Nevada 2009:08

The Official E-Newsletter of the Nevada Branch
The Official E-Newsletter of the Nevada Branch
August 2009


WELCOME TO YOUR
AUGUST NEWSLETTER

You are now an important part of communicating with members.

You are strongly encouraged to contribute to Nevada SAG communications and newsletters. Think of content concerning the industry that would interest you or others you know, and of ways you can help support and encourage unionism in Nevada. Your contribution to future newsletters is encouraged. Contributions need to go through steven.clinton@sag.org.

It seems that every time an announcement comes of changes in communication, it is bad news. We have been reduced from four to two print newsletters. (In the past, we were reduced from six to four and the use of color was eliminated.) Just as in past cuts, this one comes from the reality of budget cuts.

The first change you will notice is that our print newsletters will no longer be used to promote membership meetings. Be sure to pass on notice of meetings to members who do not read or check their e-mail frequently. There also will be a post card notification sent out and e-mail reminders.

Along with the reduction of print comes an increase in the flow of electronic communication. You will be receiving four electronic newsletters and a number of special communications direct through e-mail from your union. You may have noticed more frequent e-notifications for Screen Actors Guild Conservatory events. This is only the beginning as the Nevada section of SAG.org is being upgraded and will soon contain frequently updated information and archives for our membership.

Due to the budget- and technology-driven shift to electronic distribution of information, it is very important that you share these communications with members you know who do not use e-mail in their daily lives. 

For production updates, conservatory information or to reach our executive, call our information hotline at
(702) 737-8818. You are encouraged, but not required, to also allow your contact information to be made available to other Guild committees. This will allow you to be up to date on events, opportunities and activities within your Nevada Branch.

For information on the Nevada Branch, including agents and casting directors, current news and archives of past newsletters, please go to sag.org/branches/nevada.

We begin this issue at right with a spotlight on a fellow Nevada Branch actor. Also included are updates from our elected officers and those who volunteer to be committee chairs. A first for a Nevada electronic newsletter is the announcement of those who earned two-year terms to serve on your Nevada Branch Council during this election season (in President Steve Dressler’s report and again in Executive Director Steve Clinton’s column).

Please join me in requesting a return to more frequent print newsletters in the near future.

Your feedback and contributions are welcomed.

-Editor Art Lynch

charlie dipinto

DOES IT PAY
TO JOIN SAG?

By Charlie Di Pinto
Nevada Organizing
Committee Chair

This question comes up frequently and a quick look at the financial facts makes a good argument for SAG membership. Times are tough for everyone, and we all need the money, but allowing yourself to be exploited by some greed-head producer will not do you any good in the long run. In making the personal decision to become a member in SAG, you are choosing acting as your profession, and you are in it for the long haul. It also means that you are going to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with your fellow actors and say, “Our talent has value, and we will not be exploited.”
 
My decision to join SAG came after many auditions where I waited so long to be seen I began to believe my time was worthless. Having to wait for months to be paid for my work and having to work more to chase money down was another issue. Being treated as sub-human by wardrobe, assistant directors and directors on the set began to stink. Standing for hours, no water, lousy food are things I don't miss. I got angry and tired and in lieu of being angry and tired, I got smart and decided to make an investment in ME. That investment was joining Screen Actors Guild, the greatest union in the world.
  
Good luck to all of you in your work, and please remember, "We teach people how to treat us."

RULE ONE’S
REAL MEANING

Do not let a producer, or temptation, lead you astray. There is a reason when you join SAG (and can proudly call yourself a professional) that you are agreeing not to violate Rule One and work non-union, under any circumstance.

Todd Amorde, former SAG director of organizing and education, who spent 17 years making a living as a commercial actor, was quoted in the national Screen Actor magazine in March, 2003, on why it is vital we stand together as a union and require all qualified professional performers to join our ranks: “Rule One, which now states that union talent does not work non-union, once spoke of and still echoes another statement: that union actors work with, for and are in solidarity with their fellow performers, no matter what stature or place in the industry.”

We do not work non-union. It is stated in Rule One as printed on the back of your membership card. Read it carefully and live by it.

WHO'S WATCHING
YOUR CALENDAR?


By Linda Dowell
RBD Executive Director

Did you know that a talent agent has a limited window of opportunity to renegotiate use of your performance on a commercial for a rate above the scale you were originally paid? That window, calendar-wise, is between 60 and 120 days prior to the expiration of a 21-month commercial cycle, otherwise known as the Maximum Period of Use (MPU). Recently, I was contacted by a major advertising agency regarding a national campaign nearing its 21-month completed cycle. Sometimes ad agencies will call to double-check whether the Guild has received a copy of the letter sent by the talent agent requesting a renegotiation for the continued use of a spot. Agents who submit letters of notice to ad agencies capitalize on the leverage this gives them to increase the rate of payment for a second 21-month period. It’s to their benefit to do so, as it is to the performer whose work generates a higher pay scale.

So, why then is it that an ad agency would call me to inquire about a notice they did not receive from a talent agent? In other markets around the country, talent agents feel this process is so valuable to them that many of them send a courtesy copy to the union office to ensure there is record of their timely notice. They understand that one day too late is an opportunity lost and lost income for talent they represent.

It was discouraging to me to learn that one of our local agents failed to present timely notice and did a disservice to a member by doing so. The agent’s neglect cost the actor a raise in pay – a raise that the employer expected to be requested – and the ability for the agent to collect commission on the subsequent MPU (applicable if a franchised agent has a signed contract with an actor who was paid scale on the original employment).  As I have in the past, I will remind the local franchised agents of the renegotiation process and again offer to them that the local office will maintain a file of copies of their notification letters should they choose to send one our way.

I encourage you to remind your agent of your expectations in this regard. And, even though you ask them to watch the calendar closely on your behalf, keep an eye on your paystubs, as you don’t want to miss this window of opportunity. You can learn more about the Commercials and Industrials contracts in the Q&A provided here.

ACTORS, ACTING
AND UNION

By Art Lynch

Being an actor is perhaps one of the most difficult ways to actually make a living. While there are actors who have forged full-time careers in theater, commercials and convention work in cities coast to coast, the vast majority of work lies in Hollywood and New York City.
 
It may take one or several hundred non-paid auditions to land one day's work. Actors may work dozens of days a year or none at all.  Then, too, there are the expensive classes necessary to keep up their skills; the cost of professional photographs, of video and audiotape, of postage and of time spent marketing themselves to potential employers.

Nevada Conservatory favorite Paul Napier, whose credits include portraying the original Mr. Goodwrench, and who remains active on both the SAG and AFTRA boards of directors, tells of his children being asked by their teacher what their father did for a living. Their response was “audition.”

Casting director and producer Donn Finn, a recent guest of the Nevada SAG Conservatory, says of actors, “They are not acting for a living, they are acting for their craft. What they are doing for a living, besides waiting tables and taking 'day jobs,' is auditioning. You might as well call them auditioners.” Finn went on to point out that each actor "should think of themselves as their own little corporation," and part of the requirements to be a successful corporation is to join and participate in one or more professional actors unions. Finn is a casting partner in the office of Mali Finn Casting and is a professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at California State University in Fullerton. Recent casting credits include Eight Mile, Phone Booth, Titanic, L.A. Confidential, Wonder Boys, Avatar and The Matrix I, II and III.

Longtime SAG Board member Joe Ruskin, whose career includes appearances on the original Star Trek and many other television and film projects, states that, “Actors live in fear of rejection each and every day. If they are successful, they fear it will end. If they are struggling, they fear they will have to do something else for a living and give up a very important part of themselves.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides this description of the profession of acting: "Acting demands patience and total commitment, because there are often long periods of unemployment between jobs. While under contract, actors are frequently required to work long hours and travel. For stage actors, flawless performances require tedious memorizing of lines and repetitive rehearsals, and in television, actors must deliver a good performance with very little preparation. Actors need stamina to withstand hours under hot lights, heavy costumes and make-up, physically demanding tasks, long, irregular schedules, and the adverse weather and living conditions that may exist on location shoots. And actors face the constant anxiety of intermittent employment and regular rejections when auditioning for work. Yet in spite of these discouragements, the “passion to play,” as Shakespeare called it, still motivates many to make acting a professional career."

Actors need to consider not only membership in one union, or even all performance unions, but also the overall market place in which they compete. There are estimates of four to as many as 10 times that number of qualified non-union actors available in the same talent pool. Many times that number consider themselves “actors” and are free to compete for roles in the overall talent marketing. The standing joke in Los Angeles is that every waiter, store clerk, cop or even doctor is really an actor waiting for his break, a writer who has yet to have scripts purchased or a producer looking for financing.
Actors make judgments and can be called on the carpet when they voice their opinions or present their art in ways that many in the public may disagree with. This is the nature of art, to mirror, to reflect, to comment on and to challenge the world around us.

When on the set, the hours are usually long, schedules less than ideal and locations uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous. Depending on the production team, actors can be made to feel like cattle or like kings and queens. The environment changes from one job to the next.

And then there is the lack of work. Mel Gibson, already a star, did not sleep the evening prior to the start of the filming of Lethal Weapon because of apprehension at not having been on a set for well over a year.

Actors may classify themselves as a social group, or into smaller sub-sets based on the specifics of how often they perform as actors (full time, part time, occasional, "wanna-be," community theater, hobbyist or has-been).

By virtue of the demands of the craft, of the need to study and to observe, working or long-time actors tend to be educated, articulate and well read, defying a social stereotype presented in contemporary media. Actors invest in their craft.

Acting is a key part of the larger social world of the entertainment industry, mass communications and leisure aspects of society as a whole.

Do not forget in your quest to be an artist that you are dependent on your fellow artists, on the other trade unionists who work in this industry and on the support of others for your own success and well being.

Keep that in mind.

BACKGROUND CASTING
 
Wild Streak Talent
3355 W. Spring Mountain Rd.
#264
Las Vegas, NV. 89102
(702) 252-8382
(702) 252-8436 – fax
wildstreakt@aol.com
wildstreaktalent.com

David Anthony Casting
(702) 266-5500
davidanthonycasting.com

Nevada Casting Group Inc.
5440 Louie Lane, #108
Reno, NV 89511
(775) 322-8187
(775) 322-0161
juli@nevadacasting.com
nevadacasting.com

Goldman & Associates
701 N. Green Valley Pkwy.
Ste. 200
Henderson, Nevada 89074
Office: (702) 990.3210
Fax: (702) 837.3418
gacasting.com

SAG FRANCHISED AGENCIES

Remington Agency
1000 Stephanie Place, Ste. 4
Henderson, NV 89014
(702) 547-3620

Baskow, J & Associates
2948 E. Russell Rd.
Las Vegas,  NV 89120
(702) 733-7818

Lenz Agency
1591 East Desert Inn Rd.
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(702) 733-6888

Best Agency
5565 S. Decatur Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89118
(702) 889-2900

eNVy Model & Talent Agency
101 Convention Center Dr.
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(702) 878-7368

vanessa elgrichi

'Believe in Yourself and
Your Day Will Come'

An Interview with a Working
Nevada Actor

Nevada SAG Executive Director Steve Clinton interviewed one of our Branch’s ”working actors,” Vanessa Rachel Elgrichi. He asked her to introduce herself to those who have not met her as of yet.

Hello, my name is Vanessa Rachel Elgrichi and I am 20 years old. I have been acting for as long as I can remember. My parents pushed me into acting at age 4, and ever since then I haven’t been able to stop. My parents were intense travelers when I was younger. We have lived in so many places that I have honestly never felt completely grounded until now. I was born in Seattle, but I was raised in Woodland Hills, Calif.

I had a unique childhood, and I say this because I don’t know what else to call it. My parents were Moroccan hippies, and fought a lot. Life was hard, and I feel that I got most of my training from observing everyday life experiences.

I grew up around a lot of interesting things that fortunately affected me in mostly good ways. I have always pushed myself to be involved in as many random activities as I could, even if I had to do them alone. As an actor, it is extremely important to take note of almost every event that occurs in your lifetime, because if you don’t, you will never learn anything.
  
How did you decide to become an actor?

I never really had the choice. When you are 4 years old and your parents are running around taking you on auditions, you don’t really have a say. You either like it or you don’t, and I loved it. Ever since I was a little kid, I spent most of my childhood watching television and movies. When I hit 12 years old, I knew that this was what I wanted to do and nothing in the world would stop me. As I grew older I learned that becoming an actress was going to be a lot harder than I wanted it to be, but I was willing to push my limits.  

What is it like working on a set?

I believe that being on any set is a great privilege and it can be extremely overwhelming, but most of us would like a chance to do it. In my case, being a voyeur in my dream job and its surroundings feels very lucky and I love it.

Whether you are working as background or a principal, you are still there living your dream.

Even if you feel inferior to the people around you, you must always carry positive energy. There will be people there that will try to bring you down, but you must know that it is not their fault. It is simply their mere insecurities, which we all carry as humans. You must always choose to embrace the insecurities within yourself, and acknowledge the wonders around you. Remember, if you don’t pay attention for one second you may be missing your opportunity.  
 
What would you tell someone who wanted to act?

You must be willing to give up almost everything -- your job, your friends, everything. If you truly want to get along with this journey, you must get along with yourself first. The basics on becoming an actor are that you must appreciate yourself amongst everything else. Once you become comfortable in your own skin and realize how important you are, then your dreams will become easier to achieve. Once you accomplish this, you will create levels within your life. These levels are there to show balance between work and play.

I would like to say that acting is mostly about talent, but that would be a lie. If you’re talented that’s great, because you're just one step higher than the rest, but if you’re lucky, that’s even better.

Don’t get involved if you aren’t as strong as you think, because it’s a tough career and it will suck the life out of you if you aren’t ready.
 
Why did you join SAG?

Since I started acting at such a young age, I was SAG eligible for a long time. Although I knew that I wanted to become an actress, I didn’t have the money to join yet. I’m glad that I joined later than sooner because it gave me more time to consider my options. Had I joined sooner, I might have been luckier, but waiting gave me time to progress.   
 
Have you ever regretted that decision?

I do not regret joining SAG at all. I think that it was one of the best decisions that I have ever made. If you become eligible and you have the money, then I think you should join. If you have all of these things and you don’t join, then you must not be as serious as you think. Joining SAG isn’t about the money; it’s about the actor’s community. If you're going to be an actor, you have to know what’s going on.

The Screen Actors Guild isn’t there to hurt you; it’s there to protect you. 
 
How would you address someone who says, "I understand, but I don’t want to pass up non-union work…"

We as humans sometimes secretly try to sabotage ourselves. When we say things like this, it’s an excuse we use instead of pushing ourselves forward.  If you are SAG and there are six non-union jobs a week versus three union jobs, you are still making the same amount of money. When you are SAG, you are put at the top of the list in the acting world. You are almost always looked at first in line when it comes to television, film and commercial productions. If you are serious about having this career, then this information should be of importance to you. 
 
Do you have any other advice for your SAG brothers and sisters?

Believe in yourself and your day will come. When you want something bad enough, you’re going to get it because your heart won’t let you give up, so you cannot fail. Cheers to everyone who has stood and fallen, and has not yet given up. Cheers to everyone who keeps a positive state of mind and has dreams filled with hope.

Read more on the subject of being an actor in “Actors, Acting and Union” further down in this issue of Nevada News.

steve dressler

President's Report

By Steve Dressler

Join me in congratulating Charlie Di Pinto, Scott Mirne and Arttours Weeden on their election to the Nevada SAG Council for term of office starting September 25, 2009. Charlie and Arttours are returning council members, and we welcome Scott to the Nevada Branch Council. This year there were no contested races, so the expense of an actual election has been saved. I encourage those who wish to join the officers and council next year to become actively involved in committees. Please feel free to contact me concerning involvement in the business of the Nevada Branch.

I would like to thank Lenny Turner for sharing his time and talent the past four years as a dedicated Council member. Lenny decided not to run this time around because he wanted to give someone else the opportunity to serve. Lenny still will be available to serve the needs of the Branch, volunteering for committees or wherever needed.
  
Las Vegas has experienced some production activity since the new TV/Theatrical and Commercials contracts were recently ratified by the membership. Thank you to those who made it possible by your “yes” vote. Those productions were Get Him To The Greek, Up In The Air, Somewhere, CSI and Percy Jackson & The Olympians.

There is a local SAG Ultra Low Budget feature film scheduled to shoot in September. Red Herring will have open auditions August 6-8. For more information, go to cohencidence.com and click on “Casting.”

Some productions have requested paperwork but are not yet signatory to the SAG agreement. Please check the hotline at (702) 737-8818 for more information.

Additionally, some non-union commercials and films have come and gone. As I mentioned in the last newsletter, please do not work these productions. We are family, and if you work, not only is it in violation of Global Rule One (subject to disciplinary action), it is also a violation of your brothers and sisters within the Guild who make sacrifices. In essence, you are hurting yourself. A national non-union commercial will buy you out for, say, $600 a day. Maybe you work four days, which equals $2,400. With a union contract, you would make $592.20 a day, but the residuals may bring you $10,000, $20,000, maybe up to $40,000 in a year. So why sell yourself for less?

I understand these are hard times. There are many starving actors who receive an income from other forms of work. If you depend on acting for your livelihood, then you need to be where there is much more work available to you. Let us be strong and stay true to our understanding and love of solidarity. Remember, what you do today, you will reap tomorrow, in the positive or the negative.

The Organizing and Legislative Committees are asking for help. Please contact me at nevadapresident@sag.org and let me know if you are interested.

We will be having our semi-annual membership meeting on September 20 at the Tropicana Hotel. From 1-2 p.m. will be a social, and from 2-5 p.m. will be the meeting. Only active, paid-up members of the Nevada Branch in good standing may attend. 

Stunt Awards

A Night at Paramount for the
Taurus Awards

By Kim Renee

After going to the hairdresser and the makeup people, and getting that super special dress for a super special night, I can’t forget my camera.  Off I go with my friend and youngest daughter Vittoria to the best party of the year – the Taurus Awards.  The Taurus World Stunt Awards is a yearly award ceremony that honors stunt performers in movies. It is held each year in Los Angeles.

Since I am a stuntwoman of many years and many films, I look forward to seeing all my peers and fellow stunt players at this event. Our job is one of many ups and downs. We work hard to make the actor look like a super hero, never to be seen as the one who does the job. Many actors claim they do all their own stunts, and the general population might believe it, but as actors we know that stunt people do the stunts and this party honors those stunt people for the hard and difficult job they do. The stunt performers vote on the year’s best stunts to arrive at the winners of the Taurus Award

Stunt players have a foundation that helps injured stunt people and their families, which has done a lot to help many. Please check out their website for more photos and information on the foundation and the awards.

Two years ago, they honored women in stunts, and I along with many others filled the stage to great applause. So many jobs are out there for the guys, but the women do need their time, too.

Wonder Woman was my first show and boy the stunts I did on that show were really far out! I met many of my current friends on that show. We had a good time with real challenges to do the stunts that we did. I have enjoyed my years as a stuntwoman and would have it no other way. I hope I go till I'm 90, like my mentor Bob Yerkes, who is in his 70s and still going strong. Bob was one of the four cardinals, the one who was burned and hung, in Angels and Demons. He gives me motivation that I can go on forever.

Look for a stunt clinic that the conservatory will hold in the future so you can learn more about the stunt world.

Kim Renee is a longtime Branch member and officer, a founding member of the Nevada SAG Conservatory, and serves on the National Stunt and Safety Committee and National Young Performers Committee.

art lynch

National Board Report

By Art Lynch

"Even if you're on the right track,
you'll get run over if you just sit there."
- Will Rogers

We need to continue to move forward as a Branch, attracting as many new members as we can, working together to build work opportunities under contract, to demonstrate the professionalism that is union talent, to help each other during times where work may not be easy to find and to study, practice and showcase our craft in the best possible light.

It is time to take action, to be on the right track and to keep the momentum that began with our earning the return of a Nevada-based executive and potential office moving forward for the benefit of all Nevada talent and our industry.

Constant and aggressive work by the Nevada SAG officers, council, committee and membership are what keeps us one of the most active Branches in the union. Our attendance at membership meetings and participation in union affairs impresses many other Branches. Instead of assuming a status quo, look into how much your elected volunteer officers and fellow Branch members are doing to not only stay ahead of the train, but help power its engines. Then join in because greater numbers means even more can get done. No action is too small. Everyone can contribute in his or her own way. Help us to keep moving in your interests and in the interests of every SAG member.

We also need to take the time to thank Lenny Turner and all former officers and council members who gave their time to our Branch over the years. Many remain active behind the scenes or provide advice and a needed institutional memory.

I can testify to the amount of work you never see or hear about, but which has been done over the years in your best interests and for the Guild by a long list of union activists, Lenny being the most recent to “retire” from elected service. While holding his light under a bushel, Lenny worked aggressively for background performers locally and on the National Background Committee. He served on the National Seniors Committee and stood up for all talent.

A proud “thank you” to all who have volunteered to serve or have given of their time to the Nevada Branch and the Screen Actors Guild.

The Nevada SAG Conservatory is of value for beginners, those still growing and seasoned professionals. Many of you know that I coach actors. A change in my teaching schedule has allowed me to bring students to the Nevada SAG Conservatory. At the very least, the conservatory is a chance to use your instrument, and at the most it can be an eye-opening look into the current needs and future of the industry.
 
Using the conservatory to break the ice, I open this report to tout the value of the programs and committees offered though volunteers, just like you, for Nevada Branch members and the Guild. The many people who asked the Nominating Committee to be considered for endorsement speak highly of our Branch’s interest in its own future and growth. I would like to invite those of you who took the time to show your interest, and all of you taking the time to read this newsletter, to join in our active Guild committees and activities.

Mary Ann Hebinck and I co-chair the Legislative Committee. This is not a dry business committee; it is an opportunity to influence how well Nevada competes in the now very competitive world of production incentives, and in doing so, to play an active role in generating active work and income under contract for all Screen Actors Guild members. Right-to-work and other far-reaching legislative issues also are part of the mission of the Legislative Committee.

The Organizing Committee is using phone calls, “tweets” and whatever methods are available to help create an active “get out the members” support for any and all activities that will help us to organize this market, and in doing so generate work for members.

Communications produces the newsletters, assists with e-blasts and works to improve the ability for members to communicate with each other and be kept informed by their union and its elected representatives.

Wages and Working Conditions, under Nevada Branch President Steve Dressler, is currently at work on a proposed local contract to be presented to local producers, directors, advertising agencies and production companies as part of SAG’s continuous efforts to provide increased union work within Nevada.

Contact Steve Dressler or our executive, Steve Clinton, to find out more about how you can become involved in the future of the Nevada Branch.

Regional Branch Division Meeting

The Regional Branch Division of the National Board met in New York City to discuss current issues facing the Branches and the Guild. The National Board is divided into three divisions, with Hollywood being the largest in numbers and votes. New York is second, but not by much over the Regional Branch Division, which is made up of National Board members from each of the Branches outside of Hollywood and New York. Unlike the other divisions, we do not have a method to communicate in person more than four times a year. We work together using teleconferences, e-mail and U.S. mail. The Regional Branch Division is a diverse group of individuals representing the very different and equally diverse needs of their Branches, of the Division and of the national membership.

Communication with our members remains a priority, as does maintaining and increasing the amount of work under contract available outside of the production hubs of Los Angeles and New York City.

Deputy National Executive Director Pamm Fair reported that there were 36 staff layoffs this past year, with a total of 62 positions left vacant. That represents about a ten percent reduction in SAG staff. Things are hectic with the increased workload. She spoke of a national focus on organizing commercials, and on national legislative priorities being pursued in Washington D.C., as well as other issues being watched in Sacramento, New York, Florida, Michigan and Texas.
 
SAG supports President Obama's health care reform as long as it does not harm or impact the SAG-Producers Pension and Health Plans. The Guild also supports the Employee Free Choice Act.

National Board Meeting

Following our RBD meeting, we joined with the New York Division Board in their boardroom for a video-conference with our brothers and sisters in Hollywood as a full National Board of Directors. Most often, I participate in national business by telephone or in the Los Angeles boardroom. Every effort is made to save the Guild money in this tight budget year. Often, expense is the major issue discussed by your National Board, weighed against what is needed to advance union work and protect your union rights and privileges.

This is a time of radical and rapid change within the national union movement. SAG needs to decide what "sort of organization we are" and where we stand. We need to market SAG and unionism in the context of the 21st century.
 
Interim National Executive Director David White said simply, "I and my staff are always proud to serve and sit beside you.”
 
He added, "We must face reality without blinking. The Guild can, must, has been and shall be relevant, vibrant, alive and significant in the industry and among America's labor movement."

Despite a decrease in the number of employees, inroads have been made to speed residuals.

The long-term care unit at the Motion Picture Home in Los Angeles is being phased out for economic reasons. The National Board voted 51.74 percent to 48.26 percent to go on record as opposing the closure of the Motion Picture & Television Fund Long Term Care Facility.
 
This is the time to encourage qualified performers to join our union. The National Board voted to postpone the automatic increase of the initiation fee for 2009. The move provides an economic incentive to new members across the country by approving a one-year remission in the standard increase to the new-join fee.
 
“The automatic increase in initiation fees would have made the cost of joining SAG more difficult for actors across the country, particularly in this difficult economic period. This action recognizes the stark reality facing professional actors and helps to keep the possibility of membership within reach of those who wish to join,” said White.

See you at the membership meeting September 20 at the Tropicana Hotel.

Branch Executive's Report

By Steve Clinton

I have not known Lenny Turner long, but from the first conversation I had with him, prior to my arrival in Nevada, he has demonstrated a warmth and humor that I find most engaging. Lenny joined the Guild in 1983 in Los Angeles, moving to the Nevada Branch in 1996. Brother Turner joined the Branch Council in 2005, and like the rest of the current and past Council members, served the Nevada Branch membership for no personal gain and to the best of his abilities. Leonard Turner ends his service to the Branch in September of this year, and deserves the thanks of the Nevada membership for his voluntary service to his brothers and sisters. Please take a moment to thank Lenny when you see him on set or around town.

lenny turner new
Outgoing SAG Council
Member Leonard Turner

Nevada Branch Elections

I would like to single out the Branch Nominating and Elections committees for volunteering their time in ensuring that the 2009 Nevada Branch Election cycle was above board and met all of the requirements of the SAG Constitution and the Nevada Branch Rules of Procedure.

Finally, kudos to returning Council members Arttours Weeden and Charles Di Pinto, and new council member Scott Mirne for the sacrifices you make in the voluntary service to your brothers and sisters in Nevada SAG.

Sign Up for Union Work

The Branch is only as strong as its membership and our willingness to do the work professionally.

Frequently checking the Nevada Information Hot Line at (702) 737-8818 will assist in knowing what work opportunities may be available. Of course, being active with talent agents (representation has become tighter; you are not required to have an agent to submit yourself for work), keeping current in casting director files and aggressively following the industry will increase your potential to earn income and pension and health under contract.

If you have not updated your files and availability at any of our talent agencies and casting companies, please do so, as files are frequently purged. 

Take the time to keep your audition and performance skills current and fine-tuned.

Members are encouraged to consider background work as the best way to head off the flood of Taft-Hartleys and union pay and benefits to non-union background workers. Make sure there will be enough SAG members willing to work to meet our quota.

Remember, our numbers on the set went up with the contract you recently ratified.

Don't Forget to Return Your Ballots

Ballots for the tentative agreement recently reached on a Basic Cable Live Action successor contract were mailed on August 5. Please review the materials and contact us if you have any questions. Please be sure your voice is heard and mail your ballot in the envelope provided in time for it to be received at the post office box in Everett, Washington no later than 5 p.m. PDT on August 26, 2009.

75th magazine and Award of Excellence star

ILCA Honors SAG Communications

Screen Actors Guild has been recognized for communications excellence by the International Labor Communicators Association. The Guild won First Place in the International/ National Publications—Magazine category for issues of Screen Actor published last year, as well as Third Place in the Multimedia Campaigns category for the 75th anniversary multimedia campaign.

The awards will be presented in Pittsburgh in September.

“This is a singular honor that places us at the very top of union communications and we are all quite proud of the achievement,” said SAG Communications Executive Director Pamela Greenwalt.

Credit for the 75th anniversary win in particular is due to the President’s Task Force on the 75th Anniversary; task force liaison and staff lead Kathy Connell, who oversaw many aspects of the effort; and all of the division executives and members who developed local and regional programs for the anniversary year.

Welcoming Our New and Returning Members

Welcome to SAG members who have transferred into Nevada Branch since the last newsletter: Ania Zalewski; Michael McNabb; Tiffani Holland; Mark Anthony Genrty; Mark Kubiak; Jonathan Gentry; Fara Eve Soleil; Gary Crutcher; Sonny Klein; Elisa Dease; Thomas E. Stramat; Marcelino A. Deliger; Jorg Bierekoven; Douglas Robert Jackson; Sandy Eugene Scott; Marla Rea; Susan Lane; Larry Santos; Ed Anders; Curtis Lee; Dane Parker; Kevin Bleuer; Ally Holmes; Matt Hanson;  Donald Arnolds, Jr.; Barry YoungBlood; Dean Welsh; Hunter Tylo; Nanci Meek; Stasea Rosenblum; Sheri Rosenblum; Donald Barnhard, Jr.; John Thomas Barnett; Debora Denise Loeb; Jerra Stewart; Kim Sarubbi; Edward Bogdanowicz; Trina D. Johnson; Mary Denise McClain; Leigh Zimmerman; Christa Daniel; Maureen O’Connor; Rosemary Sketchley; Debbie Greg; Susan Beaubian; Carla Moon; Mike Kennedy; Artie Lee Anderson; Natalie Summerlin; Benjamin C. Robertson

And new member: Sean Patrick Flaherty

Welcome all!

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