Signing a legal document is a major decision — and one that you will be held responsible for. Follow these tips to assure you are using the best paperwork practices.
Write Your Responses Clearly
- Filling out your paperwork with the correct information is only one part of assuring correct information relay.
- Always print your letters unless otherwise told to do so (such as a signature).
- Use blue or black ink ONLY! Colored pens or lead pencils are NOT acceptable for filling out paperwork in any circumstance, NOT just for shoots.
Use Your Real Name
- If a document asks for your name, do not your stage name.
- The words “Name” and/or “Legal Name” refer to the full name matching your IDs/Birth Certificate (First, Middle, Last).
- Use your “Stage Name” ONLY if directed to do so by the paperwork.
- The W-9 Form include an optional section labeled “Business Name”, where you have the option to put your “Stage Name”.
Listen, Read, Ask
- Listen to the instructions given by the producer.
- Filling out paperwork is not a race (and messing up a section due to poor listening can actually end up costing you more time).
- Some portions will be recorded on camera as you fill them out, the crew member in charge will notify you if this is the case.
- Read the instructions and/or document description thoroughly before filling out or signing. Know what you are agreeing to!
- If you are unclear of anything after listening and reading the instructions, do not hesitate to voice your concerns to the crew member who distributed the paperwork – if you ask another person on set, the answer may not be correct.
Protect Your Information
- Another reason to only address questions to the crew member(s) who distributed the paperwork is safety!
- Assistants or other talent on set may attempt to use your information to contact you for their own personal agenda, such as contacting you outside of work.
- On your paperwork, be careful about adding your real phone number or personal email address. A phone number is not required, and you should put your professional email.
- You will be required to fill out your address for tax purposes, however, if you have access to a PO Box that is the best option.
- Use the address you are comfortable receiving tax documents at, don’t use a fake address!
Setting-up a New PO Box