In recent years, Michigan has made efforts to make itself more appealing to the entertainment industry. Decades after the Motown dazzle from the east side of the state has faded, there has been a big push to get filmmakers interested in the state.
There have been several big productions in West Michigan, and anyone who has served as an extra in a film probably understands that there are complicated contracts involved even if they don’t receive much in the form of compensation. There are many others who may work or moonlight in the entertainment industry who will require contracts if they want to protect themselves from liability and nonpayment.
Who needs a contract before they go out to perform for an audience?
1. Party specialists
There are people who dress up like princesses and superheroes at birthday parties. There are also mascots and magicians, as well as businesses that put on murder mystery entertainment for someone’s dinner party or business gathering. Any business that provides entertainment, especially at a client’s home or place of business, will need thorough, customized contracts to help ensure they receive payment, set reasonable expectations and protect themselves from liability.
2. Musicians and bands
Sometimes, a musician or a band will receive an offer to perform at a special event like a wedding or a big gathering downtown in a high-volume venue. Whether you will perform piano at a charity event just off the medical mile on Michigan Street or you have agreed to perform at a civic event, it is crucial to have a contract discussing issues like compensation, cancellation and important technical details like who will provide sound amplification equipment and access to electricity.
3. Local actors and voice talent
Whether you have agreed to do a commercial for a new restaurant opening in East Grand Rapids or will record a radio spot as a voice actor for your employer because you have an unusually deep voice but no professional experience, you will need a contract to protect yourself both from claims by the clients and from the misuse of the art or commercial that you help create.
From someone continuing to use your likeness into perpetuity to the possibility that you could face a lawsuit if you don’t show up to perform, there are many issues that you need to address when working in the entertainment sector in West Michigan. Partnering with a law firm that has an understanding of this unique area of business law will help you better protect yourself as a professional entertainer.