Code of Conduct
Code of Conduct for Acting Teachers
This has become necessary because of long-term and systemic psychological, financial, and sexual abuse in the “acting class culture”.
Here is the list of rules we are asking for teachers to sign onto:
- Prospective students should be allowed to audit, and/or audition for, and/or interview with the namesake of the studio they are wanting to join. This will help in identifying abusive practices, teachers, and studios.
- Audits/auditions/interviewsnot only must be allowed, but also free of charge.
- The namesake of the studio must be accessible to their students. Blatant hero-worship is a sign of a potentially abusive and cult-like class. Giving all students access to the owner/leader of the studio helps to create a more level playing field. Often this person is held aloft and apart, and doesn’t interact with new students – as a way of creating a false exclusivity, a “level” that has to be achieved.
- All class policies must be clearly spelled out ahead of time. These policies concern what is expected of both the student and the teacher. They encompass financial obligations, general class behavior, and professionalism. Adherence to these policies is expected of the student and the teacher/staff of the studio.
- The studio shall not prohibit the students from socializing with, working with, or learning from other studios. Students, if they wish, should be allowed to take classes elsewhere simultaneously.
- Highly sexualized scenes in class must have clear and direct permission from the students involved. No inappropriate or deeply uncomfortable work in this area will be permitted. If anyone feels unsafe, they should be free to decline working on the scene, and not be punished for that.
- If a student is having financial problems and is receiving a discount or scholarship from the studio in exchange for work, the work given to the student should not be personal (i.e. doing the teacher’s laundry, etc.) and should not exceed 10 hours a week.
- Each studio must have a stated policy of no abuse; financial, psychological, racial, or sexual. Each new student should be provided this to sign, along with the studio owner.
- Verbal abuse and sexual harassment are not allowed. Any abuse that is financial, sexual, racial, or psychological should be reported to the appropriate legal authorities.
- Retribution of any sort including public, private, or on social media toward a student who reports genuine abuse is prohibited.
- Anyone in a class who observes genuine abuse (verbal, physical, financial, or sexual) should report it, whether it happened to them or whether they were a witness to it.
- The student also has an obligation to the studio to be truthful in all charges of any abuse. Retribution can be a two-way street, and each side must be honest and judicious when raising any charges either in person, or on social media.