PROFESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVES COMMITTEE REPORT
By Cliff Gravel
SAG-AFTRA New Mexico Local 2nd Vice President
At a recent film and television conference in Albuquerque, one of our national SAG-AFTRA staff said they felt New Mexico has some of the best talent agents in the country. Yay for us! But, it is important that you know New Mexico currently has only three SAG-AFTRA-franchised talent agencies, and that — as required under SAG-AFTRA membership rules — you may only be represented by a SAG-AFTRA-franchised agency.
As of this writing, the three agencies authorized to represent you in New Mexico are the O’Agency, A&M Talent House, and Mitchell & Presley Talent Group. Choosing to be represented by any other agency in this market could lead to a violation of SAG-AFTRA membership rules.
If you have questions or concerns about your representation or need clarification on your contract or any other agency-related issues, please feel free to contact the SAG-AFTRA Professional Representatives department at (323) 549-6745.
2015-2017 NEW MEXICO LOCAL BOARD
Tom Schuch – President
Mel MacKaron – National Board Member and 1st Vice President
Cliff Gravel – 2nd Vice President
Karen Cotter – Secretary
Frances Lee McCain
Local President's Report
Dear SAG-AFTRA New Mexico Members,
Happy New Year! Another year around the sun and here we are beginning a new year, which, I believe, will be a fruitful one for our members. We expect the return of several strong TV series, including Manhattan, The Night Shift, Longmire, Better Call Saul and a new and exciting addition to the list, The Preacher. Films big and small will pepper the calendar throughout the year. Plus, legislation that makes it easier for commercial advertisers to take advantage of the tax incentive programs took effect Jan. 1. As you know, union commercial work can be a very important part of an actor’s career. Residuals!
A quick recap of 2015: In late May, the local held its annual membership meeting, encouraging members to get involved with committees and to run for offices. The centerpiece of the meeting was a presentation from the President’s Taskforce on Education, Outreach & Engagement (PTEOE) featuring special guests SAG-AFTRA Executive Vice President Gabrielle Carteris and New York Local Board member Jamal Story. They shared their experiences and emphasized that we are one union, all with the same goal. Their message: Just by being here, you are already leaders.
In early June, SAG-AFTRA hosted two panels at the Albuquerque Film & Music Experience. Fatna Sallak-Williams and Ellen Huang (national staff) presented workshops on the theatrical and new media contracts and the business of acting.
This past fall, the union participated in two additional industry panels: the New Mexico Film & Media Industry Conference’s SAG-AFTRA New Mexico Franchised Talent Houses with special guest Xochitl Cerda, SAG-AFTRA senior manager, professional representatives and, in December, SAG-AFTRA was part of a casting panel during the Santa Fe Film Festival.
There are a couple of important events coming up soon.
1) On Saturday, Jan. 30, we will be celebrating the SAG Awards with a big viewing party. This year we are moving the party to a bigger location at Sadie’s Restaurant at the Santa Ana Star Casino. It has a beautiful, private event room that will be ours exclusively that evening. Sadie’s is setting up a buffet with their excellent New Mexican food and a cash bar will be available. It will be a fun night with a “guess-the-winners” ballot contest, and a selfie booth! Plus, you get to network and chat with your fellow SAG-AFTRA members.
2) SAG-AFTRA New Mexico will once again have a presence at Film & TV Day on Monday, Feb. 8, at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe. The legislature will be in session. We’ll be at the Roundhouse all day, so stop by and say hello.
If you haven’t been to this event, it’s a great opportunity to network with folks from all aspects of the New Mexico film and TV business. And, very importantly, it’s an opportunity to introduce yourself to your legislators and talk about the disadvantages of “right-to-work-for-less” laws. Oh yes, more on that subject ...
You may have heard that right-to-work-for-less is rearing its ugly head once again at this year’s legislative session. We are on it. We will be supporting efforts to make sure that that type of union-weakening (busting) legislation doesn’t get through, and we ask that all SAG-AFTRA New Mexico members be in communication with their local legislators regarding this effort. (Stay tuned for more details on this.) New Mexico and Colorado are surrounded by right-to-work states, so it is important that we continue to be aware of what is happening at a state level. Keep your eyes and ears open!
That’s all for now. See you on the set! Be ready, be professional, be proud!
SAG-AFTRA New Mexico Local President