PITTSBURGH - You may have heard the ads on the radio calling for kids who want to work with their favorite Disney Channel stars. Target 11's Robin Taylor did some digging, and she found out that the company behind the ads isn't known for making dreams come true.
Target 11 reached out to Disney, and it responded with the following statement: "Disney Channel is not affiliated with 'THE Events,' 'THE Acting Workshop' or any acting school or acting workshop, and has not authorized talent searches or casting through 'THE Events' in Pittsburgh or any other city."
The Better Business Bureau is issuing an alert as well because the company running these ads has an F rating.
Here's how the radio spot begins: "Hey parents, does your child love superstars like Selena Gomez or Bella and Zendaya from Disney Channel's 'Shake It Up'? How would they actually like to work with one of their favorite Disney stars in person?"
It makes it sound as if there's a chance to be discovered and maybe even to become the next Disney star.
But the company THE Events, which sometimes goes by THE, pronounced "tay," hasn't gotten these Disney stars their jobs. Instead, the BBB says the company holds auditions and then asks for thousands of dollars.
"Well, they're going to come into town, take your money and leave," said Deb Docherty, the founder of Docherty Model and Talent Agency.
Docherty is a licensed talent agent in Pittsburgh who doesn't get paid unless a client gets work.
"I think they kind of dangle that carrot that if you come to this, then you're going to be with the stars. Well, you know what, it's a long road. You've got a lot of work to do before you get there. It's not going to happen overnight," Docherty said.
Her advice to parents is to take some pictures of their kids and then work with a local agent or casting director to find acting jobs.
Cassie Lynne Corsaro was so mad when she heard the ads on the radio that she contacted Target 11. She's a local actress from Greensburg who got her start on Nickelodeon.
"You don't need to call a 1-800 number to start your acting career. There are plenty of local people around your Pittsburgh area that can help you get your acting career started. All you need is a head shot and a resume," said Corsaro.
Target 11 called the 800 number and asked to speak with someone representing the company, but that has not happened yet.
Both Disney and the BBB say parents should not be lured into signing contracts that promise acting jobs, especially if the company asks for money up front.