I’m currently in the process of recording some 1920-30s-style radio plays I wrote. All my voice actors are friends I’ve worked with before, and because I’m paying for the studio time myself, the actors are being paid in the form of meals, compliments, and good intentions.
I’ve asked them all to sign the following release form and assured them this is very standard in the industry.
Standard Release Form
I. I, the undersigned, understand I have no guarantee of financial compensation for my participation. Not only does Paul Johnson reserve the right not to pay, but he also reserves the right to try and trick me into paying him.
II. Paul Johnson is also not responsible for taxi fare to the recording studio, especially if the taxi fare was unusually high because of Paul Johnson’s poor directions. Paul Johnson also reserves the right to share my taxi and pretend he forgot his wallet when the fare is due.
III. I, the undersigned, understand that just because I am not being paid, doesn’t mean I’m not under contract. This means I can’t just quit and leave the studio in a huff just because Paul Johnson appeared to be hitting on my girlfriend.
IV. If Paul Johnson asks for my schedule in the coming weeks to check my availability, and I mention a studio time might conflict with a party, Paul Johnson reserves the right to try and get himself invited to that party. Paul Johnson also reserves the right to ask to see pictures of the girls that might be at this party. Paul Johnson also reserves the right to exaggerate his career and financial status at this party.
V. I am entitled to three five-minute bathroom breaks per studio day. The bathroom breaks must be taken concurrently and must take place inside the recording booth.
VI. I am entitled to dinners at the Johnson home on rehearsal nights. The quality of these dinners are the sole responsibility of Mrs. Paul Johnson and any complaints should be addressed to her. After dinner on rehearsal nights, if the cast decides to play foosball, Paul Johnson reserves the right to complain about an old wrist injury to deflect questions about his performance.
VII. Paul Johnson will be responsible for pizza on studio days, but he reserves the right to take a second slice before everyone has had their first.
VIII. Paul Johnson’s wife and two kids may come to visit a recording session. Paul Johnson and Mrs. Paul Johnson reserve the right to both pretend to get a phone call and take that call outside. Paul Johnson reserves the right to expect me to keep an eye on his kids until Paul Johnson and Mrs. Paul Johnson return two hours later, smelling of Indian food.
IX. Paul Johnson reserves the right to ask me for my ideas. Paul Johnson reserves the right to claim credit for any good ideas. Paul Johnson reserves the right to loudly mock bad ideas.
X. If the recordings are financially successful, I might become famous and will receive payment in the form of increased attention from women who may assume I made a lot of money off of this recording. Whether I reveal my actual poverty on the first date is at my sole discretion, although Paul Johnson can be consulted on the quality of her looks.
Paul Johnson reserves the right to terminate my non-paid employment at any time.