Twin Cities 2014:02

The Official E-Newsletter of the Twin Cities Local
The Official E-Newsletter of the Twin Cities Local
February 2014

A DAY IN THE LIFE: REQUEST FOR SUBMISSIONS

SAG-AFTRA includes many types of members, and many of us don’t know much about the work our fellow SAG-AFTRA members do. We want to include short stories (like Shirley’s in this issue) in every issue of Twin Cities News and Views — stories submitted by you the members about jobs, auditions or other experiences that relate to your professional SAG-AFTRA work. Submit your brief story by email and reference “Day in the Life Story” in the subject line. Please include your full name and contact information with your submission. Submissions for the next newsletter are due by April 20, 2014.

Note: The editors reserve the right to make the final decision on whether or not to include your submission and also reserve the right to edit the piece. 

FREE INCOME TAX WORKSHOP FOR ACTORS

On Monday, Feb. 24, veteran actor (AEA and SAG-AFTRA) and local member Mark Bradley, who is also trained in taxes and is the author of the online book The Actor’s Tax Guide, will present a free Actors Tax Workshop. Get answers to all of your tax-filing questions related to filing as an acting professional.

When: Monday, Feb. 24, 6:30–8:30 p.m.
Where: Southdale Library, 2nd Floor (Ethel Berry Room), 7001 York Ave. So., Edina, MN (enter off 70th Street)

All Twin Cities actors are welcome.

This information is provided for informational purposes and is not intended to imply endorsement by SAG-AFTRA of the information, material, products or services provided. SAG-AFTRA makes no warranties or representations regarding the use of the material or the quality of the services or service providers.

TWIN CITIES LOCAL BOARD 2013–2015

Officers
Bob Davis – President
Peter Moore – First Vice President
Barry ZeVan – Second Vice President
Leigha Horton – Third Vice President
Mark Bradley – Secretary

Board Members
Mark Benninghofen
Randal Berger (National Board Member)
Charles Brin
Elena Giannetti
Tracey Maloney
Peggy O’Connell
Shelli Place
Michael Tezla
Shirley Venard

You may contact board members by sending email to: twincities@sagaftra.org

WHERE AND HOW TO GET THE SUPPORT YOU NEED

Even though we no longer have an office in the Twin Cities, help is always available and easy to access by phone (312.573.8081 or 800.724.0767) or by email to specific staff members as listed below:

Agency:
Contact Kathy Byrne

Commercials or Corporate/Educational:
Contact Jamie Marchi

Dancers:
Contact Jolene Jones

Interactive or New Media:
Contact Sean Hennessy

Infomercials:
Contact Jamie Marchi 
or Kathy Byrne

Membership:
Contact Kathy Nelson

Music Videos, Singers,
or Sound Recordings:
Contact Jolene Jones

News and Broadcast:
Contact Paula Weinbaum
or Eric Chaudron

Residuals, Film/TV:
Contact Residuals Department

Short and Student Films:
Contact Kathy Byrne

Stunt and Safety:
Contact Kathy Byrne

Television, Dramatic and Non-Dramatic:
Contact Kathy Byrne

Theatrical:
Contact Kathy Byrne

For other inquires, contact Colleen Aho by email, 651.789.8990 or visit the SAG-AFTRA website at SAGAFTRA.org

Twin Cities News & Views editor: Mary Em Burns

Message from the 1st Vice President

Peter Moore

Hello Fellow SAG-AFTRANs,

You don't need me to tell you that these are grim times for union actors. So let's talk instead about what the local board is doing to help get us back to work.

We're continuing to work on an experimental new Web tool for Twin Cities producers. It's basically a user-friendly, union rates calculator (for commercials and corporate/educational jobs) that  helps producers get a ballpark estimate to see how much it would cost them to hire union actors. It will be fast, simple and concise, and we're hoping that it will allow producers to see for themselves — in a very easy way — that hiring us is not nearly as expensive as they feared.

We're also in the process of doing outreach to local corporate/educational and non-broadcast employers to find out if there are impediments that keep them from hiring us under this contract, and if so, if there are ways we can address their concerns.

We are interested in creating a Twin Cities Local agreement for TV and radio commercials that are “made-in and played-in” (commonly referred to as a “local code”). This would allow local producers to use us for locally made spots that air just in the Twin Cities Local’s jurisdiction at special rates and terms, in order to capture more local commercials work under union contract.

It's hard to give a solid date for when these things might happen, but know that we're working our little thespian butts off to make it happen ASAP. We need to get back behind the mics and in front of the cameras now, not a year from now. So know that we're fighting back and fighting hard. Hang in there, don't open a vein and don't  jump the union ship for God's sake! We'll keep you posted as things progress. If you have questions, comments or suggestions, don't hesitate to let us know; we're all in this together!

Yours in solidarity,
Peter Moore
1st Vice President

Message from the National Board Member

Randal Berger

Dear Members,

We are at the start of an exciting new year for our union, and I would like to take this moment to report, from my perspective, what has been happening. I was thrilled to attend the national board meeting in early February (as this issue of Twin Cities News and Views went to press). The meeting was held simultaneously in both L.A. and New York, allowing national board members from around the country to meet live on both coasts via videoconference. This was the first national board meeting since our convention.

Over the past few months I have been involved in several national committees: Performance Capture, Member Review and the Committee of Locals. The Performance Capture Committee, as its name suggests, is tasked with addressing issues, concerns and goals related to performance capture work throughout our contracts. The Member Review Committee is generally tasked with reviewing the impact of restructuring (of obvious importance to ours and other locals without a physical office, as well as to the union as a whole). Finally, the Committee of Locals is a group comprised of national board members from small and medium-sized locals across the country, and is our forum to address ideas, raise issues and discuss plans. The reason I mention these committees is that if anyone has input or even general thoughts related to these areas, please, let's talk.

We had our own local membership meeting this past November (with space graciously provided once again by the Jungle Theater). It was attended by National Executive Vice President Gabrielle Carteris. She unfortunately arrived in Minneapolis from L.A. feeling a bit under the weather, but you would never have known it from the way she carried herself, as well as her energy and her enthusiasm during the meeting. I know there wasn't much else she could do; still, once again, it gave me joy being reminded that we have the support of each other and that there are many who are selfless and want all of us to have success. During the meeting, we had quite a bit of spirited discussion, as well as energizing ideas and commitment by members to work toward accomplishing those ideas. Much of the discussion focused on communication and support within our local; between our union members as well as with those producing work. We also discussed at length the evolution of non-broadcast industrial work, which is now referred to as the Corporate/Educational and Non-Broadcast Contract. The contract was recently extended into 2015, and during that extension period we want to discover what works and what doesn't work about the contract here in the Twin Cities — and determine how our realities compare with members' experiences in the rest of the country. Given the fact that what serves as “educational” content is constantly evolving, the hope is that we could develop a contract that is viable today, flexible for the future, and works appropriately with the nuances in each local. In any case, it was wonderful to have the members’ input. Next time, please do yourself and us a favor: Join us at the membership meeting! Knowing more about your union is a superb way to take a bit of control in your career.

One area on which I intend to continue focusing is how we communicate — not only locally but especially nationally. While it is important to continue to save money by having the union communicate via long distance (i.e., teleconference, email, word of mouth, etc.), it is difficult to communicate everyone's ideas clearly when we are not face to face. Consequently, I've started assembling ideas for ways to enhance this communication when we can't all be in the same physical location. Technology obviously is a part of it, but I also want to develop an attitude/manner/demeanor for how we work together in this fashion. It is very much like learning a new language. For those who have grown up with technology, much of this can be second nature to a certain extent, but for many folks this method is tremendously foreign. I do believe it is possible to find a bridge to make this communication work. In addition, we have responsibilities to make sure that the way we communicate is respectful — both ethically and legally — to each other's privacy and that we convey correct information. Even something as “simple” as shooting mass emails back and forth really has to be thought through.

Again, I ask if anyone has thoughts or ideas, please contact me at twincities@sagaftra.org. I look forward to giving you my upcoming impressions.

Cheers,
Randal Berger