Michael David Palance Phoenix, AZ, US
- 10th Aug, 2019
Truth about Premiere Event and Michael Palance
- Report #5YDB2
- Reporter FIREBOBSTE
Did you hear about Audition Scams ? Or Premiere "Disney" Auditions ? Or Michael Palance ?
This will be an interesting review to conduct. Early on we had many people quickly refer to Premiere Event, owned by Michael Palance, as a scam but that would only be the case if the event that they run didn't go ahead. From what we have been told the event does take place, twice a year, in Orlando at Disney World.
The event, or what they call an "industry showcase" happens in America. It is sold to Australians by Michael Palance as an opportunity to meet industry professionals that can make your dreams a reality - but can they?
They no longer use the Disney name in their advertising, as we believe Disney have prevented this, but they still use it on their phone calls as the lure to get people in the door. They never directly say that are affiliated with Disney, but they certainly don’t go out of their way to correct you if you believe it is.
So what is it? The “Evaluation day” is basically an audition, and the audition is for a place in their 5-day event where you perform in front of agents, managers, casting directors etc in the USA. It is true that the agents and managers you perform in front of are real. Even attended by Michael Palance in some cases. They are connected, and have found talent and placed them in work. What they don't tell you though is how the process actually works, and what needs to be in place for that to be able to happen to you.
First off though, we feel it’s important to give you some background on the big difference between the USA and Australian industry, in particular, the difference between Managers and Agents. In Australia, a Manager and Agent are the same things - they represent talent and put them up to casting directors in the hope to get them work. In the USA, a Manager is just that - a manager - they are not an agent. Some managers have contacts to get briefs but you will find that most of those will be public briefs that you could find yourself. The true purpose of a manager in the USA is to assist you in negotiations such as pay, conditions etc. They don't book the work, the agent does. Getting management in the USA is not that difficult, there are hundreds of them, and they all take their 10-15%. What you really need in the USA is an agent, and this is where it gets tricky.
Agents are bonded - they have to pay up to $50,000 to call themselves an agent and if they breach laws about misrepresenting themselves, or trying to charge clients for things other than commission they can lose the bond.
Therefore, Agents are very careful about who they offer representation to, they are limited on numbers and will only offer rep to those who they believe will book work - but here is the big catch - do you have a visa?
In the USA, you can only book paid acting work if you have a social security number and you can only get one of those if you have a US Passport, Green card, or work visa, for actors it’s an 01 visa. If you are lucky enough to have a parent who has dual citizenship (one of those being USA) then you might have a chance of getting an agent. If you marry a US citizen you can obtain a green card, but most times the people going to these events are under 18 so that's not going to happen - so the only option is the 01 visa. This is no normal visa, it can cost anywhere from 2K to 10K depending on which lawyers you use, but even having the money doesn't guarantee the visa. You MUST have extraordinary abilities in acting, proven with actual credits on shows, and you MUST have a deal memo - which is guaranteed work in the USA.
So, what does this mean? Basically, no agent will sign you unless you have an 0-1 Visa first. You can’t get an 0-1 visa without a deal memo. You can’t get a deal memo without being put up for work by an agent!! This is a real problem. With that being the case, why then does Premiere offer this opportunity to Australian’s when there really is no hope of any of them ever getting a US agent? The simple answer is MONEY!!!
Premiere (Michael Palance) charge the performers USD$7900 to attend the event which is 10 showcases over 5 days. That’s just over AUD$10k. This does not include parent passes USD$895 or flights and accommodation. Some might say there is a cheaper package of $2000 for 2 showcases, but really, if you are flying halfway across the world you are not going to just do 2 showcases. With flights, and accommodation, this trip will easily set you back in excess of AUD$25,000 but let’s go back one step.
Premiere and Michael Palance gets on average AUD$10,000 per performer just for the event. At their last event, they had 500 performers – so that’s a total of $5,000,000 in revenue. Yes, there will be costs for them, venues, agents etc, but there would still be a lot of profit. We have been told that they have had up to 800 performers at some of the events.
So now we know what Michael Palance gets out of this, what does the performer get? Well if they are Australian, they are certainly not getting a USA agent. Sure, they make friends and have a good time, but they are not getting what they were sold on, which is a chance to follow your dreams in Hollywood. Therefore – the event they are selling, and how they are selling it is very misleading.
Michael Palance will tell you that Australian's have got agents, and have got work out of their event – that is actually true, but they don’t tell you that the only reason this happened is because Premiere paid for a small group of agents from Australia to attend. It was the Australian agents who signed a handful of people for work opportunities in Australia and 2 or 3 have booked jobs from this. That is 2 or 3 out of at least 1,000 performers, if not more. And if you look at this logically, why would you pay $25,000 and fly halfway across the world for a chance to meet an Australian Agent that might get you a TV commercial filming in Sydney? There already on your doorstep.
More background information on this company, Premiere is actually their third company name over the past 6 years, all owned by Michael Palance. He originally used the name “THE” which stood for “The Hollywood Experience” but pronounced as “tay”. His next venture was “The Event” but he had to change that as they actually canceled that event due to numbers and failed to give refunds back to the families - this resulted in many media stories including A Current Affair.
The main reason they use names like “The” or “Premiere” is they are very hard to google. You will be hard-pressed to find much dirt on them. What you really need to search for is the owner's name, Michael David Palance. In some countries he drops the last name and goes by Michael David. Once you research this you can see that he has been involved in a number of bad reviews along with details on failed companies in Canada and the UK to a police report in Dubai where his rough audition techniques ended up bruising a young girl who then had to go to the hospital for treatment. We have been told that this resulted in charges being laid and a conviction.
So, if you haven’t worked it out by now, after concluding my review, no one should believe that this opportunity is worthwhile and their advertising is very misleading.
I can only hope that this message gets across so people stop attending their events and they stop coming to Australia to prey on innocent families. This is a very expensive holiday that will not give you what they promise.
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Comments (2 comments)
- 10th Aug, 2019
We attended in July of this year and did not get a call back either. We were devastated! All of that hard work and determination did not pay off at all. We spent over $10,000 easily. We paid for level 3, which was $5,000 plus the $895 for adults in the party, plus our flights, hotel, car rental, parking, food, buying the outfits that were needed for each occasion for the three of us, pictures, and celebrating all of my daughter's hard work despite them not recognizing her and giving her a call back. Instead the kids that got recognized for getting the most call backs had messed up on their lines and were not attractive children, one was literally obese and you couldn't see his eyes and the other was overly confident and had bi-sexual parents that were straight ghetto looking, I mean a gold grill and all, and told their daughter to make the other kids want to be like her. Another aspect I didn't care for was when we first went to audition, Michael mentioned God in a speech he gave and how important this was in one's life, yet at Premiere, one of the showcases had the movie stars act out as though they were gay. It was horrible. I'm pretty sure most people in the audience were offended either way they swung and I did not see a one person laughing, not a one. Does anyone know what the meeting/session is about when you do get a call back. There is a meeting/session afterwards that only those who received a call back can attend and I was wondering if this is for the parents to sign a contract with Premiere representing them as their agent if the child does make it big or what is this session about and does Premiere get another cut?
- 10th Aug, 2019
I was visiting Boise and went to the mall with a friend. These nice people, or so I thought called me over. They wanted me to try this product. I was concerned with the price. I asked that I feed I had any problems would I be able to get a refund. I was assured by Jordan that I wouldn't need a refund because this would be so fearful for my skin, but if there was a problem a refund would be given. The next day, my skin was broken out and red and itchy. No doubt there had been an allergic reaction. Took pictures and called the number I had. Got no answer but when I finally did get a response I was told no refunds ,but that for an additional $499 they could exchange the product. I was u understanding this was a major scam by this point. I called their corporate headquarters and was told to email stephanie a pic of the receipt.and of my face and they would get me a refund, but it might take a while because each of the premier/supreme beauty was owned by different people. I took this to the credit card company. They are now saying that no refundable are allowed and that the contract said this. Even though I was told differently. So now I have been promised a refund. None has been given. My credit card company may not refund even though I have a card from them saying 'if there us problem will fix". One time when I tried to call they tried to pull that they didnt speak Englush. This company is a total RIP off scam- and when you sign, they will give you another copy that says 'no refunds only exchanges' well guess what, u less you fork out another $499 there will be no exchanges either! Plus I didn't get all of what I was promised and one of the bottles /syringe things exploded when I opened it causing half of it to spray across the room. They also said that all of this was made in Israel...nope made in USA and some says made in holland.