Since the primary role of SAG-AFTRA concerns the members' wages and working conditions, on their jobs, most Union resources are spent on enforcing the contracts under which the members work, rather than career development. Remember this statement that is on the application form, "I understand that obtaining employment in the motion picture industry is my own responsibility and that it is not the function of SAG-AFTRA to secure employment for its members."
Nevertheless, the national and branch offices do offer workshops and seminars for members on various subjects. The best way to learn about these is to read your branch emails and newsletters, and check your Local page on this website.
In Los Angeles and in some Locals, members are eligible to join the SAG-AFTRA Conservatory. Also, members can participate in Casting Showcases and Seminars.
Some SAG-AFTRA Local offices have bulletin boards that display housing information. See our Local pages for more information.
(1) Get a sideline job so that your predictable income exceeds your predictable expenses. Acting is fickle career that doesn't always respond to how talented, trained, attractive or good-hearted you are. The look that is hot one day, is not necessarily the look that makes it the next day.
In New York and Los Angeles, the Actors Fund offers the Actors Work Program to union members.
(2) You can also check out the community assistance programs available in your area. Visit the Related Links area of our site to link to the SAG-AFTRA Foundation, the Actors Fund of America, the Motion Picture & Television Fund and much more.
(3) Don't do non-union work! There are some unscrupulous producers and managers out there who are looking for hungry, talented actors who care more about performing than earning money. Don't fall for it. Without a strong union, we can't maintain a living wage for the union members who are fortunate to have "the look" this season. If you undercut them this year, the wages and working conditions that exist today might not be there when (and admittedly, if) your look is "it" next year.
If you want to know how far our member solidarity has brought us, and why each member has to uphold his/her responsibility to protect what we've got, see our SAG-AFTRA History area.
The best way to make your views known to the Board is to put them in writing, and send them to:
SAG-AFTRA Board of Directors
5757 Wilshire Blvd., 7th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90036
If you have already talked with one or more staff members about the matter, please include the dates of your conversation(s) and their name(s).