View Full Version : SAG/AFTRA: To join or not?
05-02-2007, 07:43 PM
Is anyone a member? I recently went Taft/Hartley due to a fly gig, and now I have the opportunity to join the union.
What are the advantages/disadvantages (other than having to pay dues)? What's the rationale between joining the union versus staying non-union or Taft/Hartley? What's the "game plan" analysis, if you will? Keep in mind I don't plan on staying in Chicago for much longer. I'm on my way to grad school, then NYC.
I'm familiar with the argument for non-union vs. Equity but don't know as much about the argument for SAG/AFTRA.
I was in AFTRA for a while right before the big strike in '99. They weren't doin' it for me, so I amicably split and got some non-union work.
SAG is a better (and much more expensive) union. If you're going to be in NYC, you'll probably want to join eventually. Since you're Taft/Hartley'd I'd assume your status is Must Join, true? (You're allowed a certain number of SAG jobs if they all fall in the same month-then you have to join. Find out if you're not sure, it's important).
What I would do is hold out and wait for a job that is likely to give you residuals, since it costs so much to join. Once you pay the whopping initiation fee, the dues aren't so bad. My agent was always understanding about me being selective about union auditions. Once you're in, and you do get work, it'll be more money, you'll get it a hell of a lot faster, and there's the chance for benefits-but those are kinda hard to come by, since you have to earn a fairly large amount each year to keep them.
SAG and AFTRA have been talking about merging for years, but it looks like it'll never happen. We have the coasts to thank for that.
05-03-2007, 02:58 PM
your agent should be able to help you with this question. he/she knows you best and knows your past.
scol's got good advice. most people stay taft hartley until they have to join. if you were moving to LA soon (maybe NY, i don't know how their agents work) it might be worth going SAG so you can get a theatrical agent, but in Chicago there is a LOT of non-union work.
vBulletin® v3.8.3, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.