"The label you give yourself cannot impact external forces that are not motivated by your own psychology or influenced by a third party's pre-existing consciousness of you. We are all presented with reasons to struggle which come from completely external forces; to pretend that one is not struggling is either arrogance or an admission of defeat. To admit that one is struggling is a sign and a source of strength." - Evan A. Baker

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Struggling Actress Can Answer Your Questions!

Eager Yet Confused sent me this message she received from the Michael Zanuck Agency (MZA):

As this excellent pilot season, starts to end , we now have time to consider new talent. MZA “The Michael Zanuck Agency” would like you to submit for possible representation. Please submit HARD COPY,PICTURES/RESUMES ONLY , BY MAIL ONLY TO: MZA 28035 Dorothy Dr. #120 Agoura Hills Ca 91301. Please don’t seal envelopes. No follow up calls or e mails. For further information , please visit our website www.michaelzanuckagency.com. The second part of this submission process , is to send us AN E-MAIL NOTE ONLY !! , that you have received this request and will be sending us your hard copy submission by mail. We will then CALL !! to schedule you for an appointment Please send this e-mail note to zanuckreplys@yahoo.com. We realize that “replys” is not spelled correctly , this was the only way (for some unknown reason, that yahoo would accept this address). This is very important, and makes it easy for our staff to contact you without having to re-enter your e-mail. Please..follow these directions EXACTLY. We apologize if this is a duplicate request, some of our lists were lost (our office doggy ate our homework). Please don’t re-submit, if you’ve recently done so, or met with any of our departments…Many Thanks..Michael Zanuck..ps..if you don’t yet have a professional picture..just send us a snap shot with all your contact information on the back of the picture. Please mark “LA Casting” on the outside of the envelope. REALLY..REALLY..don’t send any e mails or call to make sure we’re considering you..if you mail us the above requested materials and send the requested e-mail , we totally promise to seriously consider you. Follow up e mails/calls just waste our time and takes us longer to review your material. Make SURE , we have your e-mail and current telephone contact number on your submission. Please only send one picture/resume , make sure the resume is STAPLED to your picture.


Michael Zanuck used to be a partner of the Zanuck Passon & Pace agency (ZPP), one that had loads of struggling actors come in and interview them for commercial representation. In fact, I had even met with them. This was quite a few years ago, perhaps 04 or so, and on my way in, I ran into a member of a writing group I used to belong to and he was very excited for me as he went out all the time. He was also a man in his 60s with an incredible voice. Not exactly my same type. But he was with them theatrically and recommended them.

But when I went in there, oh man, ick.
I met with one of them, I can't remember who, and he took a look at all my pictures and said, "You need new ones." My pictures were about 6 months old and everywhere I went, I got compliments on them, both from other actors and casting directors. This guy suggested I go all blatant character on my headshots, asking me to pose as a "hippy flower child," and "gothic," as well as "young mom," and "cute nerd," complete with pigtails and glasses.
For reals?
I had my a picture that suggested dangerous/gothic/bad girl. I wasn't wearing black lipstick, but that's what he wanted. I had already booked a movie playing a gothic character with that picture, but I kept my mouth shut.
He then pulled out a series of headshots for me to look at. And I could tell, young as I was, that they were absolute crap. They made the actor look so green! I mean, here was a headshot that instead of suggesting a character of power and intelligence, was an actual photo of an actor wearing a lab coat and a stethescope!
Now, I've been on the casting side. We toss those headshots out. Casting directors are intelligent people. They can tell if you can play a doctor without being in a costume. It's their job. I guarantee you Ellen Pompeo did not have a headshot of herself in scrubs to be called in and cast as Meredith Gray in Gray's Anatomy.
They gave me five postcards of the photographers they wanted me to shoot with. When I asked if I could use my own photographer, he seemed hesitant, and told me that if I shot with another photographer and they didn't like any of my photos, I would be required to shoot with one of theirs. And then he handed me a sheet with their acting coaches that I would have to take a class with in order to be signed with them.

I ran out of that office.

ZPP was known in Hollywood as a joke agency. And I belive that MZA is continuing those same practices I described. Any agency that wants to be taken seriously will not use anything but proper business English in their correspondance. "...we totally promise to seriously consider you"?! For Realsie!

I say, if you have the time to meet with them, go ahead, but only as an experience to see how liberating and wonderful it is to know that YOU have the power in how and who you want to be represented by. Because actors do get the chance to say, you know what? No thanks.

But don't take my word for it, read the reviews by other actors throughout the years in the four pages of thread posts at BackStage.com and another article about ZPP here too, regarding their fishy contracts.

And another guy writes about almost the same exact experience I had with ZPP, with MZA. It comes from scratchpadwikia.

So go if you want, but really, why not just spend that money you'd save on gas for a green beer tonight?

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

UPDATE! I'm copying and pasting the experience Stephen had when he went to MZA 12/7/10:

Stephen Again, this was my experience: Basically it was all the stories in a nut shell. Went in, he liked my look but my headshots were crap (they are). Read a small blurb, he said he wanted to sign with me and I had to take the following steps: 1) new headshots, preferably with one of their recommended photographers (this is not out of the ordinary) 2) Take a commercial workshop (also not completely out of the question)however, the workshop was priced about 3 times as high as any other one I've seen. It's 150 dollars for 1 day, 3 hours. Most of the ones you pay that much for are multiple days. On that note though, I've done some research and a lot of people seem to think that the commercial workshop was really helpful and completely Legit. So what the heck. I needed new headshots anyway, and the commercial workshop sounded expensive, but manageable and it sounded like it was a legit workshop. Here's where it gets shady: I got back in touch with MZA before I did either of these things and asked what else I would have to do before they signed me (because they didn't sign me on the spot which is VERY unusual. Agents usually will sign you if they want you.) I was told that because I was not SAG I would HAVE to become SAG eligible before they signed me because according to him Commercials will not look at nonSAG. I don't know if there's any merit to that, I have heard otherwise but have no experience. I asked what that would entail, and he told me that they would fast track me to SAG by getting me in contact with what is called a "wire," which is someone on production who basically gives you a SAG voucher in exchange for a cash bribe. That sounded super shady to me, but I got in touch with the "wire" just to see what exactly that entailed... I mean who knows... When I talked to her, she told me that she wanted 500 dollars per voucher. I already have one, so I was going to be expected to pay 1000 dollars, and THEN join sag (another 2400 dollars) to sign with Zanuck. I asked her why it was expensive and she said that everyone on production gets a kick back out of the 500 a voucher and that's why it's so much. Plus while working for SAG you make SAG pay so it only ends up being about 500 dollars for 2 vouchers. This all sounded incredibly shady to me, and incredibly risky and illegal. Not to mention I don't have this kind of money so I kindly declined and am no longer able to sign with MZA. So there you have it. My experiences. At the very least he is engaged in INCREDIBLY shady business practices. If you were to sign with him who knows, maybe he gets you into SAG and gets you auditions etc. But from what I've heard he signs you and then drops you after 6 months so I don't know. Hope this helps.

Lira said...
Anon - Thank you so much for your detailed report! I want to let everyone know that Non-Union commercials DO exist, and if you're non-union, you WILL go out for them AND Sag commercials! Any reputable commercial agent won't give a fig if you're non-union; if they think you could book, they'll sign you! A lot of non-union actors get Taft-Hartleyed on union commercials! This whole "wire" business is ILLEGAL! I am forwarding this comment to SAG. Stephen, if you wanted to email me with any more information- the time and date of your interview, etc, I would greatly appreciate it.
 

163 comments:

  1. THANK YOU. As a struggling actress who is going crazy lengths to make my dream come true I seem to get bombarded with these emails and because I am not in LA I never know scam from legite until I do my own research but I am learning the signs FAST.
    To help a few others out. If their email is a free account it raises a red flag. They could be legite but be careful. Then what I do is see who owns the email and phone number and then I take the address and map it on google maps. Hope this helps other struggling actors.

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  2. Have you heard any negative experiences regarding the Michael Zanuck Agency? I'm thinking about signing with them for both theatrical and commercial representation.

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  3. If all these people are complaining about that agency, I would NOT sign with them. Find your other options. If you did an entire mailing and only MZA contacted you, print out another headshot that looks like nothing you sent before, and do another mailing. And when I go see the sign in sheets at commercial and theatrical auditions, I NEVER see MZA on there. EVER.

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    1. Lira in just one year since 2011 I've booked Kellogg, kayak, espn and Hahn beer commercials, the movie I'm in middle of nowhere brought home Best director at sundance 2012 that's all I'll tell you about right now. I didn't see you when I signed in as a proud MZA client on the sign in sheet on all my bookings? You say stupid things Lira, you should be focused on you damn self instead the sign in sheet and you might book something that people might see.

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    2. after reading your posts i googled and found others corroborating what you stated. that said, have you any information on michael forman talent management? the interverse doesn't seem to have too much to say and i'd like to have some "knowledge" prior to meeting (since i've already committed to one. any help?

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  4. For the record. I have been with Michael for 15 years and have booked many features and prime time shows. I have been cast by all the major networks and been hired by many major film producers and studios. All of these auditions were the result of Michael Zanuck. I was with him when the first agency he worked for in Los Angeles stole all the actors money and gambled it away. I lost several thousands dollars. So did Michael, he lost all commissions from all the actors he had booked on jobs. That's why he started his own agency. Pictures? Yes you need to have them. Will he recommend people he likes? Yes. Do you have to use them? No! Go to whoever you like . I have gone to whomever i wanted to all these years and had no complaints from the agency. he just wants tools to use to help you get work. Commercials./ This last week I was IN FOR LEXUS, SEARS, FORD and turned down 2 auditions for products I was not interested in. All you whiners need to do the math. If you are making union scale at about $750.00 a day and the agent gets 10% that is only $75.00. If you do 10 jobs a year you have made $7,500 and the agent gets $750.00 . If you have no credits and don't have a decent day rate above scale you should be happy someone even found you and contacted you. ( though as well as I know Michael, I doubt that these stories are even accurate. I have recommended several people to michael over the years. Half of them have been happy and are working actors. the other half have not been happy and don't work. Who's fault is it. Michaels, the actors' or the POWERS THAT BE!

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    1. I agree....I was on a non-exclusive basis with him while I was getting new shots and booked 2 jobs for fairly large casting office. I only had to leave him because my manager at the time didn't get along with him and Jerry. It's a big city with lots of agents and if he's a little shady so what,if he gets you auditions?

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    2. Right. This is michael himself OR why is would his name be "ANONYMOUS". LOL SADDD. Isn't it sad when they actually google themselves looking for all this bad stuff and try to make ther rep better? HAHA MZA IS indeed a sham/scam thank you ma'am!

      Pace tried to sign me and charge 20%! hello!!?!?!?! Legit much? Nope! hahaha

      I always say this. IF in fact they are legit, ACTORS WILL BE BANGING ON THEIR DOOR TO SIGN THEM! Not the other way around! correct??

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    3. Then why are you posting as Anonymous? Why wouldn't you post your real name or stage name so we could verify your information?

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  5. I myself was with michael i moved to houston for personal reasons. i always was sent on good auditions guest leads that actors who are with top agencies were auditioning. michael is a good agent i never had a problem with him.

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  6. I find it interesting that those who think MZA is so great fail to leave their name. If I was proud of my agent and highly recommended them, I would be proud to use my full real name.

    Now, as I said in the post, the older gentleman in his 60s went out a LOT theatrically and was happy with them. I did not like what I saw when I went in, disagreed with his concept of what would work for me, and did my homework. So I didn't sign.

    And I have people at least 2-3 times a week googling "Michael Zanuck Agency," and "Michael Zanuck Scam," and finding this blog that way.

    If you're a young struggling actress, I suggest submitting to other agencies who are known to be respected throughout the city, not just by a few anonymous comments who could very well have been written by the MZA staff.

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    1. Fi core is wrong!!! You are not a sag member, go to the one union web site for more info.

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  7. Sande Alessi casting is now posting on their hotlines to submit headshots and resumes to MZA and that he's a "hot agent." MZA had actually found me on lacasting.com about a year ago when I was first making my transition from a dance career to acting and I was surprised that an agency would be interested in me when I had no film or TV credits and awful TFCD style headshots. So I did some research and heard similar stories. I think I may submit though just out of curiousity to see what's going down over there. I'll let you all know what happens!

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  8. I heard that on Sande's line too. Sounded a little fishy to me, but like you i think i'll also check it out. Any meeting is a learning experience and i'd like to see how bad (or good, doubtful) it is.

    Does anyone know anything about Jack Scagnetti's Agency?

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    1. I signed with him when I got in the biz in 1978. His office was a real mess. Never got an audition.

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  9. I sent a letter to all the SAG agents looking for theatrical representation. I got a call from Zanuck's agency asking me to come in. I had a gig that day, and called to tell them that. I heard nothing for a month, but then had a call for a meeting for theatrical. I drove out from the West Side and was amused by the sign on the door asking that you go to the washroom and wash your hands before entering. I didn't, went in, filled out a basic sheet, and was met by Victoria. She took me back to her office and I gave her my thumb drive with a few printed head shots. She said her computer was broken (how can she deal with Actor's Access or LA Casting), couldn't find any reference to me in her notes, and that she was only interested in commercial clients. I told her my appointment was for theatrical and she handed back all my stuff and hurried me out of the office. If they can't keep straight who is coming in and why they're there, how can they keep track of their bookings? Very strange (along with their mysophobia).

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  10. I was going to go this morning to this agency I live in the O.C. thank god something told me not to waste my time.
    Dude seriously I live far & come on wasting people's time for bullshit. Seriously WTF
    So annoying, thank you for letting me know.

    Thanks for your Blog!

    I will comment again & use my real name lol.

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  11. RE: Does anyone know anything about Jack Scagnetti's Agency?

    I was with him for about six months and didn't have any auditions. He has a small (very messy) office in the valley. When I left him after having ZERO auditions in six months he left me a very nasty unprofessional message.

    That being said, I do think he is a legit agent and not trying to scam anyone, as I did not have to get new photos or anyting like that. I know he has some people who have been with him for years, he was just clearly the wrong agent for me and I don't think he has much clout.

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    1. I financed Jack Scagnetti in 1980 for the studio breakdowns, back when there were only about 100 talent agencies in Hollywood, due to the fact that their were no digital cameras therefore everyone had to rent the exclusive studio ones, which created a bit of a monopoly. I started a meet and greet acting workshop with him out of his office lobby that brought in a casting director to critique. I did this for about 2 years and then turned it over to some other actors he had signed both SAG and non-sag. He continued to review scripts and books. Jack was always very professional and super polite. You couldn't have found a more proper fellow. I noticed he's over 90 now, and that the agency has a recording, even for casting directors, so that part of the business is not legitimate, as no one in the business ever told a casting director to leave a message and we'll get back to you. I have heard reports one of his family is still working with scripts, but it is tied into a payment fee for reading. Of course if you've got a dynamic story, it will eventually get out there one way or another. I would be interested in hearing from any actors and actresses that were in our original acting workshop. Author of 'Are There Christian Cops in Austin Texas'

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  12. I heard about MZA through Sande Alessi and submitted on a whim. I got a call to meet with them, and plan to go in a couple of days to see what's what. I was doing a little research to prep for this meeting... and now I am not sure I want to go. This guy sounds completely sketchy. Anyone been to visit him lately?

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  13. hey to the comment above. i heard about MZA through sande alessi too, and got a call a few days ago. after doing some research, I'm really hesitant to go into my meeting tomorrow. Let me know how yours goes!!

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  14. Thank you for this post. I just got the same message today from that agency. Now I know not to waste my time on them.

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  15. I went to Mza 5 months ago- Bad Experience- I met with some lady not the agent! They ask for your social when you walk through the door-
    They mass email everybody you are not special if they call you in...don't fool yourself... they sign anybody and everybody willing to go to there photographers, class instructors etc- they are rude also and real sketchy-

    I don't know why sandi Alesie is promoting him...My name is Nathan Lee my website is www.majoractor.com I am represented by management and an agent. Mza Wasted my time told me that being non -union on sag side I wouldn't go infront of the networks or that i don't have enough resume to work or get representation or infront of the networks ...
    They were 100 percent wrong i have auditioned infront of the networks- I'm current aftra now and working on joining sag... don't think that you will be the few that works out for them.

    I have done 10 network auditions so far never seen Mza on the sign in sheet or commercial sheets.for more deteiled info you can email me etc- I urge you not to waste your time ... I urge you to listen to all the testominies .. i urge you to stay clear of this one my fellow actors and actresses..

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    1. 10 network auditions and no bookings? Dude you suck!!!! I would try to do something else that might work like being a dishwasher or something.

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    2. Oh, he said he didn't book? I didn't read that. Where is it? (he was't talking about booking, he was talking about the sign in sheet retard) And if you notice, MZA wasn't there. LOL Cuz their clients suck!!! LOL They take anyone and their mother!!! hahaha Idiots. (I'm sure mza wrote that "you suck" anyways) talentless dudes.

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    3. Andy Spencer is on Legit 3/21 and in the new CBS pilot Super Clyde. Talent!!!!!!

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  16. oh and also If Mza you read this stop sending me emails to come in.. I know you don't keep track of your mass emailers but its getting old real quick... I can't believe you don't remember are first meeting?

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  17. well, im not a struggling "actress", but i am wondering if the Michael Zanuck Agency, is realy any good? because i just got a call today from someone who works for the agency, wanting an interview, are there any comments or a heads up from the wise?

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  18. did you not just read all the comments saying its a SCAM???

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  19. I just got another email from them simular to the ones I've seen on here and the funny thing is, I get these every year on my L.A Casting email account. This is def a scam! The first time I went there and they tried to get me to pay money for photos after my photos have been taken by a reputable photog who shoots for Maxim Magazine. They keep changing there name which is also a red flag!!! don't waste your time. You should never have to spend money to get work.

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  20. avoid this agency at all costs.

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  21. Well, the comment list is LOOOONG! I'm thankful to all for posting. Same story here, got an alert on LA casting. What's funny is, on his website, it says to not use his name when submitting on actorsaccess and "other submission websites" because its for non-repped actors. Ok, then why the hell did he contact me through LA casting???? Duh, such a contradiction. I'm not represented in any way and have worked consistently for the past 5 years. I have a day job as well. I do want representation though, but not so bad that I want an agent that so many people have spoken badly about. Think about it- do you really want to be a part of an agency that so many people make derogitory comments about? No. Join forces with an agency that carries a good name, and your name with not be tarnished. Network and create great relationships with people, take classes and workshops, be a skilled professional. Hey, do student films, and even extra/background work- it will all help in the long run. Then, one day when you least expect it, the right agent/manager/role/CD/producer/director will come along, see your potential and promote you. Be encouraged and do it the right way yall.

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  22. to everyone out there.......Don't waste your time or gas to go to Agoura Hills, I have been in show business for over 50 years and got the bums rush from someone who thought they knew the acting business.......Don't know if she was an intern or what......they called me and set up an interview...I drove 70 miles one way to see these shysters. I already have an Agent but I was considering changing. this taught me a great lesson......Nothing was as it appeared in their inital conversation with me. I was told that I had to be A Star or Co-star to be signed in their theatrical division. Excuse me.....my credits speak for themselves on Television and Film. I should have know that any Agency that is out in the B oonies like that one is has got to be bad.

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    1. You've been in the business for 50 years and your still looking for a good agent? Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha you my friend are a looser!

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    2. YOU are the LOSER...you cannot even spell LOSER correctly!!! stop insulting people you uneducated twat. get a life!

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  23. Has anyone reported this agency's conduct to SAG or AFTRA (not to mention nowcasting, lacasting, etc. where he advertises)? I thought that agents were not allowed to attempt to make money from actors by selling them pictures and/or classes. The unions (especially SAG) should be notified of this.

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  24. Hi people this is Andy and I'm with MZA and all I can say is Michael has been great to me! I love the guy, every meeting we've had was great, I learned alot and I love the drive to Aguora Hills! Life is great for me because of MZA! Don't let the haters talk you out of a career!

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  25. Andy - you gave us absolutely no information about the agency or your experience with it. And without specifics, I'm going to go ahead and assume you're a very new actor and would be happy with anyone you signed with, or are an assistant at MZA.

    You "love" the drive to Agoura Hills? Really?

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  26. I really wish I would have come across this blog a year ago before i met with him. After the drive out there i met with michael right away and he seemed like a nice guy..until he did exactly what everyone else has said he hated my headshots and handed me a list of people he wanted me to go to and told me he wanted tons of very specfic looks. I have heard suggesting in pictures you can play certain roles but full on dressing up is a little silly. He also did suggest going to an acting coach friend of his that could get me into sag for a fee i paid to her. I left the meeting with plans of continue my search for a different agent. Funny enough a year later i just received the same email that they are considering new talent and would like me to submit hard copy.

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  27. Wow, thank you so much!
    I'm so glad I googled about this agency and found this blog!
    I received the same alert on LA Casting, but with different words. I was a little excited about someone wanting to represent me, but it felt a little fishy to me. I am very glad I read all your comments and now I know not to waste my time! Thank you once again! :)

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  28. MZA is the best if! And if you don't like it hey who cares, who are you? O, I know unsigned background loosers. Just move on either way we are still making money! I'm so glad I'm signed! Stop hating and someone just might take you guys out of the background! MZA does not take loosers, I'm sorry Michael doesn't have time to mess around. The game is HOT like me! I would never tell you guys what happens between my agent and I thats our business!$$ I used my own photographer!! Does that make you guys happy? I paid 20 bucks for my pictures and Michael loved them!! Andy S.

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  29. Oh, Andy. When you insult others, it only weakens your argument.

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    1. No Lira when you are fi core it makes you look like a none working union hater who just could not cut it. I would never do N/U work and hurt other actors. If you are not good enough just get a regular job, don't undercut us working SAG card holders.

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    2. I'm not Fi-Core and never have been. And there is no more Sag.

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  30. I recently moved to LA from NYC and am seeking representation out here. A few days ago, I signed up for LA Castings, but haven't finished my profile yet. I don't have my headshot or resume up. So I thought it was strange that I got the same intern email from MZA that you originally posted stating that they are looking to sign my specific type.

    I also recieved a similar email from ATA (Alliance Talent Agency) wanting me to set up an interview for this Saturday.

    Research suggests these would both be a waste of time. Regardless of the legitimacy, I don't want to be signed with someone that has the word "scam" come up in multiple listings after I google them.

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  31. I do not encourage anyone to contact the Michael Zanuck Agency. About 8 or 10 years ago I went to see him and they wanted to represent me and they gave a list of acting coaches and a photographer to go to to have headshots. Like a fool I did go to a commercial class on thir list and also a photographer. Both were obviously getting kickbacks...keep away

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  32. Does anyone know anything about Malaky International talent agency? I am having some definite problems with them..

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  33. I just met with them today and the first think I thought to myself was what an ugly office. There website is nice but there office is horrible. I drove 3 hours just for her to give me a piece of paper saying to email her tonight if I want to or not be represented by them. I read the paper and it said for the second meeting, they will either say yes or no or think about it. Why not a damn phone call for that shit. I'm not going to spend another three hours driving just for you to tell me any of that. It was the worst experience I've had with any agency. And you right, they didn't like any of my pictures even though I know some of them were good for a beginner. I think I'm smart enough to know where a good agency stands. But I was already saying NO to them before they can say anything. Thank You Struggling Actress, this info did some good.

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  34. Yeah, Sande Alessi (extras casting director) is also a scam. They are illegal and are breaking SAG rules. Call Jerry Bruckheimer offices in Santa Monica and let them know Sande and her crooks are charging SAG actors to "audition." Every cycle of open calls received about 1,000 actors and they all had to pay $3 and undress in front of her. Then, when she needs your look she only considers the other actors who paid her 35 bucks. Finally, most of the people she hires are non-union and she doesn't submit all the photos to production. SAG is investigating the matter and all actors who came and paid to "audition" can now join the class action lawsuit against Sande. To add your name to this lawsuit and if you are one of the professional actors who "auditioned" submit your name and contact to Pirates Lawsuit PO Box 691184, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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    1. WOW. I got booked through her a few times. I paid my fee when she started back in the 90's. I do know when I booked a commercial through her, I found out that when I checked in her dad was handing out the SAG contracts and he had a contract also. He never was in front of the camera. Back then her Dad had a calling service called Direct Line. When work was scarce I joined Direct Line. And guess what. I got booked through Sandi the next day.

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  35. A casting director suggested I contact MZA for representation. After reading all the above: hmmmmm? Castle Hill was also recommended. Do you have any experience with Lee Castle's agency?

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  36. Absolutely DO NOT waste your time with this clown. I was called in by Zanuck for theatrical in the summer of '06 and already had a solid commercial agent (LW1). As soon as I sat down he started to undermine my theatrical credits and pushed me to sign with them commercially. Now, at that time I had a small but decent supporting role (3 scenes) in a film that was in theatrical release nationwide from a very well known director (Ebert had just given a thumbs up review) so I assumed he called me in having recognized the project. I also had a shoot the next day, so I was virtually speechless when this guy berated my theatrical credits then launched into a sleazy rap pimping their commercial "operation" as a means of "working my way up" into theatrical representation. I should have clued in right away: the office front door was a pawn shop style buzz/release with no receptionist, Zanuck himself was a lumbering, blown-out looking old fart in his late 60's wearing K-Mart style stretch band pants, and he didn't even have a computer on his desk. Remember,if it looks and smells like a low rent joke, it probably is.

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  37. I have had nothing but good times at MZA!

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  38. For those of you who have positive things to say about MZA, I kindly request you leave your name and the years you were with the agency. It will only help give validity to what could be MZA office workers, allowing a better assessment of all comments for actors considering representation from them.

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  39. OMG....Thanks for for all the information on MZA. I received an alert today on lacasting for my son. We were on a Commercial shoot when the alert came through. One of the members of the crew told me not to fall for MZA. After hearing that, I decided to google the company...only to find all this. THANKS, I will most definitely not WAIST my TIME

    ReplyDelete
  40. I meant to say, WASTE my TIME

    ReplyDelete
  41. I have been in the business for over 50 years, born and raised in CA, and have found a common thread between all of these postings: out-of-towners who want to be stars and who figure that all they have to do is show up and everyone will love them. Get real here people. If you can't take the rejection, then get out of the business. I have been with a couple of managers and agents over the years. When I have gone on auditions, the sign-in sheet is full of actors from MZA. I don't know what productions the rest of you are talking about; must be student films, etc., stuff that professional actors don't ever waste their time on as they are too busy working on real projects.

    I have known Michael for over 13 years, and he has gotten me a lot of auditions on every major show and film out there. Yes, I read the stuff on the internet, and I have questioned him about it, and his comment was "ask the casting directors how they feel about me if you want to know the truth." So, I did, and on every audition, and they all had great respect for him. I also got booked on a lot of shows that weren't on the Breakdowns as Michael has a relationship with a lot of the shows and networks. People, I know it is easy to find fault with an agency that doesn't pick you up, but here is the reality: Every agency will ask for new picks if what you have isn't professional; everyone needs to be in classes and workshops ongoing; you need new pics every one to two years (as CD's get bored with the same old pics once they've seen them too many years); it is almost impossible to get theatrical representation at this time by any agency (it is very competitive and they only want those who have the best credits to be considered); if you don't have an agent, you will NOT be submitted on Breakdowns and will not get auditions for the episodics and films; if you are non-union and don't have an agent, then your chances are almost non-existent unless you run into a CD at a social event or at a workshop; you need an AGENT; if you had what it takes, you'd have people coming up to you on the street dying to rep you. There are very few successful people in this town. Don't try to find fault with the agencies who don't pick you up. MZA, whether under this name or any other, has been around for over 15 years, they are SAG franchised, they are a state licensed and bonded agency, they are very successful, and they answer to the STATE. So, if you think that they are not reputable, then why are they still in business? Report them if you think they have done something dishonest. I am sure others have tried who have felt like you. But, the bottom line is that, they are honest and still in biz. Asking people to take new pics and get into classes, is a requirement of "doing business." You don't have to go to their people. They are only making those recommendations so they can market you and help you to develop into the best you can be for them and yourself. If you can't afford to make an investment in yourself, why should anyone else? Obviously, you don't think you are good enough to compete if you don't.

    I am sure there are going to be a lot of crying actors making rude comments to my posting. That is okay. I have wasted enough time trying to help all of you unemployed actors get a life. I won't be back to reply to any more of your comments.

    Take this as a lesson in reality. If you don't want to listen, then go back to your farm if you can't cut it here. There are plenty more wantabees coming off the bus everyday.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I'm going to assume you are only repped with him theatrically, and that you're at least in your 40s. My friend I mentioned in my post also glowed about him.

    But here's the key difference: his manner is driving people away. I whole-heartedly recommend meeting with him and going with your gut instinct after doing all your research (as should anyone with any agency).

    The comments from "these out of towners" as you call them might be new actors, yes, but most of them are still people who met with him and whom MZA wanted to SIGN. There are NO angry, whiny jilted lovers here. These are actors who did their research, met with the agent and didn't like at all what they were presented with.

    I would say they're all real first hand accounts, and thank goodness other people will come across their comments in their research.

    And hey, less competition for you at your agency.

    Thank you for commenting.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Hi Lira, it's Andy. I had a blast at my producers callback for Southland last Friday night. I love MZA! I'm so happy they took me on.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Hey Andy! That's great! But MZA does not have ANY talent named Andy or Andrew on their roster.....so.....I'm sure you can understand how without any specifics about your agency experience that you look like an intern from the agency trolling on here.

    Please provide us your AA customized link so we can see MZA on your resume as your theatrical rep. It'll make your comments credible, which is all I'm asking from his clients so readers can make a fair assessment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And seriously Andy, producers session on a Friday Night? Get real we all know that's a lie.

      Delete
    2. No, that's not a lie my friend!

      Delete
  45. All I can say after reading all of these posts is that all the Nay sayers have been to the NZA offices and found out for themselves and all the yey sayers posts that all is GREAT but keep omitting who they are and repeatedly ignore Lira's request to submit proof that they actually are represented by MZA. The proof is in the pudding not in the recipe.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Hi!

    Before anyone berates me for posting Anonymously I'm posting like this because I don't want to sign up for google, or aim. You can call me Stephen, but I'm not leaving my last name.

    I'm not signed with MZA, but I'm wondering is there anyone here who has signed with MZA and gotten burned? Because as far as I know most agencies require you to get headshots that they approve, and take a workshop. It's certainly not unheard of.

    I'm sure you can at least respect me wanting some kind of proof that this is a scam beyond him recommending photographers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure how it is with acting agencies; but when I signed with my modeling agency, they sent me to a photographer to shoot with (one of their agency photographers) which didn't cost me a dime! In the modeling industry, if an agent requires you to work with a specific photographer who charges, it is generally a scam. It seems like that to be true in the acting world as well. While an agency may have a specific style of photograph they like and some photographers they prefer to work with, they shouldn't require you to work with them and not allow you to shoot with other photographers. If they really want you, they are not going to turn you away because you cannot afford to shoot with one of their photographers. [that is just my opinion and what i've seen in the industry - i have not met w/the agency...i was researching them since I got an email from them out of the blue].

      Delete
  47. Hi, Lira
    I'm posting again because for some reason my first one got deleted. I was wondering if you had any personal experience with this agency. If you'd actually gone in, or gone through his process of getting headshots and the workshop done. It seems like you immediately disregard anyone who says they like him as being a fake intern from their company. How do you know it's a scam if your only personal experience with Michael Zanuck was, "He sent me a scetchy looking email."???

    ReplyDelete
  48. Hey fire-filly125 -

    My experience with ZPP seems to be the exact same of many who had gone in and interviewed with MZA. Quite a few people seem to have a negative experience there. However, those who rave don't talk about their agency interview at all - just how great the agency is - which leads me to believe they might not be reliable sources.

    I would EXTREMELY APPRECIATE it if you could post back here what your experience was if you meet with MZA. It would be invaluable and help give a fair assessment as someone who has read the negative, the positive, and came up with their own conclusions based on a recent experience. Seriously, that would be awesome!

    And Stephen - I ask the same of you, if you're willing!

    It is true that a lot of agencies will ask you to update your headshots, however, when I signed with my current commercial agency, the list they gave me were of their top favorite photographers who not only offered the agency clients a hefty discount, but also extra looks. I was getting a deal (I got ten looks for under $500!). I was also signing with an agency where the head agent won numerous awards and was widely respected in his field.

    If you both are willing to report your experiences, you would be helping a lot of other very confused actors out there and I would be eternally grateful.

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  49. Lira if you have an agent why blog about MZA? What is the beef? People who have bad things to say about MZA just didn't make it!

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  50. Anon at 10:05-

    I don't have a beef with them at all - but their practices have caused many actors to believe that they run on kickbacks paid by new actors who take classes and new photos on the promise of signing with them. This isn't one blog post in an entire world wide web - there are many, many other posts out there warning others that these guys don't seem legit to new actors with no credits. If you check out the links I provided above, you'll see why so many are wary.

    I'm a struggling actress sharing what I know to other struggling actors who need information.

    I should also mention that when I had my meeting with ZPP, they never asked me to read commercial copy, yet they wanted to make me take new pictures and take a class they recommended before signing me. Why wouldn't they ask me to read for them before telling me I needed a class?

    As I stated in the post, if you have been invited to meet with them, by all means, go! You have quite a few negative and positive experiences posted here. That knowledge is power.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Stephen Again, this was my experience:

    Basically it was all the stories in a nut shell. Went in, he liked my look but my headshots were crap (they are). Read a small blurb, he said he wanted to sign with me and I had to take the following steps:

    1) new headshots, preferably with one of their recommended photographers (this is not out of the ordinary)
    2) Take a commercial workshop (also not completely out of the question)however, the workshop was priced about 3 times as high as any other one I've seen. It's 150 dollars for 1 day, 3 hours. Most of the ones you pay that much for are multiple days.

    On that note though, I've done some research and a lot of people seem to think that the commercial workshop was really helpful and completely Legit. So what the heck.

    I needed new headshots anyway, and the commercial workshop sounded expensive, but manageable and it sounded like it was a legit workshop. Here's where it gets shady:

    I got back in touch with MZA before I did either of these things and asked what else I would have to do before they signed me (because they didn't sign me on the spot which is VERY unusual. Agents usually will sign you if they want you.) I was told that because I was not SAG I would HAVE to become SAG eligible before they signed me because according to him Commercials will not look at nonSAG. I don't know if there's any merit to that, I have heard otherwise but have no experience.

    I asked what that would entail, and he told me that they would fast track me to SAG by getting me in contact with what is called a "wire," which is someone on production who basically gives you a SAG voucher in exchange for a cash bribe.

    That sounded super shady to me, but I got in touch with the "wire" just to see what exactly that entailed... I mean who knows...

    When I talked to her, she told me that she wanted 500 dollars per voucher. I already have one, so I was going to be expected to pay 1000 dollars, and THEN join sag (another 2400 dollars) to sign with Zanuck. I asked her why it was expensive and she said that everyone on production gets a kick back out of the 500 a voucher and that's why it's so much. Plus while working for SAG you make SAG pay so it only ends up being about 500 dollars for 2 vouchers.

    This all sounded incredibly shady to me, and incredibly risky and illegal. Not to mention I don't have this kind of money so I kindly declined and am no longer able to sign with MZA.

    So there you have it. My experiences. At the very least he is engaged in INCREDIBLY shady business practices. If you were to sign with him who knows, maybe he gets you into SAG and gets you auditions etc. But from what I've heard he signs you and then drops you after 6 months so I don't know.

    Hope this helps.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Anon - Thank you so much for your detailed report!

    I want to let everyone know that Non-Union commercials DO exist, and if you're non-union, you WILL go out for them AND Sag commercials! Any reputable commercial agent won't give a fig if you're non-union; if they think you could book, they'll sign you! A lot of non-union actors get Taft-Hartleyed on union commercials!

    This whole "wire" business is ILLEGAL!

    I am forwarding this comment to SAG. Anon, if you wanted to email me with any more information- the time and date of your interview, etc, I would greatly appreciate it.

    ReplyDelete
  53. I'd rather not give names or anything like that, but I figured as much that it was illegal.

    Also, I had figured that you could work non-union because I had heard that a lot of people got taft-hartleyed that way but I didn't have any first hand experience. Thanks for clarifying.

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  54. Your not even sag?? Put in work jerk!!! This is Andy a proud MZA client and I just booked the Chelsea Handler THS! Thanks MZA you guys are great. You spend no money you get no where.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Hey Andy, please refrain from calling anyone names on here.

    1) I still don't see your name on MZA's client list on the imdb.
    2) Why are you thanking them here?
    3) "Put in the work..."? I'm sure you remember what it was like to be non-union. Most actors struggle to get in sag. I don't believe you're a real "actor" with MZA or you'd have some empathy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That because I had just sign you dumb as bitch!!!!! Check it now, I've been working like crazy. No Fi core looser shit here!!!! MZA all day #1 and yes I'm paid well.

      Delete
  56. I don't think Andy read my post -Stephen

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  57. I don't think so either, Stephen! :)

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  58. I got a phone call today from A christian who sounded very professional.

    I am now hesitant to go in.

    The timing might be right for me.
    I am getting new head shots the 17th so maybe a little guidance would be nice...

    I will not pay a 'wire' though.

    Hmmm Haven't decided yet.
    Definitely going to email them this site though and see how they respond.

    Eric

    ReplyDelete
  59. Is it normal for an agent to "sign you" verbally? Or do they usually have you sign a contract?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. they have you sign a contract. it needs to be in writing.

      Delete
  60. do you know anything about the stein entertainment group? thank you :)

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  61. I just met with them recently. Many of the previous comments seem spot on. Christian contacted me after seeing me on LACasting, I came in for an interview with Katherine, who then told me to send in more photos and an email saying "I will accept representation", and that I'd come back in 2 days for another interview with Zanuck. I did, then came back a couple days later. I met with Zanuck and he told me I had a great look but that I needed to style my hair different and that I needed new headshots with this new style. And that I needed to take some commercial workshops AND that I could fast-track my SAG membership with that same "wire" business that Stephen spoke of. He stated that it was important that I become SAG eligble but to make sure I didn't join until talking to him first. He made that very clear to not join, but work with that lady and become eligible. I asked if he'd seen the other pics I'd just sent in to Katherine and he said no. Which I thought was weird cuz the email made it seem like my other pics are what got me the 2nd interview. Either way I was hesitant about this "wild/crazy" hairstyle he wants me to take all these photos in, and don't see how it will possibly get me decent roles, but either way my gut was telling me to keep looking elsewhere. And then I found this web page. Im not saying he's shady or legit or anything, but my instincts tell me this is not the place for me, and Im not surprised that so many others feel the same way.

    Good luck and God bless.

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  62. There is something really hypocritical about the way you have ripped on MZA about their suggestions for new head shots... and the fact that you went out and took their advice. You specifically make fun of them for suggesting you get a "cute nerd," head shot, complete with pigtails and glasses... For realsies?" .. and then you go out and get one!? Um, hello? Your frickin profile picture is a character head shot of you with pigtails and glasses!!?!?!? Are you a moron? How can you say those things as if you are above it, and the succumb to what you were protesting against? You totally lost credibility here. I came on here looking for advice and feedback on MZA because I recently was contacted by them like many other people have been, and although the allegations made against them may very well be true... you seem to have just given them credit for having solid professional advice for you. I don't know what your deal is, and who really gives a flying flipper about MZA anyways!? There are TONS of agencies to explore in LA that have lateral positive feedback. The point is that I discovered your blog accidentally looking and it occurs to me that you are living in contradiction. If you're going to stand by your word and proclaim something with confidence on the internet for all to see, you should think about credibility.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Hey Anon - You make a great point about my profile picture so let me explain it.

    I worked with a photographer for trade, meaning I wanted headshots and he wanted some cute charactery stuff and we both worked together for free so that we could each get what we wanted. He specifically wanted "Cute Nerd Goes to Prom." Although I love this photo, it is not a part of my professional headshots. I have it here cause it's fun and hey - doesn't it make sense that a girl with this picture is struggling?

    Also, I think my article is very fair to MZA. I hope you go to your meeting and comment back on here letting us know what your experience was.

    I also hope you read the Dec. 7th 2010 comment where Stephen tells us his experience.

    I'm glad that as an actor, you are doing your homework and can go into your meeting fully prepared. I hope a lot of people follow your example. An informed actor makes the best career choices.

    Thanks for reading.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Hello, I received an appt. through AA to meet tomorrow with ATG/MZA. I was not planning to go all the way to Agoura Hills and something about his name sounded familiar in a negative way so I searched the web and after reading all of these comments, I have become intrigued and feel it is my duty to check it out for myself and others and report back. I am not a new actor, I have been a member of SAG and AFTRA for over 15 years. I was working regularly and have taken off 5 years to have my children, I still work occasionally through my own contacts but am ready to pursue acting more aggressively. I have many film and television credits and some commercial ones too. I will find it interesting to see if he recommends all these commercial workshops etc. I am not looking for commercial representation anyway and will let him know that. I actually have a current agent but... I want to check out other options. I just got new headshots that are pretty good, so we'll see what he says about that. I probably should spend my time doing something more productive but I have to meet this guy after reading all these posts, check out what he is wearing, ask about "Andy", their hand-washing policy and their negative image. This is a copy of the message I received through actorsaccess. It looks like they have stopped using that cheesy one from last year.
    I shall post back my experience.
    Thanks,
    Kylee

    "Apple Talent Group would like to interview you for Film/Television/Commercial and Print representation.
    This can be for “Across the Board” representation, but we will consider you for any individual type of representation.

    We would like to meet you at 12:30 PM, this coming Thursday the 31st. All you will need for the interview is a current picture with resume.

    Appointment Time: 12:30 PM Thursday 31st

    Our address and directions:
    28035 Dorothy Dr
    Suite 120
    Agoura Hills CA 91301
    (North on the 101, exit on Chesebro, make a left to cross back over the 101 and then take your next immediate left at Dorothy, we are on the left side with free street parking)

    Please confirm the appointment time by email only to: Joe.ATG@gmail.com. If we do not receive the confirmation within 24 hours, we will replace your time.


    “Apple Talent Group” is a division of ZPPA Inc. and is licensed by the State of California and franchised by both SAG and AFTRA. The principal owners of “Apple Talent Group” are the same as MZA “The Michael Zanuck Agency.”
    Our “Apple” division was created to allow us to aggressively submit qualified actors that may have conflicts with clients represented by MZA. It is possible, after meeting you, that you may be represented by “MZA” with, of course, mutual agreement."

    ReplyDelete
  65. i just got an email from the "apple talent group" off of Actors Access. It says that it is run by the same Principle owners as MZA. I was so excited to get my chance to be represented that I almost didn't do my homework and check them out first. Thank you everyone for your advice and input.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Me again from March 12th. Just wanted to say thanks for responding gracefully (Lira). I'm a jerk sometimes.

    ReplyDelete
  67. I meant March 30th. It's me again from March 30th. Noth March 12th. Thanks for handling that gracefully Lira.

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  68. Hey Anon from March 30th -

    I get it. It's a really long and tiresome road and it sucks when as soon as a really great opportunity comes along, someone has negative opinions about it.

    I think other actors forget that I'm on their side. I want ALL struggling actors to not struggle. I want all of us to work and create and have the career we've dreamed about; I just don't think that these guys are the ones who are going to get us there and I want to make sure other actors know what they might be getting themselves into.

    I would love for you to comment about your experience and whether or not you felt they were right for you.

    And regardless, I hope you get out and book work with the agency you end up signing with. Break legs at your upcoming rep meetings! :)

    ReplyDelete
  69. I love your blog, and thanks for the info on Michael Zanuck, I got the same email today...I hit the delete button so thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  70. I signed up with L.A. casting last week. So far I received an email from Network International Models and Talent asking me to come in as well as MZA. Funny because I had not put up a picture or a resume yet. HMMM Today I received an email from The Michael Zanuck Agency asking me to come in. I at least had a photo up. Sounds shady but I think I will go to MZA, spend the 20.00 on gas to see how this whole thing plays out. I'll keep my guard up and report back how it went......

    ReplyDelete
  71. Hi Anon April 6th!

    We all appreciate your sleuthing and look forward to your findings!

    ReplyDelete
  72. Hi
    does anyone know about ATA Agency....that's Alliance Talent Agency?

    ReplyDelete
  73. Hi Anonymous - April 21, 2011!
    My name is Annette Remter. I am on aa, nc and imdb, am SAG eligible but have no major TV or film credits, however, I do have independent film and theater stuff!

    I just met w/ ATA! His name is Al Zigar. He and ATA are on imdpro, are (supposed) to be SAG franchised but are not listed as State licensed.I am saying "supposed" because I haven't called SAG yet.

    Small office w/ receptionist in Sherman Oaks, nice and clean. One room for him. Somebody else (Mishelle) had emailed me but she was nowhere to be found.
    Did NOT have me read copy or do a monologue etc.
    Just went straight to;
    I need new photos, gave me list of three photographers + told me what he wanted. He wanted color background (which is GOOD) but complete character shots like described above in the blog - w/ glasses and huge mouth open or business w/ intense look. Didn't like my photos (which DO get me auditions!), which is okay,

    I checked out the photographers/their websites, liked one of them, will meet w/ him.

    Was very quick, other actors waiting in the very small lobby.

    He did not recommend any classes etc - BUT I just emailed him whether I need to do anything else before signing w/ him (like suggested above by another actor).

    Would love to hear from Thestrugglingactress whether she has heard anything about this agency or the agent!

    Keep me posted, you all!
    Annette

    ReplyDelete
  74. I haven't, Annette, which is why I haven't posted anything about them.

    Please let us know how the rest of your experience goes with them!

    ReplyDelete
  75. If you go on to Backstage you will read plenty about al zigar..I signed up with him. Same thing...new pics, big talk....7 months later not a call from him.
    After you get new pics with his brother Moe you'll never hear from him again..

    ReplyDelete
  76. My friend is an actor and has been with Michael for a while...loves him and gets out on top auditions...he is a solid actor from New York and has really great credits..but I know he raves about this agent. For what it is worth!

    ReplyDelete
  77. Hi,

    I also recently signed up for LA Casting and received the following e-mail from MZA today:

    "MZA.. “The Michael Zanuck Agency” , would like to meet you for possible film ,television , and commercial representation. Our submission process is simple. Please just send us a brief email to zanuckagency@gmail.com. All you need say in the email is that you would like to meet us for possible representation. We will then email you back (within 2 weeks) to arrange a meeting. There is no need to submit a picture , resume or other materials , we already have your picture and resume from LA Casting.
    Please don’t submit , if you have recently done so or met with any of our divisions.
    You were specially selected by Michael Zanuck. For complete information on our agency , please visit our website www.michaelzanuckagency.com. MZA “The Michael Zanuck Agency” is a state of California licensed talent agency , and is franchised by both the Screen Actors Guild and AFTRA."

    They are listed on SAG's website under agencies...but from everything I've read here and on other websites I'm definitely hesitant.

    My question is...how are they affiliated with SAG, and also listed on LA Casting's agency page if they aren't legitimate? Makes me wonder how I'm supposed to know which agencies even on the SAG website that are okay to submit to!!

    ReplyDelete
  78. They're still franchised by SAG because no one is daring to make complaints based on fear of retribution. That's how they keep getting away with it.

    ReplyDelete
  79. So unfortunate that they can weasel their way into being SAG franchised. :(

    ReplyDelete
  80. I got the same email from Michael Zanuck Agency as Kimberly H. above. At first I was flattered, but I've been around long enough to smell a scam. Doesn't he know about Google?!? I live in Phoenix and that would be a heckuva long wasted trip! Thanks for your blog and all these replies.

    ReplyDelete
  81. Michael Zanuck is a good guy, yes i am repped by them and i got nice roles if you do not believe me look me up carlos sanchez, i am in the new fast 5. nice supporting role. not bad from a scammy agency to get the role

    ReplyDelete
  82. Thanks for your comment, Carlos, however, your profile on the imdb does not list Michael Zanuck as your agent. Anyone from his office could be claiming to be you, and the real Carlos Sanchez would have no idea.

    ReplyDelete
  83. Lira, if this agency is a "fraud", why would anyone sign up with them, let alone meet with them...my girlfriends son got the same email. He was excited at first...but after reading all...I don't know. Are there any honest ones out there!! Robert

    ReplyDelete
  84. No one is saying they're a fraud. They're a real agency. But they do engage in illegal practices.

    There are a ton of honest ones out there. Just use google and do your research.

    ReplyDelete
  85. cool i found this post, i was gonna drive a long time tomorrow to see them.. got the same email.. but.. guess what??, I'm not going!..

    thanks!

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  86. ILLEGAL PRACTICES...PRETTY STRONG....ROBERT.

    ReplyDelete
  87. This is carlos again here is my reel and you can check out fast 5.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndG5M-aLTRE
    I am currently in texas and when i relocate back to LA i will be bak with mza. im gonna be honest.Michael is a good guy he works hard for his clients. you dont have to go with him i dont really care. im just saying to all these people posting bad things about i never seen that side he was always professional. i dont necessarily like his taste in headshots but they work and ge people work (his clients). so its up to anyone here to choose whoever they want to be represented by.Again Michael Zanuck is a good guy

    ReplyDelete
  88. Thank you for your comment, Carlos.

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  89. Your Welcome:)

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  90. also to school all these aspiring actors look up my boy robert sanz sanchez on imdb. ugh how you like that. he"s working on network and fearures. paying gigs. lok him up and you will see repped by my man Michael Zanuck. :"shake them hater off"

    ReplyDelete
  91. I think it's pretty obvious that all the comments praising MZA are the ones with the typographical errors, zero punctuation and poor grammar. Even if they are a legit company, they don't look like an intelligent company.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a dumb ass loser comment!!! Say what you want your still not working and I am. Ha Ha Ha all the way to the bank. Talk is so so so cheap, let's go shopping with all my residual money and your mouth!!!!

      Delete
  92. Michael Scammuck has created a new agency called Apple Talent Group as a front to his crappy agency.

    The "agent" of Apple Talent Group, Dian Van Patten-Singh, is actually a career extra repped by Michael.

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2618374/bio

    She's also a "Cougar" student who bagged herself a 30 something year old man named Mr. Singh.

    http://www.laweekly.com/2008-07-03/la-vida/zen-and-the-art-of-cougar-hunting/

    Would you take her seriously as your agent?
    http://i707.photobucket.com/albums/ww80/ELDORADO59/dian-van-patten.jpg

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  93. For people bringing up SAG Franchised. SAG Franchised does NOT mean anything!

    It hasn't since 2002 when SAG screwed up their relationships with the major agencies. NONE of the Big 4 (WME, CAA, UTA, ICM), NONE of the B Agencies (Gersh, Paradigm, Innovative, APA), and NONE of the agencies underneath like Abrams, KSR, CESD, Buchwald, Coast to Coast, Daniel Hoff, etc.

    SAG Franchised is now an OUTDATED title that can be bought for $2000-3000. So Michael probably paid for the title from all the money he garnered from kickbacks and suckering uneducated actors.

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  94. This is for Annette Remter and anyone else asking about ATA (Alliance). Ali is a scam artist. He's only been an 'agent' for a year and before that he was in 'business'. He has no experience in this industry. He gave me the web address of the type of shots he wanted me to get and they were ridiculous. Big glasses, pony tails and polka dots. When I told him I was ok with doing minor tasteful nudity in film and tv, he kept asking if there was any nude shots of me he could see, or anything he could watch. It was sick and creepy and unprofessional to say the least. I'd run far away..
    Special K

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  95. I also recently received an invitation from MZA through lacasting regarding possible across the board representation. After reading this blog I did my own research for myself. First of all www.michaelzanuckagency.com is completely inaccurate. They claim to have Vivica A Fox as a client. According to IMDB pro she is represented by Diverse Talent group. Also, they state that she is in a movie with Billy Zane tilted "Niger River." NO SUCH MOVIE!!! Also, EJ Callahan is not represented by MZA. They are blantanly lying about who their clients are. They are complately misrepresenting themselves. I wrote them a long email asking them about these discrepancies and I am not holding my breath for a reply. If I do hear something I will gald post. It is sad that the agency thinks actors are too stupid to do research.

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  96. Hello to all! I will be meeting with MZA in the next couple of days and am very anxious to see how it plays out. I promise to give a complete review of the agency and the way they do business. Thanks to all for the comments, now I can be prepared for the worst!!!!!

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  97. Thank you Anon! We appreciate your full report!!

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  98. We just posted another review about MZA on our blog. Check it out @ HollywoodOracle.com

    By the way.. We love your blog over here at THO.
    You should check ours out too..

    THO

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  99. I just met with Michael today for the first time and he seems really cool and nothing like the bad comments I just read above. He even shook my hand which totally negates the sign in the waiting area that says "We do not shake hands".

    I am a Los Angeles native in my 20's and have been represented by 6 other agencies in the last 10 years, Bobby Ball, Judy Savage, Diverse Talent Group, Amsel Eisenstadt and Frazier, to name a few.

    I have done my research and feel that he and his agency is no different from all the other excellent agencies in LA.

    Its not uncommon for agents to suggest their photographers or their favorite acting coaches.

    Its a suggestion and never a requirement.

    The most important part of getting an agent is your own personal relationship with them.

    As Lisa Miller-Katz once said to me before she gave me a pamphlet on agents, "Honey, you're gonna go through 10 agents before you find the one that's gonna work for you."

    I was 18 then and ten years later, that advice is still gold.

    Go with your gut and common sense and just focus on acting if that's what you love. Then the rest will fall in place.

    Good Luck actors!...

    I'll keep you all posted on anything else that happens with MZA.

    Cristina Balmores

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  100. Thank you so much, Cristina, for your report! I hope for many auditions for you!

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  101. Just got this message: MZA.. “The Michael Zanuck Agency” , would like to meet you for possible film ,television , and commercial representation. Our submission process is simple.This is a very special request , prior to pilot season. Please just send us a brief email to zanuckagency@gmail.com. All you need say in the email is that you would like to meet us for possible representation. We will then email you back (within 2 weeks) to arrange a meeting. There is no need to submit a picture , resume or other materials , we already have your picture and resume from LA Casting.
    Please don’t submit , if you have recently done so or met with any of our divisions.
    You were specially selected by Michael Zanuck. For complete information on our agency , please visit our website www.michaelzanuckagency.com. MZA “The Michael Zanuck Agency” is a state of California licensed talent agency , and is franchised by both the Screen Actors Guild and AFTRA.

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  102. I too, met with MZA and experienced the same strange things. Michael seemed like a really nice guy. He said he would like to sign me commercially, but first I would have to be SAGe. He gave me a phone number to call and talk to the lady who had the connections. So I called, and was told that I would have to pay $1,200. Although they are a legit agency, they are taking advantage many actors.

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  103. Hello, I'm Michael Delgado, and here is my input. You can see my lacasting resume here:: http://cni2.lacasting.com/talent/profile/264431?rs=1&crypt=dicgliaifpggfglfgbdhdlilkdlgkknipenplmndaboikigl

    Michael Zanuck was my first Theatrical Agent. I was already SAG and had a Commercial Agent when I signed with him. I went for an interview after sending out self submissions seeking representation and ZPP was one of the handful of Agencies that got back to me. My initial interview definitely had some similarities to a lot of the ones described here. I was told I'd need to add some new pictures to my portfolio and was given some photographer referrals. Actually the pictures that I had at the time really weren't of a great quality and they weren't tailored to the specific style of business that this agency typically handles. They thrive with 'character talent' and practice on the success they've had using pictures that show their actors with distinct character attributes. I was wary at first, but proceeded. I went through my own avenues to get some affordable pictures following the advice I was given by Michael, and they turned out Great! He was very satisfied with them and we began working together as I decided to sign with ZPP instead of my other options.

    I actually went out A Lot theatrically with Michael. Usually for those very 'character style' roles I described, like for a Street Kid or a Cheeseball Office Worker. Around that time the Commercial Agency I was with was going out of business and ZPP took me on Commercially as well. Again, I started going out A Lot more commercially than I had ever before, and I began booking stuff. I got along SO well with my Commercial Agent, but my personal feelings about my relationship with Michael Zanuck weren't as friendly. I felt he was Always very brusque with me, never seeming like he had more than 30 seconds to talk. He was short and curt, but I wouldn't describe it as overly rude. Sometime thereafter, the agency split up, and I was given a choice as to which side I'd like to stay with, and I chose the side of my Commercial Agent who I was quite close with and had just booked some commercials for. I've always felt happy with my decision, although I've never gone out theatrically as much as I did when I was with Michael Zanuck.

    I hope I'm able to give some people some different insight and perspective here for the decisions that they'll make.

    And in some final, personal thoughts on some of the topics discussed here::

    Pictures are a HUGE deal when you're trying to get Auditions. It doesn't matter how FANTASTIC of an Actor you are, its the pictures that get you in the room. The more Tools (variety of great pictures, reels, and talents) that you can supply your agent with, the better their odds are of getting you out on an audition. I don't think it can ever hurt you to take More pictures or practice your skills in Classes. Investing in yourself is how you invest in this career.

    Being Non-Union is a big hindrance to get you work on SAG projects, which all well-paying Theatrical work is. It doesn't mean you Cannot get the casting directors to see you for these projects, it just means that its much more unlikely that you'll be cast in the part, and many agencies will not consider looking at you unless you're already in the Union or better yet, SAG Eligible. Which gives you the opportunity for Non-Union and SAG jobs. There are Non-Union projects for agents to submit on, but they are low paying so don't give as much incentive for submissions. Keep in mind 10% of a $150 job is $15 bux. Becoming SAG is one of the biggest hurdles an actor has to overcome in this business. I got mine in the trenches, doing years of Extra Work. And I've seen so many crazy stories of how people have accomplished it. Though definitely shady, paying someone for a voucher is an example of the extreme lengths some people will go to accomplish the task. It's certainly not something I recommend.

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  104. Hello all. I unfortunately did not have the advantage of seeing this blog prior to visiting MZA today. I am scheduled to see Michael this Saturday. I will report back with my interpretation of the meeting.

    As I am not some young naive starving actor, but I am very interested in expanding and advancing my career as such, I am not one to suffer fools. I have a background in law and have many many attorney friends. If I smell a rat, and am asked to do something I find improper, I will dig deeper.

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  105. We look forward to your feedback, Anon!

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  106. Hello all! I had a meeting with Michael and just like all 8 million posts on here I was told the same thing. I signed anyways and did my OWN headshots with someone I know and NEVER took any of the classes I was offered. I am happy to say I was sent out on a webisode which got me my Taft-Hartley. I became Sag-e and going out on a few more projects. Bottom line no one can FORCE you to spend the money and take classes. If you are a beginner actor and dont have a agent, why not sign with this agency? If he starts pulling some crap you dont agree with then kick rocks! But if you sign and go out on 2 things and become sag-e or get a few more titles on your resume, who does that hurt? Is he shady, probably! But until he becomes shady with me I'll stick with where I am at and see where the road takes me!

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  107. To all the anonymous commenters, thank you so much for your constructive feedback. You're helping others make informed decisions, and that's invaluable.

    I'm glad this thread is becoming more helpful with less name calling, and I greatly appreciate all the feedback.

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  108. Lira, I sincerely apologize for negating your comment above. But, here goes:
    Here's my experience with MZA. I am still with them, so I will use a fake name, incase his assistant with the attitude problem, Christian, comes on here and blacklists me . . . or his arrogant disgusting porn actress commercial agent, Olivia, comes on here as well. I signed on with them across the board, had to choose from the list of headshot photog's to add to my repertoire. I was actually okay with that since that is what CD's and other decision-makers advise as well: know your type and take h/shots that suggest that. The problem is that I have not been sent out on one single audition, ZERO. I'm well approaching a year w/ them. I try to call Michael, but I always get screened by his automatic phone screener (where you say your name and it announces it to him). So, now I gotta be a flipping stalker, dialing over and over again--humiliating. I won't even bother asking Christian or Olivia, as I have tried communicating with them via e-mail in the past on simple things, and those two NEVER respond. What did I do, MZA?? I never got in any fight or confrontation with you all. I see other actresses who are my type and at a similar level on their acting careers getting sent out on auditions, and it really irks me. I figured out what his scam is: MZA is a spaghetti-slinging agent where he takes on as many actors as possible, makes money off the kickbacks, slings all the actors to the wall and sees who sticks. Heck, Michael's not losing any money taking on all these actors either. THE ACTOR has to pay to have her/his photos uploaded to his Breakdown services site and to LA Casting! (That is normal w/ other agencies too, but they don't spaghetti sling). If he offers you representation, by all means, go ahead and sign up. Just hope that you stick to the wall. (Oh, and am I currently seeking other representation? The answer's obvi.)

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  109. Met with Apple Talent Group today. Met with Katherine. Seemed very professional. Asked me to come back on Saturday to meet with Michael Zanuck. I just shot new headshot for $150 but they are not great, so if they asked me to shoot new ones with someone they recommend and it's reasonably priced, I will. I'm in a great scene study class but wouldn't be opposed to taking a commercial workshop.

    I will report back after Saturday's meeting and tell you how it went.

    John

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  110. Yeah I went today and it was sketchy. They changed their email to zanuckresponses@yahoo.com I think they realized later that they spelled the word replies wrong in their other email address so they made a new one.

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  111. Hi Lira, I hope all is well with you! I just wanted to let you know that since we last chatted I've done 4 National commercials and two movies In just 1 year Wow, all because of Michael Zanuck and the wonderful MZA staff!!! I love my agency!!!! Everyone will see me soon, Andy!!! Love you all!!!

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  112. Hi well looks like I'm next up to take the agency legit contest . I received the same email as most and will be going in for interview soon. I'll come back with my thoughts on it after. R.R

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  113. Like everyone on here i too have received an e mail from MZA. not once, not twice but 4 times via both LA casting and AA.
    i never thought i was special because i figured they send that out to a lot of people and i was right.
    The first time they e mailed me tho, i decided oh well i'll bite and e mailed back that i am interested, but their second e mail with all the directions on what to do turned me off and i never responded. Since then, i have received four more e mails like the first one.

    I have no interested in being represented by these guys but i just read all these comments and wanted to give small heads up to up and comers.

    First of all, any agency outside of Hollywood, Studio City, Century City, Culver City..basically, LA county..is not a good agency!!!PLEASE REMEMBER THAT!! Don't waste your time and gas (especially when you are struggling) to drive all the way to freaking Aguora Hills !

    Second, it is not abnormal for an agency to ask you for new headshots, its very common but if your headshots are descent they'll tell you they will try it out first, if it doesn't work, you'll change it. Also, if your head shots sucked that bad...why did they even call you in to meet you?
    Other agencies, legit ones, will offer you photogs. they use but by all means they don't force you, in fact, they are very careful what words they use to recommend you photographers.

    Third, any agency that sends mass e mails you don't want to be a part of, even if they are decent you'll get lost in a pile..they submit you in what is called "packages" which most casting directors don't even open.

    Last but not least, to all of you who say you need "character head shots" wearing all these different kind of "costumes" please, are you serious??.. do you really believe that??? you are called in based on fitting the profile, face vise not what you are wearing. An agency that says that to you is only defending itself for not being able to send you out to legit auditions, that's their excuse "you need character photos".

    One more thing to add to Cristina Balmores who wrote that she was with 6 agencies before she signed with MZA...you mentioned you were signed by Diverse? how did you manage to go from Diverse who has very reputable clients and is based in Century City (the best location for good agencies) to MZA?? that's like taking 100 steps down because Diverse used to be in the top 5 agencies in LA!

    Hope i shed some light...everyone has a choice, getting signed by an agency can be very frustrating.. don't jump the gun out of desperation...and don't sign anything before you read it few times and understand fully what you are putting your name to.

    Best,
    M

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  114. Thank you for this thread. I met with Zanuck about 2 months ago out in the middle of nowhere (which I'm assuming is for his own safety since he's fucked so many people over) Where he told me he was starting an additional agency called Apple Talent so he could submit more people for the same roles... I'm sure this was just another way of covering his ass or something. He then told me I needed to get 13... YES 13 ADDITIONAL looks with my headshots, he had a worksheet where he circled all these looks I was supposed to have, one of them being SEXY LIBRARIAN... WTF? Anywho then he said he wanted to represent me accross the board all I needed to do was spend my life savings on new headshots from someone on the list he provided (of course he didn't ask me to sign anything or give me any details on this, jus sent me out the door with the headshot instructions). Additionally he also told me I could essentially buy my way into SAG/AFTRA by calling some lady he knew... this guy has so many scams going it's hard to keep count. One of the funniest things he said, was that it was great I had training from "The UpTIGHT Citizens Brigade" and then continued to refer to it as the UPTIGHT citizens several more times... what a moron, he doesn't even do his research. This guy is terrible for actors, a leach and scam artist don't be fooled, he will never ever sign you unless you are already booking, don't do it, HOLLYWOOD 101 never let anyone tell you, you have to get new pictures, any agency worth their salt will say, "we'll work with these for now, and see what happens"... then if the pics aren't working you talk about getting new pics, and with a photographer YOU pick, not someone they're getting a kick back from.

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  115. I have met with Michael on a couple of occasions and I have yet to have a bad feeling from him. My gut doesn’t tell me that. However the question of the new photos did raise an eyebrow of the different types of looks that he is requesting I did find that to be strange. Keep in mind we don’t have to use what he suggests. I know we have a do whatever it takes attitude because we all would like to make it in this industry. If you got someone that takes great pics then use them don’t go on what someone else says. As far as the commercial class....I can’t make a comment on that because I do not know. I haven’t had a bad experience with them yet and when I do I will let everyone know. I can tell you one thing Network International is shady and I would not recommend them to anybody. There are a couple of things I do want to point out. Everyone is dogging this agency...I would like to know what agencies are you guys with? Please do give us some feedback so we can know where to go for the best representation possible not one person did that. For Lira none of this applies to you because this is your site (except for who is your rep) or if you have legitimate people to go to. And as for this "Andy" guy you’re annoying and disrespectful if I did see you in the office I would kick your ass. You’re making yourself look dumb and also you’re adding to the stereotype of African American men of being ignorant. I’m black myself so please be a little more professional and respectful especially to a woman and her blog. I am going to go with my gut and see if I can work with him but I will not be using his suggestions maybe only for the commercial workshop. If anything transpire I will be back to leave my comment.

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  116. Anyone heard of Apple Talent Group? I think this is the new name for MZA. I got an e-mail asking me to come in for representation. I am hesitant. M

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  117. I had a terrible expeirence today with him. Tried to get me to sign on the spot. Told me he had a deal with LA Casting where he gets auditions others dont. Told me to get new photos. SHADY.

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  118. I got contacted by them today using a yahoo email address - very professional, I was told by friends they are a scam and to google, and they pretty much said everything you have accounted for here!
    Had I not been in the UK filming and was actually in America I'd probably meet with them just to call them a joke once they say my headshots are crap.

    In fact I am filming my own reality tv show there in January on making it in hollywood I'm so so tempted to go in with hidden cameras and get told my headshots, as featured on covers of international magazines are not 'suitable' for them - hehe! :)

    Thanks guys

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  119. I received email from MZA by using intern@yahoo.com. I wasn't sure why an established business would use yahoo or google account so I did my research by using google. And now, I am glad I read this site. Thank you!

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  120. "Or, you can do like I'm officially doing: "I'm leaving that box checked" because if history states, I will be getting an email from this agency every Friday telling me how I have been specially selected and how exciting I am.

    It's a nice reminder of what I already know."

    I wrote this about my experience with "The Emails of MZA" on The Redroom:http://redroom.com/member/shaun-d-landry/blog/the-life-of-an-unrepresented-actor

    I linked this page to that.

    Thank you Lira for being an actor resource.
    Warm Regards
    Shaun Landry
    Actor/Writer/Improviser/completely not Anonymous

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    Replies
    1. Your blog post also makes some great points, and I'm glad we came to the same conclusions. Thanks for linking to me!

      Delete
    2. You are welcome, Lira.

      PS: I have been "Andy'd" on my Twitter Account. I guess receiving the same email blast two weeks in a row does not make me a candidate for blogging about receiving the same email blasts two weeks in a row.

      He told me his agency changed his life. I'm super happy for him. I just wished his agency taught him the life lesson of "Saying you are a client and then calling anyone weary of his agency names on the internet does not represent the agency very well"

      Oh well. Here is a pretty picture of a pile of kittens.
      http://www.petside.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/fullsize_slideshow_image/slideshows/kitten-pile.jpg :)

      -S

      Delete
  121. Ha Ha, if anyone on here is saying ZPP Or Z is good, it's probably Z himself!! They do that you know. (under a fake name of course cuz they don't have the b's to put their real name)

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  122. I received this email from Michael today:

    "
    From : michaelzanuck@gmail.com
    Sent : Wednesday, January 23, 2013 7:47 AM
    Subject : REPRESENTATION

    MZA.. “The Michael Zanuck Agency” , would like to meet you for possible film ,television , and commercial representation. Our submission process is simple.This is a very special request ,after our very successful ( for both us and the industry) fall season. Please just send us a brief email to michaelzanuck@gmail.com . All you need say in the email is that you would like to meet us for possible representation. We will then email you back (within 2 weeks) to arrange a meeting. There is no need to submit a picture , resume or other materials , we already have your picture and resume from LA Casting.
    Please don’t submit , if you have recently done so or met with any of our divisions.
    You were specially selected by Michael Zanuck. We now plan, to take on a few select , new , exciting clients. For complete information on our agency .Please visit our website www.michaelzanuckagency.com. MZA “The Michael Zanuck Agency” is a state of California licensed talent agency, and is franchised by SAG/AFTRA."

    As soon as I finished reading I hopped onto Google and started doing research. The first thing I checked was the official website. The website looks like a joke and the headshots of his main representation looked unprofessional. Just from a casual glance, I was already on alert. Then I found this blog and numerous other articles warning actors about the scam Michael Zanuck runs. I read through every single comment on this post and, needless to say, I'm not going in to audition. If he's been flagged as a scammer there is absolutely no way I'm going to make the drive to Agoura Hills to waste my time.

    Thank you so much for this post.

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    Replies
    1. I forgot to mention that the first red flag are the grammatical errors and comma confusion in this email. I mean, seriously? How do you not know how to punctuate? It makes complete sense that the people who have responded and claim to be represented by MZA have the writing skills of their rep...

      Delete
  123. I got that same email and on the same day and time as you received yours. I am so glad that I jumped on google and did my research before I wasted my gas and time. As an actress getting started in the business this has really been an eye opener and lifesaver. Thanks Again, Nikki~

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  124. I wanted to share my experience with the Michael Zanuck Agency/ Apple Talent Group on here so that other people walk into their meeting with this knowledge.

    I also received an email via LA casting, read the bad reviews online, and decided to go in for a meeting anyway. I met with someone who told me I needed new headshots and offered me a list of recommended photographers. I did, in fact, need new headshots so I went ahead and got them and I am somewhat happy with them. I didn't tell the photographer I was referred by anyone and ended up referencing a deal I saw online so I think he gave me a better rate than he would have charged had he known I was sent over by Zanuck.

    During my initial meeting I was also told I needed to take a commercial class. Again, I /did/ need to take a commercial class so I went ahead and signed up. The class was pretty good and the instructor was very knowledgeable and professional. HOWEVER, when she asked everyone how they learned about her class, it became apparent all were referred by MZA. As the class progressed, it became clear to me that a majority of the people had little to no experience and not much natural talent. Professionally, many were awkward and "green". No offense to them, but I would not want to be represented by an agency known for sending people of that caliber out to auditions. Thus, I realized it was basically a big scam operation.

    It may be true that Michael Zanuck has some clients he books, but actor beware. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

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    Replies
    1. Sent him my resume through actors actors access. To my surprise he respond back with in a few minutes and had a appoitment to come in th following week. I met him and it was about a 10 minute interview and he gave me an envelope and was told to read it when I got home. The letter stated that If he has not contacted me in 2 weeks don't take it personally.Well he's got till Wednesday to respond.

      Delete
    2. Did you ever here back from him?

      Delete
  125. Hi Lira it's Andy, I let the people on the set of my new CBS pilot Super Clyde read your blog and they could not stop laughing. After checking out your imdb and resume people think you are a joke. You trashed the wrong agency and your acting sucks!!!

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    Replies
    1. Hey Andy! I saw your Kayak.com (I think that's what it was) commercial, and I thought you did some really great work in it. Very funny.

      I hope you have fun working on your pilot. I hope it goes to series. Best of luck. :)

      Delete
    2. Kudos to you, Lira for taking on the scammeisters at MZA. Embarrassed as I am to admit it- I was sucked in by these bloodsuckers. I was not an out of town 'newbie' or starstruck non actor. Far from it. - I did get photos taken by their recommended photographer- something that is usually a big no no. I think I just couldn't believe that anyone would think they could scam me- a mature woman with a legitimate resume- but they did. The photos were the worst I'd ever had done- but they said they were 'great'. They finally called me in for the role of a 'homely woman' when I think they got worried that I had phoned and checked in and thought maybe I was on to their b.s. I have never been submitted for 'homely'- not that there's anything wrong with that :)! However it seemed bizarre and I realized that I was finally a sucker after twenty years in the biz. Oh boy what a bunch of creatures to do that to all the young people with hopes and dreams that come to their office. I'm jaded enough just to know that I wasn't noticing the obvious cues - the dead quiet in the office - the weird location- the woman Victoria who reviewed my resume- peculiar. There was also an elderly lady auditioning for them- I hate to think but am sure they conned her as well. Its a cold cruel world out there, folks. Thanks for the forum to vent. Good luck to all of you. Very bad and scarey Karma MZA.

      Delete
  126. Hi Lira!

    I wouldn'thave written because I have nothing tl really add to the proceedings, except last night a good friend and very fine actor got one of the requests of an AA submission to come in and see Zanuck. I told him to forget it...that there were just to many reasons not to go, and filled him in briefly.

    Just tonight I discovered that MZA is no longere franchised by Legacy Sag - meaning that he is not "grandfathered" as a SAG licensee but he is still part of AFTRA. Actors have been warned on the Union's site to beware if he offers any agreement, and that SAg/AFTRA can do nothing if they get screwed since he is not franchised. Reason enough to head for the hills!

    Also, I wa with Jack Scagnetti for a few years but I dropped out of the business. I am still on the roster and his son Craig is "running" the business...into the ground.

    I get notices for non-union calls and have stated UNION only. He never calls me in and I think he just doesn't care or have passion for it.

    His dad Jack has retired from the entire business.

    Thanks and good luck everyone on your agent search!

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  127. Hi my name is Aida,

    I am a talent manager in Miami, NY and LA. I have seen all types of scams, lies, games and abuses coming from these so called "AGENCIES''.
    Based on my experience, I can only tell actors in general to always trust your instincts, believe in yourself and don't let anyone step on your dreams, and use you to get personal gain while they destroy your opportunities to succeed.
    For me to decide that a new client has to get new headshots, change agencies and do anything during our first meeting it will be irresponsible.
    I analyze what the client has been doing, what the agent has been doing, how many submissions during the year, how many castings, callbacks, bookings etc, before I decide that the actual tools they have are not working properly (unless the photo is obviously bad).

    I hope this is helpful...

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  128. I have an appointment with them next week, I can tell you this, I have been in this business for two years and I won't settle for being sold h/s. But I need to go in order to judge for myself. They can't tie me up and force me, this is the third time they have solicited me, this is the first time I am accepting. To have so much bad reviews on them, thank you because I will be on my guard, I want him to look me in the professional eye and tell me he wants me to buy something. To that I will say thanks but no thanks. My H/S gets me booked a lot of times, and I update them every year. That's why I have a reel, You can see what I look like and on camera. Good luck with them trying to up-sell.

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  129. I never listen to what other people say about agents/agencies. Everyone's experiences are different. In my opinion, of the hundreds of talent agencies in Los Angeles, there are about 25 to 30 agencies you want to sign with. The rest are bullshit, ran by scammers or people who were has-beens or never-was.

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  130. Hello all,

    I recently met with The Jerry Pace Agency- my audition was great and I thought they had a really good vibe. I was sketched out, however, when I discovered that Pace used to be part of ZPP. Is the Pace agency scammy in any way?

    Thanks so much,
    M

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  131. Hi there! First, thanks for this blog post, very helpful. Sometimes places just bash scam agencies, which is understandable because people are upset when they feel 'less-than'. But I thought this was informative and realistic.
    Second, I received an email from them, which I will copy and paste below. As a "struggling actress" myself, I've gotten quite used to these scams, and I feel like I am pretty good at recognizing the signs of shady places. This is the email I received:

    MZA.."The Michael Zanuck Agency" would like to meet you for possible film/television and commercial representation. Our submission process is simple. This is a very special request , after our very successful (for both us and the industry) start of episodic season.
    Please just send a brief email to..michaelzanuck@gmail.com. All you need say in this email is that you would like to meet us for possible representation. We will then email you back (within 2 weeks) to arrange a meeting. There is no need to email a picture , resume , or other materials. We already have your pictures and resume from LA Casting.
    Please don't submit if you have recently done so or met with any of our divisions.
    You were specially selected by Michael Zanuck. We now plan to take on a few , select new , exciting clients. For complete information on our agency , please visit our website www.michaelzanuckagency.com .
    MZA "The MIchael Zanuck Agency" is a state of California licensed talent agency and a member of the Association of Talent Agents (ATA).
    PLEASE !!!!! ..SUBMITT ONLY TO THE EMAIL IN PARAGRAPH #2 ...michaelzanuck@gmail.com , this is the ONLY email we use to accept submissions.

    To be fair, I haven't ever received an email or call from a reputable agency, so I don't exactly have anything to compare it to other than what I have heard and assume about reputable places, and what I find important personally when I look at agencies.
    In case anyone is interested on the red flags, here goes:
    First, I found it bizarre that they did not address me by name in the email, which I thought suggested that they just sort of send the same thing to multiple people. The fact that they also mention not to submit if I have already submitted...wouldn't they keep track of that if it was such a "special request"? Speaking of special request, I thought that wording was weird. I always get taken aback and sort of put-off when agencies, classes, etc. tout the celebrities who have been through their program or worked with them, or when people mention how completely interested and special they think I am. Guys, I haven't done anything... you have no idea who I am other than what I look like. I don't need my ass to be kissed, because I have no unrealistic views of who I am right now, and if I was an agent I feel like I wouldn't praise someone whose work I had never even seen. Sure, ask me to come in and see you but really? And finally, the typos and use of language. If you're a professional place, shouldn't you care what you put out? Shouldn't you care about making typos, ensuring spelling and grammar look nice, etc? How can I expect you to make ME look professional and to convince others I'm worth it if you can't convince me that YOU are worth it?

    That's my two cents. Best of luck to everyone out there who is trying to make it.

    -Lisa (Choosing to be anonymous, just because I don't know, that's how I am. For some reason I'm self conscious about it "Oh god what if someone KNOWS me?!" which is admittedly silly, but hey, that's how I am. :P

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  132. MZA Agency (Michael Zanuck) is a registered agency with ATA and is legitimate. Michael Zanuck Agency is a member of the Association of Talent Agents (“ATA”), based in Los Angeles. Apple Talent Group is a subsidiary of MZA. The offices are located at 28035 Dorothy Dr Ste 200 Agoura Hills, CA 91301 (818) 707-9747. Please call for an appointment.

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  133. Received email from Zanuck.

    Their typos included one that ran the word, "to" , into their return adress,

    so your reply gets bounced back if you didn't notice .


    Thanks for all you do.

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Play nice.