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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Twitter Questions: Contracts, Credits and Representation

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From time to time, my followers on Twitter will ask me questions, and I respond to them using the traditional 140 character responses. I thought I would take some of those and compile them here for your viewing enjoyment! (To get in on the action, join me over on Twitter by clicking here.)

@KevinScottT asks:
What should I put on my resume for a role that was credited, but no lines?

Was it a principal role, or an extra role that they were kind enough to credit? The smallest principal roles in film are credited as “featured” (1 of 2)
Some casting directors have recommended writing “featured/principal” since so many BG actors list “featured” on their resume for BG roles (2 of 2)

@blankethouse asks:
Hi. What does it mean when a job has the pay rate as Scale non-sag? I'm guessing, it depends on the role ur playing. :)

That's odd- there's no such thing as non-sag scale. Could mean that they pay similar wages as sag scale but aren't on a union contract (1 of 2)
Or that they are on a union contract but they don’t have to hire all union actors (this can happen on lower budget indie contracts) (2 of 2)

@blankethouse asks:
I have a talent agency that wants to sign me, but they want to first take their acting classes to brush up. Is that normal?

No! Run away screaming! That's not normal at all. Agents should not be linked to a school, and should never require a specific class to be considered for representation.

Anonymous asks:
I’m submitting for a feature w/ credible names attached. The role requires her to flash her breast. whats your opinion on any nudity?

Nudity in itself won't jeopardize your career. Lots of folks do nudity. Question is: is it representative of the roles you want to play? (1 of 2)
Make sure the script is aligned with your preferred type of material & make sure there is a nudity rider in the contract stipulating use. (2 of 2)

Anonymous asks (via
Can actors who are apart of the guild participate in web series

Yes! Many web series are covered by union contracts. You just need to make sure that the producer has spoken with the union to make sure that the right contract is being used. There is a lot of wiggle room in the mew media contracts because not a lot of precedent has been set, so this is a very good time to be a part of an AFTRA or SAG web series.

Anonymous asks (via
what are the laws regarding non union actors appearing in corporate videos that get put up on the web?

The only laws that would govern non-union actors in this area would be traditional labor laws, and the terms of the contract an actor signs. Remember that all contracts can be amended or riders can be added, so always look over the contract and negotiate any sticking points before you sign.

Have a question? Join me on Twitter or Formspring, or shoot me an email. I am always happy to help!

Erin Cronican's career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has done national tours of plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. To learn more, check out

2 COMMENTS - Click to READ:

Ben Whitehair said...

Great info, as always!

I would also add that my understanding is the smallest role on film is called "feature", without the d. Featured is almost universally understood as extra work, at least in LA.

My two cents...

Erin Cronican said...

Interesting - that distinction is not made here in NYC. I don't know of anyone here in NY that writes "feature" for their principal roles- they almost exclusively use the "d." I'll check with some of the casting folks out here and see if that is changing. If it does, I would imagine that background actors would simply eliminate the "d" - I have had a really hard time getting some of my students to remove those background credits from their resume.

On a side note: I had one well known casting director tell me to change my "featured" role to say "supporting" because she was tired of so many background actors writing "featured" on their resumes. She didn't mention the d/no d idea, but I can see that distinctions on the resumes are a big issue.

Thanks, as always, for stopping by, Ben!

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