‘Fashion Star’ crew walks out to call attention to contract dispute

By Pankaj Ladhar of Manos • Alwine P.L.

Lots of people in Miami watched the last season of “Fashion Star.” The reality show, in which a panel of celebrities decides the fate of aspiring designers, was a big hit for NBC.

Recently, the show’s producers had to cancel two days of shooting because crew members walked off the set to protest an ongoing contract dispute.

The 60 or so crew members were angry that they were working without a contract. They also said they wanted to draw attention to their dissatisfaction with their health benefits and pension program.

The crew members are part of a union, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. That means they have professional negotiators and a latticework of support from people who do this for a living/

Do you have that kind of back-up?

When you’re an entertainer, it can sometimes feel like you’re on your own. Especially if you are angling for your big break, it can be really hard to plant your feet and argue for what you deserve because you’re afraid the record company, television studio or modeling agency will pack up its things and leave you for another talent.

One way you can help boost your negotiating power is to work with an attorney who was experience in with negotiating. Experience is the best teacher, after all, and someone who has been through the process before has likely picked up tips and tricks that can be used to help you.

The bottom line: You should not be afraid to stand up for yourself and make an argument for what you are worth. Sure, you may need some help to be effective, but who doesn’t?

Source: Variety, “‘Fashion’ crew exits set over contract dispute,” Dave McNary, Oct. 13, 2012