Author Topic: Guest Artist Agreements  (Read 11245 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

lunerenne

  • Tourist
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Guest Artist Agreements
« on: Aug 06, 2007, 10:49 pm »
Hello all -

This is my first post; I did a search to see if this had been covered previously but turned up nothing, so please forgive any ensuing redundancy.

I am not a member of Equity, and have had limited experience with Equity rules. I've been working as an ASM at a professional non-equity house for the past year, and have recently been offered a PSM gig at that same theatre. My question is this: A couple of the cast members (only a couple of them from a 16 member cast) will be operating under Equity Guest Artist Agreements for the show. I've read the Guest Artist contract over with a fine toothed comb, and I know that I will do my best to uphold all of the things stipulated in it.

My question is, are there other rules/practices that I should know about and don't? There are plenty of Equity rules I've heard mention of but aren't even alluded to in that contract (though I can't say I'm all that informed..). There are also things that I'd expect there to be some mention of but there isn't (for example, any mention of fighting or choreography or anything else that could pose a safety risk to the actor).

I just want to do right by my actors, and know as much as I possibly can to do the best possible job. If it helps, here is a copy of the guest artist rules from the Equity website: New Member Link: http://www.actorsequity.org/docs/rulebooks/ga_rulebook.pdf [nonactive]

Additionally, any advice is welcome!

Thanks all!

loebtmc

  • Forum Moderators
  • *****
  • Posts: 1567
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, SAG, AFTRA, SMA
  • Current Gig: Caroling, caroling now we go — and looking for my next gig!
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Guest Artist Agreements
« Reply #1 on: Aug 07, 2007, 01:05 pm »
Where are you? And what show?

Feel free to call your AEA reps - and how many AEA cast members are there? With 3 or more, the SM is supposed to be AEA unless they requested and rec'd a concession -

also your AEA deputy should be helpful -

Good for you for reading the contract - which (I agree) doesn't tell you a whole lot. Do you have specific qqs or just not sure how to make sure the actors stay within their allowed hours with costume fittings, tech etc, get their breaks, and so forth?

lunerenne

  • Tourist
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Re: Guest Artist Agreements
« Reply #2 on: Aug 07, 2007, 01:18 pm »
Hmm - I'm not actually sure of the number (still waiting on cast info from them), I should check with them. I suppose it must be 2 though! It's a world premiere musical.

In terms of the hours, breaks et al, I'm pretty comfortable with all of that - we've been abiding by those rules anyway, if unofficially.

My question really is, is there anything else I should know or be thinking about? It seems like hours are really the only thing mentioned in there, and I can't say that I'm knowledgeable enough to know of anything else to check on. Do I just assume that what you see is what you get and not worry about anything they don't mention?

Jessie_K

  • Superstar!
  • *****
  • Posts: 528
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • International Stage Manager of Mystery
  • Affiliations: AEA, AGMA, SMA (on leave)
  • Current Gig: Queen of the Night
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Guest Artist Agreements
« Reply #3 on: Aug 07, 2007, 05:53 pm »
The Guest Artist contract is weird.  It doesn't reference back to LORT or anything like that.  It's section on video taping and photo call are pretty sparse.  Definitely call your rep with any questions that come up.

VSM

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 694
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • http://www.vernonwillet.com
  • Affiliations: AEA, SMA
  • Current Gig: PSM - Laguna Playhouse
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Guest Artist Agreements
« Reply #4 on: Aug 07, 2007, 08:04 pm »
Bravo for getting info off the website before you even posted!!! 

As you can see, there are LOTS of contracts out there and the Guest Artist agreement is intended as an entry to Equity contract.  You seem to have a terrific attitude and willingness to do your best by all involved, so trust your instincts, keep open lines of communication between your cast and do call your local AEA Rep with any questions.

Have a great time!
Ordo ab chao

loebtmc

  • Forum Moderators
  • *****
  • Posts: 1567
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, SAG, AFTRA, SMA
  • Current Gig: Caroling, caroling now we go — and looking for my next gig!
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Guest Artist Agreements
« Reply #5 on: Aug 08, 2007, 11:25 am »
...and please don't worry that you are not a member of AEA. A good AEA deputy will be able to answer on-the-spot concerns, and your local AEA rep will be delighted that you called and be very willing to help you maneuver the trouble spots. (And, depending on where you are, we can give you the name of the person to ask for in the closest office city)

Break many legs and have a ball!

thehayworth

  • Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 82
  • Gender: Male
  • Uh oh.
    • View Profile
    • Propaganda Pipeline
  • Current Gig: Santaland Diaries
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Guest Artist Agreements
« Reply #6 on: Aug 08, 2007, 12:11 pm »
it has been my experience that every time you call AEA with a question you get a different answer, depending on who answers, and what season it is, and which way the wind is blowing.

that said, i emailed AEA once and asked if the Special Appearance (not Guest, but ...)  rulebook was the only set of rules that applied to the Special Appearance contract .. or did I also need to reference some other, general rulebook?  i was told the SA rules were all that applied.  no Equity cot for you!
"This time for sure."

Celeste_SM

  • SM Expert
  • ****
  • Posts: 122
    • View Profile
Re: Guest Artist Agreements
« Reply #7 on: Aug 08, 2007, 10:24 pm »
I've been stage managing for a company that uses two AEA Guest Artist contracts on every show.  I'm a non-AEA stage manager.  They don't go to three Equity, because the third contract is supposed to be the stage manager.  :) 

I'm mostly going to second much of what has already been said.  I agree that you will get different answers from AEA when you call with questions on Guest Artist, depending on who you are asking.  I find that many of the employees there don't seem to know much about Guest Artist contracts.  The rulebook and the contract itself are your best assets. 

The primary areas where I have run into issues are with video-taping and recording, as these issues are not detailed in the contract.  I default to the most restrictive assumptions and get written permission for archival video in advance.  The  rest of the issues that I usually face are very company specific, namely the length of the contract (which for us is two weeks shorter than the rehearsal period for the non-equity cast), and reimbursement for personal costume items.  Basically, directors who want equity actors in before their contract has started, and producers who don't want to pay for nylons, tights or shoes.  In both cases, being clear and persistant with the contract requirements usually works fine. 

Oh and per diem.  In my area, per diem and the definition of "out of town" is very loose, so those rates are negotiated individually.  It's a done deal by the time it's in my hands, but I often get questions from auditioning AEA folks, and there isn't a clear answer I can give them, because AEA doesn't lay out requirements for specific per diem amounts in the GA contract.

J

  • SM Expert
  • ****
  • Posts: 103
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, SMA
Re: Guest Artist Agreements
« Reply #8 on: Sep 03, 2007, 10:16 am »
I've been stage managing for a company that uses two AEA Guest Artist contracts on every show.  I'm a non-AEA stage manager.  They don't go to three Equity, because the third contract is supposed to be the stage manager.  :) 

Actually, they can hire up to three actors and then an AEA SM as well. But once the producer hires 3 AEA actors, they must hire an AEA SM as well. As long as there are just 1 or 2 AEA actors, the SM can be non-union

VSM

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 694
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • http://www.vernonwillet.com
  • Affiliations: AEA, SMA
  • Current Gig: PSM - Laguna Playhouse
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Guest Artist Agreements
« Reply #9 on: Sep 04, 2007, 01:30 pm »
Thanks for all your comments and concerns.
I will take them all personally to the national staff of AEA and see what can be done.
Ordo ab chao

VSM

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 694
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • http://www.vernonwillet.com
  • Affiliations: AEA, SMA
  • Current Gig: PSM - Laguna Playhouse
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Guest Artist Agreements
« Reply #10 on: Sep 04, 2007, 11:34 pm »
So, after speaking with the LA Business Rep I have discovered that the definition of an "out-of-town" actor is clearly spelled out in the Guest Artist Guidelines and not the actual rulebook itself. This document is also available online in the AEA Document Library. The LA Rep explains to anyone asking that "any actor whose home address is 50 miles or greater from the theatre" is defined as "out-of-town".

The inclusion of the definition in the actual rulebook and a more detailed, acceptable definition of housing is currently in discussion with the National Committees of AEA. National Staff is discussing the issue of using the same definition to all inquiring parties.

I urge any member who has an opinion, gripe or suggestion for change to write to your closest office and let your voice be heard.

Fraternally,
VSM
Vernon
Ordo ab chao

avkid

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 259
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • Philip LaDue
  • Affiliations: RFL, IATSE
  • Current Gig: Carpenter/Electrician at Papermill Playhouse
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Guest Artist Agreements
« Reply #11 on: Sep 05, 2007, 11:20 pm »
So, after speaking with the LA Business Rep I have discovered that the definition of an "out-of-town" actor is clearly spelled out in the Guest Artist Guidelines and not the actual rulebook itself. This document is also available online in the AEA Document Library. The LA Rep explains to anyone asking that "any actor whose home address is 50 miles or greater from the theatre" is defined as "out-of-town".
Would home address be place of primary residence or mailing address?
Philip LaDue
Shore Production Group LLC
IATSE Local #21 Newark, NJ

Celeste_SM

  • SM Expert
  • ****
  • Posts: 122
    • View Profile
Re: Guest Artist Agreements
« Reply #12 on: Sep 06, 2007, 11:45 am »
I've been stage managing for a company that uses two AEA Guest Artist contracts on every show.  I'm a non-AEA stage manager.  They don't go to three Equity, because the third contract is supposed to be the stage manager.  :) 

Actually, they can hire up to three actors and then an AEA SM as well. But once the producer hires 3 AEA actors, they must hire an AEA SM as well. As long as there are just 1 or 2 AEA actors, the SM can be non-union

Right.  They just don't want to jump to four contracts though, and three isn't an option without an AEA SM.

And back on the topic... we go by the address that AEA has on file for the actor as their primary residence.  But per diem isn't mandated by the contract, so we seem to negotiate individually.  (We tend to use actors who are based in NY but have local ties and are willing to stay here and work locally without a per diem or housing.)  Maybe we're breaking all kinds of rules, but again, these are usually worked out before it reaches my hands.  It just impacts my ability to answer questions at auditions regarding per diem.
« Last Edit: Sep 06, 2007, 11:55 am by Celeste_SM »

VSM

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 694
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • http://www.vernonwillet.com
  • Affiliations: AEA, SMA
  • Current Gig: PSM - Laguna Playhouse
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Guest Artist Agreements
« Reply #13 on: Sep 06, 2007, 01:48 pm »
Once again, check the contract.
All out-of-town Actors require per diem.
You may have a unique situation on your hands.
I hope the actors call the office and ask the appropriate questions to get what is due them.
Ordo ab chao

Celeste_SM

  • SM Expert
  • ****
  • Posts: 122
    • View Profile
Re: Guest Artist Agreements
« Reply #14 on: Sep 06, 2007, 11:53 pm »
Sorry, I wasn't clear.  We pay per diem to actors who are not officially designated as out of town (because many live far enough away/across bridgets and have reasonable commute costs), and Equity says that minimum per diem for out of town actors is $20 but doesn't specify what per diem should be if the actor is not out of town.  That is negotiated individually.

Here's a question though...  are Equity members allowed to waive the minimums listed in the contract?  My understanding is that they are not.

If an AEA guest artist shows up at rehearsal the day before his/her contract begins (typically because they want to meet the rest of the cast), and insists on staying despite being told that their presence is not required or authorized, what should the company (or this non-eq SM) do?

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
2 Replies
2450 Views
Last post Jul 17, 2008, 09:29 pm
by JDL
1 Replies
3372 Views
Last post Jun 08, 2016, 04:29 pm
by smejs
2 Replies
2354 Views
Last post Jun 11, 2014, 02:44 pm
by SMMeade

riotous