I got a check in the mail today from an ad agency. For $34.54. It wasn’t a residual. It was a penalty payment.
All because a casting session was running behind. Why?
This is of particular importance to union voice talent – and is another reason why you should be striving to get your SAG-AFTRA card.
When you go to an audition, if you’re made to wait any longer than 60 minutes, you’re due a small penalty payment for that waiting time. $37 gross, in this case, which isn’t a lot, but certainly is a nice surprise. I plan on taking someone special out for a gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free celebration with this little windfall.
However you spend your payment, remember that the only way you’ll get it is if you do one last thing when leaving the audition:
Yes. On the SAG-AFTRA sign-in sheet, you probably are used to signing in with your name, union member number, agency, time called and time actually in, your initials, which call it is, your age range and race.
But once finished with their audition, most people bolt for the door.
Don’t. Take a moment and sign out with the time you’re finished. There’s a column for it, just to the right of Actual Time of Arrival.
Don’t think that the casting director will be pissed off for you doing so – if they are running late, it’s usually the production team’s fault, and it’s up to production to pay you, not the CD. And the CD’s not going to blacklist you for exercising one of the protections that union membership affords you.
So, before you leave, note the time and sign out.
And yes, this applies to both on-camera and on-mic auditions.
What’s your process when you audition? Do you fill everything out? Did you know the penalties are paid by the production team, not the casting director? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Hope this helps.