16 August 2007
All actors should be aware that when you agree to do a job or you agree to a deal, that verbal agreement becomes the contract. It is a common mistake to assume that you have only contracted yourself once you sign your name on a piece of paper.
In truth, the piece of paper is purely a means to set out the terms of the deal which have already been agreed verbally. But the perameters of the deal were contracted the moment you agreed verbally to the offer.
In the case of any Equity job, it is taken for granted that you know the terms of an Equity contract, so once you've agreed the money, dates etc, the rest is a formality. (It's amazing how many actors have never read an Equity booklet detailing the terms of the contract - Equity will send you one on demand).
And it's not just people leaving drama school who make this mistake. Kim Basinger was successfully sued for many millions for pulling out of the film BOXING HELENA, even though she hadn't signed anything - she had simply verbally agreed to do the film.
If you are unsure about anything when you are offered a job, don't say "yes" until you are sure you want to do it and you are clear about all the terms.
For this advice and great mortgage deals, I charge $127 an hour.
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