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Actor Contract

A standard actor contract is required by the actors in all fields in the industry like film, live performance, and TV. This standard should adhere to irrespective of the area of interest. The standard contents in the contract should be given adequate attention while creating one. If such a standard can not be written, then it should be downloaded.  

A well-prepared actor contract tends to protect both the actor who might be a freelancer and the producer. It is drafted by attorneys that specialize in entertainment law. They are attorneys that understand risk and terms involved in the career of acting. Also, it helps to consolidate the fundamental business terms and conditions between both the freelancer and the client.

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Imagine if a freelancer has to appear on a show on television. Or you are featuring in a fully-funded film. You should use the contracts which are based on complete and standardized equity fees and contain lots of great deals, repeat and overtime charges, and copyright clearances.

Discussed below are essential and standard contents of an actor contract. Also included are some questions that should be asked before signing the contract.

1. What is the nature of the project?

You should know the start and last dates of employment that are stated in the clause of the actor contract before assigning your signature. For instance, if the client wants to sign the freelancing actor as an employee on Television. Then, it is required that such an actor dedicated a significant amount of years to the contract. 

2. How many hours of work? 

The actor contract should state the total number of hours that the client wants the actor to dedicate to the new job at hand. For instance, the deal might include a clause stating that the actor must be dedicated and available for 11 hours every day for the job. Also, it may indicate the number of times and dates that such freelancing actors will have to perform. This one is another important that a freelancer should consider before signing.

3. How is compensation determined?

Details that indicate the compensation that is determined for the actor should be highlighted in the actor contract. Different ways are known to get this done. These include payment per performance, a flat rate for the act, and hourly payments. It is the responsibility of the freelancer to request a specific compensation, which is equivalent to those paid to other actors having similar roles.

4. Is there specific merchandising?

This one depends on the acting role that such a freelancer is to take. Sometimes there are potentials for merchandising for some appearances like books, posters, and t-shirts. However, some of these might not be stated in some actor contracts. An actor should try and seek professional advice on how to ask for a percentage on his merchandising proceeds.

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5. Is the actor contract exclusive?

This one is an essential content of the contract because it can restrict the actor's right to feature in another acting. Here, a strict employer wishes to prevent the freelancing actor from starring in another production While his or her production is under processing. This exclusivity provision will prevent such a freelancer from showing in other films, television shows, commercials, and many more. 

For instance, an employer might intentionally prevent his employed actor from displaying in business during the agreed period of the existing contract. As a freelancer that offers acting service, you should consider reading and noting the consequences that might arise from exclusive clauses.

6. Need a public liability insurance?

Here, the employer should obtain public liability insurance if you need one. This insurance is essential because there might be an occurrence of an accident while acting on the stage. However, this agreement depends on the job at hand. Various insurance is available that actors in the past have benefited from when their employer gets them covered.

7. Breach of the actor contract

Whenever there is a breach of contract by the employer, the agreement should have indicated that the freelancing actor must notify the guilty employer about the violations before deciding on taking other known legal actions.


Before signing any contract, you should watch out for the above-discussed tips to avoid the consequences of your actions. You can as well take a look at our actor contract template to guide while reviewing your actor contract.

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Actor Contract

Create your own

Actor Contract

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