Author Topic: Actor/ASMs on a TYA contract  (Read 4756 times)

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Maribeth

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Actor/ASMs on a TYA contract
« on: Oct 21, 2015, 07:24 pm »
I have a question for those of you who have worked under an AEA TYA contract. If you have had actors signed to an Actor/ASM contract, how have you made use of them? Has anyone ever used them in rehearsals?

I've had them a number of times, and never feel like I have very much that they can do, other than helping me with room setup or cleanup. Generally it's not helpful to have them be “on book”, as they have to be onstage as well. Similarly, I would never ask them to track props or costumes or any other normal ASM assignments.

I can see the usefulness of having the actors able to help with load-in/load-out in touring situations but I really don't see how they are useful in rehearsals, and I would love to hear about other people's experiences with this. Thanks.

LizzG

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Re: Actor/ASMs on a TYA contract
« Reply #1 on: Oct 21, 2015, 08:11 pm »
I'm on the tier D production contract right now, and which there's obviously differences, we've got a ASM who is a swing.  He comes in early and stays late to help us with spiking and room set up.  Another big thing we've used him for is being the SM rep in the rehearsal room, freeing us up to be rehearsing in another room (we've only really done that for music sessions as myself or the PSM need to be in the room for dance/blocking sessions anyway).

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Re: Actor/ASMs on a TYA contract
« Reply #2 on: Oct 21, 2015, 09:42 pm »
I've done numerous TYA contracts with Theatreworks. Generally the ASM portion doesn't really come into play until we're on the road. While still in the studio I will have them help me refine paperwork such as the pre-set lists and any run sheets we may feel we need (usually for prop and costume tracking that does not get taken care of through staging) the same way I would if working with a full crew, but I will create and update that paperwork myself.

On the road of course they are working during load in. All of the cast are under the Actor/ASM contract, and Theatreworks will then sign two of them as the 1st and 2nd ASM, giving them an extra pay bump each week, but eliminating any half hour invasion payments (final call on who is signed as the 1st and 2nd is left up to the SM to decide during rehearsals). One of the two is generally used as the Sound ASM to assist the SM with setting up sound, while the other is meant to take the lead with the set load-in and spiking.

shanakathleen

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Re: Actor/ASMs on a TYA contract
« Reply #3 on: Oct 21, 2015, 11:54 pm »
I struggled with this as well this summer. I primarily used my actor/asm to help set up and take down each rehearsal. She was also super helpful and jumped up to help reset if we were running a moment again. This was especially great when running a certain number with a lot of prop choreography.

However, I didn't feel right asking her to come in early and help set up on days where the calls were staggered and her character wouldn't be needed at the top of day. I also made sure to respect her break times, so she wouldn't go without a break trying to pull double duty.

Once we got into the theater I didn't really use her at all - according to the TYA agreement, all ASM duties must be complete by half hour, so anything additional (set moves, etc) would fall under the same additional compensation as a regular actor. I had an intern and a wardrobe crew member backstage, so I didn't feel like I needed the actor/ASM to help out prior to half hour.

I'm sure that an Actor/ASM is invaluable in a touring situation, but it's a little less obvious how to make good use of them in a resident theater.
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Re: Actor/ASMs on a TYA contract
« Reply #4 on: Mar 10, 2016, 03:15 pm »
I am working under Canadian regulations so it is a bit different but we don't have to designate as an ASM to have actors help with load in etc. We just pay over minimum and add the addendum of that they are responsible for set up and tear down and maintenance from time to time.
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