Feedback on Pass

The Actors Voice
by Bonnie Gillespie
week of March 18, 2013

Originally published by Actors Access at http://more.showfax.com/columns/avoice/archives/001636.html. Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.

Your Turn

Hey Bonnie!

Your article on when to make a PASS got me thinking about a project I passed on this weekend, and I wanted to get your opinion on it.

It was one of those copy-credit-meals projects I found on Actors Access, no audition since it was essentially background work for a music video, which is fair enough.

But when the casting director sent through the filming details, he mentioned taking photos of everyone’s ID with his iPhone “to transmit with the video” and alarm bells went off in my head.

I mulled over it for a day or so before gracefully bowing out with an excuse and the reactions from the housemates were that I made the right decision, but I was wondering if you’d heard of this being a real thing.

In my mind, since I wasn’t going to be getting paid, there wouldn’t be much in a way of recourse if something less kosher was going on. He simply said “per the rules.” What rules? SAG-AFTRA? The ones he wrote on the back of a napkin yesterday?

As a permanent resident, I’m VERY protective of my green card (those things are $250 a pop to replace), and the idea of letting a stranger photograph it without actually signing any kind of contract makes me very nervous. So my question is, was I smart or just overly cautious? Is this something I’m likely to come across again later?

Thanks again for being awesome. I was filming on Awkward this week and not only was I pimping your advice column out to everyone there, I actually got a documentary deal in the works from the production assistant with his new production company! I hope this week has been as good for you as it has been for me.

Can’t wait to see you at the next Thirsty Third Thursday!
Kae Winters

Good on ya, girl! I really just have nothing but a celebration for your spidey sense on this. I mean, sure, you could be wrong (I could be wrong) and this could have been the best acting opportunity to ever exist from which someone walked away. BUT… who knows?

This is why I’m such a huge fan of really digging deep into the history of anyone with whom you’re hoping to collaborate (because, in the end, that’s what you’re doing, right?) and being sure there’s a relationship to build. If you got a sense that these folks were awesome, you may have no issue sharing your goods.

But if you’re NOT getting paid, why the heck does anyone need to know your Social Security Number, have a copy of your work Visa, lay eyes on your passport, anything like that? If they’re NOT sending you a check, why do they need to have your home address? Yeah. If you can’t back up (via IMDb) that this is someone who has a track record of successful productions, there’s way more downside to sharing your GOODS than there is the possibility that something good will happen for you, as an artist.

Good for you, being cautious. Especially if you’re jumping to the next tier, there’s little happening at this level for which you need to surrender your best cookies. Good on ya’, playing it safe. I mean, worst case scenario, this would’ve been a great opportunity… and then the “yes, and…” to that is that there will be others. No question. Good enough.


Bonnie Gillespie is living her dreams by helping others figure out how to live theirs. Follow Bonnie on Twitter, circle up at Google+, subscribe at YouTube, download THE WORK podcast at iTunes, or hit “like” at the Facebook. For cool weekly emails from Bon and a free MP3, opt on in. Looking for Self-Management for Actors coaching? START HERE! Yay!

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