Get to Know Payroll Manager Tiffany Dyer, Face of the New ERPS Office in Albuquerque!
By Sandy Drayton |
After working with productions filmed in New Mexico for years, we’ve just announced the opening of an ERPS office in Albuquerque. The location is a big draw for the production community. “New Mexico has been a nationwide leader in incentive programs for two decades,” says Kathleen Thompson, our Head of Production Incentives. “Producers love to work in this beautiful state because it’s truly production friendly and they appreciate being able to count on established tax incentives that are among the most generous in the country.” The timing is also perfect, given the current expansion of the Netflix studio in Albuquerque, that includes the addition of 10 new sound stages and other improvements that will make it the streaming platform’s main production facility in North America. Our new status as an official state vendor means that productions filming in New Mexico are entitled to earn back a significant percentage of whatever they spend with ERPS.
Fresh opportunities are blooming in the desert, and Payroll Manager Tiffany Dyer will be leading the charge in Albuquerque. She joined the ERPS family in 2019, with nearly a decade of payroll experience which includes processing many billions of dollars in production payroll in New Mexico for a slew of prestigious studio movies, widely recognized TV shows and independent films. Here’s a look at how the local resident got started and what she loves about the entertainment world.
After studying film and theater in college, Tiffany knew she wanted to pursue a career in the entertainment industry—though the specifics of that job shifted over time. “I got my start as an office production assistant for a short-lived TV show called Easy Money that was shot in and around Albuquerque,” she says. “I worked in that capacity for two years before transitioning to vendor payroll services because I was seeking more stability while still wishing to remain creative.”
That left brain-right brain dichotomy allows Tiffany to happily “nerd out” on tasks like interpreting contracts and cutting checks, and it’s granted her the freedom to buy a house, travel and accomplish various professional goals. Simultaneously, the payroll pro occasionally gets to dip a toe in glam by attending wrap parties for hit shows such as Breaking Bad and In Plain Sight, or snapping photos with actors Seth MacFarlane (at the wrap party for A Million Ways to Die in the West), Anne Heche (at The Brave wrap party) and Jeff Bridges (at the Albuquerque Film & Music Experience festival).
Despite frequent celebrity encounters, Tiffany felt “giddy excited” after running into actress Marlee Matlin at Hollywood Burbank Airport several years ago. The Academy Award winner was flying to an anniversary screening for Children of a Lesser God, the critically acclaimed 1986 film that made her the only deaf winner in Oscars’ history. “I also studied American Sign Language in college, so we were able to communicate,” said Tiffany. After introductions in ASL, Tiffany shared what she does for work. Matlin, having been paid by many entertainment payroll companies, immediately joked, “Where’s my check?” She then offered to share her trail mix.
Along with famous icons, Tiffany looks for inspiration to a few stars closer to home. “I’ve been blessed to work under some strong female managers who’ve made a difference in my professional life,” she said. “Artine Malyan (ERPS’s VP of Payroll) has helped me grow both as a person and in my career, and I feel such a tight connection to Flo Mitchell-Brown (Head of Industry Engagement).”
Coming Full Circle
Before payroll mentors and star-studded premieres, however, Tiffany was a licensed skydiver who clocked 95 jumps until a back injury grounded her for good. Yet vital lessons were learned during her time spent in the sky, which still apply to her working life today. “Diving into analyzing contracts isn’t so different from jumping out of a plane,” she says. “You have to understand the mechanics of how things function, be it your rig and parachute or the numbers and details on a page.”
These days, Tiffany’s hobbies are somewhat less thrill-inducing, though equally rewarding. She’s taken up crocheting, a mindfulness practice that requires counting and pattern-following and is a good way to unwind after work. She also became the proud parent of Autumn, a Cavapoo —aka, a cross between a Cavalier King Charles spaniel and a poodle—during lockdown. Of course, the opening of the Albuquerque office will keep the pro busy. “New Mexico offers so much to productions, and our crew and talent base here are unparalleled,” she says. “At ERPS, we’re thrilled to continue supporting film and television production efforts in New Mexico by providing exemplary entertainment payroll services as an official state vendor.”