Dallas/Ft. Worth 2011:11

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The Official E-Newsletter of the Dallas/Ft. Worth Branch
The Official E-Newsletter of the Dallas/Ft. Worth Branch
November 2011


Newly elected National Board member Suzanne Burkhead, Vice President Brian Dakota and members at large Ada Lynn, Marco Perella and Sheela Tessler join current DFW council members President Brent Anderson, Secretary Sharon Garrison, and members at large John Athas and Jackie McCall. Congratulations to all.


The DFW Branch has multiple opportunities for you to connect with members and work. Let us know how you would like to participate. Send an email to Trish Avery at trish.avery@sag.org and tell her which of the committees below suits you best:

ProACT — Professional Actor Career Training — offers a variety of educational seminars at little or no cost to members.

Leadership Team offers opportunities to join the think tank of performer leaders working to develop new ideas for changing markets. This team works to create new opportunities for employers and members. Networking is key to career success. The Leadership Team recieves a monthly calendar of important statewide industry events to facilitate networking.

Speakers Bureau offers information and education to the next generation of producers, directors and performers. The Bureau trains member speakers to connect with schools, groups and organizations to provide information on contracts, industry development and membership.

SAG Awards Viewing Party produces a local viewing party of the televised awards show featuring its own red carpet, live band, food, prizes and live hookup to other Texas SAG Awards viewing parties statewide, all to benefit the Texas Motion Picture Alliance (TXMPA).  Save the date – Sunday, January 29, 2012. Note: Only paid-up SAG members will receive screeners and are allowed to vote on the awards.


You’ve been cast in a corporate-industrial project, but the script reads like a commercial. What do you do? Give your agent or the office a call.

Recently, there has been some confusion on projects listed as corporate-industrial projects that actually turned out to be commercials. The confusion sometimes stems from the distribution model — broadcast vs. Internet. Some producers think if it’s Internet, it must be corporate-industrial. Not true — a commercial is a commercial, regardless of its broadcast method. A project can be made for the Internet or nonbroadcast use and still qualify as a commercial when it is promoting a commercial product or service.

How can you tell when it is a commercial? The project features a product in the shot or involves an advertising agency, or the copy reads like a commercial. These are all hints that the project may indeed be a commercial and entitled to be paid at the higher commercial rates.

Your staff can help you and the producer determine the correct contract and payment due on your project. When in doubt, call us at (214) 379-1171.


You often hear from us on matters of contracts, productions, dues, etc. Now, it’s our turn to listen. 

As the Houston and DFW organizing teams focus on getting more work opportunities for members, we need to know what is important to you and not guess. Please take 10 minutes out of your day to answer our brief, anonymous survey

Your participation is crucial to our success in providing information to employers and support to your career growth.

Many thanks for your participation!

— The SAG and AFTRA leadership team in Texas.


Members, log in to SAG's website and click here to see current production activity in Texas.

New: Melissa Cordero, Robert Grossman

Transfer In: Heather Ballentine, Cardo, Diana Charles, Rhonda Claerbaut, Billy Ray Johnson, Ryan Livingston, Stephen Owen, Marin Van Vleck, Gaston Willig


We tweet last-minute casting calls. Join TXSAGNetwork on Twitter.

Email – Do we have your email address? Things move fast on the set, and we need your current information
to connect you with a project looking to fill a role. Call the office to make sure we have your current email and phone at (214) 379-1171.

Brent Anderson

Brent Anderson
DFW Branch President

President’s Message

I enjoyed seeing everyone at our recent fall membership meeting at MediaTech on October 3, where SAG and AFTRA presented a panel featuring representatives of union-franchised agencies in DFW. We had a great discussion about our business with the agents, and I think several members made some connections in terms of new agency representation. The relationships we have with our agents are an important part of our success as performers, and we always appreciate the opportunity to engage them in candid discussions that benefit us all.

The highlight of the evening for me was catching up with a local member who I met a few years ago over the phone, when he was struggling with a casting dilemma. I mentioned this in an article back then, and maybe some of you remember. He was being offered a large role in a local low-budget film — basically as the main bad guy — but the producers were asking him to drop out of SAG, since it was not going to be a union film. He wound up convincing the producers to sign the project to a SAG contract, and kept the role without having to jeopardize his union status.

I finally got to meet him in person on October 3, and it turns out that he’s been involved with several projects created by this production team since — all of them under contract. He mentioned that our talk helped him realize that putting his union membership at risk should never be an option, since any project can be signed to a SAG or AFTRA contract — if the producers are shown how easy it can be.

He’s now a very vocal proponent of our contracts, and works hard to turn every job he can. He also knows that our local SAG and AFTRA offices here in DFW have his back when it comes to working out the details for each job. 

Lesson learned? It’s YOUR union and YOUR career, and any job can be covered by YOUR contracts — if YOU work to make it happen. And remember, your DFW SAG and AFTRA staff and leadership are here to help.

Until next time, have a wonderful October!

Suzanne Burkhead

Suzanne Burkhead
SAG National Board, G1 Alternate

National Board Report

The G1 is continuing its work to facilitate the creation of one union to represent all members of the Screen Actors Guild and AFTRA. The Group for One Union met in New York in August, when members and staff of both unions held meetings by video and teleconference between New York and Los Angeles. Originally scheduled as face-to-face meetings in New York, members and staff were cautioned not to travel due to the impending landfall of Hurricane Irene in New York and elsewhere along the East Coast. The G1 received a presentation from its Member Education and Outreach Workgroup, and reviewed and discussed findings and recommendations of its Governance and Structure Workgroup. Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations Professor Susan J. Schurman and noted labor consultant Peter S. DiCicco facilitated the weekend meetings.

In October, the G1 met in Los Angeles, where it received status reports from Secretary-Treasurer Amy Aquino, National Executive Director David White and the six workgroups. The workgroups (Governance and Structure; Finance and Dues; Collective Bargaining; Pension, Health, and Retirement; Operations and Staff; and Member Education Outreach) are continuing to discuss issues of concern to members. I am a member of two groups: Governance and Structure, and Operations and Staff. I can tell you that the interests and concerns of members from all markets, large and small, across the country, have been heard. Options that address those interests and concerns are being formulated.

The plan is still to present a merger agreement, national constitution and dues structure to each union’s national board in January. Our goal is to create a plan for a successor union that wins support and positions our members for a stronger future.

Please share with me any and all questions, concerns or ideas you may have about how I can best advocate for your concerns and ideas on the G1 and workgroups. It’s critically important that we create one union that works for all of us.

Dallas/Ft. Worth Branch Welcomes Agents Panel at Membership Meeting

Members from both SAG and AFTRA met at MediaTech on October 3 to hear the latest on local and national news, followed by a panel discussion with DFW franchised agents. Members were able to hear firsthand the competitive and technological changes that are facing our industry. Agents expressed the need for legitmacy in the industry now that the Texas Talent Agents Act has been dissolved and they stated that the agency franchise has now become the most important factor in locating knowledgable and legitimate talent agents in Texas.

Members were encouraged to be proactive in their careers and work to keep their skill levels up and current, find new ways to create their own work, network with potential employers and become knowledgable about the various SAG contracts to facilitate that work.

 Sharon Garrison

Sharon Garrison
SAG DFW Branch Secretary/Treasurer
ProACT Chair

Pro Act logo

ProACT Sets a New Course for 2012

Our DFW conservatory program, ProACT, is already at work lining up relevant workshops for 2012. New industry challenges require renewed preparation and the ProACT committee is working to provide significant information and training at little or no cost to members. Some of our winter and new year workshops will include:

• Master Class with casting director Beth Sepko
• Think Outside the Box – Working in other markets
• Be Your Own Producer – Create your own work
• Mini Business Sessions – Connecting and using available resources
• Getting to Know Your Contracts – Mini contract sessions
• Script to Screen – Live reads of never-produced films before industry peers

Interested in finding out more? Contact Sheila Cooper at Sheila.Cooper@sag.org and ask to be put on the ProACT mailing list. 

Check Out the Production Center

The online SAG Production Center — your 24/7 resource for rates, contracts, forms and more! Click below:

Production Center