What is a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA)

First of all, it’s been an absolutely crazy week. Good crazy, but, I am just spending a whole lot of time working on my new website and I can’t wait for it to be ready and roll it out so that you guys can play with it. It’s going to be really really good, there’s going to be some very helpful things for you that you’re going to enjoy.

What I want to talk about today is an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement). If you haven’t done a whole lot in the way of auditioning or you haven’t booked many films or television shows then you probably have never been asked to sign an NDA. I want to make sure you know what this agreement means because  it’s very important for you to understand.

Sometimes, I have had to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement before I am sent the sides (the words that are a part of the script that an actor reads at the audition). For some projects, the actor can’t audition until the document is signed. I remember auditioning for an M Night Shyamalan film, and because he is so concerned about any information getting out to the world before its shot, edited and shown in movies, I had to sign an NDA  prior to my audition..

An NDA is a legal document. The information in this document is pretty basic, but very important and essential to follow.  I just finished filming a feature in Atlanta, and in the NDA it stated that I can’t bring a camera to the set, can’t have photos taken of my wardrobe (unless it is a shot by the film’s wardrobe department, I can’t bring friends or family to the set and other types of basic things that all actors should follow – even without signing the agreement. People spend a fortune creating films and TV shows, and they want to make sure that information about the project is kept secret until they are ready to disclose the details.

But some of the other thing that are in the NDA tell actors that they can’t reveal any information about the film.  At the time of the signing, I was not allowed to mention the  title of the film, name the other actors or director of the film, plots or anything like that. They sent me the script and it’s made very clear that they don’t want that information going out to the world. And, I completely understand why.

So, if you are in a fortunate position to get an NDA, follow it very careful because it’s not something you want to play with. Besides the fact that it’s helpful to the project if information isn’t leaked out, but it is also important to follow the contract from a legal point of view. By breaking the agreement, you could get fired, have your money held, you might not get paid and in general, it would be a real mess. So, follow the legal document very carefully.