A group of Winnipeggers is warning the public about an American talent company.

Talent Search holds open auditions across the world, including in Winnipeg on Saturday.

Its website promises access to “the world’s largest talent and model showcase.”

“They said they worked with really famous people and I was really hopeful for it. I’m like, 'Wow, this sounds very promising,'” said Micaella Stone, who almost registered for the event.

When Stone searched for the company online, she read bad reviews that stated Talent Search wanted money for membership.

“Basically, all they do is just post a couple pictures of your child on the website and that’s about it. They don’t help you in any way,” said Yvonne Vernaus, who works in the entertainment industry.

Vernaus’ colleague Aaron Radwansky suggested the group go to Talent Search’s open audition, and share what they knew about the company.

“Kickstart some change. Send a message that we have eyes and ears everywhere and we’re not going to sit down and take this,” said Radwansky.

Hundreds of people showed up for the audition, and many waited at least one hour to meet with representatives from Talent Search.

But not everyone got that chance.

Eric Morris and Nihal Bhullar said they were told by a security guard that the audition room was full, and turned away at the front of the line.

“I wasted an entire afternoon doing this and standing in line with my mother,” said Bhuller.

Morris said that those who did make it into the audition room were asked for money.

“One man said it was legit. Everyone else was saying they asked for money instantly,” he said.

A pamphlet from a similar event by Talent Search lays out what services clients can expect, and how much it will cost.

The top package is priced at $9,995 USD.

Vernaus said that a talent company should never ask for money up front.

“Never, never, never. They help promote you. When you do get a job or a project, they do take a percentage of that. And that’s just basically how it works,” she said.

CTV reached out to Talent Search and its lawyer for comment.

A person at the Talent Search office said that no one would be available until Monday.

In the fine print of it’s website, Talent Search said that it is not a talent or employment agency and does not attempt to procure employment for artists.

It stated that it provides Internet exposure and networking tools.