Category Archives: Actor

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I was born and raised in Massachusetts and me and my family currently still reside here. I work as a model and actress. I happily decided to make modeling and acting my full-time career in 2008 upon graduating with a Master’s in Business Administration from Simmons College in Boston. However, since the inception of my career I’ve had to go outside the USA, primarily into Europe, for work since I was not booking enough jobs here in MA for me to make a profit, let alone make enough to cover my basic needs.

I was raised by Italian immigrant parents who had to leave Italy, their place of birth and where their immediate and extended family resided and currently resides, in the 1970’s due to a lack of work. Italy’s economy currently is and still is today, by no means, nowhere comparable to the USA’s. I, however, being raised in this country and educated here at a Master’s Degree level should not have to do the same for it would be a disgrace to all our forefathers who for generations developed this country into a nation with so much prosperity and opportunity.

The thought that this film tax credit, which took the effort of many to pass in the early 2000’s, would be eliminated, is utterly demoralizing for thousands of working class MA residents. Eliminating the MA film and television production incentive not only will cost jobs, it will drive thousands of jobs created by the production of films and TV shows in MA to competing states, destroying a strong and growing local industry and rob families of a promising future.

I have diligently studied and developed myself for my career since childhood and I don’t want to have to make the same sacrifices my parents made and live far from my family to support myself. With this, I ask that you do your part to save MA film jobs. I look forward to receiving word on this issue’s resolutions and, in the meantime, I am committed to closely following its evolution with the hope that a favorable plan of action may be reached so that I may realize my dream of enjoying my career successes alongside my parents who so generously immigrated to this country so that I could reap the benefits of a more prosperous career.

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I am a full-time experienced non-union actor. I live on Cape Cod. I work primarily in Massachusetts, along with Rhode Island and other parts of New England. I work very hard to find compensated roles here in the Commonwealth. I have been able to find work as a result of the film incentives that currently exist. Without these incentives, the film industry would dry up and I would be faced with a decision to either drive to another state (NYC?) or retire from acting. I want to work. Please do not repeal these incentives. Thank you.

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Being able to work in this state ( MA ) has allowed me, up to this point, to stay local to work in the film and TV business while providing for my family. I have been able to be part of an industry that has provided me work and helped actors and members of the crew stay in a state that I was raised in. I would never have been able to do something I truly loved if it wasn’t for the film and TV industry of MASSACHUSETTS.
Please do the right thing by keeping the tax incentive here.

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My name is Rick Burtt.  I’m privileged to have been in the entertainment industry for the last 30 years, as a musician/management, a director, and an actor. It is important to keep momentum of high budget Hollywood films being shot in Massachusetts. There is an incredible impact that the tax incentive has had for local cast and crew, in lighting, sound, wardrobe, make-up, catering, and casting. Also even more importantly money spent in every area of local businesses, and the taxes spent on that money by those businesses and workers. The film tax incentive should not be removed, it makes for common sense to have this flow of revenue continue to come to our state, and benefit all.

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My name is Kristen Crociati and I worked on the movie Black Mass and it was a great experience and I am looking forward to be able to work more in the movie business. My son also was lucky enough to have worked on the set of Spotlight. It has been great to have been able to apply for many job openings that have been offered over the past two years with the great opportunity of so many movies being filmed here in Massachusetts.

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My name is Erin Cole. I’ve been a proud union actress for over a decade; recently, I was able to work on the other side of the camera in production on two Massachusetts-made movies. I would not have had these opportunities to practice my craft and expand my artistic pursuits if it weren’t for all of the film work that exists in Massachusetts. It is difficult to make a living as an actress because there is so much competition for each job. The pursuit is only made more difficult when there is no work to compete for in the first place!

The Massachusetts film tax incentives provide work for the people and artists who so desperately want it. But more than that, the work that we’ve been allowed has led to the subsequent expansion of an entire industry and the development and cultivation of entire artistic careers. By being allowed to expand my own artistic career into production, I was able to see how the incentives do the same thing for everyone working behind the camera as well. I saw how many vendors we employed and how much payroll we created for people and businesses in Massachusetts. These jobs help people like me pay our bills and our mortgages and take care of our families.

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I started working on films in 1978 at Chester Barley Films with Bestor Cram and Charles Mayer. I worked at WGBH Archives and now work as a producer/film preservation specialist at Leominster Telecommunications Corporation. I was lucky to work on a few small productions over the years that helped pay the bills. I also worked as an actor in the 90s and had a chance to see all aspects of production with some GREAT people and experience what production in the state did for the local economy. I LOVE the fact that Massachusetts is EMPLOYING many who would otherwise be out of work in the industry and I am looking forward to getting back into the active mix within the next few years. Praying that we can maintain our draw to major productions with the incentive remaining in place.

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My name is Paul Kandarian. I’ve been acting for the last eight years, starting in theater and doing film (shorts, commercials, indie films, web series) for the last four or five. I’m amazed by the abundance of acting opportunities here in Massachusetts; hardly a day goes by I don’t get audition notices and I find myself working quite a bit.

Anything the state can do to lure and keep talented people in this state, where their work generates millions for local businesses, should not be taken away.

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My name is Rob. I’m grateful to have been an actor since 2003. I have felt the momentum of Hollywood films shot in Massachusetts and I have seen the incredible impact the tax incentive has had for our local cast and crew…not to mention local businesses and tourism!

The film tax incentive should not be removed as it has elevated Massachusetts’ artistic and local pride, while providing jobs for many working families in lighting, sound, wardrobe, make-up, catering, and casting. I’ve been fortunate to build many lasting relationships throughout the filmmaking process.

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My name is Jeremiah Kissel. I’ve been a local union actor since 1980 — that’s thirty-plus years on local stages, sets, and recording studios. I have a son currently attending a private local university. I’ve worked on Body of Proof, The Great Debaters, The Town, Black Mass, etc., etc. — all paid work that has gone back into our economy RIGHT HERE, after Massachusetts taxes! KEEP the business coming!

 

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My name is Tony Wright, and I’m an actor who lives in Gloucester, MA. I work and hustle constantly to find auditions, nail them, and book work. There IS work here, and my husband and I are hoping it doesn’t go away. If it did we would likely MOVE away.

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I have been working in the film industry for the past two years as an actor/electrician. I am a licensed electrician and non-union actor. I grew up in Boston and I remember how things where before the tax incentive. I wouldn’t have been able to get into the industry before. The tax incentive has definitely helped me get started and stay busy in this industry without having to move to NYC or LA.

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I have worked on movie sets with some of the finest people that walk the earth — Massachusetts citizens who would give you the shirt off their backs when they only own one shirt; everyday struggling citizens who are getting by in the wake of the most devastating economic disaster since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and finding light, joy, hope, and work in the fast-growing film industry of Massachusetts. What has fueled this industry’s growth? It is the tax incentive that the forward-thinking past legislatures have allowed so that the great movie-making corporations could set camp in all parts of this great state and spend money. Why the current legislature is even considering stopping the making of movies and television programs in Massachusetts — and thinking in any way seriously about ending the resulting influx of work and thereby taking away thousands of jobs a year — is preposterous.

The residual effect for all the businesses that surround the film sites and all of the talented actors and technical crew members is not calculated anywhere by the proponents of ending the film tax incentives; it is calculated in the checkbooks and balances of thousands of tax-paying Massachusetts citizens.

My personal experiences as an actor — from making my first feature film in Boston and collecting my first movie check at the age of thirteen to working side by side with Hollywood legends — make a magical story and magic is what this state has going strong now. Don’t be the ones to snuff out that magic and let all of that growing industry be forced to leave the state. That would be a lose-lose-lose situation for everyone and there is no math that proves otherwise. SAVE MA FILM JOBS!

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I have been an actor, theatrical director, and fight choreographer for 25 years. Since moving to Massachusetts from NYC more than ten years ago, the many film/TV projects I have worked on include two Academy Award-winning films and an Emmy award-winning PBS program. My film career truly took flight in Massachusetts.

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My name is Cyndy Doll, and I’ve been working in the Massachusetts film industry as an actor for quite some time. To pursue the work I love to do, I’ve had to travel to New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, because of the lack of work in Massachusetts. However, since the film tax incentive was implemented, work has increased substantially in Massachusetts. Instead of having to travel to pursue work, I’ve not only found work locally, but I’ve found enough quality work to join the Screen Actors Guild and even qualify for their health/pension plan.

The opportunities this incentive has provided has been huge for me. Not only has it allowed me to work in a field that I love, it has also provided me an opportunity to make a living close to home.

Before this incentive, the amount of work available for me could make this seem like a hobby. Since the incentive, the amount of work has turned it into a job with benefits!

I was born and raised in Newton, MA. I still live in the house where I grew up in Newton with my elderly mother, whom I care for. I pay taxes in Massachusetts. I vote in Massachusetts. I spend in Massachusetts. I am a Massachusetts resident who — thanks to this incentive — has been employed in a thriving industry in Massachusetts. In the past, I have struggled to work in the field that I love, and that has all changed thanks to the film tax incentive. Please support it and keep these jobs in Massachusetts. Thank you!

Ellen Becker-Gray CandidI am Ellen Becker-Gray and I am an actor. My first acting experience was as a ten-year-old when I was selected to perform in the “Dream Ballet” in the musical Oklahoma. This initiated a lifelong dream for an acting career. After an established teaching career for over 30 years, I took early retirement to focus on my career as a performer.

My transition to film began in the summer of 2004, following what turned out to be my final year of teaching. Since then, I have worked in more than 85 films, commercials, educational videos, and television shows. I am a proud member SAG-AFTRA and Actor’s Equity.

The Massachusetts film and television production incentive has brought many films and TV shows to Massachusetts. As a result, as senior citizens, my husband Rob and I are able to continue to work and reside in our home state of Massachusetts, the state in which my husband and I were born. We were raised in Marblehead, MA. We both earned our undergraduate degrees in Massachusetts. I received my graduate degree here, too.

My husband Rob and I have been employed steadily in the film and TV industry. For awhile, we relocated to another state for film/TV work. We were thrilled when we were able to return to Massachusetts as residents again. We prefer to spend our earnings in Massachusetts rather than the money we spend in other states for hotels, house rental, stores, gas, food, etc.

The employment opportunities resulting from the film tax incentive enabled us to purchase our new home in Whitman, MA. We hope that those employment opportunities continue in Massachusetts so we can remain in the state in which we were born, raised, educated, and now work.

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I’m Ed O’Keefe and I’m an actor. I have been lucky enough to have worked on over 40 films, television shows, and commercials. Most of these opportunities would not have been available without the Massachusetts film tax incentive.

The nature of the movie industry is that a production comes to a location and creates whatever is needed through some very talented people. Just one example is the feature film Pink Panther Two. For that production, Boston was transformed into Paris, France; and that could only happen because the film incentive made it possible.

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I’m grateful at this stage of my life to be part of the Massachusetts film industry and family. As a SAG/AFTRA member, I have had the opportunity to work with very talented people, which has helped me grow as an actor. I have made new friends and the income has helped me very much while allowing me to do what I love as I am a senior citizen and rely mainly on my social security.

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I have been working in the film industry for more than ten years, and it has been an incredible experience. I have met people from all walks of life and they are the hardest working people I have ever met.

People may not be aware that it is not just a small number of actors (union and non-union) that are affected by the tax incentive. There is a large group of actors and crew members in the New England area that are employed.

If they tax incentive is eliminated, it will not only take away thousands of jobs, but it will take food off of tables and put people in debt. In addition, the revenue for Massachusetts will no longer be here for the state to benefit from.

In closing, please keep the tax incentive in Massachusetts! Thank you for your time.

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I am a graduate of the Boston University BFA acting program and, since my graduation in 2012, I have acted in three television projects and two movies in the state of Massachusetts. What an incredible thing it is to have opportunities like that in our own backyard. I’ve met so many amazing people who would be out of work if we take away the incentives. I wish everyone would take into account how much goes back into our local economy! I’m on my way to set right now for an ABC pilot, and I’m praying it’s not my last chance to do real work in this city!

FILMS=JOBS!

 

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My name is Tiffany Crosby and I am a SAG-AFTRA actress, producer, and comedian in Massachusetts. I started living my dream in 2010 with the goal to make storytelling a living and I knew that getting my SAG-AFTRA card was a must. To say that the Massachusetts film tax incentive helped me achieve that goal is a HUGE understatement. Because of the draw of the Incentive, Paul Feig brought The Heat to Boston in 2012, and I was given the unforgettable experience of being Melissa McCarthy’s stand-in and got my SAG-AFTRA card with flying colors! As “actor-preneurs,” my husband and I thrive when films come to town. The Massachusetts film tax incentive helps working-class people like me get off the ramen diet and eat some pretty stellar set food during shooting!

It is because I am following my dream to tell stories and make a difference that my family has become inspired to follow and find their inner champion. Please don’t let Massachusetts be just another stepping stone for the dreamers searching for their inner champion. Let them stand strong and say IT IS HAPPENING IN MASSACHUSETTS!

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The film tax incentive has made it possible for me to make my living working in the film industry in Massachusetts, a place where I was born, raised, and educated. Prior to the inception of the film incentive, I, like many others, would have been forced to leave Boston and loved ones in order to pursue a career in entertainment. Thankfully, this has not been the case. I have been fortunate enough to witness a thriving film industry emerge all while working, paying taxes, and spending within my own home town. The film tax incentive has had an immensely positive effect on my life and that of my family as well.  Without the incentive, I truly do not know what else I would or could do. So many of my friends and colleagues depend on this incentive for their livelihoods, and the positive effects of the film incentive stretch far beyond that which is measurable and tangible.

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My name is Adam Teper, and I am seen on almost every movie set around Boston as a member of 2nd team. I am a stand-in as well as a full-time actor seeking auditions and roles; this is my primary source of income.

I rely on the movies in Massachusetts to pay the bills, support my family, and to help me progress my career. Without the tax incentive bringing films to Massachusetts, I wouldn’t have my career or have come as far as I have as a member of SAG. I wouldn’t be able to survive as an actor in New England.

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My name is Colleen Kelly. I have been a SAG-Aftra member since 1989. Please keep the tax credit in place as it helps provide income for working families like my own family. The film projects benefit many in the community such as but not limited to local actors, crew, caterers, hair and makeup artists, lumber companies, restaurants, hotels, rental companies, cleaning services and countless others. Taking the tax credit away will hurt thousands of local families like my own.

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My name is Jaimie Tucker, and I am an actress and model. When I attend auditions and jobs, I run into other actors, and they couldn’t be more pleasant, humble, and friendly. As a newcomer to the Boston area, I have been blown away by the people in the Massachusetts film industry. I have worked in several other cities and countries, and never before have I experienced the camaraderie and support that the Massachusetts film industry provides to actors. I express my gratitude for the opportunity to work with such a caliber of talented people who enjoy their work and show up each day with smiles on their faces. This gratitude extends to everyone from the crew to craft services to legal advisors, and all those in between.

I’m originally from Vancouver, Canada. When the government cut the tax incentive for the film industry in British Columbia, crew members were out of work, and opportunities for Vancouver actors dried up as productions chose other locations or left the area. The film industry, one of Vancouver’s most booming industries, had not only created jobs and revenue but also increased tourism, but was hit hard due to the revoked tax incentive.

Let’s not remove one of the industries that makes Massachusetts such an interesting and vibrant state. Support the Massachusetts film industry and the individuals and families whose livelihoods depend on it and whose important work contributes to increasing outside interest in the state.

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My name is Sue Dimouro, and I am an actor. I was born and raised and have lived in Massachusetts my whole life. I joined SAG in 2008 and AFTRA in 2009. I love what I do. Eliminating the film tax incentive would put so many people, including me, out of work in Massachusetts.

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My name is Frankie Imbergamo, and I am a SAG-AFTRA actor. I live in Medford, MA, just outside of Boston. I have worked in over 40 films and also have been on several TV shows, including the Food Network’s Emeril Live. It would be a shame if the governor eliminated the film tax incentive here in our state of Massachusetts. When movies are filmed here, a lot of people spend money in hotels, restaurants, and many other stores. The incentive is a win-win situation!!

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My name is Rosemary Pacheco, and that is my lovely daughter Alexa in the photo with me. I live in Rhode Island, but — for the first time — I was recently called in to audition for a small speaking role in a Hollywood film that is being shot in Massachusetts. This would never happen if a tax incentive did not exist here. The bottom line is the dollar bill, because making movies is a business. And the first and foremost objective for a production when they are deciding where to film is to save a dollar.

I also write film news for an arts and culture mag in Rhode Island called Motif. Frequently, we cover some of the films moving through the area, and we see firsthand — when we are invited on set, to a hotel, to a local eatery (or to any other business offering a service used by the production) to conduct an interview — that these folks are utilizing the area’s local businesses. I hope the Massachusetts community is successful in preventing what would be a disastrous result for those who work and thrive in this area. I support you all, and am happy to do so.

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I ‘m a member of SAG-AFTRA and have worked as an actor for about 20 years, mostly here in Massachusetts. I believe that the visibility in film of PWDs (persons with disabilities) like me helps break down the barriers to acceptance for many others. It’s beginning to happen! Please continue to let us PWDs continue to work here in Massachusetts. We are making a difference!

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M y name is Stephen Kyle. I’ve been a SAG-AFTRA actor since 2004. There are many Massachusetts actors like me who are neither rich nor famous. We’re working-class folks trying to make ends meet — just like the many hardworking electricians, carpenters, makeup professionals, and countless other crew members who work 12- to 16-hour days (or longer) to feed their families and pay their mortgages. The film tax incentive has helped to make that happen, as it has brought more and more films here. Don’t take our income away.

 

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My name is Michael Swanson. I’ve been a working actor since 1998. It’s a something I love, and I’ve been planning for many years to make it my full-time job as I transition into the second half of my life. I’m an active member of SAG. I study acting and I’m very passionate about it. It’s literally a childhood dream come true. Save the Massachusetts film tax incentive!

 

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My name is Floyd Richardson. I have had the pleasure of seeing the film industry grow here in the Bay State. I have been able to see the difference it makes through the energy that a film brings to the many communities that have had the privilege of having a film produced in their town. Local businesses and everyone hired on the production benefit. The tax incentive the state provides is small compared to the revenue generated by one film. Ideally, it would be great for Massachusetts to grow its own industry, and the tax incentive can help to keep it happening! Stay strong!

 

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My name is Conlon Doran. I am an actor. After three years training in California, I moved back to Massachusetts to start my career. Seems backwards, huh? A lot of people thought so. What I’ve accomplished in months here takes most actors years in the over-saturated markets of LA and NYC.

If you look at my picture, I’m pointing to the words “An Actors Prayer.” Ask any actor just starting out what would be the answer to their prayer, and I guarantee they’ll say “a career.”

The decision to be an actor took years to commit to. I also thought long and hard about beginning my career in Boston. To now be here, seeing my career — nay, life (because that’s really what’s at stake for me if the films can’t afford to shoot here) — unfolding before my eyes, to be at home with my family, to be living in Massachusetts and doing what I love, is my American dream.

That’s what I’d lose if Governor Baker succeeds in reversing the film tax incentive.

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I have been in this industry for over eleven years. I am so blessed to be part of this great family. I have had the opportunity to be part of great national TV shows like Body of Proof and others, as well as commercials.

“If you can dream it, you can do it.” This industry would suffer if the film tax incentive went away, along with all of us here in Massachusetts. It’s time to show the world and nation that this industry drives economy and makes life for our families better.

“I am the cavalry.”

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My name is Kirsten Grimes, and I am an actor residing in Rockport, MA. I first developed a passion for being involved in this industry growing up on Cape Ann and seeing movies made in my town. The first film that I worked on was Mermaids, when I was a child.

I have worked on fifteen feature films and multiple television shows, commercials, and other projects in the state of Massachusetts. This is largely due to the film tax incentive. I not only rely on this work for income, but I love to do it. As I write this, there is a movie being made down the street from where I am. Residents in my town and neighboring towns are always happy when a movie comes to town.

The local businesses rely on films because the film industry brings an incredible amount of business to the Massachusetts economy. My local shoe store said they sold 100 pairs of shoes to HBO last year, for instance.

I do not want to have to move to New York or LA in order to continue to work in the film industry. I also do not want to see so many of my close friends lose their jobs and not be able to follow their passions.

There are many people very busy working on sets right now that have not had the time to write bios on this site. I spoke to one of these people recently who depends on the work he gets from films to support his family.

Getting rid of the current tax incentive would be devastating to so many of us. Please keep the current film tax incentive. Thank you!

IMG_20091231_191031My name is Maureen C. Kiely. I went to UMass Amherst and I have lived in Northampton, MA, for over 50 years. I have been a SAG-AFTRA member since 1999. I have been fortunate to have had many opportunities to work as an actor on several feature films, television programs, and commercials in Massachusetts. This has given me the opportunity to make a living in Massachusetts.

I am a taxpayer in Northampton as well as Hopkinton. It is my hope that Massachusetts continues to make films. It is only through the film tax incentive that this is possible.

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Since retiring as a television news anchor and reporter, I now spend much of my time as an extra or background actor in movies and television series. I see firsthand the impact such projects have on our Commonwealth’s economy.

On one of the days when I worked on The Judge, the production hired more than 100 local extras and background actors for a courtroom scene in Plymouth. On other occasions, I saw equal numbers, many different faces involved in scenes shot in Worcester, and Shelburne Falls. The project also filmed in Attleboro, Boston, Belmont, and Milton. Dollars flow not only into the pockets of the local actors, but to local drivers, cooks, makeup artists, wardrobe specialists, technicians, electricians, carpenters, and small business owners. These talented and capable working people live and spend locally.

A positive financial impact is felt in other perhaps unrecognized ways. Local firefighters and EMTs are hired to help safeguard productions made in Massachusetts. Local police work the details. Local casting agencies hire dozens of people to scour thousands of performers’ resumes to satisfy the needs of producers and directors. Local academies and performance institutes train actors and actresses. Local colleges and universities develop producing, film-writing and directing talent. The state-of-the-art facility in Devens eliminates a producer’s need to transport projects back across the country for post-production. Finishing touches can be applied right here in Massachusetts, providing more work, more paychecks, and more revenue for Massachusetts.

Without the incentives, we risk losing all these advantages and the prestige and notoriety films bring to Massachusetts, and we risk driving the local talent that supports them elsewhere. I say these are risks too big for Massachusetts to take.

Please lend your support to saving the Massachusetts film tax incentives.

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My name is Cindy Lentol, and I’m a local SAG/AFTRA actress, voice talent, and model. I have worked in this business for 20 years and in Massachusetts specifically for the past 15.

Massachusetts has been the absolute best place for me to build my career. I have acted in major motion pictures, television shows, commercials, industrials, and in student thesis films at local universities; performed in Emerson College’s advanced directing classes; done stand-up comedy; taken countless acting classes; and read regularly to children in underprivileged schools through the national organization BookPALS (Performing Artists bringing Literacy to Schools). I would have never dreamed all of it could be possible right here in Massachusetts.

Let’s continue to welcome out-of-state productions to create their stories and dreams. Please keep the tax incentive alive and allow our film community to thrive.

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My name is Carlyne Fournier, and I am a producer, director, actor, and voice over artist. I live and breath this industry. There is not one day of the year that I am not working on one project or another in this VERY state. I take pride in projects that promote awareness and change on social issues, using the power of the media. But I also work on fictional creative work with a large number of directors and producers. I often find myself working on two or three productions at a time — and very thankful to be.

Aside from affecting me, taking away the film tax incentive program would hurt countless businesses, services, professionals, and families that I have come to work closely with in the last seven years, all of whom offer an important piece of the puzzle needed for each production (major or small). I don’t see why it is so hard for policy makers to understand that, for the cost of having a tax incentive program in the state, we actually pour a tremendous amount of money into our very own economy and create jobs all year long.

When a production company decides to shoot in Massachusetts, they hire, buy, or rent people, equipment, space, trailers, etc. for the production. Adding to that is a very long list of services that are needed for the productions and actors as well (such as casting agencies, food catering, hotel, transport, police details, MUA, and SFX, to name a few), which again pour MORE money into our economy. Furthermore, when such productions packs their bags and leave, WE still all pay income taxes right here. Isn’t this a win/win situation? We need to stop looking at the immediate cost of having such programs and look at the long-term benefits of it all.

Taking away the film tax incentive this early in the game would jeopardize the whole industry that we take such pride in promoting and representing. Didn’t we just build a $42 million studio in Devens? Can we give it a chance to thrive? Eliminating the tax incentive does not hurt Hollywood productions (they just will go someplace else) — it hurts Massachusetts families!

We all have to make it a priority to speak up and save the film tax incentive program before it’s too late.

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My name is Brian Ricci. I’ve been a part of the film business for over 30 years. I am a SAG member and Local 481 member. I also own Brian Ricci Enterprises, which is a local Pyro and FX shop, the only one located within miles of Boston. If the tax incentive were to go away, I would not only be out of a job and a career, my company would not be able to survive. I also have two brothers and a son in the business, along with many friends that would be out of jobs and possibly forced to relocate their families and lives so they could survive. I beg you to please reconsider removing the tax incentive because of how negatively it will affect not only my family but our community. Thank you.

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My name is Bill Mootos. I am a professional actor, a member of SAG-AFTRA, and a resident of Boston since 1997. The film tax incentive has had an incredible impact on my life as an actor here in Massachusetts. Before 2006, there was very little film work in the state. Once the tax credit was implemented, production in this region boomed, and an industry was born. I make my living as an actor, and the film tax incentive has made all the difference in the work that I do. We lose many talented artists, designers, actors, and crew to other cities where film is more prevalent. However, with the film tax incentive in place, those of us who otherwise might be lured elsewhere have made the decision to plant roots in Massachusetts and help the film industry grow.

I have had the benefit of working on multiple feature films, commercials, and television shows as a result of the film incentive, and it has helped me (and countless others) to make my living here as opposed to somewhere else. I depend on my income from this work to pay my mortgage, earn my health insurance, and put food on the table. Thousands of Massachusetts workers depend on this incentive, and our earnings help the state while also keeping us here to make our homes and raise our families.

The benefit to keeping our industry strong in Massachusetts goes far beyond the press reporting celebrities spotted around town. The economic impact is felt by the thousands who are put to work every year thanks to the film tax incentive, and by the many local businesses where those earnings are spent.

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I’m Maria and I’m an actor. I’m native to Massachusetts. I grew up in Amesbury and my family is from Mashpee. I own a home here, pay taxes, buy groceries, go to local restaurants and shops, and I am a member at a local CSA. Massachusetts will always be home.

I spent several years in the corporate world before I figured out that acting was my passion. I was able to join SAG in 2008 when the film tax incentive was starting to gain serious traction. For me, this meant more opportunities to spend time in studio and on set, and less time rebalancing portfolios and pleading with underwriters. Fast forward a couple years and I’ve said goodbye to my corporate cube and I am now a full-time actor.  t isn’t easy, but like many others, this is the path I’ve chosen. I love what I do and can’t imagine earning my living any other way.

The amount of work available in Massachusetts in recent years has meant that I have to travel less to earn my living, which is great. This also means that I get to spend more of my time — and dollars — here while staying closer to family, which is especially important as my parents get older.

Massachusetts invited the film industry here by creating the tax incentive, and based on my own personal experience, it is working!  The studios have brought their projects here, the industry is thriving, and so are the many businesses that support it. But make no mistake, the incentive fuels the film industry in Massachusetts. Without it, productions will simply go elsewhere, taking their checkbooks and many, many jobs with them.

I am proud to be part of this crazy, wonderful, hardworking, and talented community of industry professionals, actors, crafts, and tradesmen.  I want to continue practicing, learning, and growing in my craft here, and I hope that the incentive will be kept intact so that I can.

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My name is Brian A. White and I am an actor. I lived and worked for a couple of years in L.A. and came back to MA in 2007. In 2009 – due entirely to the MA Film Tax Credit – I got my two SAG gigs and was finally invited into the union. I’ve since been able to audition and land jobs on big films all around Massachusetts.  One thing I know from having been a part of the features like “Black Mass” (which shot during the summer of 2014) is that I love the fact that I can work in filmmaking here and be near my roots, family, and the crew members that I’ve grown to know. The MA Film Tax Credit has allowed all of us to remain in the area and to keep our love and interest in filmmaking a reality.

It wasn’t too long ago that the only way to get into this industry was to leave and try to make it in another state. Taking the MA Film Tax Credit away would be an ugly mistake. For those who rely entirely on the industry here, it would be a sin to take away the historic and creative contribution that we all have been committed to for so long.

 

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My name is Karen Eris (Scalia). I’m a 20-year union actor, and have served as a board member for New England SAG-AFTRA for the past few years. Based on the North Shore, I’ve been fortunate to work on my craft here in my home state of Massachusetts, including film, television, commercial, and industrial shoots. I have such a respect for my fellow actors as well as the hardworking professional crews. They are not only my co-workers, they are my neighbors and my friends. We have all benefited from the work that has come to our state, especially in recent years through the Massachusetts film tax incentive program.  Massachusetts is an incredible resource in so many ways, and the craftspeople that work in this industry are a genuine part of its fabric.

My home city of Salem alone is a snapshot of the boost to the local economy. It’s not just the crew, casting, actors, security, caterers, on-set medical teams etc., who benefit, but the small businesses nearby, such as restaurants, clothing stores, markets, and more. I am also a small business owner in Salem (I run Salem Food Tours) and a member of the Salem Chamber of Commerce. I interface with fellow local small business owners and hear firsthand how they’ve enjoyed increased business when productions come to town. And once a production makes it to the screen, it is a pleasure to point out to visitors eager to see where the locations filmed, and a pleasure to hear students I meet share excitement about planning careers in editing, production design, acting, sound, etc. Our future is made brighter by this creative economy and we all benefit on so many levels. Please support the Massachusetts film tax incentives.  Thank you!

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I am a proud actor and taxpayer in Massachusetts. My daughter is an actor, too, and we have both gotten increasingly more work here in Massachusetts since the film tax incentive went into effect. Performing is our passion and livelihood, and the many days of paid work here in Massachusetts — not having to travel out of the state for this work all the time (where we’d be spending our consumer dollars too!) — makes a huge difference for us as local film industry professionals. We both teach performance, acting, and circus arts.

I am able to support my daughter’s current college education as a single mom because of the work that has come to our state thanks to the film tax incentives. Please save our Massachusetts film jobs.

PB !My name is Paul.  I’ve been acting since 1974 in radio, theatre, film, and TV. When the Massachusetts film tax incentives came along, so did a windfall of work for many many talented local folks. I’ve had a great deal of work since 2010. The film tax incentives are essential to the lives of many, many of my friends and their families — families who have put down roots in Massachusetts and plan to stay in the state.

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My name is Shannon Mercer, and I am a resident of Fall River, MA. In 2013, I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in arts.  Even though I am new to the industry, I have seen with my own two eyes that people in this industry are the hardest working and most dedicated people I know. It is not only a career choice, but it is passion that we all have to bring to the surrounding community.

Taking away the tax film incentive will hurt us all. As I said, I am a recent graduate and losing the incentive will affect my getting started in the Massachusetts film industry. It will also affect my living situation by influencing my decision to stay in Massachusetts. I will be forced to make a decision to move elsewhere where there is work.

The film tax incentive affects not only me, but the surrounding businesses in the area, such as local restaurants that are hired to cater food for the cast and crew members, hardware stores that provide materials for sets that need to be built, rental companies that provide production companies costumes, venues that are rented for locations, etc.  FILM = JOBS and money for our state. It means a future for us all.

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I am a proud to say that I am a professional actor with over 50 years of experience both as a singer and an actor in various media. I make my living primarily as a film actor. My credits include a long history of work in film including the Ben Affleck-directed film, Gone Baby Gone. I’ve also been in several independent films produced and directed in Massachusetts, including the film The Child King, that was made as film to benefit the charitable wing of the Special Olympics.
The film tax incentives have made it possible for many actors to work today in Massachusetts. We pay our taxes. We are citizens.

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As a member of the Screen Actors Guild since 2008, I have been fortunate enough to work on dozens of film and television productions in Massachusetts, usually in the capacity of background actor or stand-in. On a typical day, the people I interact with are numerous. After getting a call from casting and driving to a location, getting picked up by a van driver, checking in with a production assistant (and there may be hundreds of us background on any given day), picking up a costume in wardrobe, going through hair and makeup, getting a prop, being fed by caterers, going to set and seeing what was constructed, seeing the lighting, grips, art department, sound, and camera departments (you get to know these people by working with them frequently as friends and neighbors), and then seeing other local actors delivering lines…you realize the true army of people it takes to create a film.

And the numerous workers we never get to see, such as locations, office workers, drivers, etc. All of these hardworking, tax-paying professionals from Massachusetts who are there when you arrive early in the morning and there when you leave late in the evening. The film tax incentive is what is making all of this possible. I would say to any lawmakers, visit a set, see these faces, and meet all of us, your constituents.

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My name is Mike. I grew up in Melrose, MA, and started acting in middle school. In high school, I participated in drama club and made movies with my friends. I fell in love with the craft of acting and went on to study it when I went to college in Boston. While still in school, I started auditioning for and doing parts in local theater productions on the fringe scene.

The summer after I graduated, everything changed for the better when I was cast in my first feature film in a principal role. Obviously, being a recent college graduate, this was a huge financial windfall. It enabled me to get my SAG card and assured my family and me that I was on the right path to pursue acting. I’ve since booked another part in a feature film which shot in Boston and, in my mid 20s, I am at the beginning of an exciting career acting in film — none of which would have been possible without the Massachusetts Film Tax Credit, which has benefited so many of my friends and colleagues who are actors, electricians, designers, and stylists.

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My name is Brett Milanowski. I am a full-time husband, father, and actor. My career and its trajectory has been greatly aided by the film tax incentive. What I see every time I am on an industrial film or commercial set is a production crew and cast that can stay in New England, perfect their craft, and build their expertise — which to me is the fundamental backbone of any industry. They can do this because of the work that the film tax incentive brings to the state. I can remain a Massachusetts resident, which I’ve been for 30 years, and still have this career — earning money and paying taxes. American economic ideals are based on building a strong middle class.

The film tax incentive is a central pillar in building a middle-class for this industry. And as the means to make independent films and television becomes more accessible, the states that foster a strong middle class of film artists and craftspeople will reap the creative and economic benefits.

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My name is JP Valenti.  I am originally from Connecticut, but I moved to Boston in September to pursue my acting career. I found it was important to live closer to the ever-growing Massachusetts film market and all of the training opportunities, acting opportunities, and networks that have flourished here as a result of the film incentive. Being involved in the Hollywood East movement and seeing large productions coming to our state, I have felt pride in my decision to stay in New England while working to improve my skills and body of work.

Time and time again, we see films flocking to the states that allow tax credits and breaks for productions. Not convinced? See how the film landscape has changed in the last several years for cities like Atlanta, New Orleans, and Seattle. If the tax incentives are cut in Massachusetts, and major projects get pulled out of the state, it will mean that thousands of working actors will be forced to look for work in other states. Many of these actors, including myself, will have to uproot themselves and follow the work wherever it goes. Please save Massachusetts film jobs!

 

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