RBD OFFICERS BACK MERGER
The Screen Actors Guild Regional Branch Division Board of Directors voted unanimously to endorse the creation of one union to cover all performers at their annual board meeting on May 22 in Washington, D.C.
Screen Actors Guild President Ken Howard, who was in attendance with Secretary-Treasurer Amy Aquino, said, “The Regional Branch Division of Screen Actors Guild is the vital and important voice of our membership in the Branches. I’m pleased that they so strongly endorsed the idea of one union for all performers.”
The RBD includes 20 Branches spanning from Boston to Hawaii. Nearly 28,000 Screen Actors Guild members who work in film and television live in the Regional Branches.
Also at the RBD annual meeting, the nation’s top union leader, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, addressed Branch leaders.
“SAG does such a great job of representing performing artists and is also doing more than ever as part of our entire union movement,” Trumka told the audience. “SAG’s active support of all workers’ rights has been crucial in helping us keep labor issues in the spotlight.”
Trumka’s address touched on important issues to SAG members including digital theft, so-called “right to work” states, and the power of political and legislative activism to enact laws to protect SAG members and win tax incentives to increase production work.
“SAG and other entertainment unions are at the forefront of protecting the rights of working performers across the digital media terrain,” he said. “The online theft of copyrighted works and the sale of illegal CDs and DVDs cost actors and other entertainment industry workers millions of dollars in wages, including residuals each year. They’re stealing from you, and that translates directly into fewer jobs, less compensation and reduced benefits for entertainment professionals. The people you elect to Congress at the national level have the power to crack down on piracy—and they hold your residuals in their hands. Turning a blind eye to the theft of copyrighted work is no different than permitting the theft of the wages of any worker.”
SAG President Ken Howard remarked, “When it comes to the entertainment industry, we have no better friend in labor. President Trumka gets our issues.”
Howard sits on the AFL-CIO Executive Council where he concentrates on issues that affect the Guild, the Associated Actors and Artistes of America, professional employees and the entertainment and media industries.
In addition to Howard, other SAG leaders in attendance included SAG Secretary-Treasurer Amy Aquino, SAG 3rd National Vice President David Hartley-Margolin, SAG National Executive Director David White and other elected officers from across the country.
It’s been a busy year thus far, starting off with features Hereafter on Maui, Soul Surfer, The Descendants on Oahu and Kauai, Just Go With It on Maui, Kauai and Oahu, Pirates of the Caribbean 4 on Kauai and Oahu, the feature Knots, a Japan episode The Chase, TV commercials for Capitol One and Burger King and second unit for the feature Caesar: Rise of the Apes on Oahu. Coming in August is the feature Battleship. Stay tuned.
As a result of a busy year, the Branch membership has increased with new members, rejoins, reactivation and transfers into the Branch. Welcome to all!
New member orientation meetings have been scheduled through September at the SAG office. The dates are: July 22, August 17 and September 14. Each starts at 3:30 p.m.
Please RSVP with firstname.lastname@example.org or call (808) 596-0388 if you plan to attend, and make sure to bring your membership packet.
SAVE THE DATE
Twenty-five years ago on September 16, 1985, the Screen Actors Guild Hawaii Branch opened its office at 949 Kapiolani Blvd., Suite 105 in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Branch will celebrate its 25th Anniversary at the annual membership meeting on Monday, September 20, 2010. Save the date! More details to follow.
Note: Member-only events are for current, paid-up members. If you’ve lost or misplaced your membership card, contact the Membership Department at (323) 549-6757 for a replacement card.
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U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye, Brenda Ching, Samsil Cannon (Glenn's wife), Glenn Cannon and Scott Rogers – all giving the "shaka" sign.
Branch President’s Report
By Glenn Cannon
Brenda, Scott and I have recently returned from Regional Branch Division meetings in Washington, D.C. The most important result of this coming together of all Branch presidents, National Board members and Branch executives was the unanimous commitment to the merger of SAG and AFTRA. Our national leaders, President Ken Howard, Secretary-Treasurer Amy Aquino and Executive Director David White also attended. They are leading the drive to finally merge our two entertainment unions (with positive reaction from AFTRA leaders), and they were very pleased to hear that the RBD affirmed their efforts to achieve this in the immediate future.
I had lengthy conversations with both President Howard and Secretary-Treasurer Aquino and I was delighted to see what straightforward, wise people they are. Sooner rather than later, we hope the merger will be brought to the membership as a referendum vote once again, and I feel very hopeful this time the membership at large, which includes strong support from all of us in Hawaii, will realize the importance of coming together as one union.
In my view, our survival as a powerful union in this constantly changing entertainment environment depends upon that final ”yes” vote.
As Scott indicates in his article, the national Wages & Working Conditions process, followed by negotiations with the AMPTP, is upon us. Happily, President Howard is working together with AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon. This collaboration, so vital to securing good contracts for all of us, gives us great hope that a final merger of our unions will take place – as I said, sooner rather than later.
Sen. Dan Inouye spent a very pleasant half hour with us in his office. A sharp, funny guy, he reminded us that he'd been in the first scene of the original Karate Kid, seen and heard speaking at a ceremony in Arlington, playing himself of course. He said to us that he ”should therefore be a member of SAG, only I never received a card.”
We're looking into it. Maybe we can make him an honorary member of the Hawaii Branch.
National Board Member Report
By Scott Rogers
The Regional Branch Division meetings were held in Washington, D.C. on May 22 and 23. The Washington/Baltimore Branch welcomed the members with opening speeches from their president and executive director. Quite a lot was accomplished, so I will be concise in my remarks.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka was the guest speaker. He talked about the issues facing unions – creating new jobs, the AFL-CIO’s relationship with SAG, his support for SAG and AFTRA and the “right to work” issue.
SAG President Ken Howard addressed two issues: the upcoming TV/Theatrical negotiations in the fall and a merger with our sister union AFTRA. Once the negotiations are completed, the focus will be on merger. I am happy to report that the Screen Actors Guild Regional Branch Division Board of Directors is the first Division board to vote (unanimously) to move ahead with plans to form one union to represent actors.
There were reports from National Secretary-Treasurer Amy Aquino, National Executive Director David White, Regional Branch Executive Director Linda Dowell and 3rd Vice President David Hartley-Margolin.
We have a deficit, but our new administrative team, led by David White, has been able to cut it in half.
The Wages and Working Conditions process for the negotiations will begin in June. The upcoming negotiations will be jointly done with AFTRA.
The initiation fees will remain the same until next year.
There were reports from governance, organizing, legislative, contracts and communications. Contracts reported that we have a new demo agreement.
Glenn, Brenda and I had an opportunity to meet with Hawaii’s senior senator, Daniel K. Inouye, in his office at the capitol. During our meeting we talked about Hawaii’s film industry, the productions/shows that are currently filming and the importance of Hawaii’s film industry to the local economy (e.g., mentions of Hawaii and video of our scenery and its impact on the tourism industry, use of hotels and restaurants by actors and crew, etc.). We also discussed the need to have more commercials and military industrials sign union contracts. The senator was very encouraging and his aide gave us an informative tour of the capitol.
CONSERVATORY COMMITTEE: I taught an audition clinic on May 13 and was very pleased with the turnout. We sold out in a matter of a few days and, unfortunately, had to turn people away. The first half of the session was a lecture format with time for questions and answers. The rest of the session was spent doing an on-camera audition drill, followed by a viewing of the tape and specific feedback on the auditions. I think it was very productive and, at the very least, the actors who took part discovered things that they can improve on, and they certainly won't be making the same mistakes on their next real audition. Due to the fact that we had to turn people away, I will be doing another audition clinic very soon. There's a lot of work coming in this summer. Train now and be ready! - by Scott Rogers
WOMEN’S COMMITTEE: Pam Larson, Branch chair of the National Women’s Committee, reports that the committee recently had a successful event in March in Los Angeles. The local women’s committee is planning on having an event in March 2011. Stay tuned for more details.
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU: Members, this is your chance to voice your concerns before contract negotiations begin in September/October 2010. The TV/Theatrical contract expires on June 30, 2011. The committee will be meeting in June and July to create proposals from the Hawaii Branch. Please submit your ideas. You can e-mail them to email@example.com and Brenda will forward them to the committee.
Just Went With It
By Becky Maltby
Sometimes you have to “just go with it.” That’s what a good handful of SAG members considered when we heard background actors were needed on Maui for an Adam Sandler film. For four weeks beginning in April, Just Go With It moved in to the Grand Wailea, so union members from Oahu, Kauai, and even a troupe from Las Vegas, did just that. We splurged on airfare, found accommodations, and arranged for transportation, roommates and days off from our day jobs, etc.,all for the chance to work. I know I speak for many when I say the trip was well worth it, whether for a few days or a few weeks. The production needed hundreds of background actors daily for lobby, beach and pool scenes as well as a huge luau setup on the grounds of the hotel and a week-long restaurant scene at a nearby golf course. Overtime, meal penalties and other benefits union members frequently enjoy were a boost, but the fun, not to mention the stunning view off the southwest Maui coastline, was priceless. Our Maui members were gracious hosts to those of us visiting, and friendships were formed that will last a lifetime.
The mood on set was optimistic. Work on future film projects in Hawaii is a common goal, and as we continue to build and maintain a professional pool of actors here in the islands, we make it that much easier for producers to consider shooting in paradise. On-set etiquette and a positive attitude cannot be stressed enough. Congratulations to all.
Conservatory: Acting Seminar with Iris Klein
Iris Klein returns to the Hawaii Conservatory. She will share her insight and experiences and take you through some creative exercises that will put you in the moment, get you out of your head and connect you to your partner.
Iris is an acting teacher/coach who lives and works in Los Angeles. She co-wrote and co-directed the indie feature festival winner Three Janes and directed the theatre piece Conversations in Black and White in New York City. Currently, she teaches an audition technique class and a ”moment to moment” exercise class that encourages the actor to be in the truth of the moment. She studied with Sanford Meisner, Janet Alhanti and Stella Adler. She has worked as an actress with such directors as John Cassavetes, John Schlesinger and Walter Hill to name a few.
When: Thursday, July 15, 2010
6- 9 p.m.
Where: Studio 909, located next door to the Musicians Union at 949 Kapiolani Blvd., Honolulu. Parking is limited.
Cost: $5 conservatory members,
$20 non-conservatory members
To RSVP: E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and/or call the office at (808) 596-0388. You must send a check/money order to reserve your space. Make your check/money order payable to “SAG Conservatory” and mail it to SAG, 949 Kapiolani Blvd., Suite 105, Honolulu, HI 96814. If your check is not received by Monday, July 5, your space will be released.
This is a SAG member-only event.