Mar 10, 2016

Dear exclusive talent agency

Dear greedy bastards aka my Former Talent Agent,

  After a long heartfelt consideration, I have decided to sever my association with the agency due to the fact that I am unwilling to sign and adhere to the agency's new contract terms at this time. I intend to seek out and acquire new representation that does not request me to sign an exclusive contract as the only viable option for me financially is to remain able to seek out work on my own in order to cover my living expense. Given the fact that my talent is my only means of earning a living and my income does not exceed my minimum requirements, I can not afford to pay commission fees on work I find myself nor hand over sole responsibility of seeking & acquiring it until such time that paid work is either in abundance & consistently available in the area or my rate of pay has been negotiated & increased to a level that would warrant an exclusive arrangement like if I were to meet SAG requirements. Basically it doesn't make sense for me to be exclusively starving and homeless while having to pay for the privilege of a public portfolio listing while not keeping all earnings that come as a result of the investment. As a business, there doesn't seem to be any benefit in the arrangement as it merely agrees that I have to pay for all costs while giving up a percentage of the return on my investment on top of serving as a commodity being bought and sold by the agency since the contract would have me agree to pay commission even when the agency receives a fee for providing personnel services on top of earning affiliate income on sales of the overpriced casting website listing meaning you invest absolutely nothing into me and profit off me threefold. I'm saddened to be told this is industry standard as it appears to be economically a step backwards towards slave ownership rather than an industry that could surely afford to provide honest living wages for the labor and love of talent. 
*********************************yikes! 😬

Revised version after getting my emotions in check:

Dear Talent Agent,

  After a long heartfelt consideration, I have decided to sever my association with (agency's name) due to the fact that I am unwilling to sign and adhere to the agency's new contract terms at this time. I intend to seek out and acquire new representation that does not require an exclusive arrangement as it's the only viable option for me financially until such time that my earnings are equal to my means and needs. I appreciate the service that you offer and the need to maintain a profitable business but as I also consider myself a business as your contract suggests, I do not find that the benefits outweigh the costs for me personally so it would be unwise for me to agree to those terms. I wish you nothing but the best moving forward and thank you sincerely for the knowledge and experience I have gained from my first dealings with an agency. (This is starting to sound like a dear John letter..) You'll always be my first! <3 Thank you ever so kindly. :)

Sincerely,
 Asraiya 


PS. DEAR BLOG READER: 
This is the nicest and politest I'm able to be out of respect for what's known as "professionalism". Thank gawd I do have a sense of preservation! However I'm publishing it to the interwebs in hopes that it will enlighten other aspiring actors saving them from literally the toils and torment as I described that I had to go through being unable to find advice from others in a similar position as no one else is willing to speak out for fear of retaliation as everyone is told that your reputation will make or break you in the industry and its very easy to be blackballed. I look to those who's work and careers I most respect and say that I beg the differ!! None of the greats have ever forged their way by playing it safe. On the contrary, they made intelligent decisions at each and every critical moment. When they found something not working out for them, they changed it! How else do you expect to break out of background? Yeah, seriously! I was being asked to be an exclusive background actor (extra) if you can believe it... woosh

Namaste. 🙋🏻

Mar 5, 2016

Copyright Infringement on YouTube and Public Domain

My response to this fantastic article on the title subject: (read first ~ www.makeuseof.com/tag/favorite-video-disappeared-youtube/ )

photo: a live "air duet" or lip sync performance by me and Garth from Airpocalypse aka burlesque performer "Les Manley" copyright of photographer and in video form would be media owner of the musical content selection who is not Cyndi Lauper and The Hives...

If I had a nickel for every video uploaded onto YouTube in just one hour of one day, properly invested and carefully handled, I could live out the rest of my days on earth without being required to do labor for my food & shelter and thus survival. But unfortunately I am just an artist and original content creator who's talent almost entirely relies on collaborating with other artists or licensing content, gaining their permission, or claiming fair use of the copyrighted content of my videos based on the fact that my audience is viewing them strictly to see my artistic interpretation of any other copyrighted work I might use as my muse at any given moment and not to listen to my audio playing in the background. I am a dancer, choreographer, actor, and theatrical performing artist which means I am possibly the epitome of legally screwed when it comes to copyright laws because technically if it's not my camera and is a public performance I don't own it, and if it is my camera because I'm smart.. but there's any sound whatsoever picked up on my video footage like a 20 year old Depeche Mode song on the radio of my next door neighbor's house, some huge ass media conglomerate corporation (and not the band btw) automatically is set up to receive my $ buck and some change each month if I don't want to or can't afford to pay my legal fees in court. Actually it pivots on the likelihood that I'm too dumb or scared to know that my choreography or expressed opinion and therefore authored statement to which I'm free to publish and distribute for profit all I'd like provided there is a demand for it and simply not contest it and allow them to take all the revenue just feeling lucky my YouTube account isn't in jeopardy because that would be embarrassing and if I lost my gmail or something I'd cease to exist entirely and die from starvation or my lack of social media attention ~ *omg the horror!!? Heh

THE SYSTEM IS BEYOND BROKEN.. AND WE HAVE A HELL OF A CLASS ACTION SUIT FOR RETURN OF OUR AD REVENUE actually.... Depeche Mode song 20 years old? Are they alive still? I agree after 20 years it should be public domain for public use without distribution rights (manufacturing and selling copies on a cd rebranded as nostalgia). Even "top secret" military classification expires after 50 years and despite the origin of any pop culture icon it eventually becomes the public's reaction to it more than it ever was any kind of copyright-able content no matter how much was spent on the making of it! IT'S A MEME. 

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