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Sunday, May 26, 2024 | Back issues
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Acting Class Was a Bust, Mother Says

VANCOUVER, B.C. (CN) - An acting coach took $34,900 from a woman and promised her daughter would be a star, then threw the girl out for yawning in class, the mother claims in court.

Mei Rong Wei sued Xiao Min Zhang and the Canada Film and Television Institute, in British Columbia Supreme Court.

Mei claims she paid an initial $1,480 for weekend classes at "what [Xiao] purported to be a performing arts school for young Chinese immigrant actors".

She claims, "The defendant repeatedly told the plaintiff that her daughter had extraordinary potential as an actress and should be enrolled in what she referred to as the Star Training Class."

So, Mei claims, she paid $34,896 on Dec. 18, 2011, for the Star Training Class, which the defendants promised would be a yearlong acting class.

She claims Xiao promised that her daughter "would be allowed to star in at least one movie produced by her or her financial backers within that year," and that she would get additional training in acting beyond the regular acting class.

But it didn't happen, Mei says. During a class in May 2012, Xiao "noticed the plaintiff's daughter yawning," upon which "she rose into a nearly uncontrollable rage and began to yell and swear at her daughter," the complaint states.

Mei says her terrified daughter ran out of the room as Xiao "threw objects at or near the doorway (the 'assault').'

The complaint continues: "In the course of his uncontrolled rage the defendant specifically told the plaintiff's daughter to get out of her school and call her mother because she was leaving and could not come back.

"The assault occurred in front of the entire class and was not the first time the defendant demonstrated such immoral and reprehensible conduct to students."

Wei wants her tuition money back and punitive damages for assault.

She is represented by Kent Wiebe, with Wiebe, Douvelos & Wittmann.

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