March 24, 2023


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‘Ellen Needs Insurance’ is the real story of an actor’s quest to get coverage : NPR

‘Ellen Needs Insurance’ is the real story of an actor’s quest to get coverage : NPR

Ellen Haun and Dru Johnston got innovative when they necessary health insurance policies.

Dru Johnston

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Dru Johnston

Ellen Haun and Dru Johnston bought inventive when they desired wellbeing insurance coverage.

Dru Johnston

Creative inspiration can strike from any place. For married few Ellen Haun and Dru Johnston, the two in the leisure sector, it came from a spot of necessity.

Haun is a member of the Monitor Actors Guild, and realized before this drop that she would be $804 shorter of meeting the minimal earnings needed by the union to qualify for well being insurance.

“Just about every year, you have to get paid $26,470 to qualify for well being coverage for the next calendar year. So I failed to consider I was going to strike it. I type of started out panicking,” Haun explained. “I started out trying to post myself for a bunch of unique auditions. I requested my agents if they could get me as several auditions as doable. I started off accomplishing track record perform to type of chip away at what I desired to strike my minimum.”

But despite that scramble, she commenced to anxiety there was not sufficient time or potential bookings for her to fulfill her deadline of December 31. Right after talking about this disaster, the couple came up with an unorthodox alternative – why not make a short film about Ellen needing health insurance coverage, solid her in it, and pay out her the $804 she essential?

So, the strategy for the short film, Ellen Demands Insurance coverage, was born.

It will be created and made by Haun and Johnston, with Haun starring and Johnston directing. The method for obtaining approval from the Monitor Actors Guild on a challenge can be lengthy and bureaucratic, so they made sure to obtain an government producer, Darren Miller, who would continue to keep their creation in verify with paperwork and deadlines.

Now, their principal emphasis is casting elements and crowdfunding the project so they can begin filming in December.

The crew is aiming to raise $30,000 for the project, a lofty sounding number for a one-girl demonstrate. So significantly, they have elevated in excess of $10,000. Haun and Johnston figured, if they were going by all the trouble of generating a movie for this objective, why not assistance many others in a comparable place?

“We were being like, if we are likely to do that, we’re going to go all out, and we could as properly try to get as several actors as doable health and fitness insurance coverage,” Johnston said.

They are now seeking to cast 15 actors who are also near to meeting their wellness insurance bare minimum, and then pay them the distinct amount of money needed to strike the goal.

If they surpass their fundraising purpose, they say they will write and cast additional elements for the production to spread the prosperity as much as possible. The couple has prepared a script, and Haun suggests she is on the lookout ahead to producing anything she feels very pleased of.

“I think this is why the two Dru and I are in comedy. Composing about the absurdity of how significantly [insurance] costs and how really hard it is to preserve your doctor if your insurance coverage improvements? I you should not know, you can find humor in it. It makes me feel a lot superior to laugh about it,” Haun mentioned.

Soon after getting married, the couple was ready to assert each individual other for wellbeing insurance policies protection. Now, they will equally rely on Ellen conference the minimum.

Seed and Spark

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Seed and Spark

After receiving married, the couple was ready to claim each individual other for wellbeing insurance policy protection. Now, they’ll both equally depend on Ellen meeting the minimum.

Seed and Spark

The couple states that battling to fulfill insurance policies minimums is not distinctive to their instances. The uncertainty of functioning in the enjoyment industry, and lifestyle by itself, indicates that at times you just will not know how a lot of careers you can expect to be booking. In fact, Johnston came up with the plan for a meta wellness coverage film 5 yrs earlier, when he observed himself in a comparable circumstance, but ended up lacking the window to qualify that calendar year.

“In this marketplace, they often say an strategy is in no way useless. It just kind of goes to sleep and stays dormant. And in the worst feasible way, that’s just what this thought is, a dystopian notion [that] just keeps coming back again around,” Johnston claimed.

“We just type of preferred to exhibit how ridiculous it is that no issue how tricky you hustle, insurance plan is just this issue that should really not be tied to your employment.”

For Haun, it truly is far more than just commentary.

“Insurance policy, as an actor, form of results in being psychological. I don’t forget the first time I capable, I was 27. I had just booked a seriously big industrial. I was so proud of myself and I was so psyched,” she explained. “And then, as the yrs have absent on, I am like, I’m actually glad I have this insurance coverage protection. But also, this does not operate terrific.”

Ellen Desires Insurance policies is prepared for release in spring 2023. For more info and updates, take a look at

Disclaimer: NPR personnel are offered membership to SAG-AFTRA.