"The label you give yourself cannot impact external forces that are not motivated by your own psychology or influenced by a third party's pre-existing consciousness of you. We are all presented with reasons to struggle which come from completely external forces; to pretend that one is not struggling is either arrogance or an admission of defeat. To admit that one is struggling is a sign and a source of strength." - Evan A. Baker

Monday, May 3, 2010

Go SAG Yourself!

I used to lament, "oh, if only I were SAG, then I'd be auditioning all the time!" Well, let me assure you, since I became eligible six years ago, I still have not found a reason to join yet. My commercial agent says to stay SAG-E so that he can also submit me on non-union commercials, and my theatrical agent says to join when I absolutely have to.

If you are just out of college and have little on your resume, good agents at a good agency will not care. If you're young and can play under 18, they will not expect you to be union at all. When I was chauffeuring my 14 year old friend to all her pilot-series-regular and top-network-guest-star auditions, it didn't matter one lick that she was still non-union. They will Taft Hartley you in a second if they like you.

How did I get eligible? I joined Aftra, booked a co-star role on an Aftra show, and one year later sent in a letter asking to join through their sister-union clause. The very next day, I booked a SAG commercial. Go figure.

But shit, folks, we're in the new decade of the new millennium! Cameras are cheap, your friends are all great actors stuck waiting tables and you write decently. Make your own future. Make a webseries! And Taft-Hartley yourself and all your friends!

How? By reading this.

If you're a smart, creative actor, seriously, go SAG yourself. Be pro-active, and be pro-actor!


  1. If you're 22, can you (generally) play an under-18?

  2. Anon, it depends how you look. Some people look older for their age, some younger, and some look their age exactly. I have a friend who is in her early thirties who can ONLY play early twenties - when she divulges her real age, people don't believe her.
    If you look at the high school cast members of Glee, the average age is 24. The actors playing Finn and Puck are 27 and 28 respectively.
    There's "Disney" high school and "Fox" high school. Ask your agent/acting coach your age range if you're unsure.

  3. I know being SAG might have kept me from a few jobs...but I guess I like the perks of having union protection. You'd better believe that when you're at an audition for over an hour, or you're on the fourth callback, you're grateful you're SAG (the union reimburses you in both of those circumstances.)

    However - for those of us just struggling to find work - being SAG can often get in the way. So there's pros and cons, just like every other union :)

  4. Yep, I'll be going this route very soon. Wrote a little webseries and will be shooting the pilot in 2 weeks. Can't wait!!


Play nice.