The Beauty Pageant Scam by Jack Rooney

There are many legitimate beauty pageants held throughout the country each year for both men and women. The promoters of these pageants work very hard to find men and women who are marketable as models, and many successful actors and actresses were first discovered in a beauty or talent pageant.

On the other hand, there are also pageants which are set up for the sole purpose of lining the pockets of the promoters.

A few years ago, I had an interview at a local modeling school. I had sent them a photo of myself with a resume in hopes that they might know an agency who could use me.

Yes, I send my photo and resume to all the local schools because you just never know when one of their clients might need someone with my kind of look. I gladly pay them their percentage fee if they find me work.

I received a call from the school and they asked me to come in for an interview. I thought it was about a job. When I arrived I had a current photo and resume in hand.

She looked it over with a discriminating eye and said, "This photo doesn't really do you justice. You are much better looking than I can see from this photo."

I opened my briefcase and handed her a stack of contact sheets of over 100 recent photos.

I visit a photographer at least every 18 months and I have hundreds of photos of myself with every possible look imaginable for a man. Head shots, full length shots, in business suits, in blue jeans and t-shirt, in bathing suits and shorts, long hair, short hair, clean shaven, with three-day growth of beard, with full beard, with mustache, etc.

She changed the subject quickly when she realized I was playing hard ball.

She reached into her desk drawer and pulled out a brochure and handed it to me.

"You should consider entering the Mr. ------- contest. You are very handsome and you would stand a good chance at winning."

She was pumping up my ego.

The brochure explained the rules of the contest, and I learned that she was the state promoter for the contest. She explained how the winners win all sorts of prizes and an "exclusive contract" with some agency out of New York I had never heard of.

Then she hit me up for a $395.00 "entry fee," assuring me that it was a small price to pay for the chance at winning such an illustrious title.

I got up from my chair, politely told her I would give it some thought, and left.

I never went back. Why? Because I recognized it immediately as a scam. Legitimate pageants do not charge such fees for contestants to enter. A $20.00 or $30.00 registration fee is understandable to handle paperwork costs, etc., but $395.00? -- No way!

I followed this contest with interest. It was held in Indianapolis. They rented out a large suite at one of the local hotels. It was even on the 6 o’clock news. There were about 19 contestants in the pageant. The promoter couldn’t have spent more than a few hundred dollars for the hotel.

Someone, and I think you can guess whom, walked away with almost $7,000.00 in their pocket, while some of the contestants walked away with a plastic trophy.

Excerpt from LIFE IN THE FAST LANE: Scams and Charlatans In the Modeling and Acting Business By Jack Rooney. Used with permission.

"Many parents spend thousands of dollars on pageants hoping that their child will become the next supermodel or a famous movie star. The truth is that few are discovered that way." -- BBB

Beauty Pageants: Runways to Fame? by BBB