New Study Shows Senior Performers Underutilized

New Study Shows Senior Performers Underutilized

Los Angeles (June 9, 2011) — A study released today shows that while senior performers continue to face age discrimination, they rate high in satisfaction as artists and generally feel good about where they are in life.

The study, StillKicking – Aging Performing Artists in NYC and LA Metro Areas: Information on Artists IV, was undertaken by the Research Center for Arts and Culture at Teachers College, Columbia University. (Click here for press release). Screen Actors Guild made significant contributions to the study, providing demographic information and arranging interviews with senior artists.

Focusing on actors, dancers, choreographers, musicians and singers, the research showed that ageism continues to affect older performers, but they haven’t let it get them down: They remain engaged in the community, are passionate about their craft and benefit from a lifetime of experience.

SAG Interim National Director of Affirmative Action and Diversity Adam Moore said the data show that seniors are a valuable, but underused, resource.

“By connecting the RCAC with our senior performers as interview subjects, as well as providing anonymous demographic and employment data about our senior members, Screen Actors Guild is proud to have been a part of this remarkable study,” said Moore. “The results bear out something that we have always known about our seasoned professionals: Despite feelings of being underutilized and underemployed, they are as passionate about what they do today as they have ever been during their careers. They see themselves as employers should see them: as an experienced and talented force to be reckoned with.”

SAG President Ken Howard reflected on the personal challenges he has faced as a senior performer.

“I know very well what it is like to pursue work in this business as a senior — through my own career on both coasts, as well as through the many conversations I have had with colleagues all over the country,” said Howard, a former SAG National Senior Performers Committee national chair. “I can tell you that we at the Guild take very seriously the concerns voiced in this study and intend to use the findings to more effectively advocate on behalf of these performers. Whatever best serves seniors — and we will all be seniors someday — is a move toward better serving artists.”

The results of the study will be announced at a press conference and reception today at Lincoln Center in New York at 3 p.m. Presenting the results will be Joan Jeffri, Teachers College director of the Research Center for Arts and Culture (RCAC). Special guest, SAG member and Oscar-winner Olympia Dukakis will speak.

For press credentials to the Lincoln Center event, please email: Joan Jeffri jj64@columbia.edu or Claudia Zelevansky czelevansky@gmail.com

For interviews with Ken Howard and Adam Moore, please contact: Pamela Greenwalt, (323) 440-2892 pgreenwalt@sag.org

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About SAG
Screen Actors Guild is the nation’s largest labor union representing working actors. Established in 1933, SAG has a rich history in the American labor movement, from standing up to studios to break long-term engagement contracts in the 1940s to fighting for artists’ rights amid the digital revolution sweeping the entertainment industry in the 21st century.With 20 Branches nationwide, SAG represents more than 125,000 actors who work in film and digital motion pictures and television programs, commercials, video games, industrials, Internet and all new media formats. The Guild exists toenhance actors’ working conditions, compensation and benefits and to be a powerful, unified voice on behalf of artists’ rights. SAG is a proud affiliate of the AFL-CIO. Headquartered in Los Angeles, you can visit SAG online at SAG.org.

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