contract?

by Lisa
(Portland, Oregon)

QUESTION:

I am a 39 year who has never acted before. By chance, I auditioned and got a part in a pilot. They told me I was a "natural." I do not have an agent, headshot, or resume. I do know that many networks are interested in this sitcom. Am I going to be issued a contract? I have the script and I know we are going to begin shooting in one week...Do you have any advice for me?

ANSWER:

Wow! Congratulations. That doesn't happen very often. If name actors and/or directors/producers are attached to the project and you landed the role of a "regular" (someone who is part of the main cast who will be in every episode), getting an agent shouldn't be too hard. You can ask the casting director who cast you if they can introduce you to one. You can also ask the producer or director. This is also the time to do an agent mailing. Sometimes, headshots and resumes mailed in don't even get opened, so write in bold letters on the corner of the envelope, "lead in new pilot" or whatever best describes the part you got.

If the pilot is SAG-AFTRA, you will get a standard contract. Depending on your shooting schedule, you may or may not have to join after a certain amount of days. You should check with the producer and the union. If this is a non-union project, you should read your contract carefully. You don't want to be difficult as a newcomer, but you do want to make sure you are compensated if the show gets picked up and does well.

Good luck!

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