My letter to Dick Bertone

Thank you for all the recent activity in regards to your anonymous postings to my blog. I understand you are a very frustrated due to the limited amount of work you must have been receiving from “Your photo mill operation”; due to the amount of traffic my blog is getting and receiving. I would hope that you were smart with the money you did earn working with John Wood and Karon Shea and invested it smartly.

I would like to reiterate to you that this blog is for constructive comments and criticisms and yours however do not qualify as constructive or readable for that matter. You have butchered the English language in such away that I did not want to cause you any further embracement by posting your anonymous rants, written at the wee hours of the morning.

I want to thank you for your recent posting regarding my employment status. I would like to tell you that unlike you and John I am and have been gainfully employed for quite some time now, again thank you for your concern.

I want to tell you personally that this blog is not personal at all. I know at times it may seem to be but you have to understand that you became involved when you agreed to partner with John and Karon. I know that in your limited capabilities you can not understand this, but trust me this blog gave people a sounding board to vent and tell others about their experiences with you and your amigos. It seems that your chickens are coming home to roost. You had your chance to respond to these postings; but instead you choose to think this was one big joke. It doesn’t matter how great you pretend to be, what matters is what people are saying about you; but I guess you are too stupid to realize that. Actually I think you just don’t care. Believe me when I tell you that this blog got people talking; unfortunately for you its was not positive for you, John and Karon.

I know you don’t remember talking to me when I was outside Karon’s office, talking to you on my cell phone; while I was waiting to meet with John, but I have the cell phone records to prove that not only that I called you; but you also returned my phone calls. I’m surprised you don’t remember talking to me, we had a somewhat lengthy conversation that night, and you don’t remember bad mouthing John and Karon.

It was from that conversation that the lies started to unravel and that this blog was born. The problem is that you like to run your mouth and really contradicted what John had told me in previous conversations. From what I have been told you both have big egos.

I want to assure you that the undo stress and anger that you are under will pass; relax and breathe. So that we are clear I will no longer post your nonsensical rants and raves. This Blog is not about me but that of what people have experienced in regards to their dealings with you, John and Karon.

I will leave you with 2 pieces of advice if you’re going to have a man pose for his headshot in athletic attire curling a dumbbell; you should have him curling something more than a 2lb weight, but I guess attention to detail is not your strong suite. If you want to be taken serious stop pretending to be a female model, or posing as another photographer or who ever else you pretended to be.

I believe that if you work on developing your craft a bit more; Target may just hire you but then again they do have ethics and standards.

How's that for stones


Anonymous said...

Don't you worry Richard is not out of work either. He's doing another photo shoot at Karon Shea's on Dec. 20th for a whopping $225.
So, he is above Target!

That said, why did we all pay at karon Sheas $795 for a photoshoot with this A**hole? Why because I had two more outfits changes. Thats an expensive 2 outfits.

Haley says this is a great way to get started and to put on our agency pro, what happened to those comp cards that were needed.???

I guess that all of us should wonder if this guy Marc isn't telling the truth about us being scammed ,then why did we pay triple the price? Also Karon is expanding to the 3rd floor of her building and now offering acting classes. Where did she get the money to expand...from all our comp cards is where.

Thank you to the women who posted on here about the refund. I am also going to the state with 3 of my girlfriends who also were scammed by John Wood. We are all also going to the attorney general.

Anonymous said...

My child was with Karon for the IMTA training this past summer, after it was over the acting coach Mark Lund sent us all n email explaining that he had left Karons because she failed to pay him. I wonder what our thousands of dollars actually went for? Who will be teaching these acting classes? Someone else who won't get paid. Or maybe just some amateur not even accredited to teach.
Unless you just have lots of money to throw away in this economy, from my experience this summer its a waste of time.
Does anyone know where the thousands are dispersed for the IMTA? What have others paid who have gone before?

Anonymous said...

Now since Karon can no longer cut it as a modeling agency, she ios going to turn to acting. Whats makes all you people beleive that if she was scamming everyone in the modeling industry that her new enterprise into acting will be any different?

I am a 50 year old seasoned actor. I know all the sites to look at and I am on Karons agency pro. All the jobs listed in their events are off of Craigs List, pasted word for word. So what exactly do they do other than Haley copies and pastes a lot.

How can they TEACH acting when they have zero expereince themselves. And don't forget what the stories have been from the people who took her acting classes over the summer...that her acting coach Mark Lund wasn't paid for his services. Where did that money go? So why should this be any different. I mean come on folks if you are going to invest $400 at least make it with a credible company, trying CP Casting they offer classes.

Anonymous said...

Karon Shea Modeling Management (65 Water St., Worcester, MA)

Reply to: see below
Date: 2009-01-16, 11:41PM EST

Please be aware of this company. They are a scam and will try not to pay you. This is one of their posts:

After you do a promotion for them, they will try to cut off all contact by not returning calls or replying to emails. I have called their offices many times and no one has returned my calls back. As reference, the link below are of some people who have been scammed by KSMM.

http://renegadeblogspot.blogspot.com/ (read all the comments)

Please be aware of Bill Shea, the person who will most likely contact the promotional models.

Anonymous said...

KSMM is now going by LaFemmina. I am guessing its because of this blog.
Since they are having a hard time selling the photo packages like they did before they are really plugging the IMTA's. I mean really its very cost effective , only $5000.

model said...

There is the agency and then the school. 2 different places DUH. An agency never advertises on the internet because there is no reason to, that is why you dont see KSMM on any website. If you see the articles about what has come out of IMTA then you would realize that it is a great idea. Just shut up, sit on your computer and ponder what really goes on because you don’t know! I highly doubt newspapers would be interested in what happened unless something really interesting came out of it. I also highly doubt some of our models wouldn’t have moved to LA if nothing came out of it. Please post to let me know how much it cost to fly to and from LA plus a week’s stay in LA?? Ok then add 12 weeks of training…..ya thanks. Basically compare it to college. You got to spend money to make money and never a guarantee it will benefit you in the end

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm I think Hailey is a little upset. well if agencies never advertise on the internet then why did they advertise on ther for 3 years. I mean look at all of the people on this site alone who responded to internet ads for KSMM. So duh to you too! Very mature language by the way.
Also, what in the world are you talking about with the breakdown of the cost to go to LA? Flight are cheap the hotels are discounted, who is getting a weeks salary...the model/actor for attending? 12 weeks worth of training! Thats if one pays the trainer. Mark Lund didn't get paid for his services, so I fail to see the point.

Lets face it this is a much more expensive version of Hawaiian Tropic. Everyone gets an award for just being there and paying the fee.

Take a deep breath Hailey, really its not a personal attack on you although you seem to take it that way. I mean Karens agency was crap way before you got there!

Now I see there is a new person posting on here about their fabulous photoshoot with Richard. kidding of course! Well, for all you folks who loved him so much...Richard is now only $225 so that sure is a bargain compared to $795 or $995. And Richard is so busy hes available Sat. nights for photos. All you have to do is get in line behind all the rest of the cattle for your "sale" photoshoot.
What a joke!

<3 MM member #750230 said...

there was no advertising on the web for KSMM, jobs only go to models already with us. john did his own stuff. model searches always have advertising and they still will. and once again the 225 doesnt provide what JOHNS 795 got you. Obviously your still on the website, if you dnt like it then get off...deal with it, its modeling not everyone gets jobs. people dnt even understand the modeling world.people expect 10+jobs a year when really YOU DONT unless your 5'8+, hot and under 130lbs.print modeling= they want the european look.kids= ethnic look. thats coming from many people in the industrys mouth

Anonymous said...

okay folks for those of you who do not know the last person who posted here was Hailey. Karen Sheas asst. How do I know this because for whatever stupid reason she used her Model Mayhem acct. number.

So since she said it herself...all of you people who are not over 5'8 and hot don't bother modeling and if your children are not ethnic get out now.
Well looking at Karens models, I would be pretty pissed since a vast majority of you were taken on By karen and you do not fit those specifications.

But then again since you have Haileys Model Mayhem number look her up and you can see just how much great PRINT work she has done as well.....oh, nope its all promo work! And a few fashion shows. Must be because she doesn't have a hot, ethnic look!

John did everything on his own, then how come when I went in for my interview or casting what ever, Karen was there and introduced herself. How did she think John got 20 to 25 people there? He had to be advertising somewhere. What a load of crap to save their own asses now by saying..we had no idea what the big bad salesman was up to.

Since I actually went out for drinks with John and talked to him let me tell you, they all knew at the agency what was going on and they were all in on it. John was very convincing, I was stupid enough to go like I aid out for drinks with him before writing my check to Karen Shea. I also knew someone that John dated so I could really give you all the dirt. But then I think that I would give myself away and I really do not want to piss off John and Richard, I have heard some bad things about them.

Anonymous said...

When you dont have that "Ethnic Look and your mom owns the agency you get non paid promo work
Im sure she didn't pay John or her mom 795 dollars for her pics, but let me tell you that your money paid for her BOOB JOB AND I Think Nose Job

bacardi promo
miller chill promo
miller light promo
sunset wheat promo
Bud Blue Crew
Bacardi mojito promo
pulse magazine swim suit edition july 2008
southern new england bridal expo 2008 and 2009
prom dresses
42 below vodka promo
spring thing fashion show 2007
pulse magazine fashion show april 2008
crystal glass photo shoot
american heart association fashion show @ TUSH
hartford civic center bridal show 2009

Anonymous said...

Richard Bertones cell number is
617 733 6056 if you want to get a hold of him. Richard and John will be taking their "Show on the Road." They will specificaly looking for 14 year old girls that they can take pics of topless. That is of course if they have 795 dollars. I guess Richard didnt learn his lesson from being banned from Miss Massachusetts fyi I heard John also has a thing for the younger ladies. Fuck you Richard and John' oh by the way next time me and my friends want to go out and drink we are going to invite your old ass, we need someone to pay and make a complete fool of himself.

Anonymous said...

Nice Tits Haley, Did you have to pay Richard for your photos too or did your mom pay for those from the photo mill she runs? I mean is attempting to run. Oh wait we paid for them! Nose job anyone!

Anonymous said...

Um, I don't like Haley and I have been posting on her. But in her defense...I am shocked I am doing...she is not Karens daughter. Karens daughter Erin who lives in Cal. had the nose job that all these photos shoots funded.

Who ever you are posting, wow are you pissed at them.
Love to hear more about this traveling duo of Richard and John. How does Richard find the time to travel when hes so busy shooting in NY/Boston for all of these magazines? But before he goes he can do a couple of reduced rate shoots on Sat. nights at Karens agency.

meow said...

Ha-ha noooo I wish though. I’m a college student, if I had money I wouldn’t be going to a local college, never mind spending $ on plastic surgery...Im flattered though! Who’s to say I never got paid, I worked for distributers for promos and I have a few gigs I do outside of any agency. Modeling isn’t my passion, it’s just extra $

meow II said...

P.S if your read I stated getting 10+ is not realistic unless you fit those stats and travel to NY or maybe boston.if you get one or 2 thats about average. I never said I was a great model. I hate traveling and just don’t really have time to go to castings. And for print oh well I’ve done 2 things....I’m not saying I’m great OK people, I focus on other things . and i do have a copy that i did pay 795, so no i did not get a discount

Anonymous said...

i love how some people went out with john and richard...i know how old they are...what were they desperate..maybe if they got on their good side it would highten their "modeling career"??!! Im sure they didnt make you go out with them, looks like you were willing.Then you blog about it. wow look at yourselves! pathetic

Anonymous said...

Gee Haley then you got ripped off because anyone that was with the agency, actually only had to pay the $250 to Richard. She just had you pay him directly. I would ask Karen for your money back at least the difference.

Anonymous said...

Hi to you all.
I'm not sure what this blog is all about. I see allot of personally attacks, boobs, nose jobs,etc.
I'm going to Karen Sheas and would like my girl (and she) to try modeling. I'm checking out some of the agents in mass. So here I read things that make me go HUMM!!
I've check out BBB and the State Board. Sure a few things at BBB, but what company doesn't have a mark here or there. Can't make everyone happy. And for the State, all is inline with the law.
I can't find any wrong doing, could some post a real link to this wrong doing. I see here some people complaining and I'll take that with a grain of slat. What are the bads things about these people. Please I don't want you to answer me with hear say. I've done some home work.
I've talk to the director at Miss Mass, Laure. She said nothing of the short and said Richard was very professional. Karen was very nice on the phone and I'll be meeting her like i said. Don't know this John nor did he come up in any conversation.
So if there is something I've missed, something other than hear say or pissed off people getting personal, please post it. I'd like to bring this up when I meet with her.

Marc said...

These are the comments that started the original blog. Do what you will but I have to tell you you have been warned.

Hi - I just found this posting - Yes, it is the same agency - and I pulled a friend of mine away from it because they had asked for cash up front for photos/comp cards. It was an outrageous amount of $900 - and I've received calls from two industry professionals One is a NYC photographer that is incredibly well known in the business, he shared his views on how this agency works -and advised to stay clear. The other is a actor/model and now talent scout out of Florida that is also very well respected, he too shared his "stay away" opinion. I was impressed that both these well respected industry professionals actually called me from an email I had sent them asking for their help - There is good people out there, sometimes it just seems like they're harder and harder to find Please share with me what you found out too!

Thank you. Unfortunately for me it's also too late and I was taken in by them. Although not that particular photographer. Haven't received comp cards yet. It's been a few weeks. This is for my daughter and she is very excited so saying I'll be pissed if I don't get the comp cards is putting it mildly. I have received all the photos on cd. Her photographer was great. Do you know if they are still being investigated at this time?

I too would love information on the same folks. Especially John and Karon. I don't know the other gentleman. Have you signed any of your family members with this agency? I would like to compare notes with you and see what, if anything, we come up with.

Hey I saw your posting, and thought I would respond to you about info regarding Karon Shea. A few months ago their was a posting on craigslist from a conserned mother whose daughter had spent money on promotional materials (compcards) through Karon Shea, and after she gave them the money she barley heard from them. I too was approached by John, and he basically tried to pitch me on buying a package that he said he was giving me a deal on and not to tell anyone, sound familar. I am sure he tried this move on countless of others as it is a standard sales technique to make the buyer feel special. I wasen't buyin, and told him, I would check into compcards someplace else. He showed me a sample of compcards from "his" photogrpaher , and I was not impressed with the quality, as the lighting was off . If I'm going to spend my hard earnd money it should be on a photographer that I like and think is good. I too had a hard time finding info about them. I even tried contactng a model of theirs but she never answered. At an audition I spoke with someone who was working with them, and he said they were taking forever to process his compcards, but that can often happen in this biz, even with a good agency, and he was sent to the audition through them. I looked them up on the Better buisness Burea (BBB) and they seemed in good standing, so I figured, I would get my compcards someplace else, and if they were still interested in me then they were legitimate, because a manager is supposed to send you on jobs and reep 10-20 percent of the benfits if you get booked. Then I saw that posting on craigslist regarding the daughter who paid for compcards, got them, and they never came through on the representation side, and when this mother did investigating she found at that this John Wood was nothing but lies,. So heres the deal, bottom line Karon Shea Modeling is shadey!!!!!! John Wood or whatever his real name is, is just out to collect money for pictures. Plus the whole office is just shadey. If you want to check out modeling representation check out Dynsty or Tonn Model Managment , not an agency that's going to charge you an arm and a leg (I checked out competors prices and Karon Shea actually charges about 100 dollars more on what John said his "deal" price was". My gut had said something was fishy and I followed it. Don't go through them, find someone who actually cares!!!!!!! , and think about it, if most work is in or around the Boston area, then why is their office about an hour away?
Yes, actually I liked the photos that were done for me, but it was by their photographer Matt A (forgot his last name) and he did have a good website, and had shot for area magazines. I knew what I was getting into, because I have been in the music business for over 20 years and they do the same thing. So honestly I don't have any complaints. I have good headshots that have paid for themselves and more, with the acting jobs I got. No, I didn't get any work, but I knew on her website and contract it does state something to the fact of "we cannot guarantee work for all of our models". So I knew it was a long shot. Just part of learning the biz for others.

About 2.5 years ago we answered an ad on CL for an open call (oddly enough, by appt. only) to be seen at KSMM by John. And just let me preface that by saying this was for my then 7 year old daughter. She was seen by John along with about 15 other models/actors who were all told that John was new to the area having just moved east from LA in order to help the east coast get in on some of the action. We were all told that if he was interested in us that he would be in touch within a week. We got the call a few days later that Gracie was exactly what he was looking for and could we come in to sign the contract and arrange for photography. I am myself a photographer but was told that I could not take her pix because I would be to biased (I was told this again a year ago by Model Club however, I continue to do her headshots and compcards and she continues to get jobs despite my supposed bias). I caved of course and we went to the photographer, Richard Bertone. I was actually very happy with him. He developed a rappor with xxxxx right off and spent about 2.5 hours with her taking about 350 pix which I went home with. A week late we were called by Karen and asked to come in to pick out the shots that would go on the compcards. After we got there and sat down in the office I quickly realized that she had already picked the photos that would be printed. I pointed out several that did not even look like my daughter…a big no no on your pix, and she disagreed. I went home disappointed but still excited about the prospect of a new agent for xxxxxxx. The pix were sent out to LA because they apparently have a leg up on printing out there, so we were told. The whole thing cost me $775. When the compcards came in Karen called us to pick up ours (about 24 of them). They were ok at best. We never heard from Karen Shea MM again. I called them several times, emailed them. All to no avail. Their phone numbers changed as did their email addy. I found out a year later that John has actually lived in and around the Worcester area for about 15 years. I also found out that KSMM has had at least 4 different names and addresses in the past 5 years and that Richard Bertone was not only fired but also banned from the Miss Mass. Pageant for inappropriate behavior and charges (I am unsure of what they were) were filed against him at the last pageant that he photographed. I have definitely learned my lessons in this business and if my daughter didn’t enjoy it so much, we would b e out. So that being said…here is my advice to you: (I am assuming you are an actor here and if I’m wrong than I apologize) The most reputable talent/casting agents in the area are: LDI Casting in Providence, CP Casting in Boston, Boston Casting, and Maura Tighe Casting. I have been managing xxxxxxxx career for a little less than a year now and she continues to get jobs in and around the RI area. She has gotten casting calls based on her MySpace acct. which I also manage. I have recently started taking headshots for her ‘acting friends’ as well as printing her headshot/resume when ever needed. She has been recently cast in a series for PBS RI and will continue to thrive I believe even without an agent/manager.

I am currently "part of their roster," but I am not too thrilled about the work (or absolute absence thereof) I am getting from them. I jumped through their hoops with a plenty of skepticism, but have yet to feel "duped" in any way.
What do you now know about Bertone (who I genuinely liked), Wood (who I felt good about), and Karen (who I am not so sure about). Maybe I'm just not fitting their needs, but then again - why would they sign me if there was no potential.

I've signed with them - not entirely happy. I will share with you more but might I ask what you've heard? I am considering canceling my contract.

Experience...bad. Don't do it. I just learned from someone who has worked with her that they make their money from the photos. They do not have anyone actually looking for work. It took 4 months to get my composite cards...I have found another agency that charges $550 for cards and photos as opposed to $850 with KSMM. Their photographer spends 4 hours with you as opposed to the rushed 1 hour I had with the KSMM photographer. (it was not Richard) They give no guidance. There is no relationship. I am furious with them. John is not to be trusted. He is the typical used car salesman. He has been with KSMM for four years...he didn't JUST fly in from LA to help Karon. SCAM. You are very wise to ask for feedback. Wish I had. .
I am a model from Boston. I have never heard of the people you are asking about, but what are you almost getting yourself into. I have been in the entertainment business for over 5 years and spent lots of time weeding thru scam artists.

Richard Bertone isnt that great either. I spent almost $800.00 and the picture werent that great

Dont bother with them!!!!! John is soooo full of crap! he will tell you what you want to hear then you will spend a lot of money making comp cards( with Richard) and the agency won't get you any work! i've delt with them! they are actually under inverstigation right now! I would recommend having richard do your photography tho! he is very good...but don't depend on that agency to find you work! TRUST ME!

A good agent does NOT ask for any money. They get their cut from your income that they find you. They should not recommend a photog. They should tell you to get some headshots, which you can make via digital cam an Photoshop, or have a friend do it. After you print up your photo, turn it over and print your resume.

Agents do not charge. Period. If they do, they're scams.

I'm in the same boat as u r right now with them particularly with john insisting on Richard bertone and the 800 dollar fee, I used to live in Hollywood and can smell out A scam when, everything sounded good until the he insisted on Richard bertone, they say they do everything 4 free, but the 800 dollar photo session is absurd, for that kind of money he better be oprahs, Victorias secret or an a+f photographer, obvisily john and Karen get a nice cut of this 800 bucks bcuz I researched and a photographer in la or ny will charge between 200 and 500 at the most, I was excited about this whole thing but john may just be a con man chicken hawk, I hate to say it,

Do not pay anyone for anything that has to do with the acting/modeling world. When any company 'directs' you to a photographer it usually means they are getting a kickback - and the photographers are charging high rates.

There are hundreds of photographers that have portfolios that you can review. Pick the one that suits your needs artistically and financially. With digital cameras you don't have to spend alot of $$$.

I don't know what you need or your look so I can't really say which way to go, but do not pay for anything unless you are sure. Modeling agencies are notorious SCAMMERS.

Months back I posted an ad, but it was flagged. I was informing people about what had happened to my daugther who went to that agency also. I received many emails back from people who had been in the same situation and were very upset with the service that had received from Karon Shea's. I did some homework and found out that Mr. Wood has been in MA. for roughly 4 years. He was with another agency in Boston before Karon Sheas. He gives the same speech week after week to unsuspecting people. A few people who contacted me were in the process of taking the agency before the state to get a refund for their comp cards. I have no idea what happened to everyone. My daugther did not want to pursue this avenue even though I encouraged her to because she was afraid she would somehow taint herself in the industry if I was wrong. I highly doubt it since Mr. Wood actually drove to meet my daughter to get cash from her. That way she could get a discount on the photos as long as she told noone else that she was receiving this deal. Once she finally told me all this I was furious that she allowed herself to be blatantly conned.
Those are my impressions.

I've never experienced the uncomfortable feeling I had the night I journeyed out to Worcester for a night of John's storytelling to a room full of people who looked like easy marks to me. Entire families, babies, some who seemed to be recent immigrants, girls who looked as though they were going to a prom.To sit in a room with 20 others vs. a private meeting, something's seriously wrong with that. Run for your life. Yes, if you need headshots, demo reels, and the like you should hire a professional photographer, get into a recording studio, and pay for services. Reputable agencies need those things to properly represent you, but they don't have partners-in-crime waiting in the wings to pounce on the the inexperienced. And I wasn't called back,

Perhaps this is entirely unrelated, but I am wary of anyone who hires a specific John Wood. At the time I met him, he said that he was straight out of L.A. after the talent agency he worked for went out of business. I don't remember the circumstances. He had a tan and an earring and said that he was moving to the Boston area in order to come before things got bigger with the proposed film studio, etc. He was hired by Suzanne Crosby of Image Makers at that point in time (2004) and I was invited to join the Image Makers Agency. The catch was that I would have to use their photographer and Suzanne would compile my comp cards, etc. The cost was just under $1,000. The results were atrocious.

I made the mistake of trying them out. They insist that you get new pictures done by their photographer. I'm pretty sure that's what makes up the majority of their income. They may place someone now and then, but for the most part it's a percentage of the photographer's fee, and he's not that good. Stay away.

I would be interested in knowing more as I have been affiliated with them too, and haven't received what I thought I was getting.

i personaly was scammed out of 800$ from them. NEVER recived work..and got HORRIBLE pictures from bertone. They will try to overcharge you anywhere from a "deal of 795 if you pay now"..upwards of 1600$ as some have been scammed out of. Mind you, bertone is workign with them on there scam and he only recives 300 or so of that money, and then there fast talking salesman JOhn keeps the rest.Which is totally illegal for them to do. DO NOT GIVE THEM YOUR MONEY!!!!!
they will also try to get you to sign up fro there agency pro website, when all they do is steal postings off of Bostoncasting.com and repost them on there site. You can sign up for free at bostoncasting.com and get job listings and castings there..without having to give anyone commision.
in fact do your self a big favor, and just RUN AWAY FROM THAT AGENCY!
i hope this helps you at all..any further questions please dont hesitate to write back.
best of luck
is a ripoff!! They will get you to buy comp cards and then never send you out on a single audition. I signed with them over a year ago and they have never called me once for a gig. just my 2 cents... do with it what you will.
AGENCY'S PAY YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i went there before for an interview last summer and it was a waste of time really. only way they will work for you is if you work with their photographer, rich bertone which they priced him as a fortune. many people with talent and could do real good things who cant afford it lose opportunities when it comes to a situation like this when u have what it takes, but not the funds. if u dont have the funds they wont work with u. since leaving there, i've been sent numerous emails that are unwanted and cant get rid of them. im sure they explained to u that they moved from cali and thought this area would be much better for the business but who knows. you really cant trust anyone in the industry sometimes and some make others look bad, which make u not want to deal with any of them.
good luck with everything
Richard Bertone is awesome! No comment on KSMM...

Richard Bertone isnt that great either. I spent almost $800.00 and the picture werent that great.

Dont bother with them!!!!! John is soooo full of crap! he will tell you
what you want to hear then you will spend a lot of money making comp
cards( with Richard) and the agency won't get you any work! i've delt
with them! they are actually under inverstigation right now! I would
recommend having richard do your photography tho! he is very good...but
don't depend on that agency to find you work! TRUST ME!

A good agent does NOT ask for any money. They get their cut from your income that they find you. They should not recommend a photog. They should tell you to get some headshots, which you can make via digital cam an Photoshop, or have a friend do it. After you print up your photo, turn it over and print your resume.
Agents do not charge. Period. If they do, they're scams. Hope this helps.

I'm in the same boat as u r right now with them particularly with john insisting on Richard bertone and the 800 dollar fee, I used to live in Hollywood and can smell out A scam when, everything sounded good until the he insisted on Richard bertone, they say they do everything 4 free, but the 800 dollar photo session is absurd, for that kind of money he better be oprahs, Victorias secret or an a+f photographer, obvisily john and Karen get a nice cut of this 800 bucks bcuz I researched and a photographer in la or ny will charge between 200 and 500 at the most, I was excited about this whole thing but john may just be a con man chicken hawk, I hate to say it,

My name is ######### and I just recently got signed on with Karon Shea…Its very interesting that you ask about this agency because I have been inquiring about them as well. I looked up Richard Bertone and found out that he worked for Janice Dickenson (America’s Next Top Model former judge) and has done some fashion shoots for Boston and New York fashion week but I cant find any other information about him..Its seems odd that he doesn’t have a website or anything. Also I am skeptical about KSMM and John Wood…I am new to the industry and the last thing I want is to get scammed.

If you look up KSMM in the Better Business Bureau, you will see that they have had 3 complaints in the last 12 months.

A year ago, I went to KSMM's open house and wasted over $800 on poor-quality pictures by Richard Bertone. He didn't know how to put on my makeup and caked on greasy, shiny glop. He had no one to do my hair and I was told someone would be there so I didn't bring anything to do my own hair or makeup. The lighting, although he had a lot of equipment, was horribly done. The only usable pictures I had were the ones taken outside, where I had to bushwack thru the garbage and brush in the back of his factory building to get shots.
As for the model agency, they convinced me to shell out $200 to get my horrible portfolio on the web site AgencyPro software, which got me 0 worthwhile jobs!!! I got more paying work thru putting myself on a free web site like TooSpoiled.com to use to point people to my portfolio on the web, and by answering jobs on 3 and believe it or not- craigslist. Don't get fooled into using TooSpoiled's paid services, either- most of the jobs they get are on Craigslist or newenglandfilm. IF you want to be affiliated with an agency, get some reasonably-priced head shots done (for around $300, or for free by someone on Craigslist putting together a portfolio- make sure it is safe- bring a friend along) and put your head shots in Boston Casting's web site- they let you have a very limited page in AgencyPro for free, and send you e-mails when jobs come up. They will also try to convince you to buy the software for $200/year too, but I don't think it's worth it. No actress/model should have to pay to have a portfolio up, I have an agent who charges me nothing and finds me more paid work opportunities than KSMM or Boston Casting. What a racket this market is, taking advantage of artists and entertainers so shamefully!!!

John has been in Ma. from LA for 4 years now saying the same speech to everyone. Richards photos are not as good as they hype them up to be. Kind of strange that the guy has no website. At least thats how I feel in this high tec world. Especially since he supposedly has places in LA and NY also. Of course I never felt this way until it was too late for me because I did join KSMM without checking things out.

They say the same thing to everyone. Everyone has what it takes to be the next big model or actor/actress. They do not look for work they only sell people on "dreams" once they get your cards done thats it.
April 24, 2008 1:09 AM
Anonymous said...

here is a fact for people to know about bertone. in his words for the sake of becoming a high fashion model in NY you must be willing to do whatever it takes including topless even if you are a 15 or 17 year old teenage girl. how many respectable business people with good morals want to take pictures of under age girls topless.
April 25, 2008 1:21 PM
Anonymous said...

I don't know this Worcester agency, but as someone who used to be "in the business" many years ago- NEVER GIVE A MODELING/TALENT AGENCY ANY UPFRONT MONEY. They make a commision off your bookings.

Karen has been in business for 25 plus years. Her mainstays are shows and events + a dance school. She isn’t known for producing well known models. Nor have I heard that she gets a lot of work for her talents.(I'm a photographer and had a conversation with a talent from her agency) As for promises in this business – forget them all, especially in the Worcester market. Get yourself a copy of the this book: Complete Guide for Models: Inside Advice from Industry Pros for Fashion Modeling (Paperback)

Bertone is a local photographer with lots of experience who is good a what he does. For you however, being a new talent, the question is if you should spend your money. Most agencies, NY, LA, Chicago, Dallas etc ask you to send 4 shots with a clean face(i.e. no makeup) ; not expecting a a full portfolio from new talent. Most working models build their books over time, as they work, and develop as models. So be cautious if hear the “you have to build a book with me” story start flying around.
April 27, 2008 10:32 AM
Anonymous said...

Karen Shea did not get me many jobs. I have been with her for about 6 months and she still has not paid me for a job I did a couple months ago! John Wood...You see him the day of the audition and you never see him ever again. Richard Bertone...I did enjoy doing a photoshoot with him. He does good work but he is putting a blemish on his work working with those two.
May 3, 2008 4:22 PM
Anonymous said...

This is so great that the agency and John Wood are being busted for their scam. John did not "just arrive from LA" - he has been here for a number of years. In addition, beware other non-descript CL postings. For example, I responded to an add that said The Four Seasons Hotel was looking for models for approx. $3500 per shooting day. I thought, great...I'll respond and see what happens. Who should call me today, but John Wood, looking to set up a "private casting" with me tonight. Uh NOPE! Be careful, it looks like John is not spreading out and trying a whole new host of scams. I assume that his new scam is having you come down for a casting call, then telling you he can't submit you for the job unless you get comp cards. Here is a heads up for everyone....the acting industry does NOT use comp cards as the standard! Modeling, yes....Acting, NO! Headshots are still the industry standard for film and television, no matter what John tells you. Ask anyone legit in the industry and they will confirm that.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your reply. But I see here people not happy with not getting sent out to jobs. As to my understanding it's not the agent that hires you it's the client.
I have check with all the agents area Boston. DYNASTY Models in Boston is charging the same, If fact they said the cost for them to PICK out the images and print them was 500.00, TONN, OMG! now I think that I've seen it all. His agency is about TONN. Even I can see that.
As to the post about Richard and the USA Mass. being fired, SIMPLY made up lie. I said I talk to them directly and said nothing but good about him and his work.They both moved on. And Really if there was charges it to would be police and court records open to the public.
I came here for some answers to some question. I see people not happy with Karen and I'll keep that in mind, but the other agents out there do the same. They ask for dollars for there shoots and comp cards and cost around the same.
I just got of the phone with Richard and talk about a shoot, and then asked him about this blog. His answer was yes he had seen it, thinks people and complain they way they seem fit. But said none of those people never came back to him and said I hate my photos. If fact they have come back and done more pictures and have sent there friends too!
I'll meet with him after he gets Fashion Week in New York.
I'll comment back and given you my thoughts.

Marc said...

All I can say is good luck, I ma interested to hear your experience when and after they have your money. I would not pay Karon a dime get your own comp cards\pics done outside the agency. Use someone independent and then sign with Karon let her work for you and make a commission from work she gets for you. This way you are not out any hard earned money. Furthermore a real agent doesn't ask you for money up front if you have the look and they know it they would sign you in a heart beat, because they will make money from you and your look. Good luck to you let me know how things work out. FYI YOU SHOULD ALSO COMPARE OTHER AGENCIES NOT JUST OVER THE PHONE BUT HAVE A FACE TO FACE MEETING WITH THEM. Then decide to give them your hard earned money. This blog was set up more for buyer beware.

Anonymous said...

I just read what this new person has posted and I have to say, what are you talking about? There are people complaining about lack of work, not getting paid after working for Karen....gee thats a biggee! And LOTS of people complaining about a SCAM!
So you haven't even been to Karens so what in gods name are you defending them for. You haven't even met them. I bet you this guy Madoff sounds really nice on the phone also.

So, what I am thinking is who is this really because why would a stranger start defending them.
And if you really did speak to the Miss Mass. Pageant you would have found out that Laurie doesn't answer those questions Anthony does and his exact words were "we did work with Richard Bertone. We would never work with him again. I am not at liberty to say why unless Richard signs a release for us to talk."

So what that says to me is Lawsuit. Richard loves to sue people or at least threaten them. And what it also says is if there was something good to say they would have said it. Good things do not require a gag order.

Like this Mr. Reece said read it, keep it in mind and make your own decision on whether to work with them or not. Like how you had to throw Fashion week in there. Big deal! So he goes there. I could buy a ticket as well to attend. Use your head do really tink any other big name fashion photographers are slinging their services (photo mill at karen Sheas agency)on Sat. nights for a couple hundred dollars. Hardly!!!!!
As someone said to me just the other day Richard is a lot of talk and has a really big head.
But if you have a daughter watch out, he loves to talk girls and their families into photographing them topless becasue its the NY way.
My friends daughter has a picture of herself on her facebook page at 14 with no top on that Richard took. Any minor in a state of undress is illegal. This is not NY. Hello parents wake up! Thank god I have a son but I do feel bad for my friend because she agreed to this because he made it sound like thats what all the models do.

Anonymous said...

I'll be happy to give you my take.
But You seem hell bent just one this one or should I say these three.
EVERY agency I talk to on the phone or in person said basically said the same thing. YOU must get photos done here is who we use, but you can uses other photographers. The cost is X, again there the same give or take.
There was not one I talk to that said, gee"you have the look" I'll pay for all your pictures to be done, make up, prints and comp cards. NOR would I think any of them would. It's pay as you go ib the rest of the world! Why would it be different here? Sure they make a fee after that if she works. But do you really think(because I don't)that anyone is going to shell out money on nobody that may or may not stay with modeling?
No is the answer. As I see with myn own kids, if they want something they work for it and pay for it.
If there is an agency out there that takes is people and gives them everything up front, please tell me I'll contact the and see what they got tom offer as well.
I think your blog was set up more for buyer beware is not all it seems to be. You only seem to blog about Karen, Richard and this guy John (I can't comment- never met) If comment on all the agencies with first had knowledge it might be more helpful on BUYER BEWARE.