Author Topic: Light Board Pay  (Read 4467 times)

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MarcieA

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Light Board Pay
« on: Sep 18, 2006, 01:35 pm »
I'm the PSM at an SPT 6 and I am a little confused about something:

I am running lights for all performances and I was under the impression that I was getting paid for it. My rider said so, the handbook says that I am not required to, yet I was just told when I asked about it that it is part of my PSM duties and I won't be getting paid.

Now, am I wrong or is this wrong? I'm confused by this.

M
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loebtmc

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Re: Light Board Pay
« Reply #1 on: Sep 18, 2006, 01:45 pm »
You are right, they are wrong. Running the board is extra. Period. The going rate in the LA area is $20-25 per show (tho you can negotiate more or less, as the case requires). If you signed your rider before negotiating this talk w AEA, but the fact is, you are supposed to be paid for doing any additional tasks. (And clearly your producers know this.)

Please point them to the section (54) of the SPT book that reads

J (8 ) Stage Managers or Assistant Stage Managers shall not be required to:
(a) Design, build, hang, transport, operate, shift, run, shop for or maintain lights, sound, scenery, props, video, wardrobe, animals,
and so forth;

AND

(D) Additional Services.
(1) Should a member of the Stage Management staff, while under contract for a production, be called upon to perform additional services
for any version of that production or for any other production in which the Producer bears a financial interest, the Stage Manager shall receive
additional compensation for such additional services in an amount which shall not be less than 1/6th of contractual salary for each day or part
thereof for which services are rendered. The Producer shall require no such service nor shall it be a condition of employment. (This provision
shall not prevent a Stage Manager signed to a Consecutive Production Rider, see Paragraph (F) below, from fulfilling rehearsal and
performance duties permitted therein.)


I have had two producers for whom add'l pay for running the board was a deal-breaker - so I made them hire a board op and it was a good think they did, since I had to do so many things during the show that I had to leave the booth on occasion to solve things backstage!
« Last Edit: Sep 18, 2006, 01:49 pm by loebtmc »

Scott

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Re: Light Board Pay
« Reply #2 on: Sep 18, 2006, 01:50 pm »
I'm the PSM at an SPT 6 and I am a little confused about something:

I am running lights for all performances and I was under the impression that I was getting paid for it. My rider said so, the handbook says that I am not required to, yet I was just told when I asked about it that it is part of my PSM duties and I won't be getting paid.

Now, am I wrong or is this wrong? I'm confused by this.

Sounds wrong to me -- both by practise and by the terms of the SPT contract as I read it.  

I suggest contacting your Equity rep.!

I believe that you will find yourself entitled to some sort of payment for "additional duties" above and beyond the contract weekly minimun (though don't be too suprised if it's something token like $5/week.)

I'm also assuming that they are not paying you above minimun to PSM (my impression is that difference between PSM and SM is never defined by Equity contract).

But...talk to rep!

Good luck!

MarcieA

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Re: Light Board Pay
« Reply #3 on: Sep 18, 2006, 01:59 pm »
Thank you! I knew it said I wasn't required to run lights, but I couldn't find the section on payment. (It hides everytime I need to find it!)

I don't want to be a bitch about it, but I feel like if money is involved, then I need to fight this battle. I do get paid slightly above minimum to PSM, though this is the first time those duties have been called into question.

But we won't mention the things I do that I shouldn't, such as obtaining all rehearsal props and furniture by myself, distributing paychecks...

(We rehearse at night and the office is locked so it's just easier to have them put in my mailbox by the CM and take them to rehearsal then taking a class trip to get them. But it still bothers me a little.)

I sortof dread having to have this conversaton, but I signed a rider that said I'd be getting paid, and that by itself means I should.

Thanks!
Companions whom I loved and still love, tell them my song.

MarcieA

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Re: Light Board Pay
« Reply #4 on: Sep 18, 2006, 02:09 pm »
All right. So I found my rider (in the yet to be unpacked new apartment) and it says: 'For an additional sum, the stage manager may negotiate to run sound or lights in the production. The terms and conditions of that arrangement, which shall be part of a seperate agreement that is not attached to the Equity contract, may only be discussed after the Equity contract has been negotiated and signed and may not be a condition of recieving the offer of employment under Equity contract.'



So that's that right? My contract is signed as a Stage Manager (not PSM) and actually my salary is just the 2007 rate, so it would've gone up anyway. It shouldn't matter b/c the handbook says 2/6 of the salary for additional duties. And $10 a week is not anywhere near 2/6.
Companions whom I loved and still love, tell them my song.

MatthewShiner

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Re: Light Board Pay
« Reply #5 on: Sep 18, 2006, 02:12 pm »
Contact your business rep, and have them contact the producers.

I have found my business rep has found "underpayments" for me or my staff  in the past (such as when the contract rate goes up mid contract), and they contacted the producer.

If you are being paid minimum and your contract says you should be paid extra, then it would be easy for them to put two and two together.

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Anything posted here as in my own personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer - whomever they be at a given moment in time.

Rebbe

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Re: Light Board Pay
« Reply #6 on: Sep 18, 2006, 09:22 pm »
My take on the rules is that the theater can ask you to take on additional duties, but they can’t require you to take them on, and if you do accept other duties, you must be paid for them separately from your Equity salary. 

You are absolutely not a bitch for wanting to get the compensation you deserve for the work that you do.  Don’t let the producers or anyone else make you feel that way.  If they are paying you above the minimum as a SM, that’s for your above-minimum skills as a SM, not for also working as a light board op.  (and whatever they pay you as SM + board op probably adds up to less than they’d pay for another crew person). 

I’ve been in several SPT situations where the theater tried to talk me into running light or sound boards.  In once case the Production Manager casually mentioned in a production meeting days before tech that “oh, we thought you could run sound.  There aren’t that many Qs.”   I’ve certainly had people ask me what the big deal is about just pushing a button.  My standard explanation is that it’s not about pushing a button.  It’s about the 2% of the time when things go wrong during a performance.  In those instances, the show looses it’s SM while you put on your Board Op hat to solve the problem, increasing the likelihood that a chain reaction of other things going wrong will occur because I’m distracted.  Sure, that’s the worst case scenario, but when the SM and board op are different people, you can have two brains trouble shooting together, and keep the show running as smoothly as possible in the meanwhile.

On the other hand….a friend of mine recently ran her own board for a musical and loved it.  She said she felt understood the lighting more than ever before, and liked that if she wanted to finesse the calling of a cue, she didn’t have to deal with a board op questioning her adjustments.  Plus, there was less to get tounge-tied over in long Q sequesnes.  Hopefully, that’s the kind of experience you’ll have with your show!
"...allow me to explain about the theatre business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster."  (Philip Henslowe, Shakespeare In Love)

loebtmc

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Re: Light Board Pay
« Reply #7 on: Sep 19, 2006, 01:46 pm »
I actually like running the light board - we are, as they used to say, "the fifth actor" and we learn to breathe with our performance and performers - so running lights (and even sometimes sound) becomes an extension of that - esp on the old manual boards where you can adjust ever so slightly by nightly feel

BUT - no, they gotta pay you extra for it

BTW I have also run into many of those same "I do it but I'm not supposed to" with smaller SPTs - if the envelopes are sealed I will pass out paychecks, but I won't if they're not. That's my deal. Also, while I know an SM who hates ordering food and the like, I enjoy it, and it ensures that 1) I get to eat and 2) I get to eat something I like and am not stuck with pizza every meal-provision. But that's me, and that allows me some little perks along the way, because I can use it to trade out for stuff I need.

VSM

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Re: Light Board Pay
« Reply #8 on: Sep 20, 2006, 01:20 pm »
We are such a great group here!

Marcie ~ contact Susie DeGracia in the Chicago office, explain your rider, concerns and situation and watch her do her magic! This is when the Business Reps can be the most helpful; by explaining and maintaining the terms of the contracts so the Actors and Stage Managers don't have to get personally involved with the Producer about such delicate matters.
Ordo ab chao

lydiaelaine

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Re: Light Board Pay
« Reply #9 on: Sep 20, 2006, 02:02 pm »
A friend of mine in the theatre department, just got called in to run light board for a community theatre, and she also got paid. ;D
Stage manager: Totally responsible for everything.

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