Hollywood 2011:08

The Official E-Newsletter of the Hollywood Division
The Official E-Newsletter of the Hollywood Division
August 2011

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 the team, We Take Care of Our Own — Actors Unite to End Alzheimer’s. The Los Angeles walk takes place Sunday, October 9. Click here to join the team. We Take Care of Our Own teams are also walking in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Hollywood, Fla. Call SAG Special Projects at (323) 549-6447 for more information.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Friday, August 19 - Deadline to send in applications for the SAG Hollywood Conservatory. Sharpen your skills and participate in AFI student films. Click here for details.

Wednesday, August 31 – SPECIAL NIGHT SESSION of the New Member Orientation. Not just for new members! Whether you joined yesterday or have been a longtime member, come upgrade and refresh your niche in today’s ever-changing marketplace. Learn what you have to know about self-promotion, agents, casting, residuals, what actually happens on set and much more. Get helpful hints and cold hard facts about juggling your three hats (the artist, the businessperson and the union member) to achieve a meaningful and rewarding livelihood. For veteran members, the new resources that the Guild continually provides should be reviewed, renewed and explored. James Cagney Board Room. 7 p.m. No RSVP necessary. Parking will be validated.

SEPTEMBER

Friday, September 2 – Guild offices close at 12:30 p.m. in observance of Labor Day Holiday.

Saturday, September 3 – Hollywood Holiday Host’s 7th Annual Labor Day Picnic. 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Camrose picnic area at the Hollywood Bowl, 2101 Highland Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90068. Hollywood SAG members and their guests are welcome. Please bring paid-up membership card for admission. Raffles and prizes throughout the day. Bring blankets and picnic lunches; SAG will supply sodas and water. Please NO pets or animals with the exception of service animals. This is a non-smoking area. Click here for more information.

Monday, September 5 – Guild offices closed in observance of Labor Day Holiday.

Tuesday, September 6 – Performing Artists’ Medical Clinic offers free medical services to low-income musicians, dancers, actors and other performing artists. Please call The Actors Fund for eligibility criteria and appointments. 6 – 9 p.m. For more information, call (323) 933-9244 ext. 32. Open to entertainment industry professionals residing in Los Angeles County.

Wednesday, September 7 – Meet the Candidate Evening. Come meet and speak with candidates running for office in the 2011 SAG Hollywood Division Elections. Ballots will be mailed to all eligible voters of the Hollywood Division on August 23, with a return deadline of September 22 at 6:30 a.m. Museum Square Promenade Area of Guild Headquarters, 5757 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, 90036.  6 – 9 p.m. The evening is only open to paid-up SAG members in good standing affiliated with the Hollywood Division. Unfortunately, no guests allowed. Parents/guardians of young performers under 18 years old are welcome. PLEASE BRING YOUR SAG MEMBERSHIP CARD FOR ADMITTANCE (paid thru October 31, 2011). No RSVP necessary. All bags larger than 14 inches in any dimension (i.e. backpacks, suitcases, beach bags, etc.) will be prohibited from entry into the meeting. No pets or animals, with the exception of service animals in service.

Wednesday, September 7 – Getting and Keeping Health Insurance. Monthly seminar for the entertainment industry and performing arts and visual arts communities who want to know their options for obtaining affordable health insurance and healthcare in the Los Angeles area. Participants will learn to use the Artists Health Insurance Resources Center website. Registration is encouraged. The Actors Fund, 5757 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 400. 1:30 – 3 p.m. For more information please contact Aaron King at (323) 933-9244 ext. 38 or aking@actorsfund.org.

Thursday, September 8 – Low-budget contract signatory workshops, James Cagney Board Room. 6 – 8 p.m. RSVP here or via phone at (323) 549-6064 (Please be sure to include name and email address).

Wednesday, September 14 – New Member Orientation. Not just for new members! Whether you joined yesterday or have been a longtime member, come upgrade and refresh your niche in today’s ever-changing marketplace. Learn what you have to know about self-promotion, agents, casting, residuals, what actually happens on set, and much more. Get helpful hints and cold hard facts about juggling your three hats (the artist, the businessperson and the union member) to achieve a meaningful and rewarding livelihood. For veteran members, the new resources that the Guild continually provides should be reviewed, renewed and explored. James Cagney Board Room. 1 p.m. No RSVP necessary. Parking will be validated.

Tuesday, September 20 – Performing Artists’ Medical Clinic offers free medical services to low-income musicians, dancers, actors and other performing artists. Please call The Actors Fund for eligibility criteria and appointments. 6 – 9 p.m. For more information call (323) 933-9244 ext. 32. Open to entertainment industry professionals residing in Los Angeles County.

Saturday, September 24 – The Screen Actors Guild Foundation presents their inaugural Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Classic benefitting the Don LaFontaine Voice-Over Lab, Bel Air, California. Doors open 4 p.m., tournament starts at 5 p.m. To purchase tickets or for more information, please visit the Foundation's website or call (323) 549-6711.

Saturday, September 24 - Stuntmen’s Association of Motion Pictures 50th Anniversary Dinner benefitting the Screen Actors Guild Foundation. Richard Farnsworth Award presented to Harrison Ford. Hilton Universal City, 6 p.m. For more information and to purchase tickets please contact (818) 994-4661 or send an email here.

Wednesday, September 28 – New Member Orientation. Not just for new members! Whether you joined yesterday or have been a longtime member, come upgrade and refresh your niche in today’s ever-changing marketplace. Learn what you have to know about self-promotion, agents, casting, residuals, what actually happens on set, and much more. Get helpful hints and cold hard facts about juggling your three hats (the artist, the businessperson and the union member) to achieve a meaningful and rewarding livelihood. For veteran members, the new resources that the Guild continually provides should be reviewed, renewed and explored. James Cagney Board Room. 10 a.m. No RSVP necessary. Parking will be validated

Save the Date

Wednesday, November 2, 2011 – Hollywood Healthcare Safetynet 4th Annual FREE Alternative Health Fair. James Cagney Board Room and Museum Square Promenade. 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. No RSVP necessary. Open to all industry union members and their dependents.

The above listings are subject to change. Check SAG.org for the most up-to-date information. If you’d like more information on an event and there is no contact information listed above, call the Hollywood Executive Office at (323) 549-6459.

AFTRA-SAG Federal Credit Union logo

CREDIT UNION OFFERS GUARANTEED AUTO PROTECTION

AFTRA-SAG Federal Credit Union cares about its members and is offering free Guaranteed Auto Protection to all members who finance an auto loan of $10,000 up to $50,000 through October 31, 2011.

What is Guaranteed Auto Protection? In the event the auto you finance with ASFCU is totaled or stolen, causing you to owe more than the car is worth, GAP will pay the difference between the amount your insurance provider covers and what you owe.

That’s not all! If you finance another auto loan with ASFCU, GAP will offer an additional $1,000 to help get you back behind the wheel.

How can you lose? You can’t, so click here to take advantage of this offer for new loans or refinance of an existing auto loan from another lender. We don’t discriminate — rates are the same for new or used vehicles. Don’t forget to tell household and family members they are eligible too!

If you have questions feel free to stop by one of our branches or call our Member Service Center at (818) 562-3400, (800) 826-6946 outside Los Angeles.

The products and services listed 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 SAG nor is any warranty or guarantee implied.

Ned Vaughn

Message from the 1st Vice President

If you have seen the most recent SAG earnings report in Screen Actor, or online at SAG.org, you’ll notice the results offer a mixed picture. Total 2010 earnings were up 3.9 percent over the previous year, including a very healthy 8.9 percent increase in residual payments. Feature film earnings rose 5.7 percent and earnings under the Commercials Contract were up an impressive 12.7 percent to $817.9 million, the highest level ever.

But amidst that good news was the troubling fact that SAG television earnings declined by 8.2 percent. That loss is directly attributable to employers shifting new television production to AFTRA contracts, even in cases where they are slightly more expensive than comparable Guild contracts. That means lower TV earnings for SAG members and fewer opportunities to qualify for SAG pension and health benefits. This is a potent example of how being divided in two unions hurts performers.

Thankfully, the members of both SAG and AFTRA have made it clear — they are ready to STOP employers from dividing us. They are ready for one union that covers all our work, leaving producers with no choice about where they must get the skilled union talent they need. We are undoubtedly stronger in one union, and I’m pleased to report that development of a formal merger plan is well underway.

In June, the SAG Merger Task Force and the AFTRA New Union Committee met together for the first time as the Group for One Union, or G1. Over the next five months, the G1 will continue to work on a comprehensive merger agreement that will be reviewed by the SAG and AFTRA National Boards in January. If the boards approve the plan, SAG and AFTRA members will then decide if we will become one union by voting in a referendum as early as March.

Before members are asked to vote on a merger plan, informational meetings will be held throughout the country. Exhaustive details will be provided in printed materials and online and there will be a variety of ways to get questions answered, so every member can cast a fully informed vote. Until then, the G1 will focus on shaping a merger agreement that satisfies the needs of current members and maximizes our ability to protect future generations of performers.

It’s disappointing to see a decline in any part of SAG earnings, even if total earnings are up. But it would be devastating if we failed to learn the lesson the numbers really teach: We must take away the ability of employers to divide us. Actors deserve the strongest representation possible, no matter what medium we work in, now and in the future. We cannot achieve this by competing with ourselves. One union is the answer.

Onward together,
Ned Vaughn

Capt. Haidvogel speaking

Capt. Richard Haidvogel addresses SAG members and staff July 27. 

SAG Onboard With Navy Week

In an “exchange program” of sorts, naval officers and Screen Actors Guild officials toured each other’s workplaces in July as part of Navy Week in Los Angeles. SAG has a long history of supporting America’s armed forces (see page 30 in the current issue of Screen Actor magazine), and the exchange was another opportunity to reaffirm and foster that relationship.

On July 27, Capt. Richard Haidvogel of the USS Princeton, along with other officers and enlisted men, toured SAG headquarters and talked with SAG staff and Board members about the importance of partnerships and sharing ideas.

“People don’t know much about the Navy; that’s why we have Navy Weeks throughout the country,” said Cmdr. Chris Scholl, who added that he hoped the outreach would encourage young people to learn more about the Navy and consider joining.

Two days later, SAG Board members and staff returned the favor with a visit to the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in San Pedro. The Lincoln is an impressive warship, with an onboard newspaper, TV and radio station, a post office — with its own ZIP code — and, of course, its own Facebook page. It was one of four Navy vessels that participated. The Los Angeles Navy Week event, which took place July 25-31, was one of more than 20 that took place in cities around the country. 

Hollywood Conservatory logo
Deadline Friday for Conservatory Open Enrollment

One of the benefits of Screen Actors Guild membership is the SAG Hollywood Conservatory, which offers workshops, lectures and classes to help actors hone their craft. Workshops start in the fall on a variety of topics, including improv, voiceover work, cold reading technique, and auditioning for theatrical and commercial productions. Participation in the conservatory is limited to members in good standing, and there is a small administrative fee of $25 for the year. The Hollywood Conservatory is unique in that it is associated with AFI, meaning members may be cast in AFI student films. Get more information here, and be sure to postmark your applications by August 19.

Conservatory members and casting directors

From left, panel coordinator and moderator Angela Watson, casting director Jason Wood, co-moderator Ron Morgan, and casting directors Nancy Foy and Gary Zuckerbrod at the Summer Intensive

Conservatory Focuses on Teamwork

The Hollywood Conservatory celebrated another successful end of the season Summer Intensive. This year's conservatory spotlighted teamwork, bringing in working actors, coaches, teachers, movement instructors and casting directors to help conservatory members learn that it takes a team to help them in this business. More than 400 conservatory members participated in this year’s Summer Intensive.

Meet the Candidates Evening: Hollywood Division Elections

Come meet and speak with candidates running for office in the 2011 SAG Hollywood Division Elections on Wednesday, September 7. Ballots will be mailed to all eligible voters of the Hollywood Division on August 23, with a return deadline of September 22 at 6:30 a.m. The event takes place at the Museum Square Promenade area of Guild headquarters, 5757 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, 90036, from 6-9 p.m. The evening is only open to paid-up SAG members in good standing affiliated with the Hollywood Division. Unfortunately, no guests allowed. Parents/guardians of young performers under 18 years old are welcome. Please bring your SAG membership card for admittance (paid thru October 31, 2011). No RSVP necessary. All bags larger than 14 inches in any dimension (i.e. backpacks, suitcases, beach bags, etc.) will be prohibited from entry into the meeting. No pets or animals, with the exception of service animals in service.

Sharon Guy

Employment program representative Sharon Guy addresses SAG members July 28.

EDD Officials Offer Advice

On July 28, Hollywood members of Screen Actors Guild had the opportunity to attend a special presentation by the California Employment Development Department (EDD) focusing on employment and state unemployment insurance benefits.

SAG members heard from Guild staff about working under the Guild’s contracts, working with agents, and learned about member programs and opportunities to hone their craft.

Experts from the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Branch explained how to file unemployment claims, maintain eligibility and get specifics on the UI process. Members were also introduced to the new debit card system being implemented by the EDD/UI, and learned useful tips for reporting earnings. EDD officials also shared helpful tips for filing unemployment benefits claims:

· Do not leave any blanks on the form. Make sure to provide all the requested information.
· Provide your actual birth date, Social Security and driver’s license numbers on claim forms. The EDD/UI verifies identity by cross-checking against Department of Motor Vehicles records to prevent fraud.
· Report residual earnings the week in which they were paid. Save all envelopes with postmarks and check stubs. Keep good records.
· While wages and earnings must be reported, certain income, such as Social Security benefits are exempt.
· If multiple residuals checks are received in the same week, total the amount and list the dollars, but choose one payer to list on the claim form.
· The EDD/UI provides access to educational and work opportunities through its CalJOBS and Initial Assistance workshops.
· The EDD Debit Card allows claimants to receive their benefits faster, easier and more securely.
· A full FAQ can be found on the EDD/UI website.

The Guild will continue its dialogue with the EDD/UI to bring more information to our members. Please visit edd.ca.gov for more details and information.

Jason Stuart at LGBT event

Jason Stuart moderated the LGBT discussion with casting directors.

Discussion Turns the Spotlight on LGBT Issues

Screen Actors Guild members got a rare opportunity August 6 to participate in a panel discussion led by casting directors on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues. The frank discussion in the James Cagney Board Room at SAG headquarters was a learning opportunity for all involved. Audience members had the chance to submit questions, and 24 lucky members were selected for one-on-one meetings with casting directors during the event’s final hour.

The discussion was organized by SAG Affirmative Action & Diversity, the LGBT Actors Committee and the Casting Society of America, and drew more than 130 SAG members. Panelists included Barbara Stordahl and Angela Terry of Stordahl and Terry Casting (Leverage, The O.C.); Brett Benner (Scrubs, Cougar Town); Ivy Isenberg (Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis); Gene Vassilaros (Halloween, American Pie Presents Beta House); Rich Mento (Remember Me, No Strings Attached); and Howard Meltzer (Hannah Montana, American Dad).

The event was moderated by Jason Stuart, national co-chair of the LGBT Actors Committee and was co-organized by Stuart and Monika Mikkelsen of Mikkelsen Casting and the CSA Diversity Committee.

“Five years ago, when I created the committee with (SAG Deputy National Executive Director and General Counsel) Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, it was a goal of mine to have a seminar with casting directors to discuss the issues of being an openly gay actor. And that’s what we’re doing today. So this to me is groundbreaking,” Stuart said. “My goal is to create more work opportunities for LGBT actors who are out. No matter what we’re all thinking here today, we just want to work in a wide variety of roles, whether those roles are gay or non-gay. We just want to act.”

Ellen Huang, senior manager, Affirmative Action & Diversity, called the event a success.

“Both casting directors and members learned a lot from the discussion,” said Huang. “This event was only the beginning of a dialogue we hope will create more opportunities for openly LGBT SAG members.”

Mikkelsen said the casting directors who attended found the event enlightening.

“The panel challenged the way casting directors think about the LGBT community, and gave us a chance to edify the actors about the casting process. There are exciting tools readily available for LGBT actors to use in the expression of their craft, and casting directors only benefit from widening the definition of the various roles we are casting,” Mikkelsen said.

Entertainment Needed for SAG Labor Day Picnic

Calling all singers, dancers, puppeteers, jugglers, magicians and thespians — the Hollywood Holiday Host Committee seeks entertainers for the annual Labor Day Picnic on Saturday, September 3. 

All Screen Actors Guild committee members are unpaid volunteers, thus the Holiday Host Committee is seeking any SAG member who would like to donate their time and talent to this event. Last year, more than 750 attendees enjoyed the entertainment, which included amazing puppeteers, singers, costumed characters and contortionists who volunteered to share their talents with fellow union members. Please note: acoustic performances only, no amplification permitted per park regulations. Can’t sing or dance but would like to volunteer to help? Can’t stay for the entire time? No problem! Any volunteer time is greatly appreciated.

All interested members are encouraged to contact the Guild at holidayhostcmte@sag.org or (323) 549-6447. The picnic takes place 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Saturday, September 3, at The Hollywood Bowl, Camrose Picnic Area, 2101 Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90068. This is a non-smoking area.

Free parking is available in Parking Lot C and D in the South Fairfield Parking Lot. Please read all posted signage. SAG will not be responsible for illegally parked vehicles. The Hollywood Bowl is easily accessible by public transportation on MTA bus 156, or a short walking distance from Metro Red Line Hollywood/Highland subway station.

The event is open to Hollywood SAG members and their guests (please bring your paid-up membership card). Please bring blankets, picnic lunches, sunscreen; the Guild will supply beverages only. The Labor Day Picnic is dedicated to Screen Actors Guild, its members, their families and our worldwide labor movement. There will be games, raffles and prizes throughout the day! Please NO pets or animals with the exception of service animals in service.  

Please note: Pursuant to the Guild's Election Guidelines, electioneering and/or distribution of campaign paraphernalia (including fliers, signs, etc.) is prohibited within the premises of this event, including the parking facilities reserved for SAG's exclusive use. 

ACTORS FUND, CITY LAUNCH HOUSING SURVEY

The Actors Fund, the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and its partner organizations have formally launched a survey on the housing needs of the Los Angeles entertainment, performing and visual arts communities. There are two separate surveys, one for individuals and one for organizations. Please take a few minutes to complete a survey and help us spread the word to your colleagues. It is crucial to the development of any future housing that your voice be heard and your needs included in this discussion. Click here.

GET INVOLVED

Every year, the Screen Actors Guild re-constitutes its national committees. Get involved with your Guild and serve on a national or local committee. Find out more about committees here.

The Hollywood Division also needs volunteers to assists at its many member events. Members who wish to volunteer should email hollywoodexec@sag.org with “Volunteer” in the subject lilne.

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