Become an ACTRA Additional Background Performer (AABP)

ACTRA Toronto is made up of over 15,000 independent performers working in dozens of different performance categories, from on-camera to voice to stunts to background and more. Our professional membership is proud to have helped bring productions to life in Toronto for over 70 years. We are also proud to include our ACTRA Additional Background Performers (AABP) as members of ACTRA.

Whether on set, at auditions or in their professional relationships, ACTRA Toronto supports and defends wages, working conditions and respect issues for all its members, be they Full Members, Apprentices or AABP. When our members display their ACTRA Toronto card, they are representing and have the support of over 21,000 ACTRA members across Canada.

Our AABP members have made a pledge to perform only in UNION productions. They work ACTRA. They may not be submitted for non-union work.

Did you know..?

Joining AABP helps Background Performers become a stronger force within our industry by standing together around issues such as:

  • Safe sets
  • Fair pay
  • Meal breaks
  • On-set insurance
  • Work opportunities
  • Professional training & advancement

We believe all performers have the same right to fair pay and decent working conditions as other workers. Please treat our AABP members with the courtesy and respect that all members of the professional production community deserve and have come to expect.

Becoming an AABP Member

To join the AABP, you must prove that you have worked fifteen (15) days as a background performer within the 12-month period immediately preceding your application for membership.

You can complete, print and sign this application form in advance and call ACTRA Toronto at 416-928-2278 and ask for Member Services. You will need to provide ACTRA Toronto with:

  1. proof of at least fifteen (15) work days as a background performer during the past twelve (12) months and
  2. proof of Canadian citizenship or permanent resident status (passport or birth certificate)

How to submit your vouchers to join as an AABP member

Revised July 31, 2019

  1. You must have 15 vouchers from the 12-month period immediately preceding the day you are joining. You cannot use more than 15 to join with or to submit for your Apprentice credit in the future.
  2. All vouchers must be fully legible. If any of the information on the voucher is not able to be read due to damage, getting wet or being written on it will not be counted.
  3. Your vouchers must be in date order. That means the first voucher will be the oldest one in the 12-month period and the last voucher will be the most recent one.
  4. Do not submit duplicates. If you have the performer copy and the production copy that may have been attached to your cheque, only one can be submitted.
  5. No non-union vouchers will be accepted.
  6. If you have misplaced a voucher or have one that is too damaged to be accepted, we will accept a paystub or a report from a payroll service instead.
  7. Separate vouchers for COVID testing or wardrobe only do not count as a day of work and will not be accepted.

The Benefits of AABP Membership

  1. Union membership. AABP members are ACTRA members.
  2. Representation. AABP members are represented at the ACTRA Toronto Council table by an elected AABP Caucus.
  3. Professional Training, including the Respect on Set Workshops.
  4. Access to union work:
    • AABP members can work BG in union commercials – non-union performers can’t.
    • AABP members can work in Low Budget Productions – non-union performers can’t.
    • AABP members can work in Toronto Co-op productions – non-union performers can’t.
  5. Promotion without exploitation. AABP members can strut their stuff online safely via the Digital Self Promotion Registry.
  6. Professional development. Attend workshops and master classes at ACTRA Toronto Members Conferences – FREE!
  7. Community, networking & Celebration. Attend the ACTRA Awards in Toronto – FREE!
  8. Information! Receive Performers and ACTRA magazines – FREE!
  9. Studio facilities! Use ACTRA Toronto’s Gordon Pinsent Studio to self-tape an audition – FREE!
  10. Save! Enjoy retail discounts from ACTRA’s Member Advantage Program.
  11. Full service banking and performer-friendly financial services from the Creative Arts Financial, a division of FirstOntario Credit Union.
  12. Group rates on Home & Auto insurance and extended health benefits from the Arts & Entertainment Plan from Actra Fraternal Benefit Society.
  13. Advancement. Earn your first ACTRA Apprentice credit by working 200 days/1600 background hours as an AABP Member.

How to submit AABP BG hours for Apprentice Membership

Revised August 15, 2019

PLEASE READ THESE REQUIREMENTS CAREFULLY! NO SUBMISSIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED UNLESS THEY ARE PROPERLY ORGANIZED

YOU WILL BE INFORMED OF YOUR ACCEPTANCE BY EMAIL WITHIN 2 TO 3 WEEKS.

  1. You must submit an organized spreadsheet of the productions you worked on along with your vouchers that you have numbered to match the order on the spreadsheet. You must number your vouchers.
  2. Manually filled out spread sheets are not acceptable. You must enter your hours into the spreadsheet provided on a computer so the spreadsheet can add your hours up accurately. If you are unable to do this yourself, ask a friend or family member for assistance.
  3. All vouchers must be fully legible. If any of the information on the voucher is not able to be read due to damage, getting wet or being written on by you, it will NOT be counted.
  4. The first 15 vouchers on your spreadsheet will be the 15 that you joined on. Any extra vouchers from the 12-month period before joining as an AABP will not be accepted. Do not include more than the 15 vouchers you joined with. The first voucher on your spreadsheet will be the earliest date of the 15 vouchers from the 12-month period before you joined.
  5. AABP members who joined prior to October 31, 2012 can submit up to 800 hours that were accumulated as a non-member. The remaining 800 hours must have been accumulated as an AABP member so the work dates will be only those after your initiation date.
  6. If you worked a few hours, but were paid for 8 hours, you can claim 8 hours. You may not include travel time, lunch hours or wardrobe calls. We count the hours you were paid to be on set only.
  7. For days you worked beyond the minimum 8 hours, you will not include lunch hours, wardrobe calls or travel time. Subtract one hour from every voucher when you worked more than 8 hours.
  8. Do not include separate vouchers for wardrobe fittings.
  9. Non-union work is not considered. Do not submit vouchers from non-union productions.
  10. If you have lost any vouchers, we will also accept a pay stub, or a report provided by a payroll service. We do not accept anything other than a voucher, a pay stub or a report from a payroll service.
  11. Minutes can only be rounded off in 15-minute increments. Do not calculate minutes worked with anything other than .25, .50 or .75 after the hour. This means that if you worked 10 hours and 15 minutes it should be recorded as 10.25 hours and NOT 10.15 hours.
  12. Vouchers from January 2019 and onward round off the hours worked in 6-minute increments, so the times allowed are as follows:
    • :06 minutes will be rounded down to .00
    • :12 minutes will be rounded up to .25
    • :18 minutes will round down to .25
    • :24 minutes will round up to .5
    • :30 minutes is .5
    • :36 minutes rounds down to .5
    • :42 minutes rounds up to .75
    • :48 minutes rounds down to .75 and
    • :54 minutes rounds up to a full hour
  13. We will absolutely not consider any application where you are short the required 1600 hours. Please review your submission carefully for errors in the calculation of your hours.

Read our ACTRA Additional Background Performers’ Advantage factsheet for more information (pdf)