View Full Version : Paid Actors

NT Fright Nights
11-17-2009, 08:29 AM
Do you pay your actors? If so how much? So you offer any incentives for them returning throughout the season?

11-17-2009, 01:13 PM
I have used and seen many ways but this is the average. A "pay"scale is used that varies. From Volunteers to Paid Actors. Pay is based on experience and it is not per hour. It is for the whole season with bonus on top for attendance. So for example- High tier actor could make $600 base rate for season, for all 23 nights, $26 per night if closed due to weather that is subtracted out of base of $600, $20.00-$50.00 per "friend" extra if they come for whole season. $20.00-$40.00 extra if there last weekend of month, $100.00 for perfect attendance. If not there for full season we would pay the $26.00 per night. This amount would adjust based on experience. Volunteers, get paid bonus as mentioned not the $600 base rate. Nightly giveaways as month progresses. Lots of tickets to the haunt, movie passes, candy, shirts from our haunt. Other haunt tickets could be given for best awards also. Sweet awards being large candy bars given nightly also. 1 Actor of the night would be $10 Visa gift cards and on Sunday 1 Actor of weekend would get $50 Visa gift card.Pay scale written in contract for that person job classification, signed and paid at the end of season during actor party. Each paid actor would sign 5-9 due to base amount being above non taxable allowed amount. If someone can't commit to a full schedule, alot of times we make them a volunteer only. We try to only pay those that commit for full schedule or very close to it. Actors allowed 1 night off with excused called in sick night, if more than that or not called in, will loss all bonus. Staff would be people that helped build and maybe do more then just working at night. Maybe and /or building they are there for day activities, parades, daily repairs assistance, break down could get paid base rate $1000. plus maybe some bonuses. May not get all bonuses and awards due to staff position depending.

Hope that makes sense and I didn't lose you.

Allen H
11-17-2009, 01:55 PM
Two ways, at my park $7.25 / hour. At my own show I pay my actors $ .15 cents a head that pays to come in. On rain nights I lose nothing and on good nights they hit the jackpot. My number of actors is held in check by the amount of profit I want to make, but the morale is very high as everyone is vested in the haunt and how well it does.
My admission is $7.00 for my show, if my haunt had better attendance I could give less per head and the actors could still do well, or If I charged more for admission I could have more actors. This system may or may not work for you.
Allen H

11-17-2009, 09:34 PM
Courious as to how you classify your actors on a business stand point if you do not pay atleast min. wage? I am in the process of creating a business plan and conducting a lot of research on the business side of things. I must be missing some thing some where. Are you listing them as volunteer and just paying under the table so to speak or ???

11-18-2009, 07:56 AM
If you pay someone $599 and under, it does not have to be taxed. So listing them as a volunteer it would be a "gift".

Some places here would not pay anything "real" for volunteers. One place paid in "Boo Bucks" fake money. Then at the actor party, we would buy hundreds of dollars worth of numerous items, like video games, consoles, music,etc and they could then spend the fake money on an auction style event. We would feed them and let them spend few hours buying the stuff with the fake money. They had a blast, knew what they wanted before it began and would have a blast watching them go crazy. Our actors were 16-27 so it worked out pretty good. They would get paid large amounts for each thing they would do special. We would keep a running tab of money earned and then give them the money the night of the auction.

11-18-2009, 10:10 AM
VS- You pay them as Independent Contractors not as Employees that's how you get pass the minimum wage. You have them fill out a W-9 instead of W-4. Treat them as a Vendor.

11-18-2009, 10:15 AM
Two years ago I was an actor at an amusement park haunt. We filled out W-2's, clocked in/out, a check was mailed to us each week, etc. Their rate was min-wage for prep time (make-up and costumes), and $1/hr over min-wage for actual "open" time. They offered incentives every weekend such as logo hoodies, sports bottles, park tickets, had pizza party for winning "most scary", etc.

This year was a family owned farm haunt. They paid cash Saturday night for both Friday and Saturday nights work. They paid $8.00 for "open" time only, nothing for prep. No W-2's. No incentives. We were lucky to get a hot-dog if any were left by the end of the night.

So, to answer your question, it varies greatly by each attraction. My vote is to offer incentives, even small ones.

11-18-2009, 10:43 AM
VS- You pay them as Independent Contractors not as Employees that's how you get pass the minimum wage. You have them fill out a W-9 instead of W-4. Treat them as a Vendor.

Thank You that makes sense now.