In the hectic world of film, television, new media and commercial production, professionalism is the biggest asset any performer can have. Producers engage ACTRA members because they meet a certain standard of skill, training and dedication to their craft.
As an ACTRA member, you are expected to be professional. You also have rights – standards you can expect as a professional.
Rules for ACTRA Members
ACTRA’s constitution and by-laws spell out our membership rules. These rules are essential to our protecting the rates and working conditions we have won through years of negotiations. Here are are some of the basics:
- Don’t work non-union (for engagers who are not signatories to an ACTRA agreement.)
- Don’t work without a signed contract.
- Don’t work for a fee less than the minimum set out in the applicable ACTRA agreement.
- Only work with ACTRA members in good standing or non-members permitted by ACTRA.
- Keep ACTRA Toronto up to date with your photo, résumé, address, phone number, email address, HST/GST number and agency information.
Responsibilities of ACTRA Members
When you accept a booking from your agent or the casting director, make sure you have a clear idea of the requirements of the role, the location, the time and date of the shoot. If anything is unclear, ask questions.
- Your word is your bond – if you accept a booking, you’re committed to that production for the duration of the production day. Don’t cancel!
- Be on time. A professional always arrives prepared to work at least 10 minutes before call.
- Be organized. If the production asks you to bring wardrobe, have it ready to show to the wardrobe assistants.
- Follow instructions. When you’re moved from place to place, go quickly and quietly.
- Don’t bring valuables to a production.
- Don’t take food, drinks or anything that’s not part of the set onto the set.
- Respect the set. Don’t rearrange things to suit yourself.
- Don’t wear your own make-up to the set unless asked.
- Don’t rearrange your hair, make-up or wardrobe for personal comfort.
- Do your job, remember your actions and give the same actions each time unless directed otherwise.
- Listen attentively. Don’t make the A.D.s repeat instructions.
- Be aware of equipment and what the camera is doing.
- Learn to know when you’re in a frame and when you’re not.
- Take washroom breaks during slack times.
- When you go for a break or to the washroom, tell the A.D., P.A. or casting person responsible where you’re going. Don’t just wander off, and always return immediately.
Rights of ACTRA Members
ACTRA is with you in fighting for the professional rights of performers. These include:
- the right to a fair wage
- the right to compensation for use of your image and performance
- the right to safe and acceptable working conditions
- the right to artistic freedom
- the right to maintain control over artistic output
- the right to be treated with respect as an integral component of the production industry and as a contributing member of the Canadian cultural fabric.
At the end of the day, make sure all information on your voucher or work report is completely and correctly filled out, including the times you worked, your meal breaks, etc. If you had an upgrade on set, mark it on your voucher or work report and get a contract for the upgrade. If you have a HST/GST number, make sure it’s correctly written on your contract. If the items are incorrect, for a work report, do not initial it; for a voucher, check off “disagree.” In either case, notify your agent and the ACTRA Toronto Business Representative.
Keep a copy of your voucher – it’s your recorded proof of work. Keep a record of your time worked.
At the end of the day, make sure all information on your contract is completely and correctly filled out, including the times you worked, your meal breaks, etc. If you had an upgrade on set, mark it on your contract. If you have a HST/GST number, make sure it’s correctly written on your contract. If the items are incorrect, check off “disagree,” and notify a Commercial Department Business Representative.
Mail ACTRA’s copy of the contract and keep a copy for yourself – it’s your recorded proof of work.