||Issue No. 246||12 November 2004|
How It Comes To This
Interview: The Reich Stuff
Economics: Crime and Punishment
Environment: Beyond The Wedge
International: The End Of The Lucky Country
Safety: Tests Fail Tests
Politics: Labo(u)r Day
Human Rights: Arabian Lights
History: Labour's Titan
Review: Foxy Fiasco
Poetry: Then I Saw The Light
The Locker Room
Producers Call "Cut"
The revelation comes as Australian screen producers seek to tear up a negotiated agreement in a bid to slash earnings for Aussie actors.
Mark Cuffe, who has appeared in a number of commercials, also works as a storeman, musician and accountant, to make ends meet.
The credit card company rejected the one time drummer for Australian band Spy v Spy for a card because of his financial position, despite appearing in their ads at the time.
"There is no guarantee of work," says Cuffe of his acting career. "Even now it is a part time job."
"It is good hard work if you can get it, but it's hard to get."
"At my level I don't know anyone who is making a living out of it."
"For aspiring young actors it can be soul destroying, similar to the music industry."
Cuffe successfully re-applied for a card but only after his financial situation improved.
Cuffe spoke as the Screen Producers Association of Australia (SPAA) confirmed it would terminate an agreement for actors in Australian-made commercials broadcast in North America.
"It's a dastardly act," said MEAA national director, Simon Whipp.
The Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance rep said it was ironic that an American performer, covered by a Screen Actors Guild agreement, could expect up to US $30,000 for a 12 month campaign, with similar agreements in Canada.
The Australian agreement, he said, provided 33 percent of that payment for an ad that ran for the same period.
"We object to bully-boy tactics better suited to outfits like Patricks or Rio Tinto. Just how exactly do we negotiate a new agreement in good faith with a big black cloud hanging over our heads?" asks Whipp. "The average yearly wage for an Australian performer is $10,500, so producers arguments that performers are paid too much ring hollow."
"Unless SPAA can show a little more respect for Australia's performers, industrial action, including a strike, is certainly looking more and more likely as the SPAA 12 December deadline draws nearer."
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