Philadelphia 2012:02

The Official E-Newsletter of the Philadelphia Branch
The Official E-Newsletter of the Philadelphia Branch
February 2012

SAG-AFTRA

Zino Malacuso

ASK THE EXPERT

Ask the Expert is a new item where Branch members pose questions and we get the answers from the SAG experts. This issue we ask Zino Macaluso, national director/senior counsel, Agency Relations, one of the most common questions we get from new SAG members.

Question: Is there a SAG talent agreement I need to sign with my agent?

Answer: SAG-franchised agents can only sign performers to SAG-approved agency contracts, which are available to the agents free of charge off of the SAG website. Any nonconforming contract used by our franchised agents are null and void and have no effect by virtue of the protective language inserted into SAG’s Agency Contract, Rule 16(g). No SAG member should sign any contract that is not SAG — please note that AFTRA contracts do not cover SAG work. If you are represented by a SAG-franchised agent in Philadelphia, make sure that the only contracts that you sign are SAG-approved to not only protect your rights, but those of the agents as well.

WELCOME NEW MEMBERS

Reinaldo DeJesus,
Shawn Gonzalez,
Raquel Merediz,
Joinece Abbott Pratt

WELCOME TRANSFER-IN MEMBERS

Dick Balduzzi, Cory Beauregard, Jon Bergholz, Traci Black, Chelsea Blaine, Patrick Bresnyan, Bev Brown, Alexandra Chando, Bridget Connors, Erik David, Thomas Farley, Andrew Fiero, Erica Ford, Ashley Greenfield, Betsy Lynn George, Carolyn Gouger, Julie Griffith, Jo Haden, Susan Johnson, Nathaniel Kahn, Nathan Lavezoli, Shannon Malone, Lisa Manero, Joe Mallon, Eric Steven Mills, Anisha Nagarajan, Noelle Nettl, Jennifer Nool, Kristie Nolan, Stephen Pelinski, Jennifer Pena, C.W. Pyun, Armand Reiser, Jason Roth, Tony Venturella, Jonah Wanicur, Rand Wilson, Julia Yorks

Gene Crane
Gene Crane, Broadcast Pioneers photo by Jerry Klein

CRANE’S CORNER
by Gene Crane

Editor’s note: Gene Crane is a Philadelphia Broadcast Pioneer. At WCAU-TV in Philadelphia, his long career included everything from kiddie show host to weather anchor to the voice of WCAU. Gene is also the proud father of another TV legend, David Crane, co-creator of Friends. Here Gene shares with us his turn on that program.

As soon as Friends became a hit, we made sure our twice-a-year visits to California were on Fridays so we could attend production that night. We would arrive at the studio at about 5 p.m., when rehearsal would begin; the enthusiastic live audience was already on hand with long lines outside hoping to get in. I asked David, "What's tonight’s story?” He said, "Look on the cast page." And there I was...man...GENE CRANE! It was a scene in which Joey is trying to sell Phoebe a lousy-looking Xmas tree. I had two lines, but it was such fun. By then, I knew the cast quite well, and they although it was quite amusing.

That was about 15 years ago, and I'm still getting residuals. Big bucks! $19, $27, $37! I got one recently for European exposures; about five countries involved..$17! One of them was for 1 cent!

MEMBERSHIP HAS ITS BENEFITS

Screen Actors Guild members and SAG-franchised agents who may be in the market for supplemental insurance are now eligible to receive the lowest rates Aflac offers on various supplemental insurance options — just one of many benefits SAG members enjoy.

Unlike health insurance, Aflac pays cash benefits when a triggering health event occurs, which can help with things major medical insurance doesn’t pay, like mortgage payments, rent, groceries, car payments or other bills and expenses. Aflac will pay cash benefits regardless of any other insurance coverage, and is available to all SAG members and franchised agents, regardless of qualification for other insurance programs. Call Aflac’s toll-free line at (800) 788-4031 for more information.

You can find plenty of other moneysaving deals and special offers at SAG.org. Log on and check out the Deals and Discounts tab to learn more.

The Guild does not endorse any particular insurance agency, carrier, coverage, plan or product. You should review the terms of all coverage carefully and evaluate each carrier using your independent judgment.

SAVE THE DATE

Folks, it's that time of year again. Be sure to join me in our efforts in showing support for education by participating in the annual Read Across America campaign. Contact your local elementary schools and volunteer your time to read to students. It's a wonderful thing and the kids love it! Document the cause buy taking a picture holding your SAG card so that we can highlight your event in our next newsletter (Read Across America Friday March 2, 2012). send your jpeg photos to ftraynor@sag.org.

DUES REMINDER

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 have any questions regarding your dues, please contact the Membership Department at (800) SAG-0767, prompt 2, or (212) 944-6243.

In this issue of Philadelphia Spotlight: The Philadelphia Branch gears up to VOTE YES on the SAG-AFTRA merger, 5 Questions for Jill Whelan, The SAG Awards Viewing Party and Branch actors-turned-SAG signatories bring their dreams to the screen using fellow Branch actors.

Wooten

A Message from Branch President John Wooten

On January 27 and 28, the national boards of SAG and AFTRA overwhelmingly approved the merger agreement to form one union. Now the decision is in your hands. Ballots will be mailed on February 27 to all eligible AFTRA and SAG members to vote on this historic change for your union. Many of us are members of SAG and AFTRA, which means our ballots will have two boxes for us to vote, one for each union. Please check Yes in both boxes if you are a dual cardholder and return ballots promptly.

Members, we are charged with a duty and responsibility to stand united, stand strong and stand certain for the protections of our great body. The present time marks a point in history as to where we stand, not only as key players in the entertainment industry, but as a nation of workers entitled to fair treatment, fair pay and fair say. Your elected leadership has worked hard to bring the merger to this point. They have continually worked to secure your interests and future careers as professional actors. Now the rest is up to you — your “yes” vote can make this merger a reality.

I challenge you to know the facts when voting. Do not depend on the opinions or personal agendas of others.  Do note, however, the actual climate in which we work, attempt to earn a living and provide for our families. Cast your vote with intelligence, wisdom and courage. The SAG-AFTRA One Union website is now live at sagaftra.org. Click the link to get full details about the proposed merger of SAG and AFTRA.

One,

John Wooten
SAG Philadelphia Branch President

Helen McNutt

A Message from SAG National Board Member Helen McNutt

Here we go again! This time we had better get it done. The National Board of Screen Actors Guild has voted and a merger agreement with AFTRA has been made. It is now up to the membership to vote in favor of this agreement. If you have any questions, visit sagaftra.org or call (855) SAG-AFTRA, (855) 724-2387.

Roberta Reardon and Mike Hodge
SAG and AFTRA members in Philadelphia met with AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon and SAG New York Division President Mike Hodge February 13 for two merger informational sessions.

For me, it is a no-brainer. Too many of our members are working a little in SAG and a little in AFTRA but not enough in either one to attain medical or pension benefits. I know change is difficult. Thinking that you can’t change is wrong. Thinking that there is no need to change is tragic. According to Winston Churchill, “There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction.” We have been at this for so long we must trust that we are headed in the right direction. If nothing ever changed, there would be no butterflies.

I just want to echo what John Wooten reported above: Many of us are members of SAG and AFTRA. This means you will get to vote twice on your ballot — once for SAG and once for AFTRA. Please exercise your right to vote in both unions by voting YES and check each box and return your ballot promptly.

A Message from North Region Executive Frank Traynor

The New Year has been busy, with special Tri-Union events for Branch members and a SAG Foundation Agent Access event. Many more workshops and SAG Conservatory events are in the works, so stay tuned for details on those events. A busy January saw old friends and new members and their families and friends join together at Dave and Buster’s in Philadelphia to root for our fellow actors during the Branch’s SAG Awards Viewing Party. Below is a little more on all those events and photos.

Financial advice seminar
Members gather for financial advice with Sandra Karas.

Sandra Karas, member of SAG, AFTRA and Equity, presented What Are You Worth? Financial Advice for Performers: A Seminar with Sandra Karas. The seminar for union members in the entertainment industry focused on basic financial and long-term planning tips. Sandra currently serves as Equity’s secretary-treasurer and director of the VITA Program of Equity, AFTRA and SAG.

Sylvia Kauders & Forrest McClendon
Sylvia Kauders and Forrest McClendon

SAG Philadelphia Council Vice President Sylvia Kauders (AFTRA and AEA member too) fresh off her VISA Super Bowl commercial, hosted a special evening with Broadway sensation Forrest McClendon, titled How a Broad Street ‘Barrymore’ Became a Broadway ‘Tony’: Talkin’ the Talk with Forrest McClendon. McClendon, who received a Tony Award nomination for his Broadway debut in the production of The Scottsboro Boys is a member of Actors’ Equity Association.

Agent Access group shot
From left, Mrs. Ray Claro, MaryAnn Claro, Franz Reynold, Pat Yorks, MG Eisenhart and Lucy King

Franz Reynold of the SAG Foundation organized the Agent Access event in Philadelphia in January. This event was designed to provide SAG members with an opportunity to meet with local SAG-franchised talent agents. Our host for the event was Tom Ashley, CEO of Philadelphia Soundstages and Invincible Pictures. Our agents were Patricia Yorks (Agency Connects), MG Eisenhart (Reinhard Agency), Lucy King (Models on The Move and SAG Agent of The Month for January) and Maryann Claro (The Claro Agency).

More than 200 Branch members, along with their families and friends, industry leaders and Branch signatory producers gathered at Dave & Buster’s in Philadelphia to enjoy The 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards. Council member Sara Jane Blazo chaired the committee that made this event possible. Joining Sara Jane on the committee were fellow council members Harvey Jaffee and Mike Kraycik, and members John Mitchell, Susan Austin, Mike Russo and Cyndy Drue. We thank them all for their hard work that made it easy for members to have a great night. The night included a surprise birthday celebration for National Board member Helen McNutt.

Aflac duck and SAG hat
Goodies from the SAG Awards Viewing Party

Helen and cake
Helen McNutt cutting her birthday cake