Auditions - why bother?
An Apprentice member recently went for an audition, which he passed with flying colours. The caster was prepared to give him the part, which he would have been happy to accept. He was asked if he was an ACTRA member. He responded that he was an Apprentice with 5 credits, at which point they agency turned around and said that they could not offer him the part.
The purpose of this clause is to ensure that if parts are being offered, then Apprentice members will get preference over non-members in being auditioned. What is the point of that if, once an Apprentice auditions successfully, he/she is denied the part because of their Apprentice status?
There are other incidents of this happening, but once again it shows that there is discrimination against Apprentices who, despite anything that is written in the IPA, are not viewed as being "members" despite the fact that we are part of a union and pay our dues.
The changes planned for the status of Apprentice Members will deal with this issue of auditions. If the Apprentice class no longer exists, then a situation as outlined above, cannot take place.
It is interesting to note that the "Preference of Engagement" in the IPA relates solely to the hiring of Apprentices in the first 25 background people on set. There is NOTHING in the IPA that says there is a preference of engagement relating to any other type of audition. Upcoming changes to the membership structure should level the playing field for all of us.