I wanted more info since it was all fancy and nice. Namely, did it cost me anything? I scoured their website and couldn't find anything indicating whether they charged. If you're a paid service. Say it up front! If you've hidden that, you look guilty.
And they had hidden it, I had to search other websites... Even in their pretty videos, etc. they never once say "We are a paid service." They say we are a service but you don't have to pay for all services (just look at Gmail, My Opera, Facebook, etc).
They do say "We are not an agency," which doesn't mean anything to me. So what? Surely a Frequently Asked Questions list should include "Do I have to pay for your service?"
Turns out they charge something like $500 up front and then recurring monthly fees (according to various website accounts).
So are they a scam? Well, yes.
The problem with their whole happy approach is that they get paid no matter what. If you get absolutely no jobs whatsoever, they still get paid. On their FAQ they say
but excluding that small text the entire business and site is dedicated to this implicit promise: sign-up with us and you'll be an actor and model with the tools necessary to succeed in this business -- aka jobs.
When or how fast can I expect to get jobs through OST?
- No one can answer that question because there are so many variable (sic). Maintain realistic expectations
- There are no guarantees.
So why is this a scam?
1. They get paid up front. They have no incentive to weed-out people who don't have much of a chance.
2. People who are successful, already had what it took, OST just helped them with some small details (like they say, the printing, an online presence and a searchable database). If you're talent with a unique look then you're going to get cast in parts where looks matter (featured background and modeling)... it's just a matter of getting in front of the right eyes. OST helps people legitimately do that but if you don't have a unique or sought after appearance then you aren't going to be cast regardless and OST has no incentive to actually tell you that -- after all their job is to sell their service not get you a job because then they'd be Agents.
In other words, if you've got a hot appearance you're going to get those parts no matter who you've chosen to work with.
But since there are no refunds the folks who never had a chance just lose out.
It's just legalized gambling -- their business is completely legal (Assuming they aren't fraudulently leading you on, i.e. you ask "if I pay this money will I get a job?" and they say "yes") but it's just slimy because they don't have to do anything but flag hotties and cuties who are already sought after in the industry.
So I have to disagree with the naive assessment offered by the jokers here. $500 up front + $40 a month so you can print your own comp cards and be in their database?
OST offer a legitimate service but only by skating just this side of the law. So I consider it a scam by
1. not stating up-front they are a paid service,
2. explicitly promising in ads that you can become an "actor or model" by applying now,
3. implicitly promising success in the industry while hiding behind ambiguous statements of "maintain realistic expectations" -- when you're just starting out, how are you supposed to have realistic expectations unless they tell you them??
4. having a business model that inherently disenfranchises a whole class of people who have the dreams but not the realistic understanding of what this service can get them - not jobs, but comp cards and paid exposure.
It's like John Robert Powers scam... yes, sure they absolutely positively provide a service -- will that service actually get you any modeling jobs? Only if you already had what it takes and needed an "agent" to help you get started.
So yes, if you are hot and you have money to spend One Source Talent would be a great way to get started in the industry. Outside that niche, probably not. The fact that this truth is hidden from consumers is what makes it a scam. It'd be like Las Vegas casinos claiming "the odds are the customer always wins!" when the truth is the opposite.
The truth is the business owners are taking advantage of people with dreams and ignorance. If they stated up front what they really were then it'd be a business I could respect.