Nashville 2010:06

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The Official E-Newsletter of the Nashville Branch
The Official E-Newsletter of the Nashville Branch
June 2010


The Nashville Branch continued its successful sponsorship of and partnership with the Nashville Film Festival again this year. As part of its sponsorship, the Guild was able to conduct a member event on April 15 with a mixer at Cheeseburger Charley’s followed by a screening at Regal Cinema Green Hills of the first two parts of a fascinating documentary series about the Guild produced by the Screen Actors Guild Foundation called Behind the Masks: The Story of Screen Actors Guild. The members in attendance greatly enjoyed the documentary and found it fascinating and compelling. For more information about the SAG Foundation and the documentary, visit

The next day, Nashville Executive Director Leslie Krensky and a panel of members presented a workshop geared toward eligible non-members titled “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Screen Actors Guild But Were Afraid to Ask.”
About 75 people were in attendance, including Darlene McDowell of DS Entertainment and Evelyn Foster of Talent Trek Agency.  

The panelists fielded numerous questions from those in attendance and the members on the panel shared their insights as working actors. Several of the performers in attendance expressed an interest in joining, and we look forward to welcoming them to future membership meetings and events.

Our thanks to the staff of the Nashville Film Festival for being such generous and helpful hosts, and we extend our congratulations on another successful festival.  For more information on the Nashville Film Festival, visit

dixie carter

May 25, 1939-
April 10, 2010

By Chris Ladd
Nashville Branch
Councilor at Large

Dixie Carter was a real Southern Lady who knew how to make others smile. She was a person who never forgot where she came from, no matter how successful she became, and she showed that all her life. Even with the success that she accomplished, and a nice home in Beverly Hills with husband Hal Holbrook, Dixie always came back to her home in McLemoresville, Tenn. It was her childhood home, a place that was her essential and peaceful refuge.

She and Hal wanted to give back to that community, and so they helped build The Dixie Carter Performing Arts and Academic Enrichment Center in Huntingdon.

Dixie was one of three children of Halbert Carter, a grocery and department store owner, and his wife, Virginia. At age 4, she heard a broadcast of the Metropolitan Opera and decided she wanted to move to New York to become an opera singer. Music continued to be her great love throughout her life. Growing up, she played the piano and sang. Music played a large role in her family's household as did literature. Dixie was a voracious reader as a child and throughout her life, having been instilled with a love of language at a very early age. She said that from the time she could recall, a large volume of Shakespeare and an unabridged dictionary lay on the front hall table accessible at all times. The family would regularly refer to the dictionary to resolve disputes over the meanings of specific words.

Dixie was valedictorian of her high school class and won the math award. She attended the University of Tennessee and Southwestern at Memphis and graduated from Memphis State.

Dixie made her professional acting debut at the Front Street Theatre in Memphis, playing Julie Jordan in a 1960 production of Carousel and moved to New York in 1963. That same year she played Perdita in a Joseph Papp production of The Winter’s Tale in Central Park. She then joined the Music Theater of Lincoln Center, under the leadership of Richard Rodgers.

Besides her success on Broadway, Dixie starred in no less than six television series, including the hit Designing Women, in which she elevated Southern women creating a positive image and role model with her intelligent, formidable Julia Sugarbaker, an image which did not exist in the media prior to that time.

Much can be said about Dixie and what she accomplished, but what stood out was that she never let anything go to her head. She was always Dixie. Her longtime friend and former co-star, Annie Potts, put it best in describing her friend as "beautiful and brainy, smart and funny, prim and sexy, wickedly talented and divinely sweet.... Dixie Carter was a Goddess."

Her daughter, Mary Dixie Carter, said about her mother, “She believed that an individual person’s kindness can make a difference in the world.” That is why she had the ability to make each person she came in contact with feel valuable.

Nephew James Carter said, “I could tell you I know the secret, I know my aunt’s famous secret why it is so many people loved her so much; it’s because she loved you, too. She gave off love like a supernova.”

Daughter Gina said of her mother, “In the last few years she began reading more classical literature. It wasn’t to impress anyone but, instead, an example of how she saw life. She wanted to better herself. She wanted to work and improve and strive for excellence.”

She was a one-of-a-kind lady, and even though she is no longer with us, and will be missed, she left many fond memories that will stay with us as we travel our path in life.

We do, we love you Dixie….


The Guild has been contacted by the following productions about becoming signatory to one of the Screen Actors Guild collective bargaining agreements. Please be advised that these producers may not have completed the signatory process at this time. It is the responsibility of each member to confirm that each producer has signed the applicable contract before making an agreement to render services. Failure to confirm the signatory status before rendering services may lead to disciplinary charges being filed. If you have any questions, please contact the office at (800) SAG-0767, option 5, ext. 7088.

Because access to our updates is restricted to SAG members in good standing only, we ask your continued cooperation in maintaining the confidentiality of its contents. Therefore, please refrain from sharing this update, or forwarding e-mailed updates to anyone.

Nashville Branch Members,
We Can Help

Are you experiencing a financial emergency due to the recent severe flooding in your area? If so, we may be able to assist with a grant from the SAG Motion Picture Players Welfare Fund. If you need to file for assistance or have questions, please contact the Actors Fund at (800) 221-7303.

Fund Assistance

The Screen Actors Guild Motion Picture Players Welfare Fund is an emergency financial assistance fund of the Screen Actors Guild and serves members in the New York region and all Branches East of Omaha, Neb., which includes Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Florida (which encompasses members in Louisiana, North Carolina and Puerto Rico), Georgia, Nashville, Philadelphia and Washington-Baltimore.

The Motion Picture Players Welfare Fund is designed to assist eligible members who are struggling with a financial, personal or medical crisis. Financial assistance is available for rent, utilities, mental health and medical care as well as other basic living expenses.

Click here for more information.

Hands on Nashville

Were you affected by the recent flooding, know someone that was or simply want to help your fellow Tennesseans? The Hands On Nashville organization is a central coordinator for those who wish to volunteer or make donations for flood assistance (and other causes).
Go to to:
• View a list of current flood volunteer needs.
• View a calendar of current flood volunteer opportunities.
• Donate to Hands On Nashville and support flood-related volunteerism.
• Request volunteers for your own clean up!
• Find out how to request FEMA assistance.
• Find out how to schedule a group service opportunity.
• Partner on a special event or cause marketing campaign.
• Schedule events supporting Hands On Nashville.
Hands On Nashville was founded in 1991 to help people transform the world around them by volunteering. HON is a recognized leader in programs, partnerships and services that maximize volunteer impact for youth, adult, corporate, and nonprofit constituencies in the greater Nashville community. Each year, Hands On Nashville refers or places 38,000 volunteers to projects in more than 300 area service agencies and schools.

Save the Date

JUNE 23, 2010

Mark your calendar for the annual Nashville Branch membership meeting.  You will soon receive further details by electronic and regular mail.

Date: Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Time: 6 p.m. Mixer with refreshments
7 p.m. Membership meeting
Location: Watkins College of Art, Design and Film
2298 Rosa L. Parks Boulevard
Nashville, TN  37228

The general membership meeting will include the following business items:

(1) nominations for the Nashville Branch elections,
(2) reports from your Nashville Branch president and executive director,
(3) report from guest speaker Jan Austin, president of the Association for the Future of Film and Television
(4)question and answer session

If you are interested in running for any of the open council positions representing the Nashville Branch this year and wish to be considered for nomination, please attend this membership meeting. Nominations for open positions may be made at the membership meeting. Please contact Nashville Executive Director Leslie Krensky at (800) SAG-0767, option 5, ext. 7077, or via e-mail at for complete election eligibility and schedule information.

The business portion of the meeting will be followed by a screening of Part 3 of Behind the Masks – The Story of Screen Actors Guild, a documentary about the history of Screen Actors Guild produced by the Screen Actors Guild Foundation.

*** The membership meeting is only open to paid-up SAG members in good standing. Unfortunately, no guests allowed. Parents/guardians of younger performers under 18 years old are welcome. PLEASE BRING YOUR SAG MEMBERSHIP CARD FOR ADMITTANCE (paid thru April 30, 2010). No RSVP necessary. ***

Don't Miss the W&W Meetings

The Nashville Branch will be conducting a Joint Wages & Working Conditions meeting in preparation for the SAG TV/Theatrical and AFTRA Exhibit A Contract negotiations. For details on W&W 2010, please visit either the Screen Actors Guild website at or the AFTRA website at

Proposals for this important negotiation are developed through the involvement of members like you. Make your voice heard, attend and participate in this very important process.  Meetings are open to all paid-up SAG and AFTRA members.

When: Thursday, June 24, 2010, 10:30 a.m.
Where: AFTRA Nashville, 1108 17th Avenue South, Nashville, TN  37212

Please RSVP by contacting Megan Schwandt at (800) SAG-0767, option 5, ext. 7086, or by e-mail at
E-mail Suggestions - Can’t make it to the committee meeting? You can still play an active part by e-mailing your ideas to or Recommendations must be received by August 6, 2010.

All proposal recommendations will be reviewed by the Joint Wages & Working Conditions Committee.

Branch and Film School Strengthen Ties

This year, the Guild has continued to develop and strengthen its ties with the faculty and students of the film school at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film.

On February 24, South Region Executive David Fazekas conducted a signatory workshop for film students at Watkins. The workshop gave an overview of SAG’s low budget agreements, walked through the signatory process (focusing on the Student Film Agreement), discussed the benefits of using our members in their productions, outlined filmmaker resources available and reviewed some basic contractual provisions and SAG’s mission statement.

On April 16, Nashville Executive Director Leslie Krensky served as a panelist at an industry event coordinated by Guild member Sam Dalton, an assistant professor of film at Watkins. Dalton has encouraged the students to utilize members in their productions under the terms of the Guild’s Student Film Letter Agreement.

In addition to Krensky, the other panelists included Regina Moore (Moore Casting), Jo Doster (Jo Doster Casting), Holly Allen (Film House), franchised talent agents Sharon Smith (Sharon Smith Talent) and Jimmi Carter (The Cannon Group) and Dave Spring, director of the Doorpost Project, which recently relocated its permanent headquarters to Nashville. The Doorpost Film Project Short Film Contest is an annual contest of shorts seven minutes or less on one of the following seven topics: authenticity, community, sacrifice, commitment, truth, identity and hope. To learn more about The Doorpost Film Project and the Short Film Contest, visit the website at

The event at Watkins was a great success with well over 100 students and industry professionals in attendance.  For more information on Watkins College, please visit

An Update on AFFT

By Jan Austin
Executive Director
Association for the Future of Film and Television

If I had a dollar for every time I have asked myself “Why am I DOING this?” over the last three years, I’d be a fairly wealthy woman.

Creating a statewide advocacy organization for film, television and music folks takes some doing. Convincing people that we can succeed in saving our entertainment industry if we stand together has been a challenge.

Explaining to lawmakers that filmmakers in Tennessee are not all in the same tax bracket as Steven Spielberg and face extinction in this state if lawmakers don’t help has strained every fiber of my patience.

The bumps in the road have been many, and I have often felt overwhelmed by the demands of the organization and incapable of moving quickly enough to stop the slow asphyxiation of our industry.

And then there is today.

Recently, we were in danger of losing our Headquarters Incentive through an amendment to the Technical Corrections Bill that would have rendered the incentive just short of useless. We immediately met with Rep. Harry Tindell to ask that he put a hold on the amendment until we had an opportunity to meet with the Department of Revenue to explain our opposition to the new language. He agreed to stall the amendment until we had reached a satisfactory agreement with the DOR.

Our meeting with Deputy Commissioner Glenn Page and attorney David Gerregano of the department was both illuminating and positive and, once we were able to explain the negative aspects of the amendment as it stood, we were assured that they would revisit the language of the amendment.

And then there is today. A call from Glenn Page. An explanation of the new language in the amendment. A success. Clear and certain victory. A new lease on the life of our industry. PROOF.

Proof that we can succeed in saving our industry if we are strong in numbers; if we provide our lawmakers and government leaders with accurate information in a reasonable way; if we become a part of the political process that supports political candidates from both parties who share our concern for the future of film and television.

Today, I know why I am doing this.


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