From O'Connor Casting - must read!
Subject: PLEASE PASS ON TO YOUR TALENT
To all agents,
Lately, we’ve been running into a couple serious issues that we feel we should bring to the attention of everyone and not just those that were involved.
One issue involves talent on set and how they should behave.For the most part, talent are professional and respectful of others as expected. However, we’ve received reports from productions of some unprofessional talent. It mainly comes from talent being either uninformed or just plain idiotic in their behavior. Please make sure that if there is some issue on set and talent feels that something is wrong or they are not being treated properly, etc, they should first of all try to resolve the issue amicably with production. If it’s not getting resolved between talent and crew, including the production managers and producers, then talent should get [their agent] on the phone to help deal with the situation. They just need to know this protocol. This means they must have [their agent's] after hours number on them. We know it’s common sense, but some parents and actors/models are uninformed and have resulted in them making us all look bad. One thing is certain: talent should never walk off set. Walking off set is one of the most unprofessional things a talent can do and the most assured way of us not working with them as we cannot trust them to behave professionally. So whether they’re an extra, a principal, a back up, or a parent, talent need to remember that this is a job they’ve been hired for and they are expected to represent not only themselves, but also their Talent Agent, O'Connor Casting and Chicago performers as a whole. No matter how crazy a set can become, we all benefit from talent who get the job done.Along the same lines (and I wish I didn’t have to say this), talent should not show up to work, whether to an audition or to set, intoxicated or under the influence of any recreational drugs, late, or unprepared. Again this is far from the norm, but unfortunately not every actor seems to be aware of this. Can you imagine showing up late, intoxicated and then being asked to hold a prop gun… Pretty damn laughable, but it occurred.
THIS NEXT ONE IS A MAJOR ISSUE (thus the CAPS). Product conflicts. Talent in general (the ones who are working consistently), and agents many times, are not aware of their current talent product conflicts. When we put a breakdown out and list the exclusivity, there should be no confusion as to who can or cannot come in to audition for it. If you have a talent who may or may not have a product conflict, it’s your job, along with your talent, to figure out (prior to confirming them for an audition) what their current conflict is and its terms. The hours wasted and problems caused by this are countless. Talent need to be educated and aware of this in the business. So you (they – as they may be multi-listed) have to be on top of the length of their buyouts/holdings as well as the exclusivity category. So if your talent has a Kmart that is seasonal and not holding conflicts, that’s all well and good for Kmart, but if we’re casting a Target that is holding conflicts, then we don’t audition your Kmart talent. Works the same in reverse. If we’re casting something that is not holding conflicts (meaning most non-union projects), that doesn’t mean you don’t need to check your talent for current product conflicts that may impact it. Yes, things are not governed as much as UNION projects, but talent need to use some common sense and not have two or more health care, or insurance, or fast food conflicts when they air or broadcast in the same markets. It’s not fair to the client, unless cleared by them both. It’s bad business any other way. Print gets away with booking non-conflict projects most times (still doesn’t make it right), but broadcast is a different story altogether. We, of course, have no control over this, but ask that with projects being cast out of my office you adhere to this as it’s a disservice to my client and will cause me to lose work because of it. Bottom line, it’s common sense and it’s up to you and your talent to keep track of it all. It’s harder to do when talent are multi-listed, but it still must be done properly. Talent need to fully understand what they are signing and understand the rates, hours, usage for all things called WORK.Thank you for stressing the above to your talent. The more aware we can make our talent of the proper way to work in this industry, the easier our jobs will be! And we will continue to strengthen our acting community even more.My best to you all, always.David O’ConnorDirector of Casting
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