The Contract Specifics of Guest-Starring Roles

Dear Michael:
Let’s say you play a recurring role in a TV show. How does that work out in a contract? Do you sign contracts for each individual episode?

Or is it one big contract for a certain number of episodes?Also, how does that affect an actor’s film prospects? If his résumé includes TV networks known for a certain genre, such as Disney or Nickelodeon, will that affect his prospect of booking serious film roles?

AG Man, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Dear AG:
Every recurring role I’ve done has been booked exactly like a guest-starring role. Even though we all knew the roles would recur, I wasn’t guaranteed a certain number of episodes, nor asked to sign any sort of commitment. Instead, producers booked each episode individually, giving me as much advance notice as possible to “put a pin in me,” as they say, and took their chances that I’d be available.

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