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The Acting Income Podcast with Ben Hauck
54 minutes | Jun 3, 2020
AIP038 | The Return to Work: The Coronavirus, SAG-AFTRA, and Some Uncommon Sense about Actors’ Rights and Safety
In this long-form episode and sonic journey, host Ben Hauck questions the logic that actors cannot always wear personal protective equipment (PPE) while they do their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic. Ben explains how the "common sense" SAG-AFTRA's president Gabrielle Carteris and others hold that actors can't always wear PPE runs counter to data and safety, two values that SAG-AFTRA expressly exalts in the creation of safety protocols for the return to entertainment-industry work. Ben points out the danger to actors such a belief is, because it necessarily means that actors won't always be wearing PPE when they work, putting themselves and crew members at risk. Ben argues that the pandemic has turned "common sense" upside down, as evidenced by the continued production of late-night variety shows like Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and Saturday Night Live, despite obvious creative constraints brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. The late-night variety shows have also provided data to help gauge the economic successes of their new low-tech productions, which may indicate what other compromises productions might make in order to successfully produce a show -- while also protecting actors from coming down with COVID-19. While Ben provides ideas on how to move forward safely with actors, he also lays down reasonable skepticism that SAG-AFTRA can help the individual actor during the pandemic, citing the union's furlough of many of its representatives, as well as that SAG-AFTRA reps are actually Teamsters. Ben ponders whether the Teamsters might fight against SAG-AFTRA as employer, should SAG-AFTRA try to unilaterally enact policies that the Teamsters would rather negotiate. Ben wonders if this might spell trouble for contract administration and grievance adjustment for actors. Given this skepticism about SAG-AFTRA's ability to protect actors amid the pandemic, Ben provides tips for actors to help themselves upon the return to work. Ben also provides a rundown of important rights actors have as employees under the National Labor Relations Act, touching on Section 7 rights, Weingarten rights, and retaliation by employers or unions. These tips and rights will help actors should they encounter safety issues at work in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
48 minutes | May 18, 2018
AIP037 | The Split-Earnings Problem: SAG-AFTRA's Elephant in the Room
Show Notes: http://actingincome.com/episode37 In this long-form episode, host Ben Hauck dives into the ongoing problem of "split earnings" that continues to plague many SAG-AFTRA actors interested in qualifying for a union pension. Ben explains how the merger of SAG's and AFTRA's health plans did not solve the split-earnings problem, putting members in the awkward situation of turning down union work and large paychecks in the pursuit of a pension credit. Ben also outlines how SAG-AFTRA repeatedly ignores and fails to provide public comment on the resolution of the split-earnings problem -- a hot-button topic that helped SAG and AFTRA to achieve a merger more than six years ago. With extensive documentation, Ben shows how it would seem that the union as well as one of its pension plans is quite plausibly against reporting on the pension plans and their health, essentially shutting out members from important information about the status of their pensions. Actors are left trying to interpret signals from the union and its pension plans about what they might be doing -- or might not be doing -- to resolve split earnings. Ben concludes with what he wants with respect to the split-earninngs problem, and what he hopes listeners will consider when it comes time to vote on contracts and union elections.
47 minutes | Apr 19, 2018
AIP036 | SAG-AFTRA, Stand-Ins, and the Photo-Double Rate, or The Scandal of the Missing “Upfront Increase of Nearly 17%”
Show Notes: http://actingincome.com/episode36 In this extended episode, host Ben Hauck narrates his saga of trying to learn from SAG-AFTRA the rate for stand-ins when they photo double in New York. In the process of researching that rate, Ben reveals how he uncovered not just SAG-AFTRA's misrepresentation of the increases photo doubles would make under the 2017 Television/Theatrical Agreement, but also SAG-AFTRA's illogical interpretation of just how much stand-ins in New York should be paid when they photo doubled. Ben also adds that a key person at SAG-AFTRA, responsible for interpreting the rates for stand-ins who photo double, has not replied with the interpretation.
15 minutes | Apr 26, 2016
AIP035 | 5 Reasons Casting Directors Should Be Happy to See Workshops Go - with Anne DeAcetis
Show Notes: http://actingincome.com/episode35 Actress and writer Anne DeAcetis is a guest contributor for this episode, reading from her essay on Medium.com which lists five reasons why casting directors should happily play a part in the disappearance of casting director workshops. Host Ben Hauck shares introductory content that motivated Anne's piece -- namely, an article from The Hollywood Reporter on the prevalence of casting director workshops notoriously referred to as "pay-to-plays," the subsequent dismissal of a prominent casting director who has run casting director workshops, and a press release from the Casting Society of America establishing a Workshop Committee to address the standards of these workshops.
25 minutes | Apr 19, 2016
AIP034 | Why You Should Vote No for the SAG-AFTRA Commercials Contract
Show notes: http://actingincome.com/episode34 Host (and actor) Ben Hauck explains in detail why SAG-AFTRA actors should vote no on the proposed 2016 Commercials Contract. In the episode, Ben outlines some of the important losses SAG-AFTRA actors will experience should they ratify this contract negotiated recently between the union and commercial producers. Namely, actors will lose use fees they typically get when their commercials are played. They'll lose these use fees (which could equal hundreds to thousands of dollars) when their commercials are simultaneously streamed on the Internet, New Media, or a future technology, and they'll also lose them when their commercials are edited for special offers and promotions. In addition, SAG-AFTRA actors will be paid later than in the prior commercials contract. Furthermore, the proposed contract does not include a precise definition for the term "commercial," which means that a later definition may prompt the union to give away more of your use without payment to you. Ben points out that the press release SAG-AFTRA put out points up the increases the union accomplished in the negotiation, but it doesn't include what the union lost for actors. Given this and other wordings in the press release, Ben deems the SAG-AFTRA press release as "propagandistic" -- an attempt to persuade members to vote yes on a contract that freely gives away fees for the commercial actor more valuable than the 7% wage increase the contract provides. Ben urges SAG-AFTRA actors to vote no (#VoteNo and #VoteHellNo), but even more generally to simply vote -- even if they haven't worked in commercials yet. He explains their vote -- or failure to vote -- may affect the commercials contract they work under in the future. If SAG-AFTRA members choose not to ratify this proposed commercials contract, Ben says actors are not urging a strike so much as urging a continued negotiation to address the important compensation to actors that the union has bargained away in this proposed contract -- compensation that is aimed contractually at ensuring actors can work in commercials, be paid of the use of their work, and survive inevitable periods of unemployment that being identified in commercials creates.
12 minutes | Nov 18, 2015
AIP033 | How Podcasting Is Affecting My Acting Career
Host Ben Hauck explains the responsibility that comes with producing a weekly podcast, and how that responsibility overlaps with his acting career. The episode includes details on the goals he took on in starting the podcast, the kind of work involved in producing it, plus an important announcement on the next stage of The Acting Income Podcast.
40 minutes | Nov 11, 2015
AIP032 | How to Act in New York City with No Income - with Mandy May Cheetham
Actor Mandy May Cheetham speaks with host Ben Hauck on how to act in New York City -- with little to no income. In this interview, Mandy shares what motivated her temporary move to New York City from Toronto, Canada, and how she quadrupled the length of her initial stay. Mandy divulges the sources of her funding that financed her stay in NYC and how she was able to cut down on housing costs. Faced with the threat of being homeless in a foreign country, Mandy details how she was able to find new places to stay on short notice. Mandy also details how she found acting opportunities in NYC -- using casting websites, acting and improv school performance opportunities, and networking. In particular, networking for Mandy was like "finding her tribe." Canada may seem similar to the United States, says Mandy, but Canadians can experience culture shock when in the country. Mandy explains some of the culture shock she experienced, not to mention how her uniquely Canadian experiences led her to seek out other Canadian actors in New York City. Despite financial constraints as a Canadian in the United States, Mandy lays out how she remained creative during her stay. Bartering was one method she used to get what she needed, and she also used doing favors as a means for building equity with friends, to cash in on later for her career needs. Eventually, Mandy left New York City, and she opens up on what led her to leave and what her relationship with New York City became over the course of her stay. She definitely left NYC with skills to be more competitive as an actor. She explains how the Toronto market is different from NYC's, and how she upped her acting game when she returned to Toronto. Mandy also left NYC with thoughts on what she would have done differently in terms of performance and financing -- were she to visit the city again. Mandy rounds out the interview with advice for the actor considering the move to New York City, especially with limited financial resources or an inability to earn an income. She also mentions her book (available on her website) with practical tips for actors starting out in New York City, Los Angeles, and Toronto. As an outtake from the interview, Mandy talks about how health care differs between Canada and the United States, and how that need affected her acting pursuits.
36 minutes | Oct 28, 2015
AIP031 | What I've Learned about Fame - with Victoria Libertore
Actress Victoria Libertore talks with host Ben Hauck about fame, and what she has learned about fame after years of pursuing it as an actor in New York City. In the interview, Victoria talks about her recent solo show My Last Attempt at Fame, as well as what fame was to her when she moved to NYC and why she believes she wanted it as an actor. She also speaks to the choices she has made in her life in the pursuit of fame, and how her age and experiences have influenced that pursuit. Victoria shares how her interest in fame and being an admired artist increased after working in a boutique talent agency. Over the years she built a following for her performance work, and she worked with notable professionals. But she also experienced disappointment after a professional highlight didn't take her acting career to the next level. This event helped to change her relationship with fame. Victoria talks of the positive and negative feelings that awakened as a result of a disappointing performance experience -- not to mention what she learned about herself and her value. As an artist, she has been inspired by pain, and to get out of depressions created by the pursuit of fame, Victoria divulges that she focuses on gratitude and connecting with other artists. Victoria then covers some of the themes from My Last Attempt at Fame, notably how age affects her creative drives. Victoria also teaches performance, and she shares what she passes on to students about fame and about seeking audience approval. She then talks about social media, how it has affected the pursuit of fame, and how it suggests that fame is a lot like a drug. The pursuit of fame can be for its own sake or for service of some greater cause, and the latter has become more of Victoria's interest as she has gotten older. She recommends that actors focus on the work and how they can contribute -- and if fame comes, then that is a nice addition. Victoria concludes the interview with a touching recent experience performing in Nebraska amid farmers, and how one farmer reached out to her to express how meaningful My Last Attempt at Fame was to him.
16 minutes | Oct 21, 2015
AIP030 | My Recap of Episodes 21 through 29
Host Ben Hauck recaps Episodes 21 through 29 of The Acting Income Podcast. In this episode, in addition to summarizing the past nine episodes, Ben adds anecdotes about the episodes and explains what he's learned in the process of producing them. Ben concludes with comments on what these episodes reflect about his own acting career to date. Quick links to Episodes 21 through 29: http://actingincome.com/episode21 http://actingincome.com/episode22 http://actingincome.com/episode23 http://actingincome.com/episode24 http://actingincome.com/episode25 http://actingincome.com/episode26 http://actingincome.com/episode27 http://actingincome.com/episode28 http://actingincome.com/episode29
42 minutes | Oct 14, 2015
AIP029 | How to Navigate Diversity Issues in Improv Communities to Increase Your Acting Opportunities - with Keisha Zollar
Actor-comedienne Keisha Zollar talks with host Ben Hauck about diversity issues at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and in the improv world in general, and what actors can do to increase the population of diverse voices in performance. In this interview inspired by a Washington Post article on diversity issues at UCBT, Keisha explains her current relationship with UCBT as an improv teacher and formerly as its diversity coordinator. She details her activities and achievements as diversity coordinator along with some of the diversity concerns students have brought up to her. Keisha also details why she values diversity and how being more inclusive in improv communities means richer performances and richer representations of a nuanced American culture, both in the performer ranks and in the content of performance. She goes into the historical roots of oppression and how it leads to the marginalization of voices, but also how marginalization creates new art forms and voices. Having the goal to represent diverse voices is not enough, says Keisha, and exhausting followthrough is also necessary in order to ensure a richer diversity. Keisha does not mandate how to start an improv group or improv school, nor does she express not to work with people of similar backgrounds. Instead, she urges performers to become aware of their unconscious biases so they do not work against interests in diversity. She also reminds her students that, in improv, they can be anything, not just stereotyped roles that match their ethnicity or gender. Keisha concludes with a plea of empathy for performers who feel their voices have been marginalized.
34 minutes | Oct 7, 2015
AIP028 | Why I Went from Non-Union, to Union, to Fi-Core All in One Summer - with Eric S. Robertson
Actor Eric S. Robertson returns to talk with host Ben Hauck about his personal journey from proudly being a non-union actor, to joining the union SAG-AFTRA, to declaring financial core status soon after joining SAG-AFTRA. In the interview (which serves as an addendum to his interview in Episode 9 titled "Why I Choose to Stay a Non-Union Actor"), Eric explains how he was positioned to join the union as an actor and why he intended to immediately go financial core upon becoming a member. He shares how he wanted to gain the pay union actors get and expand his union work opportunities, but also keep his non-union work opportunities honestly, without working illegally "off the card" -- against the union's strict Global Rule One. Eric shares his emotional experience in joining SAG-AFTRA and whether financial core status was presented as an option. He also divulges how the number of auditions dropped dramatically after he joined the union. Then, he explains his process in declaring financial core status, his receipt of a financial core acknowledgment letter from SAG-AFTRA, and his acting experience after going fi-core. Toward the end of the interview, Eric expresses that he believes in what the union does, especially in the commercial world, but he also believes the business is more about creating demand for your type than being union.
33 minutes | Sep 30, 2015
AIP027 | How to Work as a Stand-In and Not Lose Sight of Your Acting Goals - with Alanna Blair
Actor Alanna Blair talks with host Ben Hauck about pursuing her acting career while also taking work as the lead stand-in on two television series. In this interview, Alanna describes what a stand-in does, and she goes into the benefits of standing in for the income and the tremendous filmmaking education it provides the actor. She also goes into the drawbacks of standing in, including long hours that may limit the ability to audition. Alanna shares how she adjusted her expectations as an actor when committing to long-term stand-in work, how she manages auditions and bookings that conflict with her time on set, and how much she promotes to production that she is an actor versus a stand-in. Alanna has worked simultaneously as a photo double, and she explains the implications of dyeing her hair and maintaining the image of another actor on her image and marketing as an actor. Standing in for the lead on a television series offers more security than background acting, Alanna says, and it has its share of insecurity, but it also offers the greater potential to earn money toward health insurance and pension eligibility. "Do I return to stand in the next season?" is a question Alanna has faced, and she divulges how she answered those questions and why she answered as she did. As an actor who is also a musician and deejay, Alanna has a lot to balance, and she urges actors considering stand-in work to consider realistically the time commitment and the potential for principal acting work coming from a stand-in job. But aside from the potential for future acting work, according to Alanna, working as a stand-in and photo double can offer in-depth lessons on how to work on set effectively as an actor.
27 minutes | Sep 23, 2015
AIP026 | How Self-Sabotage Affects the Actor and What to Do about It - with Jenn Lederer
Life and career coach Jenn Lederer talks with host Ben Hauck about self-sabotage and how it affects actors and their career pursuits. In the interview, Jenn explains what self-sabotage is and its psychological origins, offering up overt and subtle examples of self-sabotage especially as they relate to the actor. When it comes to finding what goals you really want to pursue,Jenn goes into the negative results of self-sabotage, but she also details some of the benefits of self-sabotage. Sharing tips for diagnosing your own attempts to sabotage yourself, Jenn goes into the possibilities for actors who overcome their self-sabotage. Finally, Jenn talks about her program FIVE Minutes to FREEDOM, which includes downloadable meditations on self-sabotage and other topics.
29 minutes | Sep 2, 2015
AIP024 | How to Be a Person First and an Actor Second - with Aleisha Force
Actor Aleisha Force talks with host Ben Hauck about how being a person first and an actor second helps to organize her life and finances as an actor. In the interview, Aleisha shares how she categorizes and organizes her various "person" and "actor" expenses, as well as how she prioritizes what categories she spends her money on. She also explains how keeping her financial situation in order primes her for promoting her acting work. Aleisha gives advice on when to spend on luxury items or things that make her a more satisfied and fascinating person, which can in effect bolster interest in her as an actor. Her dramatic story of moving from Texas to New York City had serious financial implications, but her spending principles helped keep her balanced and focused while recovering in the new and more expensive professional market. But as Aleisha divulges, she's not the only advocate of being a person first and an actor second, as others in the industry mirror her sentiment.
18 minutes | Aug 26, 2015
AIP023 | How the Word "Professional" Applies to You as an Actor
Host Ben Hauck was called "professional" on a set -- but what did it mean? In this episode, Ben covers several meanings of the term "professional" when it comes to your acting career, contrasting dictionary and union definitions of the term with his own personal definition which has nothing to do with compensation or union membership.
38 minutes | Aug 19, 2015
AIP022 | How to Strategize Workshops with Casting Directors, Agents, and Managers to Achieve Your Acting Goals - with Gianmarco Soresi
Actor Gianmarco Soresi talks with host Ben Hauck about his incredible year of paying for workshops with casting directors, agents, and managers. In the interview, Gianmarco shares what strategies he used as he spent a large amount of money on workshops and how those strategies evolved as he figured out their function in his acting career. His goals evolved too, and Gianmarco walks Ben through his evolution from focusing on legit theatrical work to focusing on commercials, and from focusing on casting directors to focusing on agents and managers. Gianmarco gives great insight on choosing and researching workshops, finding package deals to make your dollar go farther, working as a reader in these workshops, keeping in touch with industry professionals, and handling schedule conflicts on days you have a workshop. He even covers some of the ethical issues that surround workshops. All in all, Gianmarco offers up the lessons he learned from his year-long experience in workshops with casting directors, agents, and managers so that you can spend less money and better strategize your approach to them. Ben concludes the episode with a plug for The Infinite Need, a 2012 fully improvised web series which satirizes casting director workshops.
27 minutes | Aug 12, 2015
AIP021 | How Network Marketing for Arbonne Funds My Acting Career - with Sarah Ittner
Actor Sarah Ittner talks with host Ben Hauck about how her work as a network marketer for Arbonne funds her acting career. In the interview, Sarah explains Arbonne and the range of health and wellness products it offers, and what makes network marketing a great business for actors. She details how her sales -- seeming more like product recommendations -- lead to commissions and additional compensation, and what those commissions and additional compensation are. Sarah also shares the financial investments of working as a network marketer for Arbonne, not to mention its time investments. Her acting skills well suit her Arbonne presentations and networking, Sarah explains, and should other actors sell Arbonne products in the same territory, Sarah describes why there is little conflict. She also covers how long it may take to turn network marketing for Arbonne into a primary source of income, and just how her acting career and personal growth evolved after joining Arbonne. Sarah offers tips for building a network of people to whom to market Arbonne's products, and she shares why actors are well suited for this kind of work, which can be both flexible and lucrative. Listen in for Sarah's special offer and how to learn more information about network marketing for Arbonne.
19 minutes | Aug 5, 2015
AIP020 | My Recap of Episodes 11 through 19
Host Ben Hauck recaps Episodes 11 through 19 of The Acting Income Podcast. In the episode, in addition to summarizing each episode, Ben adds anecdotes about the episodes and explains what he's learned in the process of producing them. Ben concludes with insights about acting and his transformation as an actor that came over these past episodes.
32 minutes | Jul 29, 2015
AIP019 | Why I Went Fi-Core
Host Ben Hauck opens up about his personal decision as an actor to declare financial core status within his union, SAG-AFTRA. In the episode, Ben describes his journey to becoming fi-core, his process in determining whether fi-core was right for him as an actor, and why he made the difficult choice. He also shares what SAG-AFTRA might do to better prevent its members from resigning their union membership and exercising their financial core rights. Concluding the episode, Ben introduces The Fi-Core Workbook, available from Fi-Core Central, a downloadable ebook aimed at helping screen actors weigh the decision whether financial core is right for them.
17 minutes | Jul 22, 2015
AIP018 | How to Work as a Hotel Concierge to Supplement Your Acting Career - with Tom Coll
Actor Tom Coll talks with Ben Hauck about supplementing his acting career with work as a hotel concierge. In the interview, Tom lists the range of tasks he manages as a hotel concierge in New York City. He also narrates his history in the hotel industry and his route to landing work as a concierge at the same time he started his acting career. As Tom explains, many entertainers work as concierges and the job is flexible, so concierge work is well suited for actors. Tom reveals why he chose the schedule he works as a concierge and how that schedule complements his acting work. He also reveals how he manages the occasional audition or independent film that conflicts with his hotel work. It turns out that in addition to hotels hiring concierges directly, some companies rent out concierge desks and staff the desks with their own concierges. While those arrangements aren't as lucrative, Tom says, he does get into detail about what a concierge may expect in terms of hours and pay rate, not to mention tips, commissions, benefits, and other perqs. He also breaks down how unions operate in hotels and whether concierge jobs are unionized. Tom talks about how he stays professional when guests from the entertainment industry stay at his hotel, not letting his acting pursuits conflict with his hotel duties. That said, he mentions how fun the work is, a sharp contrast to the activity of the front desk where customers go when they have problems. Tom especially thrives when guests have unusual requests that he tries to fulfill, even sharing one particular request he had at an odd hour.
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