WELCOME NEW MEMBERS
Mohammed J. Ali
Bobbi Nicole Bentzel
Frank C Dadino
Hugh L. Douglas
Michael William Kondyra
Scott Van Pham
Michael J. Stack
Samuel Chew Jr.
Michael Tyrone Evans
Brooke DeAnna Robinson
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WHY SAG? WHY NOW?
By Gary Gustin
I am a registered nurse, and I never would have believed that my nursing skills would lead me into the world of film acting and acceptance into the Screen Actors Guild. I followed a non-traditional route, providing first aid on the set of the Civil War epic Gods and Generals (as well as on numerous projects for the History Channel and National Geographic). This was my first film experience, and it ignited a passion in me that is still burning. Now that I have had the pleasure and the experience of acting in nearly 40 independent films, I feel that I am ready to take it to the next level. Yes, the competition will be “fierce,” as they say, but I’m looking forward to it.
I grew up in a proud union family and I witnessed the benefits of unity and the satisfaction of a job well done. I knew that I would eventually join Screen Actors Guild, so when the opportunity came along, I took it. The Guild states clearly, “Membership is often a major milestone in an actor’s career” and I strongly believe this to be true. While I hear the comment, “There isn’t enough SAG work in my area to make joining financially and professionally worthwhile,” I truly believe that the Greater Philadelphia area will usher in a new era of film opportunities. With talented film companies such as Cinema Alliance and Liberty Bell Films, whom I have worked with, along with the emergence of Sun Center Studios, I feel very confident that I will be keeping busy. The latter being especially important, as I can see Sun Center Studios from my house.
This is an exciting time for me as an actor, and I am fortunate that I have met so many talented people along my journey to this point. Without their help, guidance and knowledge of the film industry, I would not be where I am.
Individual talent is one thing, but together we thrive.
COMING SOON: THE SAG
The Philadelphia Screen Actors Guild Branch is proud to announce the establishment of a conservatory starting in 2011.
The SAG Philadelphia Conservatory offers an opportunity for SAG members to hone and develop their craft through ongoing classes, workshops, lectures and symposia in a supportive and nurturing environment. Participation in the conservatory is limited to SAG members in good standing. A small administrative fee is required for membership and will be accessed per event. Final pricing, program schedule, and location(s) are still being developed.
Please stay tuned for additional information coming soon – including details about our first SAG Philadelphia Conservatory event happening this spring!
For more information or to volunteer to join/assist the SAG Philadelphia Conservatory Committee, please e-mail Mike Kraycik via Frank Traynor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SIGN UP TODAY FOR
PAPERLESS ONLINE BILLING
Paperless billing is yet another way SAG is more efficiently serving our members: cutting costs (not to mention clutter in your home), making your billing instantaneous and, as part of our ongoing green initiative, doing our part to save the environment.
• Save paper and stamps. You won’t just save yourself money, but you’ll save the Guild money, too. With more than 125,000 members, and dues bills being sent out twice a year, the Guild has a hefty business expense that can be significantly lightened by paperless billing.
• You can download to your computer or mobile device an exact virtual copy of the bill you would normally receive in the mail. That will reduce clutter, and if you live at the frantic pace that most actors do, it will also reduce the chance that you’ll misplace this important information.
Here’s a link to help get you started with paperless billing as well as answers to any additional questions you may have. Don’t worry; should you change your mind, you can always revert back to a paper bill with a simple click if you determine it’s not right for you.
If you haven’t done so already, please pay your dues today. If you are not an active paid-up member in good standing, you will not be able to serve on the council or committees in the future. You must also be paid to date to register on iActor, the Guild’s online casting program, which is now being used by casting directors nationwide. If you any questions regarding your dues, please contact the Membership Department at (800) SAG-0767, prompt 2, or (212) 944-6243.
A Message from the Branch President
Greetings Fellow Members,
This is truly an exciting time for our union as we are on the verge of making history with the upcoming initiatives concerning the union performer. The closer we come to joining forces across our industry with our fellow performers, the greater the benefit to our membership. An example of such efforts was noted by the recent accolade received from the Philadelphia City Council on December 9. The council presented to the Tri-Union Committee a resolution to support SAG/AFTRA and AEA projects. This was a great win for our branch!
The Tri-Union Committee celebrates a big victory.
While we are on the subject of history, I would like to salute funny man SAG actor and comedian Kevin Hart in celebration of Black History Month. Kevin is truly an amazing talent, having appeared in more than 20 major films, many television shows and in sold out stand–up shows across the country. He has become a household name in comedy and on the screen. Kevin started chasing his dreams right here in his hometown of Philadelphia, proving that your branch produces talented homegrown artists. To our membership, continue to work on your craft, remaining loyal to your union, and you too will succeed. Congrats, Kevin!
Finally, the Philadelphia Branch of Screen Actors Guild, representing Pennsylvania, Delaware and South Jersey, wants our members and friends to SAVE THE DATE and, if schedules permit, volunteer to read at your local elementary school or library on Read Across America Day. On March 2, 2011, the National Education Association calls for every child to be reading in the company of a caring adult. Maybe you are that caring adult who can volunteer at the elementary school of your child (grandchild, niece, nephew or neighbors) and read if that school is participating in this national event. Our members and friends cover all of Pennsylvania, Delaware and South Jersey, and those schools and libraries in your neighborhood may be looking for help. NEA's Read Across America Day takes place each year on or near March 2, the birthday of Dr. Seuss. Across the country, thousands of schools, libraries, and community centers participate by bringing together kids, teens and books, and you can too! This is a wonderful opportunity to show that our branch cares about our youth and education.
P.S. - If you go to read, take a photo and hold your SAG card with honor. This will further our cause by showing the education system that the entertainment industry–specifically our union and most importantly our branch, cares. Send those items with a brief description of your event to email@example.com.
A Message from Your SAG National Board Member
By Helen McNutt
As we settle into the new year, many of us will make commitments to live healthier and happier, and most importantly...to find more work!
Nothing feels as good as getting up and heading out to work. And though we may complain about the early hours or the weather, we truly appreciate the opportunity to work and apply our craft. But, without film and television tax incentives in Pennsylvania, we face fewer opportunities to enjoy the pride and satisfaction that comes from a day's work.
However, one organization in Pennsylvania is doing its part to support and advance polices that create film and television industry jobs in our state. PAFIA, the Pennsylvania Film Industry Association in Pennsylvania, is working to ensure the status of our tax incentives to secure continued work for our membership.
As SAG members and professional actors from the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, we are very lucky to have PAFIA working to support filming in our state. We owe them our thanks. If you have not yet considered joining PAFIA, please do so today. Call a friend or remind them that PAFIA is working to create film and television jobs in Pennsylvania; and we need them.
On February 23, 6-8 p.m., PAFIA will hold a meeting in Philadelphia at the Pyramid Club, 1735 Market Street, 52nd Floor. I trust that you will recognize the importance of your participation. So please join us.
If you keep one new year’s resolution in 2011, make it a commitment to yourself to support more TV and film jobs in Pennsylvania. After all, more work means a happier, healthier and more productive you!
I look forward to seeing you all. Let’s fill the room!
A Message from the North Region Executive
By Frank Traynor
Thank you for all the support since I replaced Rick McKiddy in October. I have met many members over the phone and in person. I look forward to meeting many more at our annual meeting on Monday April 4 in Philadelphia. Save that date because details will be coming soon as we plan this exciting program.
We are facing challenging but exciting times in the Branch as we work with sister unions and legislators in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. In Pennsylvania we are working to keep tax credits and to avoid “right to work” legislation. In New Jersey we are working to thaw out the frozen film tax credits. Now is the time to reach out to your local legislators and remind them that tax credits create real jobs. Also, save the date! The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO is planning a rally in Harrisburg for May 3, 2011, from 1-2 p.m. Details will follow on this event, so stay tuned.
We are also partnering with the film festivals in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware to make sure we have a Screen Actors Guild presence. In our efforts to extend education to the members and eligible actors, we are working closely with AFTRA and AEA in Tri-Union workshops that you will hear more about through the year. The branch is also reaching out to the next generation of filmmakers as we partner with colleges and universities across the branch.
Finally, I want to remind you to make sure you have established an account through iActor. Make sure your electronic resume on iActor is up to date. Follow this link to learn more about what iActor can do for you.
Student Filmmakers Sign 27 SAG Contracts
Temple University in Philadelphia recently held auditions for actors who wanted to be in student film projects. SAG member Barry Brait organized the event, worked with students and staff, and encouraged the student filmmakers to go SAG. They did in a BIG way, signing 27 SAG student film agreements. Temple University, the host for the event, led all area schools with 15 SAG student film agreements. Ten additional SAG student film agreements were signed with Drexel University and University of the Arts, while two agreements were signed with University of Pennsylvania and Villanova University.
SAG Awards Viewing Parties
Branch members enjoyed themselves and cheered for their fellow actors January 30 at viewing parties in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. The Pittsburgh party was held at Hot Franks in the city’s Strip District. The Philadelphia party was held at Chickie's & Pete's in the Great Northeast.