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The wife and kids and dog have gone camping, and I will be alone for the next two days. Strictly speaking, I have the two guinea pigs inside and the two cats outside, but that’s alone enough. I need this every once in a while.

Josa called today to say that the production is calling the kids background characters, but from what I had learned, with the kids’ lines and interaction with other characters, they should have been designated actors. That’s a contractual designation for performers who have fewer than five lines of dialogue and are part of the plot. Carl, who plays their dad, was sure they should be actors.

The difference is significant. As background, the production will pay each kid a flat fee of $100, without credit. As actors, they would get scaled pay per day of work, which would work out to about three times that amount per day, and a credit. The credit is important for future work, should the kids decide to do that.

I called ACTRA in Montreal for advice. The woman I spoke with told to take what is offered and submit a letter to the union. If ACTRA agrees that the children are actors and not background, it will take up the cause.

What irks me most is that the 13-year-old son of the 2nd AD (second assistant director) was on set as a production assistant. If he can be paid actual money, I don’t see why my kids shouldn’t be.

I think I’ll rent “Downfall” tonight. But what to eat….

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