Sunday, October 28, 2012

Traveling Auditions Provoke Concerns

An advertisement that hit the Quad City air last week has made some confusion.

As a traveling show asking for kids to participate in their talent competitions referenced the Disney channel.

There are questions parents need to ask before signing up for any talent scouting group.

First, who's been successful with this company?

Get their references and see what children with similar backgrounds have been able to break into the field.

Second, get everything in writing and read the fine print.

That will explain what to do if you're not satisfied and whether a refund is available.

And third, take your time.

Being rushed is why one local woman chose not to put any money down.

"Do you like Disney, do you watch, well I can't even think of the shows on there," says Misty DePauw. She took her daughter Samantha to the audition after hearing the radio ad.

"(She's) very into some of the Disney shows, and now with YouTube and stuff being able to put your own video's on, who doesn't want to be a star?"

They went to an audition session hosted by "The Event." A traveling company that sells vacation packages combined with a talent competition. But after doing some homework, Misty decided not to buy in.

"I think they're trying to make some fast money off people, and it's sad that they're using a child's dream," says DePauw.

TV 6 investigated those claims to see if others feel the same. The BBB says while issue come up with this company. Their marketing campaign is legitimate.

But they suggest other parents considering these types of things do what DePauw did, and do their homework.

"It's really your job as a consumer to ask as many questions as you can," says Quad Cities BBB representative Patt Englander.

She says it's smart to take extra care with any traveling company.

"When companies come in, they're here for a short period of time and then they leave, it's difficult to track that information."

Englander says there's lots of places to get information. The BBB, the state attorney general's office, even the local police department.

"They have information on companies that kind of come through town."

DePauw says it was a learning experience. And it encouraged her daughter to try some new skills.

"She's asked about getting into some dancing so maybe, we'll have to see," says DePauw.

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