So I got a phonecall from my agent yesterday regarding the callbacks for a certain insurance commercial that I am up for. It is a cable spot. She said she had “some news” in a voice that meant something bad. Apparently, the production team had had a “misunderstanding” about what the talent in Austin were willing to work for. They intended to offer the principal actors in the spot $500 for a two year buyout. For the mathmatically challenged that’s $250 a year.
“That’s some fucking nerve.”
“Its complete bullshit.”
This is why I love Heather Collier.
To add insult to injury, the production company shooting the spot was flying in from New York. I’m sure one of those plane tickets cost more than they were willing to pay an actor for their time and their likeness to be used to shill their product for a year. That actor would also be taking themselves out of the running for any other insurance commercials for the duration of those two years. Just to put this in perspective, I was once paid $320o for a Budweiser spot that only ran for one summer in the UK and Ireland in which only my elbow appeared. (Sidenote: I actually had THREE callbacks for that spot). Texas is a non-union state, so it does tend to attract the shoestring budget contingent, but at least most people have the decency to be embarrassed about underpaying their talent. This particular company seemingly sought Austin out because they thought actors here were just so excited to be on tv that they would line up to get the chance to be exploited. Well fuck that. I am not only not attending callbacks, but I am hoping that no one does. I’m sure that won’t be the case, but it would be a lovely message to send back on that plane to New York, wouldn’t it?