My partner currently applies to Los Angeles-based castings for actors. Recently she was scammed by an organization called “Monster Castings”, which uses certain pressure methods to trick hopeful performers into coughing up $295:

  • First, the subject is notified that they are pre-qualified for a spot in a reality television show; these shows are typically high profile — enough notoriety that it would be ridiculous for someone to make up an offer.
  • Second, the subject is told that they are to send in some photos and expect a phone interview once the photos are received.
  • Third, during the phone interview (with a Michael Cole), the subject is told that they have been chosen out of only a few other candidates due to their qualities. They are then informed that they will get back to the subject by phone the next morning if the results went well.
  • Fourth, the next morning, Monster Castings calls the subject to inform them that they are now qualified. They will now offer a workshop that will prepare the subject for television for $295.
  • The subject accepts and over the phone provides their credit or debit card information. They are then emailed a receipt for $295.

Upon reading the fine print of the Monster Castings website, they are not in fact vetting people for these reality television shows, but tentatively creating overpriced photo portfolios. That is not explicitly stated, but instead it’s positioned as “workshop” to prepare the actor for the show.

So here is a brief report on what I’ve seen with Monster Castings and related websites like Nonscripted.tv

Social Media

  • Twitter – reposted content, same exact casting post every few days or months. Must check to see difference in activity between May and August, as well as October 2016.
  • Facebook – two mentions by people, both show no evidence they actually participated in the shows they were celebrating in connection with Monster.
  • Brianna Beatty created a GoFundMe in December 1, 2017 to fund her fee. Exact process as my partner’s. Also done by a Michael Cole (michael@monstercastings.com)
  • Instagram – badly formatted images of reality TV shows. First post January 24, 2017.

Incorporation

  • Incorporation Date: 2015-10-23
  • Dissolution: 2016-10-18 (s. 210)
  • Created by Puneet Kreuger Singh (29 Doddington Drive, Toronto, ON M8Y 1S3, Canada. He is the main character of all these sites.
  • Corporation Status: Dissolved. Open Corp Data

People

  • Michael Cole (Contacting since November 2017)
  • Puneet Kreuger Singh (Founder in 2015) Website
  • Mitch Matthews, Director
  • Zoey Butcher, Web Services
  • Sharon Klienfield, Talent Listing Agent

Address

  • 1154 Warden Avenue, Suite 173, Toronto, ON, M1R 0A1 Canada

MonsterCastings.com Website

  • Created 2015-06-22 (whois.net)
  • Backend by Mindcraft.ca (local rather than premade) – also found on nonscripted.tv.
  • Photos hosted by https://imgbb.com

Screen Shot 2018-06-09 at 2.41.52 AM

bbb.org Report

  • File opened 17-04-28
  • Problems with Product/Service 18-07-02
  • Advertising / Sales Issues 17-08-14
  • Positive reviews between May and August of 2017 (possibly by “employees” of Monster Castings)
  • Address listed: 210 – 505 Consumers Rd North York, ON M2J 4V8

Business Relations

Fame Talent Agency, Inc.

  • Created: 16-07-2006
  • Corporation #: 9821422
  • Same address as Monster Castings (1154 Warden Avenue, Suite 173, Toronto, ON, M1R 0A1 Canada)

nonscripted.tv

Screen Shot 2018-06-09 at 1.35.07 AMNonscripted.tv Scam

Screen Shot 2018-06-09 at 2.54.40 AM

mindcraft.ca

Products of Kreuger Singh:

  • gaiacalendar: a creation of some sort of spiritual calendar.
  • kreuger.me: he makes experimental dance music or something. Site contains several references to individuals connected to Monster Castings and Nonscripted, like the owner of Endless Communications.

It is fascinating to see the inner workings of a scam artist. Singh is a busy guy, not set on just making music or new age calendars: he wants to prey on those looking to make it on a television show because maybe he knows something about those interested in “reality television”: three times over, people announced their association with Monster Castings, how they’re getting up in the world, but suddenly their success becomes surprisingly quiet: they never got on those shows, nor did they ever even leave their hometown, but rather kept on posting their inane lives as usual. The egoism, which becomes so emboldened by Monster Castings call, is too proud to admit they paid $300 into a scam — or at least tried to as the GoFundMe websites suggest.

When someone Googles Monster Castings or Nonscripted, there is no explicit statement that they are a scam. So here it is now.

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Most routes that I took to Holton Creek were wide, stress-free, easy. But for those particular stretches, I could only think of impending death as a car approached from behind. 95% of the path of was paved, but 90% of that pavement was stuck on county roads with speeding trucks passing by. At times I would sit on the side of the road and mentally recharge — I can still recall how the force of an 18-wheeler would suck the surrounding air into some vacuum at its axles; only two feet away, the bike would waver and point for just a heart-stopping moment in the direction of those gigantic tires. I felt as if it was the pure will to continue that kept my path straight instead of veering left. A bad day of existentialism and I could have been splattered on the road.

To be trapped on 60-75 mile per hour roads, equipped with a three foot shoulder is to have a crash course in “Aerodynamics 101”: The wind became an oppositional force in several forms: first, the wind rushing through my ear canals were not only inconvenient for my only way to maintain sanity by listening to podcasts, I also felt that my ears have lost a few decibels of dynamic range since then; second, I might as well be scaling a mountain when wind is pressing up against me for miles on end — I can recall several steep hills to head down, yet I needed to pedal just to maintain minimal speed; third, those random bursts of air may arrive just as that pickup truck wanted to pass.

IMG_0680
Near 1900 hours. I would soon realize this road was going to take me 12 miles off track.

The 105 mile trip to Holton Creek Camp was spread over 12 hours — there were brief moments of respite at gas stations and Dollar Generals, but the extended time to reach the century mark can mostly be attributed to repeated trial and errors: realizations that this 12 mile bend actually does not connect to the other side of the river; dogs own the streets in one neighborhood and require re-navigation; some paths are just plain scary, heading into the abyss that only Google Maps may light up.

My threshold for fear may be heightened by constant contact with mobile trains passing me by every few moments, but the irrational, the unseen can still turn me around and make me hide in my tent. The frightening feeling that I may experience when passing through a darkened part of the woods with sunlight running out — only deer may be watching, but my urbanized loneliness is seeking so much more. I arrived at the Holton Creek campground at 9pm and promptly switched on some downloaded television shows so I can have another human voice near me. It was raining that night; heavy drips on dead leaves rendered expectations of nightmarish consequences.

Alone, the weight of nature felt oppressive. I was surrounded by darkness, trapped in a Holton Creek hut due to rain — scarcity is a prime motivator of stress. To know your *in-*capabilities — your clothes will not dry by tomorrow, you will not be able to see into the distance, you have only so much mesh to defend against attacks — is a fearful notion, that must take weeks or months or years to finally accept and celebrate. Before then, every privilege you lose during a several day trek — this was the first segment of around 14 days — turns into indignation, exasperation.  Always seeing a way out — I am surrounded by abundance yet I have chosen this life for this short period of time — is the reason why the will can be so weak. So the challenge by pushing 100 miles out the first day: to reduce escape points, to trap myself in challenge.