What Are The Real Numbers?
The numbers here have been collected from various industry sources, some official, some not. For absolute accuracy, we suggest confirming the figures by contacting the appropriate union through the websites listed.
Union: Actors Equity Assn. (www.actorsequity.org) (offices in N.Y. and L.A.) BASIC MINIMUM SALARY $1807 per week (8 performances) understudy roles, covers, featured bits, and hazard pay (where appropriate) are extra.
NATIONAL TOURS OF MUSICALS
Union: Actors Equity Assn. (www.actorsequity.org) (offices in N.Y. and L.A.) Same minimum salaries as Broadway Musicals. In addition to the extras (understudies, covers, featured bits, and hazard pay) per diems of $100 per day are paid, raising the weekly income by $700.
REGIONAL THEATRE PRODUCTIONS
Union: Actors Equity Assn. (www.actorsequity.org) (offices in N.Y. and L.A.) BASIC MINIMUM SALARY $560-730 per week. depending on the theatre's size and its LORT classification. Understudy roles, covers, featured bits, and hazard pay are extra.
FILM, TELEVISION, AND COMMERCIALS
Union rates available at: SAG-AFTRA (www.sagaftra.org) (offices in N.Y. and L.A.)
These are Dancers Alliance Rates. (not a union!) Dancers $475. For 10 hour shoot day. Overtime rate $65.63 per hour. Rehearsal day rate $250 (For 8 hours). Rehearsal overtime rate $46.88 per hour
NOTE: Pay scales for award shows are determined by AFTRA, a separate union for television. You can reach them at www.sagaftra.org
LAS VEGAS SHOWS
Please note: There are no organizations representing dancers in Las Vegas. Traditionally, each venue sets its own pay scales. Here's a few examples of weekly salaries that we've received from working dancers.
"O" (cirque du soleil) $1,200-$1,600
"Storm" at Mandalay Bay $800
Other shows $620-$650.
Performance schedules differ from venue to venue. 6-12 shows are presented each week. "Storm" is the first Vegas production to establish hazard pay. While low, the $15-30 payment per week is a beginning in the right direction.
Pay rates for first timers on cruise ships begin at $400 a week (this is a ball park figure put together from the information we got from our sources. Some companies start higher). More money can be made, however. Speciality dancers, i.e. adagio, ballroom, acrobat/dancer, singer/dancer are paid more and in some cases quite a bit more. You also should receive medical and dental benefits. If you factor in room and board, plus the fact that you're working steadily, you will be doing quite well.
Length of Employment: Contracts range from six to eight months. Auditions are held several times a year and are listed on answers4dancers.com.
Disney theme parks pay rates begin higher than the pay rates on cruise ships. Beginners make just over $500 a week. More can be made, again depending on extra skills and also the role you're playing.
Union: American Guild Of Musical Artists. Range of pay for ensemble artists is $500-600 per week. Non-union salaries vary from company to company. Possible range: $350-500 per week. Many companies are unable to offer salaries due to survival economics. We suggest (1) visiting our Dance Company Directory for individual company employment policies and (2) contacting AGMA (http://www.musicalartists.org) for more details.
MEDICAL & PENSION BENEFITS
SAG-AFTRA and AEA offer the strongest medical and pension benefits. Contact them for details. Both unions are listed in Los Angeles and New York phone directories. SAG-AFTRA website is listed above.
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