Author Topic: AEA Actors coming when not called  (Read 2410 times)

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AEA Actors coming when not called
« on: Sep 10, 2007, 03:32 pm »
I asked this question in the Guest Artist thread, but it got a bit buried and the answer might help someone else.

What is the appropriate action to take if an AEA actor insists on coming to a rehearsal that is outside their contract?  I know they don't have the right to waive their contract minimums, but at the same time, I'm not comfortable kicking them out of a rehearsal.  (Context: Guest Artist contracts start after the rest of the cast has already started rehearsing.  An experienced AEA actor always wants to come to first rehearsal to meet everyone, even though he is not called and is not under contract yet.  The stage manager is not AEA.  The actor knows he is not called but shows up anyway.)  What is the appropriate action for me (the non AEA stage manager) to take to protect the company and the actor?

I do not want to call the Equity office to ask this question, because I don't want to get the actor in trouble with his union.


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Re: AEA Actors coming when not called
« Reply #1 on: Sep 10, 2007, 04:17 pm »

-Does actor understand that since he is not called, he is not getting paid for those hours/ days?
-Does the director want a closed rehearsal (ie only those called are allowed in the room)?
-Has he been asked to volunteer his time or does he just want to soak up the atmosphere/ get into the play and watch the process?
-Is he being used in scenes?

My opinion is that as long as the payment is clear and the director/ cast does not mind having him present, you should allow him to exercise his personal prep time in rehearsal.  I mean does it matter if he sits at home and memorizes his lines, or if he sits in rehearsal.  He should also not monoloplise director's time by having discussions or working scenes that are not scheduled.

If the producer is uncomfortable with this situation, I suggest you have them talk to the actor specifically.


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Re: AEA Actors coming when not called
« Reply #2 on: Sep 10, 2007, 04:39 pm »
I concur...  Just make sure the director is ok with the actor being there, that the actor understands that he doesn't need to be there, and that the director understand s/he cannot use the actor in rehearsals and that the actor is not disruptive to the rehearsal process.

You may want to discuss with your company manager or business manager.  There can be issue if something happens and the actor gets hurt while onsite...  If he's on contract, its covered under workers comp but since he's not on contract, if he gets hurt it gets tricky...  But if the business end isn't worried about it, it's not your problem.


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Re: AEA Actors coming when not called
« Reply #3 on: Sep 10, 2007, 07:22 pm »
Thanks for the input.  The business end doesn't care, nor do the directors generally, except for wanting to maintain good relations with the AEA office.  They want no misunderstanding that the actor is there on his own, was not asked to attend, and no expectation of attendance was implied.  I don't want gossip that the company "makes" the GAs come in pre-contract, because we don't.  But I don't kick them out if they show up.  (But they are NEVER on the schedule, so never asked to rehearse.)

It's usually just an "introduce yourself" type thing and the actor leaves when we start rehearsing, or just watches awhile.


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