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Old August 3 2011, 07:22 AM   #1
ReadyAndWilling
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SCI-FI CONVENTIONS: Do actors get paid well?

ok, so let's say the cast of Angel has a convention some where in the US. do they get paid well? i remember someone mentioned the 'subsidiaries' are quite good, alluding to the conventions. i'm sure something like star trek would be awesome because of the huge following. do all TV shows have these conventions to get a chance to talk to the actors and meet them? or is it purely dependent on how much of a following the show has? something like Angel or Star Trek obviously have huge cult followings.

has there even been an Angel convention? did boreanaz ever go for one? how do the actors feel about conventions anyway? i've heard lot of negative stories about william shatner called fans 'losers' right to their faces. is it because these stars just can't deal with so much attention?
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Old August 3 2011, 07:48 AM   #2
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Re: SCI-FI CONVENTIONS: Do actors get paid well?

Depends on the actor, the convention location, and quite a few other considerations.

Star Trek, Star Wars, Firefly, Buffy/Angel, Doctor Who, Twilight, Stargate, Farscape, Harry Potter & Supernatural are all shows that I know have specific cons across the country, and they draw crowds.

The conventions I've gone to have just been general scifi cons - a few folks from this, a couple from that, whatever...

As for how much they make, Jonathan Frakes says he paid for his first house with the money he made off of Trek conventions, and of course, that was durin' TNG's prime. Wil Wheaton has a pretty naive story about how he expected to be compensated with free admission for goin' to a scifi con durin' his time on TNG in one of his books.

I don't think David Boreanz does conventions, and I'm pretty sure Sarah Michelle Gellar won't be caught dead at one.
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Old August 3 2011, 08:14 AM   #3
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Re: SCI-FI CONVENTIONS: Do actors get paid well?

I went to a McCloud convention just last week. Dennis Weaver is looking rough.
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Old August 3 2011, 09:20 AM   #4
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Re: SCI-FI CONVENTIONS: Do actors get paid well?

I was wondering that myself. Just got back from the Trek con in Nashville and photo ops with Shatner were 79 bux each! He had a line nearly a kilometer long! People were winding around every corner and along every wall in the Ryman area on the bottom floor of the Opryland Resort. The lady working the line near the back, where we were, said that there were right at 200 tickets purchased just on Sunday. That didn't include the advance purchases! The photog was charging 10 bux to put your jpeg on cd. That's 10 bux per jpeg! I had two! He was also making a killing! Great Bird Bless 'em!!
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Old August 3 2011, 09:23 AM   #5
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Re: SCI-FI CONVENTIONS: Do actors get paid well?

SMG was just at comic con promoting "Ringer". I think she was at one when "Southland Tales" was out. SDCC is the big one if you're in television and movies and wanna promote something. I've read and heard varying tales regarding who gets what and how much, etc. To answer the original posters question: they probably do not get paid "well".
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Old August 3 2011, 10:42 AM   #6
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Re: SCI-FI CONVENTIONS: Do actors get paid well?

BDJ wrote: View Post
I was wondering that myself. Just got back from the Trek con in Nashville and photo ops with Shatner were 79 bux each! He had a line nearly a kilometer long! People were winding around every corner and along every wall in the Ryman area on the bottom floor of the Opryland Resort. The lady working the line near the back, where we were, said that there were right at 200 tickets purchased just on Sunday. That didn't include the advance purchases! The photog was charging 10 bux to put your jpeg on cd. That's 10 bux per jpeg! I had two! He was also making a killing! Great Bird Bless 'em!!
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Old August 3 2011, 11:03 AM   #7
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Re: SCI-FI CONVENTIONS: Do actors get paid well?

There was an interesting article on this a little while ago (I'll see if I can find it) - the bottom line is that the amount you can command is basically a combination of how famous/hot you are and the amount of cons you do - so if it is easy to get your autograph, then you can't make a lot.

I remember the article mentioned Lou Ferrigno as someone who turns up at everything, isn't that famous and as a result is often simply sitting around.
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Old August 3 2011, 11:06 AM   #8
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Re: SCI-FI CONVENTIONS: Do actors get paid well?

Ah-ha - here it is:

"I remember going to New York Comic Con and seeing Gary Coleman next to Peter Mayhew (who played Chewbacca) and no one approaching either of them," said Brion Salazar, who co-founded Windy City Comicon. "It was really sad. You don't know how much they are making, or if they needed to do this, or if they're just there to get their egos stroked, but from my side, it's a strange thing to witness. You feel terrible. I can't imagine having to do it myself."

It's like watching someone throw a party and no one shows up — or watching someone throw a party then collect money from everyone who shows up.



Indeed, if you have ever seen Ferrigno at a convention, you know his table is not always crowded with fans — he attends so many comic cons, say organizers of several conventions, that he oversaturates himself. He also makes his own change — you give him the money, he pockets it, then you get a signature. It can be an uneasy transaction for a fan, more of a personal encounter with a celebrity than they had in mind. It's also fairly typical of the autograph circuit. Though as Ferrigno said, every deal is different, and the bigger the star, the better the chance someone is beside them making change.
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2...e-fensterman/2
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Old August 3 2011, 11:51 AM   #9
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Re: SCI-FI CONVENTIONS: Do actors get paid well?

I've heard stories about some actors who don't make appearance at scifi conventions. Where as others do, as they want to give back to the fans. With regards of payment, I've heard there is an appearance fee and charges for autographs and photos.
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Old August 3 2011, 12:10 PM   #10
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Re: SCI-FI CONVENTIONS: Do actors get paid well?

When the JumpCon fraud happened ((I lost $465, thank you!)) in some of the later court filings, it had the amounts owed to various actors for their appearance fee. The original article seems to be gone, but someone reporting on it has two of the figures preserved...

http://www.conventionscene.com/2009/...or-bankruptcy/

Edward James Olmos @ $60,000
Stephen Furst @ $1500

I also remember from when I originally read it, Bob Picardo @ 8,000 and J.G. Hertzler @ $2000 or 3000.

I'd always guessed at the figures myself, and I was pleased to find I'd been pretty accurate at my guesstimates.

I know at one point back in the day, Creation tried to get Harrison Ford to do a convention. They offered him their entire budget of $200,000 and that didn't even leave enough for any autographs. He still rejected it. $200 G's to talk for an hour on stage, lol.

Some folks like Shatner, Nimoy, Stewart can still pull down the big numbers even when they're appearing more often than normal. Stewart in the late 90s/early 00s was pretty rare, less than one a year. Now he's doing 2, sometimes 3 or 4 a year.

And back in the 'old' days of as recently as the early 00s, some of them where able to get away with not signing in person. You'd be provided with a pre-signed 8x10 at the show. As was the case when I first met Stewart in 2000. He's since done two purely autograph shows in my area, and I've gotten most of my "must have" items signed by him in person including a Locutus of Borg photo. It was the repugnant David Scott of Slanted Fedora infamy that changed that; he made them all sign in person, and it eventually forced Creation to follow suit as people where no longer willing to accept the pre-signing nonsense once Scott had gotten people like Shatner to sign like everyone else. I hate that man (David Scott) but he did some good things for the convention scene in his brief reign as king. He was also a scumbag and a cheat...

Something else that can determine how much you make is the $ amount you charge for autographs. When doing purely autograph shows, bigger names like Olmos and Stewart tend to charge bigger fees. Recently, Stewart was charging $60 a pop, Olmos $50. It can deter some fans. I bite the bullet. Olmos was really great to me though; I had come prepared with 8 photos I wanted him to sign, and he cut his price from $50 to $30 if he could personalize them (which I imagine was to make sure they where not going out on e-Bay, lol) -- so for paying LESS money, I got 8 items PERSONALIZED which you normally pay MORE for. Hehe. He rocks though. He was very patient and friendly. I had a bunch of inscriptions I'd wanted, famous lines. He did them all and we had a nice chat for about 10 minutes. One of the better experiences.
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Old August 3 2011, 12:40 PM   #11
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Re: SCI-FI CONVENTIONS: Do actors get paid well?

I would never pay someone for scribbling their fucking name on a piece of paper, screw that!
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Old August 3 2011, 01:23 PM   #12
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Re: SCI-FI CONVENTIONS: Do actors get paid well?

Also varies whether the convention is corporate or fan-run, whether it's profitmaking or nonprofitmaking ... The convention I'm on the committee of, Redemption, is fan-run for charity and totally nonprofitmaking - so we don't pay guests at all. But we still get some, who're willing to do a more cosy con for room and board under those circumstances.
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Old August 3 2011, 01:40 PM   #13
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Re: SCI-FI CONVENTIONS: Do actors get paid well?

Admiral_Young wrote: View Post
SMG was just at comic con promoting "Ringer". I think she was at one when "Southland Tales" was out. SDCC is the big one if you're in television and movies and wanna promote something. I've read and heard varying tales regarding who gets what and how much, etc. To answer the original posters question: they probably do not get paid "well".
It's probably in the her contract that she does promotional appearances, DVD commentaries etc. There is a difference between doing a signing purely for that purpose (which can include free autographs) and being a paid guest, charging money for autographs.

A lot of the autograph fees are set by organisers, rather than guests. So if they can get minor guest for £/$500 charge £/$10 a throw it doesn't take long to get into profit. And you usually have plenty of time to get those guests while waiting for your big ones.

And to a degree a high price is crowd control. Sir Derek Jacobi did one last month, £25 a sig. He was busy enough. But he did 2 Dr Who conventions where autographs were free. I have some lovely items signed by him. Didn't cost me. I'm told he is generous at theatres too. Lovely man.


The SDCC had David Tennant, Matt Smith, Karen Gillan appear, we've only had Karen do one proper (paid) signing so far. £25 a auto or photo. She did 600 photos and over signed for over 1000 people. In one day.

Depends what you consider well paid really. 4 figure sum for one days work, I'd not complain.
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Old August 3 2011, 02:37 PM   #14
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Re: SCI-FI CONVENTIONS: Do actors get paid well?

Frontier wrote: View Post
And back in the 'old' days of as recently as the early 00s, some of them where able to get away with not signing in person. You'd be provided with a pre-signed 8x10 at the show. As was the case when I first met Stewart in 2000. He's since done two purely autograph shows in my area, and I've gotten most of my "must have" items signed by him in person including a Locutus of Borg photo. It was the repugnant David Scott of Slanted Fedora infamy that changed that; he made them all sign in person, and it eventually forced Creation to follow suit as people where no longer willing to accept the pre-signing nonsense once Scott had gotten people like Shatner to sign like everyone else. I hate that man (David Scott) but he did some good things for the convention scene in his brief reign as king. He was also a scumbag and a cheat...
I miss Slanted Fedora conventions. They were some of the most fun times I've had, and provided the greatest variety in guests (this was before I had gone to mega conventions like Dragon*Con).

As mentioned above, it really does vary depending on whether it's a fan-run or corporate con, and who the guest is. Claudia Christian (B5) and Denise Crosby (TNG) charge a $3000 speaker's fee, plus daily expenses (and suite, etc). Walter Koenig and George Takei are in the $20-25,000 range, but expenses and autographs are included.

Shatner will not do a convention for less than $50,000.

BUT there are also a lot of actors who are ... let's say not at the "star" levels, who are often referred to as "bonus guests" ... They get free admission to the convention and a table in the autograph area, and then sell their autographs. They aren't paid at all. The Borg twins, Mary-Linda, Robin Curtis, and Martin Rayner are all at that level.
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Old August 3 2011, 04:09 PM   #15
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Re: SCI-FI CONVENTIONS: Do actors get paid well?

Claudia is an odd one.

She's running her own her event in two weeks, doing it her own way, saying she doesn't like the usual way.

http://www.claudiaconuk.com/

I met her a few years ago, and got 2 autos for £15 each. But she gave me £5 back. She's one of the good guys.
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