Help & Advice

 

SAFETY ADVICE

When looking for work in the entertainment industry you must exercise caution to safeguard yourself. No one can make you a star overnight and you should be very wary of anyone claiming to do so. Whilst most entertainment and modelling opportunities are legitimate, some are not. At universaltalenthouse.com your safety and peace of mind is our number one priority. Never send money to anyone and keep your personal information private – no matter who contacts you. Above all use your common sense – if it looks too good to be true then it often is. If you suspect that a member of universaltalenthouse.com is operating a scam then please Contact us immediately.

Although we have prevention methods in place to check the validity of listings it is still important that you do your own research about the company or individual connected to the listing. You can flag suspicious listings using the Flag this Listing option at the bottom of the listing in question.

Auditions

  • Conduct some research on the company or individual with whom you are auditioning, in order to determine its legitimacy
  • Make sure you know the exact requirements of the audition before you apply
  • Take a family member or friend for moral support and safety.
  • Be wary of castings that take place at residential addresses or other establishments such as hotels or bars
  • Don’t be pressured into doing or signing something that you are uncomfortable with
  • Take your time to read all contracts before signing – it is important to read the fine print.

Agents

Agents and entertainment agencies regularly use universaltalenthouse.com to advertise their castings. Be wary if they ask you to pay a fee. Agents or agencies that ask for money when you first speak to them are breaking the law. Make sure you thoroughly research the agent or agency before responding to castings. If they suggest that you need to get headshots done then make sure that they do not pressure you into working with a photographer of their choosing – you should be free to use the services of any photographer you want. If you have suspicions about a listing or you have already been scammed please contact us and report it to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud and internet crime reporting centre.

Spam and Scam Emails

Its common knowledge that the majority of emails sent every day are unsolicited junk mail. Be aware that not all spam emails are scams. Scam emails are designed to con you into divulging personal information which could lead to a fraudster defrauding you or stealing your identity.

Be alert if:

  • You receive a request for personal information such as your user ID, password or bank details
  • The email contains spelling mistakes or misspellings (for example ‘p0rn’ with a zero) designed to trick spam filters
  • The subject line and content of the email do not match
  • The email contains a virus warning
  • The email has attachments, which could include .exe files
  • You receive an email claiming to be from universaltalenthouse.com that doesn’t come from an email address ending in @universaltalenthouse.com.

On the occasion that a staff member of universaltalenthouse.com needs to send an email to a member the email will only come from an @universaltalenthouse.com address. If a member receives an email from someone claiming to be from universaltalenthouse.com yet the email address does not come from @universaltalenthouse.com then contact us immediately and refrain from responding to the individual.

Registration of minors

Users of the universaltalenthouse.com website must be over the age of 18. However, parents or guardians of minors can sign up and apply for relevant auditions/jobs, on their behalf. Your child’s privacy and safety is important to us and we have laid out some guidelines below to help you protect their interests. For more information regarding child performers please visit the Gov.uk website

  • Privacy protection – universaltalenthouse.com have various measures in place to protect the privacy of your child. To register on behalf of your child follow the normal registration process and you will find an option to include additional information. Do not disclose any private information about your child on their profile – whether it is an email address, their mobile number or where they school. We suggest that you set your child’s profile to private. This will prevent them from appearing in search results within the Talent Directory and on web search engines. Your child’s profile will still be visible to relevant users when you apply for their castings. To learn how to set your child’s profile to private click here
  • Images – Remember that your child should always look age appropriate in their photographs – refrain from using images of your children in swimwear, underwear or partially clothed. They should also be makeup free and look as natural as possible.
  • Casting response – Please visit the Gov.uk website to familiarise yourself with legislation regarding child performers in the UK. All communication with casting professionals should be made through you, the parent/guardian. A minor should not be communicating with any casting professionals under any circumstances. You will be expected to accompany your child to all castings. Please be cautious and read through contracts carefully before signing. It is advisable that you request scripts before agreeing to attend an audition – this is to ensure that you are comfortable with the content of the production. Make sure you a familiar with your child’s rights with regards to working in the entertainment industry. Your local council will have online information about requirements for children working in entertainment.
  • Legislation – There are laws in place to protect your child’s rights, namely The Children and Young Person Act 1933 & 1963. You should ensure that any casting you apply for adheres to this legislation.

If you have any concerns or questions please contact us

Roles with nudity

Whilst there are genuine, artistic reasons for a role to require nudity there are also a lot of unscrupulous people who list such castings with devious intentions. Above all you must always make sure that you are comfortable with whatever is required of you. Even if you are open to roles that involve nudity it is advisable to be cautious when responding to castings that require such.

The do’s and don’ts involving nudity:

DON’T be afraid to say no. You should never feel pressured to perform nude – if you have any misgivings or doubts it is best to not pursue the role and to leave the audition.

DON’T strip for an audition or casting. Whilst there are genuine roles that justify being nude you should not be expected to strip for the audition. If you are asked to, we would advise that you leave the audition.

DO read through any paperwork connected to any production or photoshoot. This will stop you having any shocking surprises once you accept a role. If a role requires nudity it should be specified in black and white at the beginning of the recruitment process.

DO be careful if you are asked to attend a private audition. If a role requires you to audition at a hotel or residential address then be very wary. Always take a family member or close friend with you for safety reasons.

DON’T send any nude photos/videos in response to castings. A legitimate agency or agent (unless in the glamour industry) will not expect you to send nude photos as a prerequisite of the audition, nor will they ask you to come in to pose for nude photos to be considered for a part.

DO familiarise yourself with the proper professional procedures when nudity is required. For example when required to perform nude the set should be a ‘closed set’ which means that only essential pre-approved staff should be present. You should be fully briefed (prior to the performance) on all scenes that require nudity so that you are fully aware of what is required of you and thus comfortable. There are some resources, a so-called ‘nudity kit’, that is used for nude and implied nude scenes such as nude spandex, disposable stick on panties and full body makeup.

Contact Us immediately if you attend a casting that required nudity that wasn’t specified in the original listing.

Common Scams

It is important to know how the entertainment industry works. Remember two things at least. Firstly no one can make you a star overnight and secondly continuous work is never guaranteed. Other important factors to bear in mind include:

  • The big jobs go to reputable agents and agencies. No well-known brand name will hire a model directly on the internet; however, please note that reputable agents and agencies may post listings on the website for new talent
  • Talent is usually hired locally. New faces are never flown from a small market to a large market simply because there is an abundance of talent in the larger markets. Be wary of listings claiming to fly you internationally particularly to places such as Paris and New York
  • Legitimate agencies interview in person and normally accept images via their website; they do not interview applicants via webcam nor would they ever ask them to appear naked in order to be considered
  • Legitimate model agencies will never ask models to send nude photos for evaluation
  • Agencies should never charge you a sign-up fee; they make their money by taking a commission from the bookings they secure for you.

Other red flags that a listing or email could be a scam are:

  • Poor grammar and spelling
  • Requests for joining/workshop fees
  • You cannot find any information online about the company/individual attached to the email/listing.

Please read the two links below regarding common scams faced by actors and models:

8 types of Scam Artists Actors Should Beware

What You Need to Know About Acting and Modelling Scams

Contact Us immediately if you suspect a listing to be a scam.

Employment Rights

Whether you are an aspiring talent or a seasoned professional it is important that you know your right with regards to working conditions and pay. As much as we would love all the listings on the website to be ‘paid’ work we understand the need for ‘gratis’ or ‘expenses only’ work aimed at new and aspiring talent. Use common sense and if you feel that a role is deliberately exploiting talent then please contact us immediately. There are several resources you can visit to familiarise yourself with your rights as a performer.

They include:

Association of Model Agents

Creative Toolkit

Equity

Gov.uk

The International Federation of Actors