short films  and kids shows was your daughter in would love to see them because i think your for sure a fake aswell

JoJo wrote at 2010-03-22 04:25:59
Everyone BEWARE. There are many acting classes around thousands of city that are reputable! THIS IS NOT ONE. I attended these classes and my teacher did not show up to five...while watching me do a FAKE commercial piece he even swore at me and immediately appolagized hundereds of times...very unprofessional. This is disgusting. if your in the TORONTO area, check out Sears and Switzer which costs only $250-400 dollars for weeks of classes. OR ANY OTHER REAL school that doesnt charge you $1,000 dollars for only 12 weeks.

they trick you with all their glamour and their "limited 200 seats" which is all bogus. Don't let this crap get in the way of your dreams. The best of luck to all!

Sunny IT Guru wrote at 2010-03-24 21:41:13
All these companies are fraud. They always ask for money up front and tell you that you are selected for training. You just wait and wait. Nothing happens. You waste your money and valuable time with these type of companies.

If there is real audition or modeling company, they don't ask for any money. They make money after you start working for those company.

It is very straight simple formula. DO NOT PAY ANY FREAKING MONEY if Any company ask for money up front. Everything is Fake.

David Neustein wrote at 2010-08-25 12:36:10

Arlene is on the mark. There are two things I would add to her answer. The first thing would be to meet the instructor and let the instructor meet you. This can be done over the telephone or in person. Get a feel for the personality of the instructor. The second thing would be to audit or take a free class with the instructor. It is important to feel comfortable with the instructor and the instructor's teaching style. As an acting teacher for almost 20 years, I recommend the above for anyone who wants to take my classes.

Break a leg!

David Neustein (Neustein Entertainment, LLC)

amber wrote at 2010-10-16 05:09:12
So glad I read this before taking my daughter for the audition scheduled in Toronto tomorrow morning!!!

Sassy wrote at 2010-10-18 02:20:38
We unfortunately went for the audtition in Toronto yesterday, and I too felt it was a bit of a scam. They made us believe that the children had a chance of getting on the Disney Channel, which of course not was what this was all about. All they wanted was that I signed them up for very expensive classes, which became even more evident after they called us today.

Some training of course is good if you want to get into this business, but maybe not at $2950!

My children got all worked up, but I am sorry to say, that I really don't buy it.  

drewie wrote at 2010-11-22 02:10:05
Yesterday I went to this audition and I recieved all these compliments on my personality, and my acting. I was soo happy and excited you can't even know.

When we got the paper with the prices for the classes I was shocked. I thought legit places didnt charge? The lady said I'd be good for acting and modeling. Even more thrilled.

Today my mom received the call telling us I'd been excepted, and I was so freaking out with excitement! Thing is, we don't have all that money available, so I could not go. I was devastated! My mom did some research on JRP and found all the stuff about the scam.

Now, all my confidence is basically gone, for I don't know if what they said is true:I was probably just one of the people they thought were willing to pay the fine.

Telling you the truth wrote at 2011-01-16 00:57:03
Well in their BW laser copied brochure, in their preteen modelling workshop #3 they ask you "TO BRING IN YOUR OWN CAMERA" for the photo shoot to take your own 2 look photos, for $5900 cant they take your 2 look photos WITH THEIR OWN PROFESSIONAL CAMERA instead of relying on my 2MP Dollar Tree special?

And they are going to teach my daughter backstage etiquette? Whats that?... to prevent her from nailing the biggest ego drama drag queen back there?

When they do your photo shoot of your child they use a old dilapidated JVC camcorder on a worn out wobbly tripod in an open room with all the other kids with their parents peeking in and commenting and ruining any kids chance to show their full potential. I've seen better put together scenarios that turned out to be scams than this scam done on the cheap.. Do not go to the next day the auditions without your lawyer in tow, if they see your council there they WILL ask you to leave..

It is all a scam folks, don't buy into it!

Remember that old country song "As long as YOU have the money honey, I've got the time"

unhappydad wrote at 2011-03-02 18:28:47
Hi I an having real problems with these people over i pop refunds from last year

I am getting the runaround . Has anybody taken these people  to court recently We are trying  to get our money back  If you have also been defrauded perhaps we should start a class action suit

Renu Verma wrote at 2012-12-07 21:59:28
JRP Toronto owes us money, we won in the court, they owe us $8500+

Even after the 2 years we are still looking for the addresses of the directors, and our mails are getting forward from 1 office to another and never got reply back from JRP.

The office addresses what are provided to the Ontario industry are the addresses of the Lawyers office and these lawyers they say that they are not dealing with JRP but still they are getting mail for JRP and sending it to their address in USA.

Did anyone happened to see Mr. John F. Stevens, He took cash money from my husband? Please let me know so that I can ask for some details.  

Lost in Vegas wrote at 2014-12-11 07:11:11
Gem Wiltshire now works for Hollywood Access in Las Vegas.  There have been NO complaints against the company but the same wording here was used there.  They do charge but state up front there is NO guarantee of employment.  They give training and the access to opportunities.  The rest is up to you as it would always be.  I was skeptical to sign up but found NOTHING bad until I googled her personal name.  Does anyone have info on the new company in Las Vegas?  They do have students doing commercials and spots on shows like Nicky Ricky Dicky and Dawn.  ONe client has done jello commercials and is signed for KFC.  I saw students there that seemed wonderful.  So I am completely confused.  Any help?

Concerned wrote at 2014-12-12 01:01:19
Well now Gem Wiltshire works for Hollywood Access in Las Vegas and the same sales pitches are used.  Amazing how they prey on children and parents that care about them..Now they don't lie.  They tell you they can't guarantee work.  But that is only after a grueling 3 hrs of talking about 2 of their clients doing some commercials or small roles.  They she goes on about her daughter.  Don't get me wrong.  Her daughter has done wonderfully.  A mother that has a child like that should understand not to pull this crap on people.  Asking for funds right away is a complete red flag and they still do that.  Funny how there are no complaints on this company but that will end soon..

Hollywood Access, Inc. wrote at 2015-02-16 05:20:38
Please reference the comments written on behalf of Hollywood Access, Inc., in response to the complaint posted by DIANE IULIUCCI on December 11 and 12, 2014.  

Given that Ms. Iuliucci posted her unsubstantiated opinion online, it is vital and necessary that Hollywood Access, Inc. provides the FACTS to Ms. Iuliucci’s gross allegations, which are rife with contradictions.

You can learn more about Ms. Iuliucci at the following URL:

You can also find a complete response from Hollywood Access, Inc. to Ms. Iuliucci's complaint at the following URL:

In addition, let it be known that Hollywood Access, Inc. owes Ms. Iuliucci absolutely no money or service.  Ms. Iuliucci brought her daughter in for an audition on Tuesday, December 9, 2014, which included an overview, camera work and an interview.   She enrolled her daughter in the Hollywood Access, Inc. training program on Wednesday, December 10, 2014 and on Thursday, December 11, 2014 decided that she did not want the service.  As a result, without hesitation, Hollywood Access, Inc. refunded Ms. Iuliucci the deposit she made towards her daughter’s programming.  On December  11th and 12th, Ms. Iuliucci posted her unsubstantiated comments about the company online.

Diane wrote at 2015-02-19 04:06:13
Please review above about Gem Wiltshire when she worked at John Robert Powers... Nothing has changed.. When a company has to resort to slander and defamation of character by using lies about people to defend themselves instead of their track record then something is off.  Take your kids somewhere else.  

celly1 wrote at 2008-03-20 18:21:25

JRP Parsippany, NJ

Total scam and a thoroughly berrating rude and untruthful "National Director" Jem Wiltshire. I can't stress it enough.  Stay Away!!!!  My child was accepted then refused because we wanted time to think about it.  We were told that because we were not ready to sign that night ($2800 - $5900), Jem didn't know if she would ever have room again for him.  She did this right in front of him! Not to mention the fact that she said, and I quote ,"I don't work with skeptical parents!" and she felt that we were "being ridiculous."

He's is now signed with an agent and filming a feature movie.  Listen, if your filling out the a form that asks your parent's occupation, that should tell you something. All one needs is your address and where you work to search the net to see if you can pony up the $.

I can't speak for their other locations, but judging from the posts, I suggest you do your research.  

concerned wrote at 2016-01-19 03:06:01
Just notice how 1 company review causes their director to go crazy and attack a single mom.  If they can't handle a review by 1 customer what does that say about them. They resorted to personal attacks aND legal action.  Plus put links to liable posts that are being investigated but has no clue what her personal attacks can do.  Just defend your company and don't lower yourself to the level of scum.  Be professional.  It just proves to me that her review of her experience is accurate.  

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Arlene Schulman


As a professional director, dramaturg, acting coach and actor for over 25 years in the NYC/NJ area, I can help with questions on acting technique, character development, audition and rehearsal techniques, dealing with directors and stage managers, what directors are looking for, and other aspects of the acting and directing professions.


A professional director, dramaturg, acting coach and actor for over 25 years in the NYC/NJ area, I have directed in professional, university and amateur theatre and have directed and acted in dramas, comedies, musicals, Shakespeare as well as collaborating closely with playwrights in the development of original plays and musicals.

SSDC associate member
Advisory Board - Isle of Shoals Productions
Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of America associate member
Shakespeare Association of America
The Shakespesare Institute - MA "Shakespeare & Theatre" candidate, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK

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