How much do kids on Broadway get paid? (If at all)

BwayEqs
Stand-by
joined:6/20/12
Just wondering.
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Phyllis Rogers Stone
Broadway Legend
joined:9/16/07
Under 12 and they have to pay. 12 - 17 makes half of what adults make.
mybestaudition
Chorus Member
joined:8/19/11
They are under the same contracts as adults. Bway minimum is a little over $1600 right now. Principal children make more. There is no deduction based on number of performances they do per week. Their pay is based on the size of the role.

So the Billy Elliot ballet girls were making minimum. The Billy's were making a little over 3 grand a week. The Mary Poppins kids make around 1800/wk.
CurtainPullDowner
Broadway Legend
joined:11/4/04
I've heard they get crackers and juice, plus gruel on double days.
and they must dress in the basement.
dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
How could you ever suggest they wouldn't be paid? It's a job.


Their contracts get negotiated by their manager/agents. A good manager can get the kids more money REGARDLESS of the part they have.
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THEATRICAL100
Featured Actor
joined:9/12/10
You know there are unions right? Unions that require that everyone get paid? Of course they get paid.
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PalJoey
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/04
Say. How old are you anyhows?
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CapnHook
Broadway Legend
joined:5/12/03
For someone so naive I cannot bring myself to joke nor jest.

Yes, they get paid. Everyone who works for Broadway gets paid (with the exception of certain intern positions).

The United States has child labor laws that not only require anyone younger than 18 receive compensation, but they also have restrictions as to the amount of hours they can work, breaks, education, supervision, physical labor, etc.
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mikem
Broadway Legend
joined:8/5/04
I didn't realize that the actors still get paid at least Equity minimum even if they are contracted for only a few performances a week. I guess that means that adult alternates like Christina DeCicco also get at least Equity minimum (although I think most of them are standbys anyway).

The original question is a reasonable one. In London, where children are not eligible to join the actors' union, children have appeared in West End shows with only minimal compensation. There was a big fuss about how little the kids were getting paid in the recent revival of Oliver! (the kid playing Oliver was supposedly getting less than $100 a show), and I believe that there have been shows that have not paid children ensemble members at all or extremely minimally (saying that they were compensated by having the experience).

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Updated On: 6/22/12 at 07:44 PM
ahhrealmonsters
Broadway Star
joined:9/11/10
I know there was a loophole in the Joseph...Dreamcoat revival where the children's chorus members didn't join AEA. I assume they still got paid, though...
LizzieCurry
Broadway Legend
joined:3/7/05
I wish I could find it now, but didn't one of the moms of an OBC Billy say that after the move to NYC and their rent, that they barely ended up breaking even?

Unrelated, but I thought kids in Equity shows under the age of 14 don't have to join Equity.
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jimmycurry01
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/05
I remember reading a while back that one of the reasons CamMac wouldn't bring Oliver! over to Broadway was because of the pay and labor laws for all of the kids. The double casting and paying full salaries would have been too much.
winston89
Broadway Legend
joined:6/18/06
But, doesn't the UK have stricter labor laws than the US? I mean, yes, Broadway shows divide up children's roles because it would be to taxing otherwise. But, I don't believe that they legally have to. I have been under the impression the reason why West End transfers with kids roles double or triple cast, is because they have to in England and producers wish to keep things identical.
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dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
I don't know about England's rules, but I do know that ours include things like: how many hours a week they can work as well as how late they can work. (If I remember correctly, it was not uncommon for Young Cosette and Young Eponine to NOT be at curtain calls for the original run of Les Miz due to the hour.)

Other than that, I got nothing.
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
Dollypop
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/03
This board was inundated with posts from stage mama's during that loathsome revival of BIRDIE. They were defending their children and often complained that the kids weren't get paid enough for the work they were putting into that miserable production.
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dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
I don't remember that at all.
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
yankeefan7
Broadway Legend
joined:4/14/12
LizzieCurry - wow, they barely broke even on making $12,000 a month for working three days a week. I know NY is expensive but think there are quite a few families who make a lot less than that in NYC. Plus, I would think their moving expenses might have been part of a contract considering it is a child performing and the family has to move also to be with the child. Guess others might know if moving expenses would be covered by a show.
Jon
Broadway Legend
joined:2/20/04
$12,000 a month? You're assuming they got $3000 a week (TWICE the Equity minimum) after paying their agent, union dues, taxes, etc?
mybestaudition
Chorus Member
joined:8/19/11
The difference between the West End and Broadway is that (thanks to Maggie Thatcher) you don't have to be Equity to work in professional theatre. Shows can choose to hire Equity or non. Usually their budgets account for a certain number of each type. So children are usually not part of the union. That fact, combined with England's strict child labor laws mean that a kid playing Matilda twice a week and covering the role twice a week can be paid minimally. (I believe they are making around 300 pounds a week or $450 us).

American Equity says that everyone in show must work under an Equity contract regardless of age. Sometimes (like in the Joseph's children's chorus) special dispensation is made to make the show affordable for a producer. But all children with roles must be on an Equity contract.

The under 14 rule means that they still work under the Equity contract, but they only have to join if they choose to. Whether they choose to or not, they still make the same amount as an Equity contract and work the same hours.

As for the Birdie kids, Roundabout is a non-profit theatre. They are under a different Equity contract than regular commercial Broadway. Actors at MTC and Roundabout make significantly less than commercial broadway. The ensemble kids in birdie were making $900/wk.

Also keep in mind that if a child is under 18, NY law requires that a certain percentage of the check goes in to a trust fund that cannot be accessed until the child is 21. This is a law that went in to action after the original run of Annie when the parents blew through all their kids money.

So if a Birdie kid was making $900. 10% goes to their agent. 15% to a manager. 2.7% percent to Equity. 7%-15% to the trust fund. 35% to NY State taxes. That does't leave a whole lot to live off of.
dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
Moving expenses are a negotiated thing, and not guaranteed. I have no idea what happened here.

I'd be suprised to find out that the boys got 3k a week (especially to start) considering they had to pay THREE boys.

Also: there are issues surrounding how much of a kids salary can go to family contributions in cases like this. I don't know any of the specifics of this. THis is why you sometimes here of parents being accused of stealing fromt their kids -- when they use the kids income for basic family neccesities. (I could be wrong here, but I remember hearing something about this but not connected with B'way specifically.)
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
yankeefan7
Broadway Legend
joined:4/14/12
Jon - I am just going on what "mybestauditon" posted which was the Billy's were making a little over $3,000 a week. Not exactly sure what a agent gets but would assume it is not more than 15%. Let's play devil's advocate and say they took home $6,000 a month out of the $12,000 made. I would still think you could do better than barely breaking even making that much money.
dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
I have no idea where he got those figures, he didn't seem to have any REASON to state those figures.
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
yankeefan7
Broadway Legend
joined:4/14/12
I know moving expenses are not a guarantee but I thought it might be covered because you are not only moving a child but members of the family to watch the child. I am sure a show does not care one bit if adult actor has to move for a role on Broadway - lol.
givesmevoice
Broadway Legend
joined:12/2/07
Jon - I am just going on what "mybestauditon" posted which was the Billy's were making a little over $3,000 a week. Not exactly sure what a agent gets but would assume it is not more than 15%. Let's play devil's advocate and say they took home $6,000 a month out of the $12,000 made. I would still think you could do better than barely breaking even making that much money.

One or both of his parents wouldn't have been working, so that money is supporting an entire family.
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Wishing Only Wounds
Broadway Star
joined:4/27/10
This popped into my head while reading this, but how do wranglers get paid? Are they privately contracted, or part of the union? I only ask because for certain shows, the wranglers responsibilities stretch beyond the theatre, such as taking the child out to eat in-between shows.
Formerly: WishingOnlyWounds2 - Broadway Legend - Joined: 9/25/08
yankeefan7
Broadway Legend
joined:4/14/12
givesmevoice - IMO- can't imagine both parents moving and quitting their jobs in this type economy for a role that I believe did not last a year. Obviously, one parent has to be with the child and I would think the other parent stayed at their home and went to work to pay those bills.

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