We break down what we think about one of the most popular topics in the industry today.
Should actors be paid? Quite simply the answer is… YES! however, that is just what we believe.
Why should actors be paid? No-one’s time should ever be taken for granted. If you are looking for a particular level of quality for your production, you need to pay up in most cases. Unless you have a talented friend who is helping you out on a project, but then again, just because your friend is talented, does that mean you should avoid paying them because you consider them your ‘homie’ or ‘mate’.
Does a paid job gurantee quality? NO. As a performer your reputation is precious, sometimes you can simply be cast because of the projects you have been associated with. It can also work in reverse. If you have a showreel of poorly executed projects but you were paid £300 for each film you appeared in. Is it really worth it? Not really.
Actors are probably the most under appreciated and rejected professionals in the game. Constantly being told ‘No’, always taking gruelling journeys up and down the country for a two minute audition with a casting director just to be rejected or in worse cases, not hearing back from production at all!
Is not being paid always a bad thing? Not necessarily..why? because for some actors, being on set or on stage with professionals will provide you with invaluable experience and key ingredients that may be able to aid your development or add credence to your ability as an performer in terms of showreel footage. This statement might specifically apply to new comers but is this always the case though? No.
What about actors who have invested heavily into their careers? Studying for years at drama school, taking part time classes, attending masterclasses (which can sometimes cost £250 and more). Your average person may say acting is not a ‘serious’ or ‘professional’ career…We respect your opinion but we have to laugh in your faces. Acting, directing, producing…whatever role your pursue in filmmaking is a serious role and takes a lot of time and skill to be able do well. If only these people knew what went into making a 1hr TV show…. They’d be shocked with the amount 14hr days, sleepless nights and shoddy catering (in some cases).
Everyday we see a tweet or a Facebook post along the line’s of “Look here..another non-paid job for actors, know your rights!” or “Another non-paid job guys…how do they expect us to eat or pay our bills..”. This recurring theme makes us think are the producers of content wrong for putting out a casting call saying they can’t pay actors for their time? We personally don’t think there is anything wrong with advertising an opportunity for someone who is willing to work for free. However, there are basic needs that must be covered such as food, shelter and in most cases travel expenses at the very least.
Actors should be remunerated for their time. Simple. If a conversation has taken place, where you are not paying the actor in cash money, then both parties should come to a consensus that makes everyone happy across the board. The production company should show a great deal of appreciation to anyone that is even considering working on their project for free.
To round off, we pray and hope that all performers can be paid for their hard work, talent and time.
Let us know what you think by commenting below!