SAG-AFTRA performers Ben Whitehair, Laura Linda Bradley, Gregg Martin, Jennie Marie Pacelli and Jason George on Nov. 18 at SAG-AFTRA Plaza.

On Nov. 18 at SAG-AFTRA Plaza, the SAG-AFTRA Entertainment Contracts Department, in coordination with the Los Angeles NextGen Performers Committee, hosted the latest installment of The Multi-Hyphenates, the department’s screening series that features new media productions created under SAG-AFTRA contracts by union members. The series caters to the growing trend of performers pursuing multiple roles, such as creator, writer, director, producer and more.

For this panel, SAG-AFTRA members Laura Linda Bradley and Gregg Martin screened episodes of their new media series The Laura Show and Open Relationship. After the screening, SAG-AFTRA National NextGen Performers Committee Chair Ben Whitehair moderated a discussion and Q&A with Bradley and Martin about their experiences working on these projects. Martin’s co-producer and co-star, Jennie Marie Pacelli, joined the panel along with Station 19 and Grey’s Anatomy star Jason George, who appears in The Laura Show.

Panelists delved into the difficulties of holding multiple jobs but indicated that, overall, it was a rewarding experience, and they encouraged the audience to create their own content. While it takes a lot of hard work, the experiences gained, opportunity created and end result is worth it. Additionally, panelists dispelled myths by clarifying that it is easier than ever to become a SAG-AFTRA signatory and hire SAG-AFTRA members.

Bradley spoke to the nuances of having a series go to Amazon for distribution, while Martin described the challenges of shopping a project for distribution. Both expressed the importance of having someone business-minded on your team to help manage bookkeeping, which is perhaps the most important factor in finding success. As to content, panelists noted that the old adage to “write what you know” is invaluable for writing a hit. 

Another common theme throughout the panel was the importance of finding a community. The support of artistic and non-artistic communities are critical for professional networking and support, the latter to maintain peace of mind away from the job. Particularly for self-producing low-budget content, the strength of an artistic community can help motivate a creator and sometimes win favors from friends, such as loaned equipment and post-production advice. 

Audience members were full of great questions, and many left the room inspired to take on the challenge of creating their own content and making their own opportunities.

Stay tuned for future installments of The Multi-Hyphenates.
Photo: SAG-AFTRA performers Ben Whitehair, Laura Linda Bradley, Gregg Martin, Jennie Marie Pacelli and Jason George on Nov. 18 at SAG-AFTRA Plaza.


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