View Full Version : Paying actors on a thin budget... would this work?

10-26-2008, 01:29 AM
Do you think this could work?

Print tickets, coupons or whatever, in-house or outsourced with an actor number of some sort on them.

Give these tickets to each actor (with their unique number on them) Each actor gets their tickets into the hands of folks they think will attend.

When the guests attend, they pay for the ticket at the ticket booth and the actor that gave them the ticket will be paid a certain % of income from their tickets that got people to the haunt.

(i.e. I gave John 100 tickets, he gave them all away but only 50 made it back to the haunt. Tickets are $12 x 50 tickets = total of $600 for the haunt == John takes 20% of the $600 = $120)

I possibly see problems with ticket printing depending on how its done and paid for, could be expensive if most tickets do not return and tracking the sales from each actor.

10-26-2008, 10:41 AM
unfortunately, if you aren't a charity haunt, your actors HAVE to be paid federal minimum wage, at least. Just like any other for-profit business. Now if you set the system up to where your actors were paid say $5 an hour, and then received commissions, depending on your state, if your actors made at LEAST the federal minimum wage with the commissions figured in, this would work.

But as for this being the only way to pay your actors, no... it wouldn't work.

This is a GREAT marketing technique, but not a legal way to pay your actors in a for-profit haunt.

Now, should you be running a haunt that supports charity, you could use this technique. I'm not saying give ALL of the proceeds to charity, I'm suggesting you use the system you've thought of, with a few exceptions.

Find a local charity that you would be willing to support, or a high school program that needs some quick fund raising (music and theater departments and clubs are usually doing quite a bit of fund raising at this time of year) Contact the leader or organizer of said group, and offer them the chance to make some extra money for their cause, whatever that may be. Your conditions for this would be that each participant (volunteer actor or crew member) is given the opportunity to raise "Up to $____" for the cause, its important that you say "Up to" and not a guaranteed wage, if they act in your haunt.

if you want sales to take place at the haunt, be sure to print discount coupons, and not actual tickets. While you are looking for cheap labor, you ARE NOT looking to piss off your patrons with ANY form of confusion as to whether their friend "working" (actually volunteering) for your haunt gave them a ticket or a business card... Rather than offering a percentage of the ticket price, offer what you discounted. Each actor gets a few cents more this way, and you really aren't out anything extra, just what the coupon would have already discounted.

At the end of each night, pay out DIRECTLY to the charity or program director. This eliminates any confusion as to whether these actors should be receiving minimum wage or not.

This really is the only way you could get away with this system (which is a REALLY good idea, just needs some ironing out). The actors arent volunteering for you, while you are profiting... they're volunteering for their school, club, or charity, and you are simply offering a donation agreement to that charity.

Corn farms around here do something similar each year (minus the tickets of course). Its the only way many farms can afford the labor needed to perform menial tasks, and its a great way for a high school choir to buy new robes, or for the drama club to afford hotel rooms at a state one-act play competition. See where i'm going with this?

10-26-2008, 10:44 AM
one last thing. You could actually use this organization to advertise with. Just don't bill yourself as a "for charity" haunt, advertise as "proud to support _______"