June 24, 2009

Equity Stage Managers and AFTRA

I call this: theatre — Posted by KP @ 4:00 pm

Just sharing something I learned, in the hopes that it will help others who find themselves in this situation:

If you are an Equity stage manager and your show is filmed in such a way that you and the actors are paid through AFTRA, you may learn the hard way that once you have done this twice, you must join AFTRA.

EXCEPT, this is not quite true. Because stage managers are not performers, AFTRA waives the need to join the union and still pays you. Normally stage managers get the short end of the stick on Equity issues, but for once we get the far better deal! So if, as happened in my case, AFTRA makes a mistake and sends you a membership letter saying you need to pay them $1,000 before they release the $400 you’ve earned, just call them up and explain that you’re a stage manager and you should be all set! And try not to gloat in front of your cast, most of whom just got totally hosed.

Thanks to Nick for getting all “This is BS!” and doing all the research on this.