A MESSAGE FROM THE
By Mark DeMichele
The newsletter’s theme in this issue is day jobs and acting. My philosophy over the years has generally been to get as many spigots of income open as possible from as many different sources as possible. Acting onstage and in media, directing and teaching have consistently generated income for me, but the very nature of our work is part-time or temporary at best. It has always seemed to me a question of what to do with the non-performing time? As a teacher, I have always felt that the most important skill that performance classes taught, usually unspoken, was the skill to economically survive while waiting for the next film, TV movie, commercial, stage play or industrial.
We actors do have valuable skills for the business world — for example, product delivery. We are extremely good at delivering our performances on time and on topic. I once toured a Costa Rican coffee plantation, where bilingual actors conveyed all the information, culminating in an interactive sketch. I later met the company CEO and asked, “Why the strong reliance on actors?” He said to me, “Simply, they are the best people to convey routine information in a precise, consistent and engaging manner.”
I have always had a strong entrepreneurial instinct, and I never fully subscribed to the starving artist thing, but I acknowledge that sacrifice naturally comes with the territory. Part of acting is risk taking, as my professors at Stony Brook University used to say, so I have applied risk taking to a variety of non-artistic activities in the areas of real estate development, construction and services.
Every now and then those activities draw directly on my professional performance skills. I was once asked to consult on a website for entrepreneurs, which ultimately led to my becoming a host/reporter of sorts, which then led to a SAG Industrial/Educational Contract.
I am not alone in knowing that, for now, the economy will still be a challenge. But I am also not alone in doing what all of my talented, risk-taking colleagues are doing — surviving.
REACHED WITH AMPTP
It was announced on November 7 that Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA, AFL-CIO) have reached a tentative agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) on successor agreements to the Producers-Screen Actors Guild Codified Basic Agreement for feature motion pictures, scripted network primetime television and pay television programs, Exhibit A of the AFTRA National Code of Fair Practice for Network Television Broadcasting (covering scripted network primetime and pay television programs), and The CW Supplement.
The new three-year agreement is subject to approval by the Joint National Board of Screen Actors Guild and AFTRA, and ratification by the unions’ memberships. The current contracts expire on June 30, 2011, and the new three-year agreement will be effective from July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2014.
For more of this story, click here.
NEW AND RETURNING
Screen Actors Guild announced on September 23 elections results for the Guild’s National Board of Directors. Twenty-seven of the 69 National Board seats were open for election this year, representing Screen Actors Guild’s Hollywood, New York and Regional Branch Divisions. The newly elected National Board members assumed office on September 25. SAG’s Hollywood Division elected thirteen new National Board members; the New York Division elected five members; and nine National Board members were elected from the union’s Branches in Arizona, Chicago, Florida, Georgia, Houston, New Mexico, San Francisco, Seattle and Utah.
For the complete story, including National Board members elected, click here.
A HANDY KEY FOR
Many of you know of the Film Contract Digest, the small red pamphlet that summarizes each of our low budget agreements. These digests have been reprinted by SAGIndie and are available upon request. Send an e-mail to Arizona Executive Director Don Livesay at email@example.com and ask him to send a few to you. They are intended for your information as well as to hand to producers who might be willing to use you in an upcoming film.
One of the best lines you may ever say is, “I am a member of Screen Actors Guild, and would you like to know how easy it is to hire me?” Have a digest on hand, so when employers want to know more, you can give them the right answers right on cue.
PERFORMERS' FORUM A
POSSIBILITY NEXT YEAR
By Ted Raymond
Council Member Alternate
A hot topic at council and membership meetings is building membership and reaching out to all actors to let them know how vital SAG membership is to their careers. Our executive, Don Livesay, mentioned that a performers’ forum had been hosted here in the past with the above aim and with good results. Of course, he also noted that it’s a labor-intensive endeavor for SAG member volunteers.
Such a project probably wouldn’t be feasible between now and next summer, as there are already items on the docket, but how about setting a goal of next fall in conjunction with our fall membership meeting?
We could follow the example of New Mexico, which recently staged The Business of Acting Conference 2010, at which exhibitors included businesses devoted to the mechanics of acting, such as photographers. They also had producers, directors, casting directors and name actors in panels and seminars, representing the creative side of acting.
If you’re interested in getting involved in making a performers’ forum a reality, or if you’d like to share any thoughts on the matter, please get in touch with me through firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Elaine “E.E.” Moe
Vice President Northern Arizona
The Women’s Committee made major contributions this fall. In September, SAG approved our letter to network and cable television in support of hiring women of diversity for high-profile roles in movies of the week and television series. Efforts, which continue, also included reaching out to the Writers Guild. The response by the television executives to the tone and quality of content has been positive for further development in the mature actor category.
Other national initiatives receiving approval in time for participation included:
• SAG Diversity Awareness Month, which included financial sponsorship of the screening of Night Catches Us at La Femme Film Festival in Beverly Hills
• The Diamond in the Raw Awards, a luncheon celebrating Hollywood stuntwomen
• The Florida screening of Invisible Women
• And the “It Ain’t Over ’Til It’s Over” Cold Reading Seminar in Los Angeles
As a member of the National Affirmative Action and Diversity Committee, I invite you to please submit ideas that I can present to the Women’s Committee for funding approval. While our focus may appear to be strictly women’s issues, we are open to all inclusive concepts that benefit our members. Please read our extensive calendar of events posted on the SAG website here. It is most impressive and truly embraces the reason why we honor diversity.
Elaine “E.E.” Moe is artistic director and co-founder of the Megaw Actors Studio.
The Phoenix Film Office is now on Twitter! To subscribe, click here. Twitter will be used to announce upcoming events and job opportunities. The account will also notify followers about the completion of recent projects that have utilized city services and will provide updates and news on the film office.
Economic Impact of the Phoenix Film Industry
Despite the local and national recession causing Phoenix's economy to decline further and faster than anticipated last year, the Phoenix film industry has remained relatively consistent in regard to the number of projects filmed and the jobs created over the past fiscal year (July 2009 to June 2010). The Phoenix Film Office issued 146 film permits for all types of projects, including but not limited to: feature films, commercials, still photography, documentaries, music videos, corporate/industrial films and webcasts. Overall, Greater Phoenix attracted 380 film projects to the Valley and employed 3,796 skilled technicians and actors, shot for 1,653 days and accumulated 5,253 hotel nights.
It's a Wrap! Recent Projects
To view the projects that have selected Phoenix as their filming location, head on over to this website, where a complete history is available dating back to 1950. For more information, call the Phoenix Film Office at (602) 262-4850.
BookPALS (Performing Artists for Literacy in Schools) is YOUR organization. This national literacy program is sponsored by the Screen Actors Guild Foundation. BookPALS places performing artists in disadvantaged elementary schools to read aloud to children on a weekly basis. BookPALS is founded on a very clear premise that “children should be exposed to the magic of books to develop a love of reading.” The art of storytelling is an actor’s craft. No one brings life to a book better than an actor! You can showcase your talents to the most open, appreciative audiences ever, and your payment? Applause and hugs!
Please join us and read to kids in Arizona. Our volunteers have been reading in Arizona since 1998, and are in 57 schools around the state, reading to more than 6,500 students.
There are many ways to be involved. You can read aloud in a classroom, on a telephone line or at special events like Dr. Seuss Day. You can collect books from your church or workplace to give to kids who don’t have books at home. Or you can be a PencilPAL and write to a student during the school year.
Recent milestones for Arizona BookPALS:
• 90 PencilPALS
• Donation from the Arizona Humanities Council – 90 hardback multicultural books for Humanities Month
• Trained 25 Junior BookPALS to read to younger students in their own school
• Trained volunteer readers from the North Phoenix Baptist Church
• Partnered with Reading Tree and Fry’s Foods to distribute 7,000 books to every child in three elementary schools.
If the people you know at work or church would like to be trained as BookPALS, contact Ellen Dean at Arizona@bookpals.net.
OPT FOR PAPERLESS
Screen Actors Guild will soon offer free, paperless billing of your membership dues via your preferred e-mail account.
It’s yet another way we’re more efficiently serving you–cutting costs (not to mention clutter in your home), making your billing instantaneous, and, as part of our ongoing green initiative, doing our small part to save the environment.
Click here for more information, and you’re on your way to receiving an electronic facsimile of your spring dues bill online, accessible at any time for downloading (and printing should you ever need to).
You can also pay your dues online with a click of your mouse. No paper. No stamps. And as a benefit for paperless billing subscribers, each new bill will be stored in our system to reference at your convenience.
SAG members must be registered on SAG.org to take advantage of this member benefit. Once enrolled in paperless billing, you will be notified by e-mail when your new dues bill is available for viewing. Of course, you can always revert back to “U.S. Mail” at any time.
SAG MOURNS PASSING
OF KEN ORSATTI
Screen Actors Guild mourns the loss of former SAG National Executive Director Ken Orsatti, who passed away August 31 of pulmonary disease at West Hills Hospital in West Hills, Calif. He was 78. Orsatti served as national executive director from 1981 through the beginning of 2001, and was also a former Hollywood executive director. During his tenure as NED, Orsatti also served as the Guild’s chief negotiator, a period that saw dramatic expansion of the union’s contracts and record setting earnings for its members. He was a SAG employee since 1961.
Orsatti served as a trustee of the SAG-Producers Pension & Health Plans for more than 35 years, and proudly served as a vice president of the International Federation of Actors. He successfully led a campaign to organize the advertising industry in the Guild’s Branches and helped negotiate numerous local and regional contracts that created work opportunities for thousands of members. Click here for more information.
If you haven’t done so already, please pay your dues today. If you are not an active paid-up member in good standing, you will not be able to serve on the council or committees in the future.
You must also be paid to date to register on iActor, the Guild’s online casting program, which is now being used by casting directors nationwide.
If you any questions regarding your dues, please contact the Membership Department at (800) SAG-0767, prompt 2.
Our newsletter, Arizona Close Up, is written by Arizona SAG members. Arizona Close Up is getting noticed by Branches around the country, and even is sparking new conversations at National. Please add your voice; this publication is meant to reflect the voices of all our Arizona SAG members. Do you have an idea or a story to share, some inspiring tidbit to offer others to encourage them on their way in the perilous, exhilarating career of acting that we have all chosen? Please add your voice, write your story, no matter how halting or ineffectively you think you write. We will groom and shape and ask you questions until your idea or story becomes “newsletter-worthy.” Connect with Arizona Executive Director Don Livesay, email@example.com, and he will put you on the right path.
By Betsy Beard
Arizona Executive Vice President
and Arizona Close Up Editor
Welcoming SAG National Secretary-Treasurer Amy Aquino are Arizona President Mark DeMichele, National Board Director Steve Fried, Council Alternate Deborah Hall and Arizona Branch Executive Don Livesay.
At our most recent membership meeting, we were honored to have Screen Actors Guild Secretary-Treasurer Amy Aquino as a guest. She paid tribute to Lucky Hayes, one of Arizona’s most outstanding leaders, praising her for keeping Arizona’s star in the forefront of national recognition.
Aquino addressed the group, who met at a wonderful new media-training facility at Collins College in Tempe, and brought us inspiration, encouragement and active insights into the opportunities available for SAG actors living (and working) in "right-to-work" states. She told us how SAG staff is creating more accessible, searchable contracts, and will offer tutorials and extended mentorship to new and established SAG-signatory productions. Aquino offered praise and recognition to the Arizona membership for resourceful and diligent pursuits of securing contracts in a stressful economic downturn. She also brought forth a startling truth: we all need to be reminded that we now encounter several generations of artists that have no knowledge of unions and why they evolved to protect the creative artist.
We thank Secretary-Treasurer Aquino for making the trip, and wish her the best of luck in current negotiations, and support her in the grander effort of merging SAG and AFTRA.
Aquino joins us for the Arizona Branch Council meeting on October 2. Front: Mark DeMichele; first row: Amy Aquino, Sean Kapera, Marla Price, Ted Raymond; second row: Nancy Hall, Don Frye, Elaine “e.e.” Moe, Steve Fried and Don Livesay; third row: Deborah Hall, Burney Starks and Betsy Beard.
Members have a comfortable place to meet at the filmmaker training center at Collins College in Tempe. Georgia Goodwin is in the foreground.
By Marla Price
Council Member at Large
It’s a good thing we live in the high-tech world that we do or there would not be as many job opportunities available. Surely we would all like to be steadily working actors, but at the same time, reality bites and bills need to be paid. Over the years, I have secured many types of part-time and temporary employment. Some have had flexible hours; others have called for working remotely. Aside from the typical part-time jobs that come to mind for most of us (restaurants and retail), below is a list of some others that you might consider. Most folks (and actors in particular) have "transferable skills" that can be applied to many types of jobs.
These days, this work can be performed not only part-time but also from home. I work part-time for a placement agency back East from my home here in Arizona. This work involves (but is not limited to) conducting phone interviews with candidates, prospecting referrals, recruiting via the Internet, conducting reference checks, preparing candidates for interviews and obtaining interview follow-ups with candidates and client companies. Compensation is ether straight salary, salary plus commission, or all commission. Bonuses are often attached to the compensation plan.
Professional Resume Writer
Have solid resume writing skills? Possess an English or related degree? Did you find that you actually enjoyed writing your own resume (or a friend’s)? Writing resumes for a living just may be your niche. Again, this can be done on your schedule, working from home. Start by helping write some personal friends’/family members’ resumes and do it free of charge (at first). Then, if you discover they have secured interviews, then great! It may be, in part, due to your resume writing. Then you can start charging a small fee for your service (i.e., $25-$50). Once you have begun receiving positive feedback from your "clients" and feel confident in your abilities, you can always set up a domain/website and arrange to receive payments from PayPal.
Performing Demonstrations of Products or Services
I have been doing this off and on for many years. Typically, it's weekend hours (four-hour to six-hour shifts). Various shifts are usually available. You could be demonstrating a pharmaceutical item one day and a cake mix the next. You could demonstrate products like blenders or vacuum cleaners. Sounding confident about the product/service is critical (even if you do not believe in it yourself). Hey, isn't that called ACTING?
Mystery shoppers visit businesses and evaluate customer service, floor service and cleanliness. I visited one sporting goods store so frequently I was afraid they would recognize me. I changed my appearance each time. My favorite assignment was a maternity shop where I had to pretend to be pregnant. These days you can register online with various services, but be sure to check them out first. Years ago only a few existed; today there's a plethora, and many are bogus.
Your “roles” as a mystery shopper will include appearances in restaurants, clothing stores, bowling alleys, party shops and more. The work takes a few hours (over the course of a day or two). Sometimes you will be asked to make a purchase one day, and a day or two later, you will be returning it (or the company will simply reimburse you for it). You must be a discrete note taker and comfortable using a computer as you will need to submit your reports online in a timely manner. Payment is usually via a PayPal account.
For assisting logistics at a one- or two-day event, a worker is typically paid by the hour, and the entrance fee to the event is waived. This could be for a fair or a special party sponsored by a company or individual or opening of a new store or restaurant. With the summer behind us, there are numerous events going on in Arizona. It's good to attend these events, talk to the event folks and find out what companies they represent. You can then research the companies online.
Many companies sponsor "road shows,” especially over the holiday season, where they bring their product to the public. It could be for jewelry, candy, some other food or beverage, or any other product. Whenever I meet folks that work these events, I make a point to find out for whom they actually work, the hours, the pay rate and so forth. It never hurts to ask. Shifts last from four to 12 hours, so you MUST be able to stand for several hours without issue. Road shows may involve traveling to another city, typically on the company’s dime. The work can be cyclical, with October through December being the busiest.
Although I have never worked in an "official" call center, I helped run an "800" line (before the Internet). Scripts were provided. There are many advertisements on the ’Net for folks to work in call centers. Since usually this is a 24/7 operation, the hours are flexible. Arizona happens to be a major location for call center work. There are more than 200 companies in the state with these types of jobs. Most are with banking/financial institutions, insurance companies, airlines and hotels. Dress code is casual, as there is no in-person customer contact.
I hear ya laughin'! Dog walking can actually pay $10 to $15 an hour. I have a friend that does this early in the morning/evening, in conjunction with other work during the day. Aside from helping someone out, dog walking gives you great exercise on a routine basis.
These are just a few ideas to help generate alternate sources of income while waiting for your big break.
Faith Hibbs-Clark, casting director
As the economy improves and our weather cools, Arizona members are anticipating greater opportunities to audition. Helping in that regard, Faith Hibbs-Clark recently signed on for access to iActor, making her the first Arizona casting director to register for SAG’s revolutionary online casting directory.
Simple, functional, convenient and free, iActor puts SAG members at the fingertips of casting professionals, and is the only online casting directory that exclusively features SAG members and automated Station 12 cast clearance. Available to all casting directors working on signatory productions, iActor allows casting professionals to search through members’ headshots, resumes and media by any combination of terms, such as gender, ethnicity, special skills or credits.
By uploading their resumes and headshots, SAG members will be at the fingertips of the industry’s top casting professionals. Members can even use the service to e-mail an electronic copy of that resume to casting directors directly at any time.
Here’s what Hibbs-Clark has to say: "iActor is an indispensable tool that helps our office be more efficient and productive. It is the wave of the future, and we are thrilled to have it be a part of our work day."
If you do not have a picture or resume posted on iActor, you can get started today by logging on here. For questions and technical assistance, e-mail the WebHelp Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or call them toll-free at (800) 724-0767.
By Deborah Lee Hall
Alternate Council Member
Once upon a time, there was a sweet, dark drink, packaged in a funny, curvy bottle with the name written on it in cursive lettering. Today, it is known worldwide. One only needs to see the shape of the bottle or the cursive lettering to recognize it. In fact, we often refer to all cola drinks by that name, even if they are some other brand.
Actors should brand themselves in the same way. What is your brand? When your name comes to mind to casting directors or producers, what are the first elements of your brand they think of? What is your type?
Get out a sheet of paper and write down only five or six words that describe you. Five is better. These few words must precisely reflect who you are today. Not who you were 20, 10 or even five years ago. These descriptive words can change over time, and it can make a huge difference how producers, directors and casting people see you — and your brand.
Recently, I was in a commercial workshop full of SAG actors that was hosted by a well-known local casting director. The experience rocked my world to its foundations. Seemingly overnight, I had moved from being the authoritative, successful professional woman to the successful retiree. But… Wait… I am not that old, I argued. However, when I stopped and really took the time to study commercials – it was a commercial workshop, after all – I found that women around my age and type were not in office settings or playing successful business people. Instead, they were portraying young active grandmas in Capri pants playing on the beach, ladies who lunch with friends discussing medications, or the better halves of handsome couples looking at retirement resort living, just to name a few. Business women on TV today are 20 years younger than I am.
Therefore, those five or six words that were once my brand are no longer consistent with my current marketing strategies. Oh, I am still going to be described as tall, but now, instead of “knowledgeable” and “educated,” better words to describe me might be “wise” and “commanding.” I still haven’t quite landed on the exact five or six words to describe my new brand, but my marketing tools will come more easily as I begin to reflect my new brand, my new type. Everything is changing – photos, wardrobe, agents’ verbal descriptions, hairstyle. All these changes will reinforce my new brand, making it easier to sell my services as an actor.
Remember, when you are settling on your brand, it’s not the characters you can play but parts that others see you playing. Take the time to study for what roles your “type” is being hired. Reinforce your brand by always returning to those five or six words. Then ask yourself: Do my marketing tools reinforce my brand, or are they inconsistent and confusing to the people to whom I want to sell my service? You know what to do with the answer.
“Break a leg” to all you business women types out there. I’ll be playing with someone else’s grandkids on the beach.
By Bill Killian
Editor’s note: Actors everywhere have taken day jobs to make ends meet on the road to stardom. They have created other careers for themselves to satisfy urges outside the need to perform. This is especially true in Arizona, where union acting jobs are not as plentiful as in New York or Los Angeles.
Bill Killian is one Arizona actor who has been able to meld his interests and his acting career and create new successes for himself, even after 55 years as an actor. His example of finding skills and interests inside himself and “acting” on them, is an object lesson for us all. In this, the 55th year of his career, Killian is enjoying unprecedented success (for anyone) in having a book of poetry published, a CD of songs in production with professional songwriters and musicians, a part in a feature film being released in November, and a starring role in a training DVD — about making free throws in basketball, of all things.
In every case, these successes are a result of him following his passions, developing things he cares for, such as perfection in basketball, poetry and acting. What are your special interests, your passions? Maybe they hold the key to your greatest success.
I learned early on that if I decided to live in a limited market city that I would have to create my own work. You have to invent your own career if you choose not to move to a major urban area. Sometimes even actors in larger markets are forced to invent their own careers.
Enough of the bad news. The good news is that it’s right there in front of you, and better yet, it’s in you. Your hobbies, passions and interests may hold the key to your future.
2010 is the best year of my acting career, which began in 1955. Most of the projects that are being completed today were years in the making, and I was tempted to give up many times.
Even though I started playing basketball at the age of 4, I was never an outstanding player. In my retirement years, I have perfected the free throw; my current record stands at 226 completed throws in a row, and I’ve done over a hundred more than 75 times. I started informally coaching at local schools and the YMCA, and I’ve coached clinics for all kinds of players. It was just something I loved, and it developed into a teaching video – Nail It! With the Free Throw Doc.
All through my career, I’ve written poetry from the perspective of the characters I have played. Even though I did not receive much encouragement along the way, I kept at it, and now, with the help of a professional editor and Imago Press, I have a book of poetry coming out, All the Faces I Have Been: An Actor’s Notebook.
Some of that poetry became songs, co-authored and in production by local Tucson artists. The hard work and years of keeping my goals in mind are paying off in dreams coming true in a big way.
Don't listen to the naysayers or those voices in your head that sabotage your dreams. Find a hobby, perfect it, turn it into art and let it fill your life. You'll never be the same. If you're waiting on the phone to ring for someone to make you a star, at least have a good book on your desk to read. Better yet, write the damn book. If you've been dreaming about something all your life, now is the time to do it.
By Rodd Wolff
Editor’s note: Member Rodd Wolff has been mentored by some of the legendary cowboys of the silver screen. One of these was Ben Johnson (1918-1996), who was a rodeo star before he became an actor. Wolff met Johnson on Rio Lobo, and their friendship grew over the years. Hired as a wrangler on numerous westerns in the 1940s, Johnson was booked as the riding double for Henry Ford in Fort Apache. A team of horses accidentally stampeded, drawing a wagon with three men in it. As he would tell the story in later years, he was “just settin’ on a horse” and he boldly rode in to stop the team and the wagon, saving the men, and catching the eye of director John Ford. His “reward” was a seven-year contract at $5,000 a week, far more than cowboy wages. Here Wolff remembers.
Every day that I go out to feed and work my horses, I can’t help but think of Ben Johnson, a cowboy’s cowboy, movie stuntman, world champion team roper, Academy Award-winning actor and all-around wonderful human being.
Ben’s religion was the Golden Rule — treat others the way you want to be treated. He said he’d rather spend time talking to folks than just “makin’ more money to pay more taxes.”
Ben was a little old fashioned and proud of it. He was interested in making movies you could take the family to. He didn’t like the four-letter words. He wasn’t raised that way, he’d say, and then he’d add, “And I’m sure glad I wasn’t!” Whenever he heard such language, he thought it showed a “lack of bringin’ up.”
Over some of Mrs. Johnson’s pudding, Ben and I would talk stunts. He taught me how to check a horse for soundness — how to check the legs and feet, the bars (gums where the bit rests) for damage, and a horse’s “wind,” or stamina. Ben told me, “There’s ways to cheat a horse and get enough advantage over his bigness and weight to let him know you mean business.” Ben Johnson certainly meant business around horses, and his muscular yet graceful riding brought excitement to many Westerns of his era.
So every morning when I go out to the horses, there’s always something that reminds me of a lesson Ben taught me. My life has been made richer for having known that great cowboy, Ben Johnson.
By Steve Fried
National Board Director
Good things are on the horizon unless you (that means YOU, the paid-up, voting member) blow it!
Recent elections throughout the Guild set the stage for dynamic change this year (2010-2011). This was especially significant in the Hollywood Division, which occupies the largest number of seats on the National Board. Of the 35 people who were elected in the Hollywood Division for 13 board member seats and 22 alternates, 33 ran supporting merger with AFTRA! So what might all that signify?
First, it should mean a less contentious National Board Room. That means that more time will be spent crafting positive actions to make our life less stressful. That is where I come in as your National Board rep. I won't blow anything there!
Second, although we were already in lock step with AFTRA entering negotiations, the pro-merger/AFTRA-friendly tone of the National Board will surely eliminate the tension that had built up between SAG and AFTRA. This is where you come in. We must support our joint negotiating team! Our team is the voice of the Guild, so let's not publicly take an action that would erode their "authority.” Be attentive to any request of us from our national leaders. Support their efforts.
Third, and perhaps the most critically important, is the absolute necessity that we merge with AFTRA! This is where you, the paid-up member, are in control.
It is a fact that the national leaders of both unions are in preliminary talks regarding effecting a merger. Remember, wishing isn't enough; 60 percent of SAG membership must vote in favor. If you agree that merger must occur, there is no need to read further. Be sure you are paid up when the time comes to vote.
But if there is the slightest doubt, if you are gullible and believe the negative rhetoric that is sure to come, then listen up!
When the unions initially merge (and that module might be different than we now know SAG/AFTRA, and may leave room for related unions), not all the problems will be solved, like the merger of the pension and health plans – but that will come later. Remember, AFTRA has performers other than just actors within their union, such as broadcasters and recording artists. Any prospect of merger must include in the module all elements of both SAG and AFTRA. A plan to just have what some call an "actors union only" just ain't gonna cut it! Enough said.
For those who are apprehensive regarding a merger of SAG and AFTRA, speak now (to me) or forever hold your peace! Let me know your qualms so I can get an answer to eliminate your fears. E-mail me through our executive at email@example.com. I will respond!
To be continued...
LIFE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD WILL GO TO BORGNINE
Ernest Borgnine, who is exuberantly entering his seventh decade of creating memorable characters and award-winning performances, will receive Screen Actors Guild’s most prestigious accolade, the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award for career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment. A former National Board member, Borgnine, has performed in more than 200 motion pictures, five television series and dozens of television films and guest appearances. He will be presented the award, given annually to an actor who fosters the “finest ideals of the acting profession,” at the 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards®, which premieres live on TNT and TBS on Sunday, Jan. 30, 2011, at 8 p.m. ET/PT, 7 p.m. CT, 6 p.m. MT.
In making the announcement August 18, Screen Actors Guild President Ken Howard said, “Whether portraying brutish villains, sympathetic everymen, complex leaders or hapless heroes, Ernest Borgnine has brought a boundless energy which, at 93, is still a hallmark of his remarkably busy life and career. It is with that same joyous spirit that we salute his impressive body of work and his steadfast generosity.”
For more about the honoree, click here.
5757 Wilshire Boulevard, 7th Floor
Los Angeles, California