When I was a humble Kentucky high schooler, I met a guy who showed me his SAG card. I looked at that thing as though it was one of Willy Wonka's golden tickets. "This guy has made it!" I thought.
(Yes, I did think up this caption. So you know... dibs.)
Now, yes. Just about every well paying job that will get you any kind of notoriety in this town requires you to be SAG-AFTRA. So it should be a no brainer, right?
The problem comes from the fact that once you join the union, that's it. Anything labeled "non union" is off limits. To put that in perspective, every acting gig I've done this year (besides the Kia commercial) is non union. I wouldn't have been able to do any of them, for fear of getting caught and fined.
Once I join SAG-AFTRA, my opportunities for employment become largely dependent on how efficient my representation is at getting me into casting rooms. That, and my ability to beat out the thousands upon thousands of other actors clawing over each other to get a limited number of roles. Seriously, I know a lot of SAG actors who never get any work because they didn't set themselves up properly beforehand.
It's kinda like moving in with somebody after you've only been dating for a few days. Geez, slow down!
Right now I have a pretty solid comedic reel, but next to no dramatic material. Not to mention my lack of a theatrical agent/manager. So there's still plenty of work that I can do as non union member. Once I squeeze every drop of forward momentum out of being non union that I can, that's when I'll drop my 3,000 dollar entry fee (yes you read that right) and start barking with the big dogs. My goal right now is to be doing union work by the end of May.
Until then... I'll be doing more of this kinda stuff.
|Extra in Syfy zombie movie|