New York 2011:05

The Official E-Newsletter of the New York Division
The Official E-Newsletter of the New York Division
May 2011

THE HEALTHCARE SAFTEYNET COMMITTEE PRESENTS FROM ILLNESS TO WELLNESS HEALTH FAIR

When: Wednesday, May 25, 2011
10 a.m.–4 p.m.: Blood Mobile Hours
1 p.m.–5 p.m.: Health Fair
5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m.: Cure Back Pain with Yoga and Sciatica Solutions

Where: Screen Actors Guild, 360 Madison Avenue (Entrance at 45th Street) 12th Floor Member Lounge

Join the Healthcare Safetynet Committee for an afternoon of information about health and wellness. Providers will include*:

• Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic
• Dr. Craig Jacobs, chiropractor
• Janet Dagley Dagley, Reiki master/teacher
• Pacific Oriental College of Medicine
• Ryan Chelsea of Clinton Health Center
• Ulysses Sims, reflexologist
• Yogaworks

Attendees can enter a raffle for great SAG swag. In addition, this year everyone is welcome to donate blood from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. at the NY Blood Center’s Bloodmobile, which will be parked in front of the SAG Office building at 360 Madison Avenue.

Come see the following scheduled speakers* in the Conservatory Studio:

• 1–1:20 p.m.: How to Qualify for SAG Pension & Health — Arthur Bradford, SAG Pension & Health

• 1:20–2:20 p.m.: Get Covered: Understand Your Health Insurance Options Now and Under Health Care Reform — Renata Marinaro, manager of Health Services Education and Outreach for The Actors Fund

• 2:20–3 p.m.: Nutrition Secrets to Help You Stand Out, Get Noticed and Succeed —Alexandra Jamieson, CHHC, AADP, author of Vegan Cooking for Dummies and Great American Detox

• 3–3:20 p.m.: Roles Addiction Plays In Your Life — Yvon Nives, LCSW, CASAC, addictions specialist

• 3:20–4 p.m.: Meditation for Acting From Your Source — John Halpern, meditation teacher, award-winning internationally renowned artist and filmmaker

• 4–5 p.m. Increase Your Physicality Plus Protect Your Physique — Dr. Allen Wilkins, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and martial arts specialist

*List of providers and speakers subject to change.

Nothing contained herein is intended to imply endorsement by the Guild of the referenced company or individual or of any information, material, products or services provided at this event.

SAG HEALTHCARE SAFETYNET COMMITTEE PRESENTS: CURE BACK PAIN WITH YOGA*, AND SCIATICA SOLUTIONS

When: 5:30–7:30 p.m. (Doors open at 5 p.m., no admittance after 6 p.m.)
Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Where: Screen Actors Guild
12th Floor Member Lounge
360 Madison Avenue (entrance on 45th street)

Dr. Loren Fishman views back pain as a symptom: “To approach it rationally, you must find the diagnosis.” Dr. Fishman will review the six major causes of back pain and sciatica, how to identify which one you have, and what to do about it. That, of course, depends upon the cause. Ironically, he has found that often the more difficult it is to arrive at the proper diagnosis, the easier it is to cure the pain. He will address post-surgical care too.

Fishman is a founding partner and director of Manhattan Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in New York City. He is a professor at the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, and a world-recognized pioneer in the treatment of piriformis syndrome and rotator cuff tear. He is the author of more than 75 academic articles and eight books, including Yoga for Osteoporosis: The Complete Guide, Yoga for Arthritis: The Complete Guide, Cure Back Pain with Yoga, and Sciatica Solutions: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Cure of Spinal and Piriformis Problems.

*This seminar will not include the practice of yoga. It is informational only.

Reservations are required. To RSVP, Click here or call (212) 827-1417. You must bring your current SAG card (paid through April 30, 2011) and photo ID.

Nothing contained herein is intended to imply endorsement by the Guild of the referenced company or individual or of any information, material, products, or services provided at this event.

20% DISCOUNT FOR SAG MEMBERS AT B SMITH RESTAURANT

To celebrate their 25th year in the Theatre District, the owners of B Smith Restaurant — both SAG members themselves — are offering a 20 percent discount on food and beverages to all current SAG members. One card-carrying SAG member can receive a discount for up to four people (the discount is not applicable to the prix fixe lunch or dinner).

B Smith offers a perfect location for pre- or post-Broadway theater dining, or simply a great place to enjoy a delicious dinner, a lively happy hour or a fabulous Sunday brunch with live jazz. So come down and enjoy B Smith’s American menu with Southern influences. SAG members have always been B Smith’s most consistent and dynamic customers, and this is their way of saying thank you.

Remember to tip your servers based on the full amount — they might be SAG members too.

B SMITH
Restaurant Row
320 West 46th Street
New York, NY 10036
(212) 315-1100

Hours
Sunday: 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m.
Monday: 5 p.m.–10 p.m.
Tuesday: 5 p.m.–11 p.m.
Wednesday: 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m.
Thursday: 5 p.m.–11 p.m.
Friday: 5 p.m.–12:30 a.m.
Saturday: 11:30 a.m.–12:30 a.m.

Reservations Recommended, especially for pre-theater or
theater matinee Wednesdays.

Payment
American Express, Master Card, Visa, Discover, Diners

TUNE IN! THE ACTORS FUND PODCAST SERIES

To make its dynamic workshops accessible to Screen Actors Guild members across the country, The Actors Fund recently launched its first-ever podcast series. The series, available at www.actorsfund.org/podcast, will offer valuable information based on workshops from The Actors Fund Work Program and the Financial Wellness Program. Each of the seven titles will focus on a different topic, including:

• Finding a Balance — Having a Performance Career and a Meaningful Parallel Career
• Where are the Jobs that Will Utilize My Skills? Conducting Labor Market Research
• Assessing Credit Health
• Organizing Income
• Organizing Expenses
• Creating a Winning Resume and Preparing for the Interview
• Applying for a Job and Getting a Competitive Edge

First up is Finding a Balance — Having a Performance Career and Meaningful Parallel Career, which explains why pursuing alternative ways to earn income is a positive step. This eight-minute podcast also debunks some popular myths and offers first steps to get you thinking about how your skills can be put to use in other potential occupations.

Under the direction of Ted Smits of TED TV Productions, the podcast series features a team of volunteers from across the industry who worked over the course of two days in February at The Actors Fund’s Schermerhorn in Brooklyn. The series features talents of actors Deidre Goodwin, Michael Iannucci, Nancy Johnston and Michael McCoy. Stay tuned — there are six episodes still to come in the series.

To view the latest in The Actors Fund Podcast Series, visit www.actorsfund.org/podcast. For more information on The Fund’s free programs and services available to all SAG members, call (212) 221-7300 ext. 119 or visit www.actorsfund.org.

Many programs of The Actors Fund are supported by funding from the Screen Actors Guild Motion Picture Players Welfare Fund. For more information about the fund, go to www.SAG.org/mppwf.

WHO WILL BE THE NEXT SAG AGENT OF THE MONTH?

Hey, SAG performers! Are you represented by a terrific, franchised agent that you believe does not get the recognition that he or she deserves? Is your agent always there for you, guiding your career, advising you, watching your back and generally being a mensch without much fanfare or praise?

Let us know why your agent is the best agent out there and he or she may be the next SAG Agent of the Month. Tell us (and the world) in your own moving, personal way why your agent is special. Please be sure to make all submissions more than 150 words, to fit publication specifications. If chosen, SAG will run a picture of your agent (and you) celebrating your agent’s star status as SAG Agent of the Month.

Mention this program to your fellow SAG performers, and keep those letters coming. We will choose a different agent at the start of every month and feature the honoree on SAG’s website (and other publications) for the world to see. With your help, your agent can finally get those richly deserved kudos!

Please send all entries by email to agentquestion@sag.org, or by mail to SAG Agent of the Month, SAG Agency Department, 5757 Wilshire Blvd., 7th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90036-3600. We look forward to hearing from you.

A Message From the
New York Division President

By Mike Hodge

It was my great pleasure to welcome SAG President Ken Howard to our New York Spring Membership Meeting on May 9. Ken was in town to host another stop in the Presidents’ Forum for One Union Listening Tour, and he graciously spoke at our membership meeting beforehand. Naturally, the main topic on everyone’s mind was the merger with AFTRA, and Ken spoke eloquently about the need to place all performers under one union banner. You may not know that Ken grew up in New York and started his professional career here, and he spoke of the city with great affection. He noted how New York actors, more than those living elsewhere, typically rotate between different types of work, including film, television, theater, commercials, voiceover and more, and how this gives us a keen understanding of how wasteful it is to have divided unions. I was particularly inspired by Ken’s complete confidence that we will be a single organization by this time next year.

My own remarks on merger emphasized that the past eight years since the last merger attempt have made it painfully obvious that we must join together with AFTRA. Scenarios we could only warn about in 2003 have come true. Divided negotiations, divided jurisdictions and divided pension contributions are a recipe for disaster. We must not wait any longer to bring these two great unions together, for all performers. 

Additionally, the broader labor movement is under attack across the country, with lawmakers working to undo our collective bargaining rights. A merger between SAG and AFTRA could be a huge shot in the arm to the spirit of organized labor, demonstrating that American workers still recognize the value of combined strength and unity.

Finally, President Howard and I both noted with pride the recent unanimous vote by the National Board of SAG to form a Merger Task Force to prepare a merger plan and report back to the Board by January 2012. And by week’s end, AFTRA had agreed in its Board meeting to form the New Union Committee, a mirror of our Merger Task Force. Members with questions or comments about merger can email oneunion@sag.org.

Other topics were covered at the meeting besides the merger. New York Executive Director Jae Je Simmons reported on several improvements to the 12th floor member lounge, including new computer kiosks with new scanners and expanded capabilities, and a large monitor screen for important announcements and information. Jae Je also noted there has been a welcome increase in background days since the previous spring quarter in 2010.

The first Listening Tour for the general SAG/AFTRA membership took place following the membership meeting. Among the concerns expressed was the potential for a flood of actors from the other union taking jobs away. It was pointed out that most actors are already in both unions, so there would not be a flood. And though it was noted that the Pension and Health Plans are separate corporate entities from their unions, and no decision about the plans could be made until the unions merge, many still raised the issue of the security of their pensions. I want to assure you that accrued pensions are guaranteed by the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act. While there can be no guarantees about what the new plans will look like, the economies of scale suggest they can be merged into a stronger, more valuable plan that will serve more people than the two separate plans can currently serve.

I urge all members to stay informed about the merger and all other issues that affect the Screen Actors Guild.

You Are Invited to MORE’s Next New Member Orientation

When: Friday, May 20, 2011
Noon to 2 p.m. (Doors open at 11:30 a.m.)
 
Where: SAG Boardroom, 360 Madison Avenue
(Entrance on East 45th Street)

If you’ve recently joined SAG, have not yet been able to attend a new member orientation, or just want to brush up on everything SAG has to offer, join us to learn all about the Guild and what it can do for you.

Reservations are required. Click here to RSVP online or call (212) 252-4724 box 1. Please only RSVP one time via Internet or phone. You must bring your current SAG card and photo ID for admittance.

SAG Foundation Upcoming Events

NY Casting Access Project (NYCAP) Orientation

Do something positive for your career by participating in the audition and cold-reading workshops offered by the Foundation’s NYCAP program.

These free workshops are conducted by well-known casting directors and can help you to improve your acting skills and, perhaps, your chances of getting work. Some sessions include on-camera auditions and cold-reading technique for film, TV and commercials. We also have workshops that focus on working in industrials.

Registration for the orientation, which is mandatory, starts on Monday, May 9, at the Foundation’s website.

Short Film Showcase — Thursday, May 26, 7 p.m.

Why attend the Short Film Showcase? Inspiration. Networking. Supporting your fellow union members.

Our upcoming showcase will feature the work of seven filmmakers — some of whom are SAG members — who have created a wide range of projects under a union contract.

We hope that you and a guest will join us at this great event — perhaps it will inspire you to create new career opportunities for yourself.

Registration for this event starts on Tuesday, May 24 at the Foundation’s website. Looking forward to having you with us!

SAG FOUNDATION — WE’RE YOUR BIGGEST FANS!

Since 1985, the nonprofit Screen Actors Guild Foundation has helped actors by providing programs that assist, educate and inspire Guild members in their careers, lives and communities. We’re actors helping actors, with programs made available to you at no cost, through the support of grants and donations. From inviting established professionals to share their experiences to honoring the importance of learning, the SAG Foundation is there for you. Please visit our website to find out more about us, from events and programs that will benefit you and your fellow actors (look for upcoming LifeRaft, Conversations and NYCAP events) to ways you can get involved with and contribute to our mission of support. Remember, we can help you and you can help us. Get to know us!

Are You Losing Out on Work Opportunities?

The Screen Actors Guild offers each of its members the benefit of its Actors to Locate phone service. SAG provides this service daily, Monday through Friday, during normal business hours (9 a.m.–5:30 p.m., PST), for the sole purpose of providing potential employers with your professional contact information.

How does this service work? If you sign a standard SAG agency contract with an agent, and your agent submits that contract to the Guild for processing, the Actors to Locate computer system will automatically list that agent as your contact for the term of that contract. If a potential employer calls the Guild looking for your agency contact information, he or she will be given your agent’s information. Note: Once the term of the SAG contract expires, however, this agency contact information will automatically be deleted from the system. It is your responsibility to ensure the Guild always has your current agency contact information on file.

If you have a non-exclusive/handshake agreement with an agent, you should nonetheless have that agent’s contact information posted on the Actors to Locate system. This can be done by:

(a) having your agent file a client confirmation form (CCF) with the Guild indicating that they are representing you (and in which area) — this is not always done by the agent. Or,

(b) by the member providing us with a personal fax (323/549-6746) bearing the date, your signature and member number, indicating which agency contact you would like to see posted. Be sure to also specify the fields in which the agent represents you, e.g., commercials. 

Note: CCFs remain in the SAG system indefinitely unless you, in writing, cancel them. Again, it is your responsibility to ensure the Guild always has your current contact information on file.
You may also now list a business contact number (e.g., an attorney, personal manager, etc.) in this system, in addition to your agency information.

This is an invaluable free service provided to all SAG members regardless of their geographic location. SAG receives thousands of calls every year from potential signatory employers in your area, looking to find you, the performer, to offer you work. If you have not updated your agency contact information with SAG recently, what are you waiting for? You are depriving yourself (and your agent) of potential work opportunities and income.   

SAGIndie and SAG Host Tribeca Cast Party

Once again, SAG and SAGIndie feted the cast members of films in competition at this year's Tribeca Film Festival. This is the fourth year the Guild and SAGIndie have hosted the event in conjunction with Tribeca. Cast members enjoyed free bowling and took home coveted SAGIndie bowling shirts. The annual event is held to honor the actors of the films being screened at the festival which, thanks to SAG’s many low-budget agreements, includes many SAG-signatory films.

The cast of the film Nightlife, which was shot under SAG’s Student Film Agreement, enjoyed the camaraderie of the evening. The film features SAG member Antone Pagan as the doorman at an Upper East Side building whose son forms an unexpected bond with one of the building’s lonely, young residents. The Student Film Agreement allowed Pagan to work with his alma mater, New York University, and gave the film’s writer/director Shandor Garrison, the opportunity to work with a professional SAG actor.

Shandor Garrison, Olivia Whelan and Antone Pagan

Nightlife director Shandor Garrison with cast members Olivia Whelan and SAG member Antone Pagan. Photo by Marisa Erin.

Tribeca Cast Party
 
From left, SAGIndie’s Michael Sladek and Darrien Michele Gipson, SAG National Director of New Media Mark Friedlander, New York Board Member Kevin Scullin, New York Division Vice President Rebecca Damon, SAG Foundation’s Stacey Jackson, New York Division President Mike Hodge, SAG Associate National Director of Affirmative Action & Diversity Adam Moore.

How to Make the Most of the Current Housing Market

When: 6–8:30 p.m., Monday, May 23

Where: Actors Federal Credit Union
165 West 46th Street, 14th Floor

The Actors Federal Credit Union invites you to attend its free mortgage seminar. You can own a home! Find out how at an educational evening of interactive Q&A.

Nothing contained herein is intended to imply endorsement by the Guild of the referenced company or individual or of any information, material, products or services provided at this event.

MOVE Committee Honors Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Centennial

Friday, March 25, 2011 marked an important day in labor history. It was the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire that killed 146 workers, most of whom were young women. This fire was the deadliest industrial disaster ever to take place in New York City and led to the creation of workplace safety legislation and served as an impetus for the creation of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union. The union fought to set standards for safe working conditions for sweatshop workers, a concept that was unheard of at the time.

The New York City Central Labor Council held its annual procession from Union Square down to the site of the former factory at 29 Washington Place. The SAG NY MOVE Committee was in attendance, marching in solidarity with relatives of the victims, who held shirtwaists with a sash bearing the name and age of each person who perished in the fire.

Unions, including SAG, still fight for the protection of their members. Safe working conditions for members are of utmost importance to the union, and all of our contracts contain safety provisions for members. Visit our website for more information about safety on and off the set. For general on-set safety questions, please call the National Stunt and Safety Department at (323) 549-6855 or, for after hours safety issues, contact the Emergency hotline number at (212) 517-0909.

March 25 Procession

The procession on March 25, 2011

Fay Greenbaum and Kevin Scullin

SAG member Fay Greenbaum and MOVE Committee and New York Board member Kevin Scullin honor the victims of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire.

We Are One Rally Photos

We Are One Rally

We Are One Rally

We Are One Rally