Friday, January 23, 2015

HOLAwave: An Actor Inquires – Protecting Yourself If You Are A Nonunion Actor

[HOLAwave represents a series of guest blogs by industry insiders giving informative and educational tidbits for the Latino performer. They can range from acting and auditioning advice, tech tips, legal advice, marketing, producing tips, and so on. Get caught up in the wave– the HOLAwave.]

AN ACTOR INQUIRES

An Actor Inquires is a section devoted to actors and the questions they have about the business and legal aspects of the film and theatre industry. In a nod to Stanislavski and his book, An Actor Prepares, these blog posts are meant to prepare you about the other equally important areas of the acting profession. A talented actor who knows his or her craft AND the business is a force to be reckoned with. If you have questions for future postings, please e-mail them here.


“If I choose to work in a nonunion film (one that is not SAG-AFTRA), what key contract terms or clauses should I look out for to protect myself?”

Here’s something that any working actor can tell you: there are many more nonunion roles than there are SAG-AFTRA roles. So, actors, in a quest to build their credits, gain experience, make themselves visible and hone their craft will take on a nonunion role if they find it in their interest to do so. Whether they should or not is another story but assuming they do there are some things an actor should look out for to protect themselves from unscrupulous or sleazy producers.

• Put it in writing. While it is true that oral agreements are enforceable, if it’s not on paper, your job to prove you were promised something for your work in a production becomes that much harder. So make sure that anything you are promised winds up in the document you sign. If it’s not, then don’t sign until it is.
• If the contract has a clause that your image or work can be used in whatever form for perpetuity understand that that means they can do anything they want with the images they shoot of you. Forever. Ask that it be limited to non-pornographic purposes or to be used ONLY for the production or the marketing of that production. If they use it for some other project, you should be paid for that, in my opinion.
• In addition, producers tend to add clauses that state that your work or image can be used in “any medium known or unknown throughout the universe” (or something like that), which gives them the right to use your work or image in any medium without having to pay you extra for it (besides any aforementioned compensation or residuals, if any, already stated in the contract).
• Also beware of any audition release forms that give a producer the right to use your audition footage in whatever way they wish.  It’s one thing to have the acting you did for a movie appear in a trailer (which is to be expected), but your acting for an audition is less polished and more intimate which means you might not want that footage released to the public.
 Pay attention to clauses that limit what future work you can do because of a conflict. This could come up in cases where you work in a commercial for a particular product/service and the clause is put in there to prevent you from working for a competitor product/service. Even though you might not be able to change this clause, at least understand that it means you can’t work for a competitor’s commercial. However, to be fair, this clause should be limited to a certain time period and geographical area.
• If the script calls for sex or nudity, check to see if the contract provides for a clause with restrictions on who can be on the set during the shoot, how the footage is to be used and whether or not nudity/semi-nudity is required.

When it comes to contracts, the first thing is awareness; actors need to know what they are signing. The second thing is whether or not the actor can get something changed or removed from a contract. The truth is that an actor’s ability to have clauses modified or removed comes down to how much leverage the actor has. Famous actors, actors desired by producers to play a specific role and actors demanded by certain investors for a role all have leverage and can get their way if they ask for it. However, even if you don’t have that kind of leverage, if you feel strongly about something, don’t be afraid to speak up. You’d be surprised to know how much a director or producer is willing to address your concerns. And if they don’t, then at the end of they day, you don’t have to sign the contract. It all depends on how much you want that role.


Danny Jiminian is an attorney who specializes in Entertainment Law, Intellectual Property, Business Law and Nonprofits and practices out of New York. For a free consultation, reach him at his website.

Matter included here or in linked websites may not be current. It is advisable to consult with a competent professional before relying on any written commentary. No attorney client relationship is established by the viewing, use, or communication in any manner through this web site. Nothing on this blog or blog posting is official legal advice; it's just information and opinion. If you want to, you can visit my professional website and hire me by clicking here.



HOLA Member Bochinche

Bochinche refers to “gossip”. In this sense, we use it to mention HOLA members or Friends of HOLA who are getting acting, performance or similarly artistic gigs and/or recognition in the media. The names of HOLA members and Friends of HOLA are listed below in boldface. To see what other HOLA members are doing currently, click here.

Solanyi Rodríguez, shown at right, is starring in Mary McCallum's Singleville. Directed by Meleisha Edwards and McCallum, the play will be presented in January at The Producers' Club, located in the theater district of midtown Manhattan.

Elaine Del Valle hosted the Hispanic Choice Awards, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (for the second consecutive year). An edited portion of the awards ceremony will be televised in that city's local CW affiliate station on Sunday, January 25, 2015 at 4:30pm local time.

Pablo Andrade, shown at left, was highlighted, along with award-winning playwright Pablo García Gámez, in the Venezulean blog Central de Noticias and the Venezuelan news outlet Últimas Noticias. where both profiled the pair's recent ACE Award wins for the Pregones-Puerto Rican Traveling Theater production Noche tan linda (Andrade for lead actor and García Gámez for playwriting), for which both also picked up 2014 HOLA Awards. To read more about them (note that the blogs are in Spanish), click here and here.

Susanna Guzmán, shown at right, has a recurring role in the upcoming Netflix series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (created by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock). The show, which was already picked up for a second season, will premiere its entire first season on Friday, March 6, 2015.

Mônica Steuer is starring in Walter Ventosilla's El mandatorio idiota. Directed by Jorge B. Merced, the play will be presented by and at IATI Theater (located in Manhattan's East Village) in February and March. For more information, click here.

If you are an HOLA member or a Friend of HOLA and want to submit a bochinche item, send us an e-mail. If you live in the New York metropolitan area and want to be an HOLA member, why not join? If you live outside the New York metropolitan area and want to be an HOLA member, you can find out more information on how to do so by clicking here. If you are not a Friend of HOLA, why not become one?

Jennifer López On Casting Two Latino Leads in a Mainstream U.S. Movie

It's a mainstream movie, it's not "a Latino movie", but the truth is, as a producer, I'm very proud because in retrospect, I just picked the best actor for the role. But at the end of the day, if a big studio made this movie, I don't know that they would've cast the both of us in this because of that.
And so, two Latinos opening in a mainstream movie, if it does well, that's gonna change things. I would love for the Latino community to come out and support this movie because it would give us the freedom.... That gives me a lot of freedom as an artist, it gives us a lot of freedom to make more movies in this way. Whatever kind of stories we want to tell— it's exciting. –JENNIFER LÓPEZ, star/producer of the film The Boy Next Door (which also stars Ryan Guzmán)
Check out Ashley Lee's article in The Hollywood Reporter on Jennifer López, where the actress/producer discusses casting two Latinos in the lead roles in a mainstream movie, by clicking here.

SAG-AFTRA Chief on Diversity Woes, Awards Show's TV Deal and Residuals Investigations

SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director
David White. Photo by Koury Angelo. 
Check out Jonathan Handel's profile on David White, the National Executive Director of performer union SAG-AFTRA, where he speaks about his career, tackling diversity and the continuing direction of the union (and his place in it), by clicking here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

HOLA Member Bochinche

Bochinche refers to “gossip”. In this sense, we use it to mention HOLA members or Friends of HOLA who are getting acting, performance or similarly artistic gigs and/or recognition in the media. The names of HOLA members and Friends of HOLA are listed below in boldface. To see what other HOLA members are doing currently, click here.

Suni Reyes, shown at right, acted in an episode of "Mozart in the Jungle" (Amazon Prime).

Laura Riveros is acting in Sans Comedia production Oedipus Gol. Adapted and directed by Julián Mesri (who also stars), the play will take place on Thursday, January 29, 2015 at Dixon Place, located in Manhattan's Loísaida neighborhood). For more information, click here or here.


Alberto Bonilla is shooting the short film Spicy Salsa. Written by and starring Bonilla, it is directed by Lawrence Ballard and also stars Irene Rivera. Production is currently happening in New York City.


Pablo Andrade, shown at left, was profiled in the Venezuelan newspaper El Universal for winning a 2015 ACE (Asociación de Cronistas de Espectáculos de Nueva York) Award for the Pablo García Gámez play Noche tan linda (for which he also won a 2014 HOLA Award), as well as his other current work (which includes the award-winning productions of the Virgilio Piñera play Aire frío and the Lope de Vega play El loco por fuerza, both of which are playing at Repertorio Español, located in Manhattan's Rose Hill neighborhood). To read the article (which is in Spanish), click here.

Héctor Luis RiveraKathy Tejada, Raúl Rivera and Jason Torres are co-starring in the music video for the song "Asesinos" by the music group Mala Entraña (directed by Alain Aguilar), which can be seen by clicking on the video below (note: strong imagery and slight gore.)




If you are an HOLA member or a Friend of HOLA and want to submit a bochinche item, send us an e-mail. If you live in the New York metropolitan area and want to be an HOLA member, why not join? If you live outside the New York metropolitan area and want to be an HOLA member, you can find out more information on how to do so by clicking here. If you are not a Friend of HOLA, why not become one?


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

HOLA Member Bochinche

Bochinche refers to “gossip”. In this sense, we use it to mention HOLA members or Friends of HOLA who are getting acting, performance or similarly artistic gigs and/or recognition in the media. The names of HOLA members and Friends of HOLA are listed below in boldface. To see what other HOLA members are doing currently, click here.

Idalmis García, shown at right, was profiled in an article in New York's El Diario-La Prensa newspaper, where her career (including roles in the award-winning Ernesto Daranas film Conducta, and her role in the award-winning Repertorio Español production of Lope de Vega's El loco por fuerza).

Luis Carlos de La Lombana is currently acting in the film Dicky, (directed by Matthew Y. Balzer and produced by Chris Laszlo and Joanna Lagstein), which is currently shooting in New York.


Mel Nieves' play Between a Hot Dog and a Hard Place has been officially selected for the 2015 Downtown Urban Theater Festival, scheduled to take place in spring 2015 at HERE Arts Center (located in Manhattan's SoHo neighborhood). For more information, click here.


Basílica Bliachas and Noëlle Mauri are starring in the upcoming webseries "Just In New York" (written and directed by Yolanda García Serrano). For more information, click here.


J.W. Cortés was interviewed by Michael Díaz (also known by his nom de comédie Juan Bago) and Jaime Fernández for their podcast "The Translators" . To hear the interview, click here or on the image below.




If you are an HOLA member or a Friend of HOLA and want to submit a bochinche item, send us an e-mail. If you live in the New York metropolitan area and want to be an HOLA member, why not join? If you live outside the New York metropolitan area and want to be an HOLA member, you can find out more information on how to do so by clicking here. If you are not a Friend of HOLA, why not become one?

Friday, January 16, 2015

HOLA Member Bochinche

Bochinche refers to “gossip”. In this sense, we use it to mention HOLA members or Friends of HOLA who are getting acting, performance or similarly artistic gigs and/or recognition in the media. The names of HOLA members and Friends of HOLA are listed below in boldface. To see what other HOLA members are doing currently, click here.

Mathia Vargas, shown at right, booked a role in Álex Vásquez Escaño's play Yoleros, directed by Martín Balmaceda, and scheduled to take place in March in IATI Theater, located in Manhattan's East Village. (She booked the role after the director saw her profile in the HOLA online directory and called her in to audition.)

Alfonso Rey is starring in the Niav Conty film short Outworld, which is scheduled to start hitting the film festival circuit soon.

Edna Lee Figueroa will be acting in the Mariana Carreño King play Forty-Three. Also directed by Carreño, the play is produced by Boundless Theatre Company and will be presented in January at Teatro Círculo, located in Manhattan's East Village. For more information, click here.

Pietro González is starring in Sam Shepard's Eyes For Consuela. Based on the short story "The Blue Bouquet" by Octavio Paz, the production is directed by Cyndy A. Marion and presented by White House Theater Company at The Gene Frankel Theatre, located in Manhattan's NoHo neighborhood. For more information, click here.

If you are an HOLA member or a Friend of HOLA and want to submit a bochinche item, send us an e-mail. If you live in the New York metropolitan area and want to be an HOLA member, why not join? If you live outside the New York metropolitan area and want to be an HOLA member, you can find out more information on how to do so by clicking here. If you are not a Friend of HOLA, why not become one?