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PARENTS URGED TO BE WARY OF TALENT SEARCH COSTS

The state Consumer Protection Board is warning parents that a series of open calls for would-be actors and models may come with hidden costs.

The calls scheduled for next week in Rochester, Schenectady and Buffalo are just the first step of the Great American Talent Search run by Aquarian Associates, the board said. Upon selection, it costs an aspiring model at least $525, plus lodging and travel costs, to attend the next round in Pittsburgh.

Board Chairwoman Teresa Santiago said parents have complained that nearly every child gets selected and is invited to the next round, attended by casting agents and talent scouts.

Michael Seymour, a lawyer for the Pittsburgh-based Aquarian Associates, said only those who "show the necessary potential" are invited to the talent search and that parents are informed.

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