The other day I was at a large department store that I don’t frequent that much. I had just turned down the baking aisle looking for the chocolate chips when I heard a woman ask, “Is this your daughter?” I turned around to see a woman professionally dressed in a black suit, long manicured nails, point at a little girl next to a man a few feet away.
“Yes,” he answered.
“She is just a delight and has such character. I’m a talent scout up from LA have you thought about acting for her?” The woman stepped closer to the man. I looked into her cart and saw that she had one small box with a coupon on top sitting next to her purse. As an employee walked down the aisle she quickly moved to browse the shelves while she talked with the man.
I left the area and continued to do my shopping. About forty minutes later at the check out stand I saw the same woman. Her cart contained the same item as she veered toward a bin of products. She told a different man, his wife, and daughter, “make sure to mention my name when you talk to them. Email me how she does.” Again when an employee looked at her she looked at the bin of products and pretended to shop. As soon as the man agreed she turned and disappeared into the store. Both of the little girls had similar characteristics; age, height, medium to long hair, thin, 12 and under, similar skin tone and complexion.
There is the small chance that this is legitimate and that she really is a talent scout from LA, who was actually shopping at a department store. Or she could have been one of those fly by night operations that targets kids and families for expensive classes, courses, and head shots. Or she could have been something more sinister. I really don’t know which of those she happened to be. What was disturbing is that the store employees did nothing. Their security officers did nothing. It was apparent that she was not shopping and was soliciting business inside the store. I did contact the store about the incident. I haven’t shopped there since.
In research I did online it does appear that this could have been an agency that would have charged a lot for very little in return. The trouble is that their operations are most likely legal. Like I said I don’t know what group she fell into, however her actions and shifty behavior indicated to me that something was not right. When it comes to situations like this if a little voice goes off that says “something isn’t right” it is important to follow that voice. Do your own research into the person and the agency.
*edited on 10/8 to correct a typo: “…talent scout up for LA” changed to “…talent scout from LA…”.