John Casablancas Scam or Misinterpretation?

John Casablancas has been stirring up a lot of controversy in the modelling and acting arena in recent times.

There are differing views related to John’s career centers as many believe in the John Casablancas scam reports found online.

Yet others have been encouraged by the career centers stating how they have helped them to launch their modelling and acting careers.

What Do We Know About The John Casablancas Modeling & Career Centers?

John Casablancas, founder of Elite Model Management International, holds ‘educational institutions’ licensed across 35 states in the US.

Teaching instructors are said to be skilled in beauty, fashion, acting and more importantly, image development. Classes to be expected at John Casablancas include:

  • Skin care
  • Hair care
  • Make-up artistry
  • Professional modelling
  • TV commercial acting
  • Personal image
  • Portfolio development.

Sounds very established to me. So why on earth do people keep claiming that John Casablancas is a scam?

Well, unfortunately it is based on the success rate of the students as well as the confusion brought about by the school in drawing a line between an agency and an educational institution.


John Casablancas is a business, and naturally there are two objectives of this institutionto attract students and generate an income.

Attracting students may be in the form of hosting castings to recruit prospective students as well as acting as an agency for these students so as to make a percentage from their prospective careers.

Hence, a lot of the complaints come from students based on their confusion between the two due to their lack of understanding.

So let me break it down for you for you to fully understand if this institution (and agency) is the right option for you.

If you do not wish to take classes in modeling or acting, John Casablancas is not for you.

If you decide that you do need classes, be prepared to spend (and this is the same with EVERY educational institution) because you must pay for knowledge and help in this field.

This is perhaps where the negative comments online are born because when we pay for something, we have a right to put our ‘value for money’ point across.

However, as stated earlier, there are many negative comments online about the service provided and here are a few examples:

** I am writing this out to let people know what kind of place John Casablancas is. When I worked there I was not able to tell people the truth about anything. The company tells everyone that they have 12 spaces available to get them to come in, when in fact they have unlimited space. They have plenty of space they just say that to create a sense of urgency so they can close the sale. They make people think that they are at the office to see if they would want to work with them as models or actors, when really they are only trying to sign you for classes. Mad, San Diego, California

** They make you do things for hours and promise to send you on auditions and never do anything. They accept anybody who will give them the money that is their whole goal. They are unprofessional and if you are thinking of joining JohnCasaBlanca run as fast as you can, Trumex

** Once our family experienced financial hardship, they lost interest in our daughter and still insisted on their payments. We paid for three years of service and she only visited the school for 3-4 months, concerned mum

I was told on the phone I have an interview for modelling with possible TV Commercial jobs lined up. My husband and I are not assertive people, we can’t say no to anyone. We felt pressure to sign up and give a 300 dollar deposit for the school and commit to pay 87 bucks a week for school. Over the next few days we kept telling them “NO” and they continuously ignored my refusal to join the school insisting I show up, and now they want $1,740, Ksenia of Coral Springs, FL

Of course, we should not accept that all online comments are 100% genuine, so make of these what you will.

However, One thing that modeling agencies in particular get a bad name for is over promising and under delivering, and given the comments above and what you might have already read online, you should be mindful of this if you are considering using the John Casablancas modeling and career centers.

On a positive note, many of the positive comments about John Casablancas speak very highly of how it helps to improve the self-esteem of young children. This is very pleasing to hear, and many parents have spoken about how confident their children were after completing the training.

So, if you are scouted by the John Casablancas agency, or indeed you are researching the service offered, be mindful of both the reported negative and positive comments about the service they provide.

In particular, I would say to be very wary of the associated costs going forward.

The choice now is for you to decide if you would like to take the John Casablancas route to get discovered, or if you would prefer to develop your talent with an alternative agency.

Tony – WFHW

Leave a Comment


  • So I actually just set up and date with them before deciding to look at some reviews and thank god I did! Almost everything is negative and I totally wasn’t expecting to pay just yet! I’m a college kid

  • Hi there! I worked at JC in the South East for less than six months, but boy… it was one of the worst job experiences ever. I was a scheduler, front desk position. The phone was constantly ringing with unhappy people. Honestly, I was forced to lie to everyone. Telling potential clients that the audition was ONE NIGHT ONLY (when we held two auditions/week.) I felt like I was being yelled at so much and I never thought I was performing my job correctly thanks to my greedy teenage-behavior boss. Thank God I never sold the class packages. I refused to. My boss would create fake contracts to boost our numbers. Sometimes she would create contracts for her family members, tell them they need to cancel in three days, and then they’ll get their money back, but it was all for the numbers. My boss would trick me into lying to her boss, the CEO of JC. The teachers are ho-hum. Sometimes the instructor didn’t even show up to work/class. If you don’t finish the classes and don’t compose an official Cancellation Letter, you 100% will be sent to a Collection Agency and they will throttle you for the money. It’s an awful unorganized company that only wants your money. Please don’t waste your time with an illegitimate company.

    • Hi Mary,

      Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your time working for John Casablancas. It’s certainly an eye-opener, and I’m sure my visitors will appreciate your detailed overview of how the company operates.

      All the best,

      Marcus – WFHW

  • I had an audition, put in my reasons I am interested in John Casabalancas that I don’t intend to spend any money, however create a mutual advantageous relationship with them where we make each other money and they help my networking, and I got a second call back. I’ll let you know what happens next, but from the sounds of it a lot of people who didn’t have the self esteem or confidence in the industry needed classes to believe in themselves, whereas I didn’t want any help with anything, only to be marketed and help my networking. I don’t know yet but I think you have to be cool headed and think on your feet in this industry. Know what you want, and know you’re what they want, convince them you’re beneficial to them and of course they’ll pay you. 20% of 0 is 0, and that’s what they get if you don’t pay them, and they don’t make you money.

    • Hi Oden,

      Thanks for sharing your experience with John Casablancas, and your thoughts in general about the industry.

      It would be great to hear how things go and I wish you every success with your follow up.

      All the best,

      Marcus – WFHW

  • hey I have an interview tomorrow. They never said anything about paying for anything but it’s an interview. i’ll keep you posted.

  • I went to john casabkancas, because they told me it was an interview for modeling, they made this whole scene of he have unlimited space and you have potencial.. etc it was like, YOU’RE HIRED! and then, they said how are you going to pay? Debit or credit? And I was, wait what? This is not an interview? And they said you have and scholarship which is 450$ at the beginning and 95$ per week,all that after my speech in how responsible I am, they make you feel comfortable in the office and tried to get all your money, I still trying to cancell that. Don’t go to john casablancas.

    • Hi Kimberly,

      Thanks for sharing your story and I am sorry to hear that you had such a negative experience with John Casablancas. My visitors will definitely appreciate your input.

      Best wishes for now and I hope you are able to at least cancel your subscription to this service.

      Marcus – WFHW

  • So my kids went out to one of their auditions in NC asking for kid actors and models for Disney/Nick commercials and shows. After hours of watching testimonials and even having one of the local kids who made it through a few commercials come in and talk to our kids, they actually went through a selection process. Now, I brought both of my daughters there. The oldest was the one interested and the youngest was there for support. Needless to say, the youngest was the one they selected and told me how much the check amount I would have to write to get her started. I’m like wait, I thought you guys were looking for someone to be in a commercial for modeling. I’m not trying to PAY for anything. You’ve already told my oldest that she’s not good enough, now you want me to pay 100s of dollars to meet up in Pittsburgh for a potential chance to be in a commercial? This began my extensive research into this company. I declined any and all offers from them, and for the past few months, I’ve been dealing with declining their emails and phone calls regarding both of my girls potential modeling and acting careers. They are relentless and they want your money like any online school. They use the fact that people are ignorant to what an actual talent agency and a talent scout is to get you in the door (and I still don’t know the difference) – This was my testimony.

    • Thanks for sharing your experiences with John Casablancas, Bo.

      Jeez, that certainly paints a negative picture. Not only for your eldest daughter, but because it all quickly became solely about money. And not only that…there were no guarantees that your youngest daughter would definitely get a part! Shocking.

      Sorry to hear that you had such a negative experience, Bo, and I wish you and your daughters well with all future ventures.

      Best wishes,


  • I don’t know how things are now, but I’m a positive that going to John Casablanca Modelling School made a big difference in my life. I was a college student at the time. I didn’t follow a career path as a model or actor, but have gotten work in TV and short films. I even had a part in a college TV channel soap opera. I own my own company and occasional have to appear in film and TV. It has made it so much easier and I feel like I know what to do. I can’t imagine having the confidence to do it without having gone to modeling school. Yes, it did cost money, but so does getting a college education. Why wouldn’t you invest money in training and education for a new career? I don’t remember unfulfilled promises, but I do remember having opportunies for modelling jobs if I had had the time. It is a shame that some people have been disappointed with the school. I really remember it being a good time in my life. Just learning about makeup was invaluable.

    • Thank you for your comments Heather,

      Seems that you got out of it something positive… Confidence. Others have not been so lucky.
      It seems like the hard sell and open promises have spoiled it for those who didn’t have the cash to ‘invest’ in this type of education.

      I suppose it’s subjective to what you believe you are paying for.

      Thanks for the comments

      WFHW Team

  • Thanks for opening my eyes….I was about to clear my savings on an empty promise…….thank. u r a life saver

    • Hi Robyn,
      Your comment REALLY makes writing and reviewing these ‘businesses’ worthwhile.
      So glad you found the article helpful in your decision making

      …. Keep Going ;)