Florida 2011:08

The Official E-Newsletter of the Florida Branch
The Official E-Newsletter of the Florida Branch
August 2011


By Steve Gladstone
Florida Branch President

All of us as union actors have at some point thought about the non-union production market. Perhaps we lived it when we first entered the profession or got approached somewhere along the way to lend our talents to a non-union project. And, at times, we have all decried those projects for not being union or railed against the non-union talent pool for making these productions possible. We are well served to remember that every market has its budget product and its better product. There are "affordable" cars, budget airlines, fast-food restaurants along side fine dining bistros and high-performance vehicles. The fact is, all industry has its high-end and low-end product and both serve different purposes. The best stories that appear on the big and small screens — what we see on the Internet, cable and major movie screens — have always been and remain union shows. And the lion's share of the commercials that outline the comedies and dramas we act in and watch are union gigs. We have all eaten at a fast food joint, but if you want a better burger or a steak you have got to go elsewhere and pay more.

Every market includes non-union production. Some of the work is high-value, but much of it is very low-budget. The Guild’s Organizing Department is actively working toward getting the high-value work under contract, especially in the commercials, television and basic cable arenas. The low-budget, non-union work is a paper tiger we need not fear. Non-union production has always been and always will be part of our industry. If a producer wants a better show, they need to pay residuals, health and pension, protect our image and provide a nice place to work. And for those of us who are blessed enough to make our living entirely from acting or supplement our gigs with a day job, we wouldn't want it any other way.

I think we need to spend more time raising the profile of the union actor: Talk about what members are doing and what SAG is doing for members. If non-union actors feel like they're missing something, they'll join.

Back at the ranch, while all eyes are focused on emerging details of the proposed merger, I can report that our Guild continues to aggressively address the important issues regarding our day-to-day lives as actors. SAG is taking meaningful steps to improve our relationships with our franchised agents, strengthening governance, covering more new media projects and putting renewed focus on diversity in casting (if you are not a white male under 40, that means you!). There’s a lot more happening aboard the mothership.

Though I don't have any hard numbers, I can say beyond a reasonable doubt that TV production in Florida is having a banner year with several TV/cable series lensing now, and theatrical and indie production keeping the auditions and roles coming. It's sizzling for the summer!


Florida members can now get up-to-the-minute information on local and regional castings, as well as SAG events by following us on Twitter. Our for-Florida-members-only site provides local casting information and notices to SAG members around the clock. 

Adjust your settings to keep your information “private,” if you choose, and enable your mobile device to send the information directly to you. We are thrilled to offer this opportunity.

Email julie.balter@sag.org to offer your feedback. Sign up, stay tuned, and see you at the next casting.


South Florida

Event: Florida Branch Membership Meeting — Special guest from Hollywood to be announced soon.
When: Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Time: Reception at 6 p.m., meeting at 7:30 p.m. and a special LifeRaft presentation at 8:30.
Where: Cinema Paradiso, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Click here for more information

Film fest logo
Event: Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival
When: October 21 – November 11
Membership meeting attendees receive two free tickets to film festival movie of choice

Click here for more information about the festival

Central Florida

When:  Friday, September 23
Time:   6:30 – 9 p.m.
Where: Ember, Orlando

Click here for all the details.


Screen Actors Guild is proud to congratulate esteemed agent Cathy Tully, who has been such an integral part of the Florida film industry for so many years. She is the owner/director of Coconut Grove Talent Agency, a full-service SAG, AEA and Writers Guild of America, East agency established in 1980 that represents actors and models of all ages.

A prize-winning author and actress, born in England, Tully has written more than 12 plays and had five produced. Proud mother to SAG member Angela Tully, she has two beautiful grandchildren, Ryan, age 8, and Leanne, age 5, to whom she’s known as “Gaga” (Ryan insists that Lady Gaga stole the name). Cathy Tully’s first paying job was at the age of 5, when she earned two shillings and six pence singing You Are My Sunshine.

She is a graduate of Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and Birmingham College of Art. After emigrating to the United States with her son, Paul, she served as private secretary to Stanley Burt Andrews at the British Consulate in St. Louis, Mo. Later, she transferred to the Miami British Consulate. She also worked for British Airways, leaving there to work as private secretary for Bebe Rebozo, President Nixon’s close friend and confidante. She left at the beginning of the Watergate scandal.

Tully has placed talent in some of South Florida’s most memorable films and television series, including Miami Vice, Absence of Malice, Porky’s, Police Academy, Big, Cape Fear, Body Heat, Splash, Bad Boys II, Jaws, Unsolved Mysteries, America’s Most Wanted, 21 Jump Street, Rock of Ages and Burn Notice.

Tully has also placed talent on innumerable commercials, including The World Cruise Ship, Carnival, Look Voyages, Gatorade, Pepsi, Coca Cola, Bufferin, Burger King, Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Tide, Florida Lottery, Kodak, Clairol, T-Mobile, Buick, and many others.

The Florida Branch warmly congratulates Tully on her long-standing tenure as a SAG agent, for all the many contributions she has made to our industry and to her unwavering commitment to our members.


By Ellen Wacher
Vice President, SAG Florida,
Regional Branch Division Co-Chair of SAG’s National Women's Committee

When the Miami office hosted the SAG National Women’s Committee panel Is 50+ the New 18-49?, we explored the title topic at length, then committed to change the minds of producers who typically typecast or ignore the 50-and-over age bracket. 

Since the time of the panel in early March, I’ve continued my work, starting with outreach to  Barbara Black, a marketing consultant for the University of Miami, who agrees that our age bracket is underrepresented in television and, most significantly, in the commercial market. She is confident, however, that we will succeed and achieve our goal to gain more employment opportunities for our age range, given that there are about 22 million women over 50 — the baby boomers who are active, self supportive, spend money and are conscientious about a healthy lifestyle. Thus far, those with the money in our business have not figured out how to reach us.  

Susan Davis, producer of the documentary Invisible Women, and I have combined efforts and will look at achieving these goals as a bicoastal effort. If anyone is interested in joining this effort, please contact our SAG office and they will give you my contact information.

Everyone has a story about becoming a member and what SAG means to them. We’d like to hear yours. Each one is special, and each one is what makes the Florida Branch as strong and unified as it is today. How did you feel when you finally became a member? What was your first job? How has SAG helped your career? We’d like to hear story, so don’t be shy. Please send your submission to: julie.balter@sag.org.


New Members:
Anne O’Shea, Barbie Castro, Chris Jericho, Cigi Michelle Campbell, Crystal Hooks, Eric Mainade, Eva Lardani, Frank Alfano, Greg Rementer, Jack DeFeo, Jacky Junguito, John L. Smith, Josh Palma, Louise H. Beard, Luke Flynn, Manolo Zota, Margarita Coego, May Porter, Michael Olusczak, Michael See, Oksana D’Marko, Patrick de Ledebur, Paul Andrew O’Connor, Pedro Barquin, Rebecca Finer, Tarrah Sweeney, Tim Oswald, Tim Pulnik, Victor Salvatore Mueller

Andrew Springer, Andrew Yatkman, Angela Romero, Ania Zalewski, Arianna Coltellacci, Barbara June Patterson, Barbara O’Sullivan, Barry Lisee, Bernard Ferstenberg, Bert Santos, Bill Laimbeer, Bobby Ore, Buffalo Child, Carlos Velazquez, Carter O’Brien, Chaz Roberson, Chick Bernhard, Christopher Bersh, Christopher Corts, Cindy Perlman, Claudia Barry, Danielle Houck, Danny Murphy, Daryl Sterner, Dave Nemeth, David Fumero, Doc Wayson, Dominique Bissett, Ed Matthews, Edwin Crick, Eirene Faye, Elizabeth Anne Smith, Ellen Bernfeld, F.X. Vitolo, Frank Silva, Frankie Kovar, Gail Grate, Gary Lynn Johnson, Georgia Hausserman, Greg Anderson, Gwendolyn Mulamba, Hunter Clary, Ivy Tobin, Jan Gelberman, Jayson Sanchez, JD Kennedy, Jennifer De Castroverde, Jennifer Langdon, Jill Stokesberry, Jim Edwards, Jimmy Cliff, Joe Lala, Jordan Bennett, Joseph Vain, Julie Upton, Justin G. Reed, Karin Katherine Taylor, Karina Bonnefil, Kayla Clary, Kelly Jo Strom, Larry Silverberg, Lauren Leech, Lee Chamberlin, Linda Leonard, Lisa Goldstein, Luis “Trikz” Da Silva, Luke Morris, Marceline Fleurilus, Marie Hughes, Mark Ebenhoch, Mark H. Medoff, Marlena Markonovich, Martin G. Enterlin, Mary Hill, Maryn Ryan, May Porter, Mayme Paul, Melanie Whipple, Melissa Fumero, Michael Crider, Michael Marzella, Michelle Renee Stacey, Mischa Hausserman, Nita Savage, Omar Ariza, Paco, Patrick Mullally, Paul Hussein Goodall, Paul Young, Pete Pietri, Ricki Jayne Shaw, Robert Apel, Robert Hildreth, Ron Riekki, Rosie Bernhard, Sara Danielle Kessler, Scott A. Ferguson, Shakira, Shawn Peter Jackson, Stephen Stills, Steve Carroll, Steven Ruge, Suzanne B. Crosby, Terry Rush, Tim Altmeyer, Tino Sutras, Tonya Caliph, Tori Velle, Trudie Maroncelli, Tyler Bosserman, Tyrone R. Livingston, Will Roy, William Flaman, William Richard


To find out about productions scheduled to film in Florida and the greater Southeast, click here to connect to the Florida homepage. Remember, you must register with the SAG website in order to access this exclusive members-only information.

Welcome to The Sunshine Slate

This quarterly e-newsletter gives you news and information about the Florida Branch of Screen Actors Guild. If you have any comments or suggestions regarding The Sunshine Slate, please contact South Region Executive Julie Balter at (800) 724-0767, option 5, ext. 7089, or via email at julie.balter@sag.org.

SAG Florida Branch Announces New Leaders

On July 26, 2011, Screen Actors Guild announced the election results for Florida Branch elections.
Current council members-at-large Adam Vernier, Carmen Lopez, Charles Ferrara, Chris Beekie, Debbie Howard, Jerry Winsett, John Archie, Matt Simpson, Peter Gabb, Sean Thiery, President Steve Gladstone, Vice President Ellen Wacher and Recording Secretary Patrick Mickler, along with National Directors Dave Corey and Nancy Duerr, welcome the following newly elected candidates to the Florida Branch:

- Brett Rice, council member-at-large, Central Florida three-year term
- Deanna Case, council member-at-large, South Florida three-year term
- Santara Sidersky, council member-at-large, South Florida three-year term
- Jay Amor Alternate, council member-at-large, one-year term
- Kevin Dean-Hackett, alternate council member-at-large, one-year term

Those members elected as officers and council members-at-large will also be elected as alternate national directors who may be called upon to serve at National Board meetings when the National Board member from the Florida Branch is unavailable to attend.
The candidates named ran unopposed and were elected without the necessity of a ballot vote pursuant to the Branch Rules of Procedure. The newly elected leaders will assume office on September 25, 2011.

RBD meeting group shot

From left, Florida National Board member Dave Corey, Florida Branch President Steve Gladstone, Florida Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll, Florida National Board member Nancy Duerr and Regional Branch Division 3rd Vice President David Hartley Margolin at the Regional Branch Division Conference in Orlando, Fla.

SAG Regional Branch Division Holds Annual Conference in Florida

The Florida Branch was thrilled to host the Screen Actors Guild Regional Branch Division (RBD) Board of Directors in Orlando for its three-day annual conference this past May. Jennifer Pennypacker, Orlando film commissioner and president of Film Florida, welcomed the SAG leaders on May 21, and Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll provided the keynote address.

"I want to thank SAG for your craftsmanship, your vision, your leadership, and your creativity to keep Florida in the mainstream and to make it a true competitor in the film entertainment industry," she said.

Carroll served in the Florida Legislature from 2003-10 and has been a strong supporter of production incentive legislation, which she said "has proven time and time again to be a force to be reckoned with in regard to job creation."

"I will continue to do my part to support this industry because it has proven more times than not that every dollar that we spend will derive multitudes of additional compensation, additional revenue, additional jobs and additional benefits for the productivity and viability of our state," she said.

In the evening, SAG Florida Branch member Dan Fitzgerald and SAG Boston Branch member Will Lyman each received the Howard Keel Award for their significant contributions to the Guild. The award is the highest recognition given by the Regional Branch Division. 

“I was quite overwhelmed by both the ceremony and the company in which I was presented with this prestigious award,” said Lyman, an actor perhaps best recognized as the voice of PBS’ Frontline. “To be honored in this fashion by the very people I myself admire for their dedication and selfless service to the Guild was both gratifying and humbling. I thank my esteemed colleagues for their affection and respect, and return it to them 1,000 percent.”

A SAG member since 1973, Lyman has served on both the Boston Branch Council and as the Branch's National Board member.

“I’m so deeply in debt to our directors and staff, as well as my colleagues from the Branches, I can never hope to redeem the IOU,” added Fitzgerald. “Sharing the honor with Will Lyman, my gracious and talented co-recipient was a joyful bonus.”

Fitzgerald joined SAG in 1957 and has served on the Florida Branch Council, as Florida Branch president and as the Branch’s National Board member. He has been deeply dedicated to spreading literacy through the Screen Actors Guild Foundation’s BookPALS, and was instrumental in bringing the program to the state of Florida.

Named for the legendary actor-singer and former SAG president who served from 1958-59, the Howard Keel Award is annually presented to people who make a significant contribution to the promotion of Screen Actors Guild and to the welfare and benefit of members in their Branch, or nationally, as part of the Regional Branch Division. During Keel’s term, the SAG National Board was increased from 39 to 52 seats, allowing for Branch representation — for the first time — from New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Detroit and Boston.

“I can’t think of two finer examples of actor-activists serving in our Regional Branches today than Dan Fitzgerald and Will Lyman,” said SAG 3rd Vice President David Hartley-Margolin, chair of the Regional Branch Division. "Their service exemplifies the contributions Howard Keel envisioned in his championing of a national union."

In addition to Hartley-Margolin, other SAG leaders in attendance at the conference included Steve Gladstone, SAG Florida Branch president; David White, SAG national executive director; and board members and Branch presidents from the Regional Branch Division.

Closing out the conference on May 22, entertainment was provided by comedian and Florida SAG member Michael Winslow (Police Academy).  Known as the Man of 10,000 Sound Effects, Winslow awed the audience with his performance. The Florida Branch is most appreciative for his showmanship, and a very special thanks and acknowledgement go to Florida Branch National Board members Dave Corey and Nancy Duerr, President Steve Gladstone, and Secretary Patrick Mickler for all of their efforts and vision in making this such a memorable weekend.

RBD meeting group shot

Florida staff and officers stand with Howard Keel Award Winner Dan Fitzgerald. From left, David Fazekas, Jason Tomilson, Leslie Krensky, Fitzgerald, Julie Balter, Dave Corey, Nancy Duerr and
Steve Gladstone.

SAG Production Center Makes Hiring SAG Actors Easy

Time is money for every producer, which is why the new online Screen Actors Guild Production Center makes hiring SAG members easier than ever. It puts all the contract knowledge they need at their fingertips, so that working with SAG is user-friendly and cost-effective. 

Producers of short, student, new media, ultra low budget and corporate/educational projects can use the site to digitally fill out the required signatory forms. Already more than 1,400 producers have used the site to sign the easy way. 

The Production Center offers all producers tutorials, FAQs, fillable forms, rate sheets, live helpdesk assistance and more. If you know a producer who may be interested in becoming signatory, or wants to learn a little more about how our contracts work, just direct her or him to our website. It’s also a helpful tool for members seeking instant answers to contract questions.

See everything the SAG Production Center has to offer here

Florida Member Honored for Community Service

Longtime Florida Branch member and local veteran leader Cpl. Burt Richards was recently honored with the Community Courage Award in the Education category. The award, presented at the American Red Cross Community Courage Awards Luncheon, celebrates “everyday heroes” whose actions have saved a life or averted a tragedy. Richards was instrumental in campaigning to have Palm Beach County Schools honor war veterans by recognizing Veterans Day for school closure.

Richards, a longtime and loyal SAG member, is also director of The Coffeehouse Theater Club, and recently held a fundraiser for autism, which included a live event with former SAG President and current National Board member Edward Asner. We would like to congratulate Richards on his auspicious award.

The Florida Branch extends its congratulations to Cpl. Richards and expresses its appreciation for his community and civil service.

Burt Richards and wife Geri

Member Burt Richards with his wife Geri. Photo by Michelle Kirk

A New Initiative: The SAG Mentoring Program

by Santara Sidersky

Think about the day you received your Screen Actors Guild membership card in the mail for the first time. You were excited and proud to have become a member of our union, acknowledged as a professional in the field that you love. Did you know very much about SAG rules, local councils, events and opportunities to participate in SAG conservatories? If not, a mentor would have helped you to learn about all these things. If, on the other hand, you had a mentor, you can remember how useful and reassuring it was to have that relationship.

In order to serve our new members in a more comprehensive, direct and one-on-one manner, our Council has concluded that we would benefit from a mentoring program. Therefore, we are eagerly encouraging our membership to participate in this initiative.

Having a mentor engenders commitment to the union, enthusiasm to “spread the word” about the advantages of membership to nonmembers and encourages participation in union activities, attendance at union meetings and adherence to union rules, as well as provides awareness of resources. If we are going to have an Actors Corner, new members need to know it’s there and how it can help them.

The mentoring relationship creates opportunities for mentors to directly answer the myriad of questions that new members have, from how to choose an agent to what to expect on set. As a member-to-member relationship, mentors have the opportunity to encourage mentees to join iActor and participate in networking and workshop events. It also provides a means of sharing their own experiences.

New members will be contacted by staff and told of our mentoring program, and given the opportunity to request a mentor. Staff will then match a volunteer mentor with the new member.                                                        

Once a mentoring relationship is established, the mentor can help the mentee feel welcome in the union by sharing how membership has benefitted him or her. Any SAG members who wish to share their time, knowledge and experience as mentors are encouraged to let the SAG office staff know of their interest. Any members who wish to procure a mentor should let the staff know they feel they would benefit from having a mentor. Since our region is so vast geographically, most of the communication between mentors and mentees will, of necessity, be by telephone and email. An effort will be made to pair mentors and mentees in close geographic proximity, but more importantly, will pair people up, no matter how far apart they may reside. 

Mentor Match Up: If you are looking for a mentor — or would like to join the growing list of mentor volunteers — please contact Eileen.neel@sag.org.   

Central Fla. Events: 5K Run, Picnic and Auditioning Clinic

Central Florida continues this year's “first-ever” event streak, with two first-ever events in the month of April. Members participated in a 5 km race during the 6th Annual Valencia 5K Run, Walk & Roll on Saturday, April 9 in Orlando. Central Florida members represented SAG proudly by winning four medals in their respective categories. Florida Branch Councilor Chris Beekie won a gold medal and Central Florida member Shellita Boxie won a bronze medal for running, while Central Florida members Patricia Fox won a gold medal and Iris Lynne Sherman won a silver medal for walking.

All of the members really enjoyed themselves and appreciated doing something totally different and healthy, while also helping open doors for Valencia College students (including film students) through scholarships and other assistance. Every member who participated received a SAG T-shirt that allowed for some great advertising for the union, especially during the awards ceremony.

5K Run Winners

From left, Florida Branch Councilor Chris Beekie and Guild members Shellita Boxie, Patricia Fox and Iris Lynne Sherman bring home the medals.

On April 30, members celebrated unionism at our picnic held at Bill Frederick Park at Turkey Lake in Orlando. This turned out to be a real family picnic with attendees ranging in age from 10 to 87 years old. Free food, sodas, water, snacks and candy were provided and several activities were available, including volleyball, badminton, paddleball, Frisbee and cornhole, as well as a variety of board games.

With all the positive feedback we received, we hope to make this an annual event and may even open an invitation to, or partner with, other unions.

Special thanks to Florida Branch Councilors Chris Beekie and Patrick Mickler for all of their assistance in making this a successful event.

Union Picnic

Members gather for the Central Florida Picnic on April 30.

Hawaii National Board member Scott Rogers of Scott Rogers Studios conducted an auditioning clinic on Sunday, May 22 at the Buena Vista Palace Hotel & Spa in Lake Buena Vista. The response to the clinic was so great that a second clinic was opened up due in large part to Scott Roger’s credentials, but also to the low rate of $20.

The feedback received by the Central Florida office was fantastic. Here are some responses from just two of the 32 members who attended the clinics: “I've taken many classes over the years, as I'm sure most actors have, but he really had wonderful specifics to share,” said Grayce Spence.

“Everything I thought I knew was thrown out the door. Glad to have taken the workshop. I used the notes from the workshop on my last audition. I didn’t get the part, but I felt more confident,” added Levi Cobb.

A big mahalo (thank you) to Scott Rogers for conducting the clinic and to Central Florida member Pukaua Ah-Nee for providing the television.

Click here for more photos of these and other events


Conservatory Cold Reading Workshop for SAG actors.
Monday evenings at 7:30 p.m. in Casselberry, Fla.

Make reservations one day in advance through David Fazekas at (407) 788-3020 or david.fazekas@sag.org. The workshop is limited to two to three actors. There is no cost. Must be a paid-up Florida Branch member to participate.


Atlas Global Travel is pleased to offer members special SAG pricing and a 10-percent discount on cruises booked through the agency. This special discount is also extended to family members. 

The Central Florida Film Festival (September 2 – 5) is offering SAG members a 25-percent discount on their movie watcher pass, which is good for all seminars, panels and screenings, plus a popcorn and soda.

Note: The products and services noted herein are provided as an informational service to SAG members and are administered by entities independent of SAG. Any questions must be handled by the provider. This information is not intended to serve as an endorsement by the Guild nor is any warranty or guarantee implied.

Click here for more details on these and other discounts.

Walk to End Alzheimer's

According to the Alzheimer's Association, Alzheimer's Disease afflicts more than 5 million Americans every year and is the sixth-leading cause of death. SAG is encouraging its members to join members of AFTRA and Actors’ Equity in a show of strength to combat this terrible disease. The Walk to End Alzheimer’s, being organized by the Alzheimer’s Association, aims to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research.

Join our team, We Take Care of Our Own — Actors Unite to End Alzheimer’s. The Hollywood, Fla. walk takes place Saturday, November 5. Click here to join the team. We Take Care of Our Own teams are also walking in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles. The Alzheimer's Association may be reached at (800) 272-3900.

Join Our Fold: Resolve to Read and Write!

The SAG Foundation’s BookPALS and PencilPALS volunteers are gearing up for another exciting school year. If you are not yet part of these amazing programs, please take a moment to consider the impact you could have.

What if you could help change a child’s future simply by reading or writing to him or her? What if, after you visit a classroom, a forgotten book is revisited, a first play attended, a true story written? What if, some years later, a librarian graduates, a new theater opens, a journalist accepts the Pulitzer? What if a new generation carries the torch?

Every time a BookPAL reads to children, we are demonstrating that reading is a wonderful way to gain knowledge about the world around us. Every time a PencilPAL handwrites a letter, we are honing fine motor skills, increasing brain activity, and positively influencing a child’s academic success in ways that keyboarding and texting never will.

Listening to literature read aloud and handwriting letters are two of the most valuable and pleasurable experiences beginning learners can have. When children are able to participate in supportive and relaxed discussions about books and letters, they are able to extend their worldview and develop important critical-thinking skills.

Plus, it’s just darn fun! “I see the pictures in my head! It’s like a movie that’s only mine!” That’s when you get to tell them it’s like that every time they pick up a book or read a letter! Don’t hesitate, jump in, and take yourself and 20 or so children on a magical, literary adventure. Once you commit, you won’t regret it. The most appreciative audience ever is waiting for you! Please contact Natalie Rogers at (321) 229-0638, send an email or visit www.bookpals.net to begin your adventure.

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.” ~ Goethe