In a previous article, we told you that background actors were still being allowed to use three union vouchers to join the Screen Actors Guild. But what is a talent voucher? What do they look like? How do you get one?
A talent voucher is a time-card that you fill out when you are on the set of a television show or motion picture. It contains information such as the name of the show, production company, the time you arrived on the set, any additional compensations, and your basic rate of pay.
When an actor appears as a background performer, they will be given either a union or non-union voucher. These not only differ by the name across the top of the voucher, but they are also different colors. Click on the picture to the right to see an example of a talent voucher we have created exclusively for this web site. (It is in Adobe PDF format.)
Vouchers are usually handed out to the background performers when they arrive on the set, handed back in, and then handed out again at the end of the day. They will come pre-printed with your child’s name, the time of the call, the date, the production company, the order number, and the name of the show. In addition, the basic rate box will also be filled in with the approriate amount depending on whether it is a union or non-union voucher.
At the completion of the filming or taping you will be given the voucher back, and you will be expected to fill in the boxes for Work Hours and Set Dismissal. The assistant director may or may not have you fill in the meal periods and meal penalties amount, as well as any bonuses for bringing multiple pieces of wardrobe. You will also need to sign for your child under “Employee Signature.”
Once you are satisfied the voucher is complete, do not just hand it in. Show it to the person collecting the forms and ask if you got everything correct. Hand it in and then leave the set. Do not hang around to watch the other filming.
Understanding how vouchers work and how to fill them out can help relieve the stress associated with your child being a background performer for the first time. If you have any addition questions, please feel free to email us.