I send my greetings to you as the Portland region turns toward spring. Though sunshine is followed by snowflakes this time of year, the crocus inevitably push up through the soil, and our corner cafes fill with coffee-drinkers — and their dogs!
The same is true of our business. Individually and as a market, we endure upswings and down. And when the money’s tight and jobs scarce, we fear we’ll never work again, and that maybe we should take whatever job comes our way — union or otherwise.
So you’re not working. Spend the time honing your craft. Take a class from one of our outstanding area coaches or get together with your pals and work out. You need a smartphone and a laptop. Attend one of our Conservatory events. No dough? Take a walk. Stretch in your living room with some YouTube yoga. No excuses. And find a parallel job you really, really dig (maybe here?). Your working odds shoot up the more you invest in your profession. Likewise, they fall if you cheat yourself, your union family and the union by working off the card.
It’s a time of renewal at national SAG-AFTRA too. At our winter plenary (a National Board meeting) we renewed National Executive Director David White’s contract, approved two new contracts in the interactive space and redoubled the commitment to our strike against BBH, the ad agency that has walked away from our contractual agreement. We’re introducing new technology that will help us track who is working where (an aid to opening more brick-and-mortar offices) and maybe soon we’ll be able to pay our dues online. Nationwide, membership is growing in locals outside of New York and Los Angeles — our numbers in the aggregate now outstrip New York, making our combined regions second to L.A.
Back home: Be proud that you have the talent, training, courage discipline, and faith to be a union member. And new projects are on their way here. So get ready to work again. Spring is coming. It always does.
By National Board member Mary McDonald-Lewis for the Portland Local newsletter.
- Local News