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SAG-AFTRA. Should I?

 
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Moosevoice
Been Here Awhile


Joined: 16 Nov 2012
Posts: 227
Location: Iowa

PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2020 7:49 am    Post subject: SAG-AFTRA. Should I? Reply with quote

Long story short. I did a job a few weeks ago that back-door got me SAG-AFTRA eligible.
I got the packet in the mail from SAG yesterday for enrollment (info on dues, initiation fees, etc.)
I haven't read through it all yet but wanted to know if I should seriously consider joining.
Here's my situation:
-laid off from my full-time job in October after 17 years
-Haven't landed any knew full-time (non-VO) job yet
-HAVE booked quite a few NON-union VO jobs through the p2p sites (voices.com, v123, etc.).

My hesitation to join stems from the initiation fee (around $3,000) and possibly not being able to audition for non-union jobs. But I'm guessing if a job posts that it's a 'non-union job' I can still audition, right?

Anyway, should I join?
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Bob Bergen
Flight Attendant


Joined: 22 Apr 2008
Posts: 813

PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2020 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Based on the limited info you gave in your post, I would say to hold off. It doesn't sound like you are at a place in your career where you will benefit from joining.

Times have changed. When I was starting out you could not wait for the day you could join SAG. It meant you could pursue professional vo professionally. With 80% of vo today being non union, joining might close more doors than it will open.

Also, when the internet took the vo industry away from the major markets and the lifestyle of the traditional actor, this brought with it a generation who just demanded pursuing in a very different way. Covid aside, as now is not the time to seek survival jobs, it was just a given if you were going to pursue professional acting this came with waiting tables, bar tending, anything to pay the bills so you could pursue in, our case, vo.

Very few today would entertain the idea of waiting tables between union vo auditions and gigs outside of LA/NY/CHI. Also, with the erosion of union work came the erosion of union auditions. Depending on where you live, or if you have representation, you may not see many union auditions come your way.

I also think no matter what it is one wants to pursue, if you have to ask what you should do, you shouldn't do it. I never had to ask anyone should I pursue acting. Even during my starving actor days, nothing would stop me. No one could discourage me and when I got a no I did everything in my power to make it a yes next time. If you have that same drive and passion in regard to union vo, then go for it.
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Kim Fuller
DC


Joined: 29 Jan 2011
Posts: 603
Location: Portlandish, Oregon

PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2020 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing that was new to me when I starting researching this is the difference between "nonunion" and "no union". You don't hear as much talk about that as you do "union vs. nonunion".

I'm sure someone like Melissa Ex could phrase it better, but you can be union and take work like audiobooks (which can then be converted to union via a paymaster) and some cable TV narration.

I would assess your goals and current revenue stream and figure out where you want to go. Personally, I would love to be union - so far that door hasn't opened.
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Bob Bergen
Flight Attendant


Joined: 22 Apr 2008
Posts: 813

PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2020 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kim Fuller wrote:
One thing that was new to me when I starting researching this is the difference between "nonunion" and "no union". You don't hear as much talk about that as you do "union vs. nonunion".


Non jurisdictional work. Areas that never opened collective bargaining and therefore the work is not covered. But I know many who work genres such as audiobooks and narration/e-learning who convert that work daily just to make the 30 grand or so a year to qualify for P&H.
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Frank F
Fat, Old, and Sassy


Joined: 10 Nov 2004
Posts: 4405
Location: Park City, Utah

PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2020 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can only say: "What Bob and Kim said...".

One job does not a career make... If you score a few (hundred) more qualified gigs, then go union. I have lived in a "right to work state" and qualified gigs were hard to come by, but I had tenure and lots of gigs outside of the state and internationally.

Do not spend what you don't have on a promise or a dream quite yet. There are times when spending money to make money is good, 2020 - 2021 are not some of these times.

Frank F
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Be thankful for the bad things in life. They opened your eyes to the good things you weren't paying attention to before. email: thevoice@usa.com
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