The followers of this site would like to bring to the attention of the industry in general the fact that ever more of us are refusing to be exploited and work for nothing / expenses on projects that have designated budgets. These actors will possibly not work this year because of it, despite being highly trained and/or experienced.
The old excuse that 'experience' is a substitute for payment - will no longer wash. It is illegal to expect an individual to work for nothing.
We want to put a stop to certain companies, mainly in the fields of film and television, putting the actor at the bottom of the food chain and creating an image of the actor that is desperate, unskilled and ten-a-penny. This is damaging to every actor, whatever their skill or experience and putting up a brick wall between other employers and the newer / undiscovered talent, labelling them a risk. No one can benefit in a climate like that.
We are campaigning for a level playing field whenever there is a budget available to a production. In collaboration with Equity, we are working towards making it a condition of funding that every contributor is paid in line with the budget.
Collaborative projects that do not receive any funding can continue to thrive as long as everyone is putting in their time for free.
Plus, we would like to bring to the attention of many Universities / Media Institutions that although we are happy to help students, we should not be expected to work for nothing here either. Other professions are paid for their time; life models, fashion models etc. We remind these institutions that we will expect at least National Minimum Wage and it is unfair to expect students to pay for this; it should be factored into their course fee. More importantly, these institutions must set an example by teaching their students that actors require payment for their services.
Companies or institutions that flout these guidelines will find it increasingly difficult to find professional actors for their projects and should get into the habit now of paying actors a fair wage. The minimum wage laws will be vigorously pursued by Equity as more and more actors find that the union is fighting their corner.