Updated: Sep 18, 2020
Back in 2017, while scrolling on Instagram I stumbled upon a post from one of the actresses that I follow. Her production company was looking for writers who could write a few scenes for a stage play that she was producing. I quickly grabbed a pencil and paper and scribbled some information so that I could properly submit. I submitted my resume and my writer’s portfolio which showcased a few of my writings from my MFA program.
About a week later, I received an email stating that I had been accepted as one of the writers and that the production company was “excited to work with me.” I opened the first attachment, which was the Non-Disclcosure Agreement, quickly skimmed the document and signed my name.
I then opened the second attachment, which gave choices for the three scenes we were to write. I happily chose the three scenarios and began writing. Within two weeks, my three scenes were written and ready to submit.
Six months passed and never received an email about whether or not I was chosen. I decided to check for updates on their Instagram and found out that the winner of the contest was someone that the actress had already known seemingly for years). My question was, “Why have a contest if you already have in mind the person you want to write for you?”
In closing, always be sure to READ over any and all documents you are given to sign your name to. Not just contracts, but also non-disclosure agreements. If you don’t know how to read through them, or if you have questions, be sure to hire someone who does such as an Entertainment Attorney.
I made a mistake in signing the NDA for this contest. I “skimmed” over the non-disclosure agreement. SKIMMING is great and all, but it is not reading the document in its entirety. What I failed to realize is that the document that I signed stated:
“This agreement will be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of New Zealand.”
YEP. You read that right. NEW ZEALAND. The production company was in the UNITED STATES and not New Zealand. (Face Palm.)
The moral of the story is read through all of the paperwork you sign in this industry with a fine- tooth comb.
Do you have any instances where signed your name instead of reading over a non-disclosure agreement? Share with us by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org