Some parents wary of agents' pricey service - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Some parents wary of agents' pricey service

An out of state talent agency that's been under fire recently was in Memphis today looking for the stars of tomorrow. A consumer group has issued a warning about Aquarian Associates' Great American Model Search.

Feleshia Wilson hopes her five-month-old daughter will achieve fame and fortune.

"Pretty much I hope that she could land a career and do commercials and stuff," she said.

Wilson's daughter was one of hundreds of children invited back to the Cook Convention Center Saturday after attending a casting call here two weeks ago.

But it wasn't until today that hundreds of hopefuls learned that the next step in the process will cost them hundreds of dollars.

"Actually, we're going to think about it because you have to pay like $600 by tomorrow and then you have to travel to Pittsburgh," said parent Adria Dodson.

Aquarian Associates doesn't hide the fact that they do not represent children. Instead they invite dozens of talent agents to an out of state casting convention in June.

In April of last year, the New York State Consumer Protection Board warned parents about Aquarian, saying agents who are paid to attend that Pittsburgh audition admit chances are slim that anyone will get work.

But Alexandrea Hairston says it worked for her.

"I was in a Target commercial," she said. "I was in a Rooms to Go kids' furniture commercial and I was also in the latest Barney movie The Land in Make Believe."

Organizers declined to appear on camera, but told us they give children a chance to be seen which would cost more if parents did it themselves.

"It seems like it's a really good organization and a really good deal for most people," said parent Joe Kinsey.

Most people at this meeting walked away, saying they were unprepared to pay so much so fast.

According to Aquarian's website, the agency is a member in good standing of the Better Business Bureau.

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