Terminology Tuesday – Pay or Play

When a deal is “pay or play”, it’s an agreement in which an actor gets paid whether or not the project is made.

For example, if you were guaranteed a certain number of episodes and your character has been cut from one of those episodes, you’re still going to get paid with this deal. 

Although it’s not often referred to as “pay or play”, another instance where you might get paid without actually working is when your role gets cut before you begin shooting.

There are a few SAG rules that must be met in order for you to still collect payment in this situation.

For WEEKLY performers, they are:
1. When you’ve already signed your contract

2. A script has been given to you.

3. You’ve had a wardrobe fitting.


4. You have been given and agreed to a call time.

For DAY players: a production is allowed to cancel your deal prior to noon on the day before you are scheduled to work (if the call for work has only been verbal).

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