New York 2011:12

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

SAG MEMBERS, FAMILY MEMBERS AWARDED UNION PLUS SCHOLARSHIPS

Union Plus has awarded $150,000 in scholarships to 130 students representing 43 unions, including four representing the Screen Actors Guild, in the 2011 Union Plus Scholarship Program.

Union Plus Scholarship awards are granted to students attending a two-year college, four-year college, graduate school or a recognized technical or trade school. Since starting the program in 1991, Union Plus has awarded $3 million in educational funding to more than 2,100 union members, spouses and dependent children. Recipients are selected based on academic ability, social awareness, financial need and appreciation of labor. In addition to the Union Plus Scholarships, the following benefits help union families afford higher education:

• Scholarships to help union members and leaders finish their degrees with an affordable, flexible and convenient online program at the National Labor College.
• Discounts of 15 to 60 percent on college and graduate school test preparation courses from The Princeton Review. Includes classroom, online and private tutoring for the SAT®, ACT®, GMAT®, LSAT®, GRE® and MCAT®, as well as college affordability and admissions online courses. Click here or call 1-888-243-7737.
• New education rebates for Union Plus Credit Card holders. Cardholders now can qualify for rebates of $50, $125 or $250 for eligible education purchases — including college textbooks and tuition — with their Union Plus Credit Card.

Visit Union Plus for applications and benefit eligibility. The deadline for the 2012 Union Plus Scholarship is January 31, 2012, so act fast! 

MEET THE 2011 SAG HONOREES

Evan Griffith
Evan Griffith

Evan Griffith of New York, N.Y., whose parents Edward and Lisa Griffith are both SAG members, has been awarded a $500 scholarship. “The actor’s career is unpredictable and capricious, but I’ve always felt secure,” says Evan. He gives credit for that security to having grown up in a household in which both parents are union members, with solid union benefits — including health insurance, which has helped care for a family member during a protracted illness. Carrying forward his parents’ legacy in the performing arts, Evan is a talented musician who founded an outreach group that performs in hospitals, shelters, senior homes and community centers. He is planning a dual major in music and psychology. “I am deeply aware of, and grateful for, the benefits that union membership has provided our family,” he says.

Jan Neuberger
Jan Neuberger

Jan Neuberger of Newtown, Conn., who has been a SAG member since 1974, has been awarded a $1,000 scholarship. Decades as a SAG member have provided Jan with a lifetime of lessons in how much union benefits matter. “I have some savings, I will be eligible for a pension in less than a decade, and,” she says, “I have never been left stranded by an unscrupulous producer.” Most of all, she adds, “I have always had health insurance,” which isn’t the case for too many non-union working families. She regards obtaining a degree as a way to give back some of the blessings she has enjoyed. Her degree in English and creative writing “will make me a rich and valuable resource for young people discovering the power of language, drama and the windows they provide into the self,” she says.

Culley Schultz 
Culley Schultz

Culley Schultz of Glen Ridge, N.J., whose father Armand Schultz is a SAG member, has been awarded a $1,000 scholarship. Culley is forever grateful for her father’s union benefits, which helped two family members through serious illnesses. She remembers feeling a sense of pride as her father, a strike captain, carried her during the annual Labor Day Parade as he led the actors involved in the SAG/AFTRA Commercials strike in 2000. Today, union consciousness and compassion help drive her to pursue a degree in social justice, with the goal of helping underserved people to unify and achieve their goals. “My family’s involvement in our unions has taught me that the lofty ideals of social justice are nothing without strong organization, structure and solid, achievable goals,” she says.

Hatsumi Yoshida of Bronx, N.Y., who has been a SAG member since 1996, has been awarded a $500 scholarship. Hatsumi’s parents, Peter and Geri, also are longtime SAG members, having joined the union in 1968 and 1983, respectively. Hatsumi says, “My personal relationship with the union began before I was born, because both my parents are members of the acting unions.” Union benefits “paid for my mother’s prenatal care, delivery costs and hospitalization.” In short, right from the beginning Hatsumi had the kind of healthy and secure start in life that all children deserve, but too many working families are denied. And right from the beginning she has made the most of life, pursuing her passions in the performing arts. She started acting when she was 5 months old, and has been an actor, model and dancer. Aware of the challenges performers face, Hatsumi is pursuing degrees in both dance and business. “My career goal is to work in arts administration for a nonprofit performing arts institution,” she says. 
 
Learn More About Your Union Plus Benefits

In addition to the Union Plus Scholarships, other programs include mortgage and finance benefits, safety net and insurance benefits and even money-saving offers on Goodyear tires, car rentals and AT&T wireless service. Union members can visit UnionPlus.org to find out which programs their unions offer.

The information contained herein is provided for informational purposes and is not intended to imply endorsement by the Guild of any organization or of the information, material, products or services provided. The Guild makes no warranties or representations regarding the use of the material or the quality of the services or service providers.

SAVE MONEY ON SAG SWAG

Check out the holiday sale at the SAG Shop and save 15 percent on purchases over $50. Show your SAG pride and look good doing it!

A Message from the New York Division President

By Mike Hodge

I looked up the other day and realized it’s the end of the year. Again. 

Wow. When I was a kid it took Santa forever to come. Now what seems like just yesterday was actually last year. Back in my childhood, I didn’t have to worry about much during this time of year except what I wanted from Santa. My folks did pretty well in terms of giving me what I needed. I think they also did pretty well in giving me perspective, which helped me to appreciate what I had, not ask for too much and be mindful of asking for things that were useless or just a whim.

Me: “Wow, I love that; I want that!”
Dad: “Okay. What is it?”
Me: “It’s a dress shirt. It’s a great color.”
Dad: “You’re not wearing that to any church I go to.”

Consequently, my electric train set entertained me for years and grew into a collection of five, I think. The tricycle at 3 became a bicycle at 6, and a bigger and better bicycle at 12 (and, proudly, an even better one at 23). I think the reason I struck it rich so often was because I was never allowed to ask for the first thing that came to mind. I had to think about it. I had to live with the idea for a while before it would be considered a true request. So not only did I have to be considerate and thoughtful about what the request was, I was also encouraged to be pragmatic about the probability of getting it. And whining and begging did not work.

I learned that when I begged for a pony at the age of 8 and whined for a smoking jacket at 10. Never mind that there was no place to keep the pony and I didn’t and still don’t smoke.

But train sets and bikes and clothes I thought about before I asked. I discussed them with my best friends, my parents and my brother. And with that process, I came up with winners. I still love clothes. My bike is in the basement. And I am salivating over the idea of creating a space in my home for an electric train collection.

These childhood memories were brought to the surface as I considered the process we, your G1 committee, are going through now to create our new union. The process is pretty much the same — thoughtful, reasoned and fully examined.

And just like on Christmas morning, I am totally stoked to see what the new union will look like. 

One more month to go. I can’t wait.

We want your point of VIEW 

Older New Yorkers: Share Your Point of ‘VIEW’

Attention SAG members 60 years of age or older living in NYC’s Clinton/Hell's Kitchen or Chelsea Neighborhoods! The Actors Fund wants your point of VIEW: Vision, Insight, Experience and Wisdom to better understand the quality of life of older New Yorkers, with special focus on members of the performing arts community. Visit this link to take the survey and to find out more details: SeniorsCommunitySurvey.org

“It’s a fact: The number of seniors is rapidly growing. By taking the survey, your vision and experience will help us understand the concerns of older New Yorkers. The results will strengthen the opportunity to advocate for resources and services that you identify.”
— Angela Lansbury, Senior Community Survey spokesperson

And as thanks for participating, The Actors Fund is offering five people who complete the survey the chance to win a $100 prize! No Internet access? Call the survey team at (212) 221-7301 ext. 277.

This survey is being conducted in partnership with The Actors Fund, Community Board 4, Manhattan Plaza’s Rodney Kirk Center and the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, and is co-sponsored by Speaker Christine C. Quinn, 3rd Council District; Council member Gale A. Brewer; Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer; State Sen. Thomas K. Duane; Assembly member Linda B. Rosenthal; Assembly member Richard N. Gottfried; and Rep. Jerrold Nadler.

LiveStream Event Brings SAG Division, Branches Together

As many as 2,000 SAG members and producers tuned in via a live online stream on November 30 to learn details of the new SAG Production Center, which allows producers to download forms and rate sheets, and in many instances sign online, saving substantial time and avoiding the headaches of the paper-based manual approach.

The informational meeting was presented jointly by the MOVE New York and MOVE Hollywood committees, and took place at the SAG headquarters in Hollywood, with participants linked in via videoconference from New York and Florida. Branches in Dallas, Boston, Colorado, Nevada and Portland hosted viewing parties. Online, the event registered more than 31,000 total views over the course of two hours, with viewers submitting questions via email and Twitter.

Read more here.

Members watch MOVE event
MOVE New York hosts members in the Leon Janney Boardroom

Stephanie Perry and Carly Hugo
Manager of TV/Theatrical Contracts Stephanie Perry and producer Carly Hugo participate on the national panel from New York.

Rebecca Damon at the MOVE event
New York Division Vice President and MOVE New York Committee Chair Rebecca Damon addresses the live audiences in New York and Los Angeles, and LiveStream viewers.

Production Center gets Boost at N.Y. Showbiz Expo

Screen Actors Guild’s Production Center has been a big hit among producers. With the ability to complete signatory paperwork online, more and more producers are using the program every day. The more producers sign their new media, student, short, ultra low budget and industrial-educational projects with the online signatory application, the more our members work. Screen Actors Guild has been promoting the program around the country, and the Showbiz Expo, held on Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at Penn Plaza Pavilion, provided one more opportunity for outreach to the entertainment community.

Showbiz Expo
Marc Baron, vice chair of the MORE (Member Outreach, Relations and Education) Committee and Susan Stout, MORE Committee member, greet attendees of the 2011 New York Showbiz Expo.

In addition to providing information about membership to actors who are just starting out, MORE Committee volunteers and SAG staff spoke to producers, writers and directors about the new online resources that make it easier for them to interface with SAG and use professional actors in their projects. Want to see what the Production Center is all about? Check it out at SAG.org/ProductionCenter.

Classical Music Concert Free for SAG Members

When: Sunday, December 18
Two show times: 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Where: Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Center
129 West 67th Street, New York, NY 10023

Acclaimed classical musicians Pamela Ross (pianist) and Adrian Daurov (cellist) will present two different programs of music on Sunday, December 18 at the Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Center, 129 West 67th Street. The afternoon concert will begin at 3 p.m. and the evening concert, featuring a completely different program, will begin at 7 p.m. The concerts will feature magnificent music by Bach, Beethoven, Debussy, Shostakovich, Bartok, Brahms, Rachmaninoff, Chopin and others. RSVP is required.

Tickets for the general public are $23, but tickets for SAG members are FREE! SAG members may obtain their free passes by emailing press agent Evelyn Bonilla or phoning her at (973) 943-7396. Leave name, phone number, number of free tickets requested and your mailing address. Vouchers will be mailed to you, and you MUST present the vouchers at the box office prior to the concert in exchange for a “real” ticket. If there is not enough time for “snail mail,” then you should request the voucher be sent by email as a pdf. SAG members are welcome to bring nonmember friends and relatives to the concert, but please do not show up at the box office without a voucher for the correct number of tickets.

Screen Actors Guild Awards® Ballots and Screenings

The 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards® nominations will be announced on Wednesday, December 14, 2011. As a reminder: To be eligible to vote, your November 2011 dues must be paid by this Friday, December 16, 2011.
 
Online final balloting will be available to all eligible members. Any member who would like to request a paper ballot may do so by calling toll free (877) 610-8637. Please have your SAG ID number ready when calling. Final ballot information, including requested paper ballots, will be mailed to all eligible members on December 30, 2011. For a complete calendar of dates and deadlines, click here.
 
Once nominations are announced, the SAG Awards office will begin working with studios to finalize their plans for the final voting phase. We will notify members of any "for your consideration" offers via email on January 9, 2012. 
 
The SAG Awards has established an email database for members who wish to be contacted should seats for nominating committee screenings become available. If you are interested in receiving email invitations to these film screenings, please go to sagawardsRSVP.org and register.
 
If you have questions about member screenings, nominations or final voting, please contact the Awards Office atawardsinfo@sagawards.org.