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Blue Collar Finance: Assistance for Actors

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April Audia.jpgI would like to pass along some information for actors who could use some help when they need to bridge the gap between jobs.  I never used these services when I really needed them because I didn’t know they were out there.  I don’t want that to happen to you!

Here are the three places you can apply for financial assistance:

1) THE FRANK NELSON FUND

855/287-3696

Lynda.Rivers@sagafter.org

The best way to contact Lynda is via e-mail.  If you haven’t heard back from her in a couple of days then leave a voice mail message.

The Frank Nelson Fund will give you $2,000 every 18 months.  But you can only apply for it three times.  They won’t pay your mechanic if you have a car repair bill.  Instead they will pay all of your monthly expenses (up to $2,000):  Rent/mortgage, car payment, car insurance, cell phone bill, cable, Internet, DWP, gas company, etc.

I don’t know the exact qualifications.  I think you had to earn $5,000 or $7,500 three out of five years in AFTRA.  Contact them to find out!

2) THE ACTORS FUND

323/933-9244 ext. 455

Call them and leave a message.  Let them know you would like to apply for financial help.  They will pay up to $750.  I believe they will do that 3 times in a 10-year period. I think you had to earn $5,000 or $7,500 three out of five years in SAG or AFTRA.

3) THE MOTION PICTURE FUND

323/634-3888

Leave a voicemail message saying you would like to apply for financial assistance.  They will call you back.

You need to have earned $10,000 or more 7 out of 10 years (up until 2011).  As of 2012 and 2013 you have to earn $15,000 per year to qualify.  The earnings don’t even have to be as an actor – any work that you did in the entertainment industry counts.  If you worked as a PA for a production company for three weeks that will count.  They will give you $750.

It’s so fast and easy.  It literally takes 10 minutes tops.  You can apply for all three at once.

They fax or mail you a one-page form.  You sign it and mail or fax it back.  It lets them get proof of income from SAG & AFTRA.  If you need additional wages from other entertainment industry jobs then send them a photocopy of those W-2s.  You print out a photocopy of your last bank statement, you photocopy the first two pages of your last tax return, then give them a copy of what you need paid (phone bill, DWP bill, gas bill, internet, cable, etc.).  One to two weeks later you have all of these wonderful bills paid.  It’s a gift.  You don’t pay it back.  It’s not reported to the government.  It’s a gift and a blessing!

FINALLY, you can apply for the Conrad Cantzen Shoe Fund ONCE A YEAR.  They keep track of the date you last applied for it.  The money is sitting in a shoe fund for all of us actors.  Send in your receipt to the Conrad Cantzen Shoe Fund.  About 6 weeks later you’ll get a check in the mail for $40.

4) Conrad Cantzen Shoe Fund

Program Description: In 1945, actor Conrad Cantzen bequeathed his estate to The Actors Fund with the stipulation that it should be used to help actors purchase shoes so they did not appear “down at the heels” when auditioning. Mr. Cantzen believed that a good pair of shoes made a great first impression on casting directors.

This Memorial Fund reimburses eligible performing arts and entertainment professionals up to $40.00 towards a pair of shoes costing no more than $100.00

Eligibility for The Conrad Cantzen Shoe Fund requires an application, an original store receipt and a copy of a current union card. Eligibility criteria:

Currently unemployed in the performing arts and entertainment field

A paid-up member of a performing arts union

Last application was a minimum of 12 months ago

Please download the application, or send an e-mail or call to request an application.

A completed application should be mailed to:

The Actors Fund

729 Seventh Avenue, 10th floor

New York, NY 10019

Attn: Shoe Fund

If you have additional questions, please contact:

The Shoe Fund

212.221.7301 ext. 274

nedopka@actorsfund.org

Go here to print the application:

http://www.actorsfund.org/sites/default/files/Application.pdf

April Audia

About April Audia

A native New Yorker and conservatory trained, April has performed in over seventy theatre productions. Musically she can be heard on the original cast CD for “L.A. Now and Then” as well as the LifeTime movie “A Teachers Obsession” TV work includes"Nicky,Ricky,Dicky & Dawn" “See Dad Run”, “So Random”, “Wizards of Waverly Place” and very recently the tv show VIP-LA, and many more. Additional work includes her first film “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” first starring role in an 80’s cult classic horror film, “Night Ripper” and recently "Fighting Chance" which is available at Walmart and Target, as well as The Lifetime Movie "Seduced". She joined the web world starring in the series “The Playhouse Soap Opera”, "Pregnant", as well as her own award winning web series “Long Island South Shore”. April recently returned from NYC where she was working with an outreach program for acting at Rikers Island Prision.