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Samuel Buggeln
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I think you and Shaun aren't as far apart on this as you think. The fundamental problem is indeed in the contract's name, which pretends that the main reason actors want to do these is to "showcase their talents to industry professionals." I think the number of actors who do showcases for this reason is vanishingly small, so I doubt your proposal of an "actual" actor showcase would be used much. (Especially since fewer performances would exacerbate the problem Shaun described, of the short run limiting the actor's ability to relax into the role.) But Equity SHOULD acknowledge that the showcase is really used by emerging producers (which includes, let's remember, ensembles of Equity actors who want to generate their own work). And everybody, including Equity, has an interest in helping these folks out. The seasonal showcase begins to acknowledge this reality, but even that requires an organization of a certain size. Your idea that the basic showcase stipulate salaries, no matter how small, pegged to the total budget, is great. There's no insult in a $75/week "salary" since, as Shaun points out, even the coveted OB contract isn't anything that allows you to quit your day job. (I have friends who kept their office gigs through runs at the Public and NYTW.) Calling them "Emerging Producer" and "Emerging Seasonal Producer" contracts would clarify a lot of thinking.
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Jul 25, 2014