Connie Terwilliger – ISDN Voice Talent

October 15, 2009

Casting Reality in the 00’s

P2P is here to stay. Well, it’s here now and is such a “new” reality that no one really knows where it will evolve. But as with anything new, there are lots of growing pains – for everyone involved.

I’ve linked to the Double Dutch Blog before (Paul Strikwerda) because he pretty much always has something interesting to say and the past few days he has been blogging about P2P sites – low balling rates, etc.

http://nethervoice.com/nethervoice/

One question that he has been asked prompts me to respond here. Here is the question – “How about the unions? Isn’t it their job to deal with remuneration? If you’re so unhappy with the current rates or the lowballing bidders, why not join AFTRA?”

Simple answer? Yes, the unions have established scale rates if you are so lucky as to get a job under a union contract. However, AFTRA has never been able to get you work. That is up to you.

If you join AFTRA and there are no signatories to work for you earn NOTHING. AFTRA will suggest that you wait tables to make ends meet. Even if there are signatories and union castings, we are performers – in a very subjective business. We are not carpenters who can stand in line at the union hall and get the next job.  

Times are tough – I had a retail client a few months back ask me to roll back my prices a bit. This is a long time regular monthly client, so I agreed to a temporary roll back. I’ve lost a few jobs recently because my prices were too high. Am I tempted to cut my rates? Yes. Will I? That depends on the job. If I do, does that mean that the cut is then permanent? Hard to know the answer to that isn’t it and probably the primary reason that I usually say no to a lower rate.

Everyone is sensative to the economy right now. Even some agents are apologizing for lower than normal rates when asking for auditions. While I don’t know this for a fact (and if someone does, please chime in one way or the other), I would imagine that most of the “almost” stars – the over-scale actors – are finding that the rates they are being offered is not quite as good as it once was.

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