Wordy Wednesdays #4: Unions!

Welcome to our first #WordyWednesday of August! Today, we’re talking about unions (AEA, SAG, FICORE, ASDFGHJKL) and clarifying all of the different acronyms that come up whenever someone says “dues”…

  • SAG-AFTRA (aka “SAG” or “the union” in LA)
    SAG-AFTRA is the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. Why the long name? It’s because the two unions, both founded in the 1930s, merged in 2012 to create the current union. It represents about 160,000 actors and other professionals in the film and television industries. Because it is a union meant to protect its members, SAG has pre-set agreements with productions on actor’s payments, working conditions and hours.
    The “ELIG” in SAG-ELIG is short for eligible, as in eligible for membership in the union. There are a few ways to join SAG: the first is to land a principal role in a SAG production and receive a Taft-Hartley voucher noting your eligibility for the union. Another way to join is by getting 3 background roles and the corresponding 3 background Taft-Hartley vouchers. After you receive 3 background vouchers, or 1 principal voucher, you become a “Must-Join” or “Must-Pay” (your dues!) and you cannot work another union job until you join. When to join the union can be a tricky topic for some actors; it’s best to do some self-reflection and research before deciding to join.
  • AEA (aka “Actors’ Equity” or just “Equity”)
    AEA is the Actors’ Equity Association, representing actors and personnel in the world of theatre (though not vaudeville, cabaret, etc.: that’s the American Guild of Variety Artists, AGVA). Equity has over 40,000 members across the United States (no, not just on Broadway!). The joining process in AEA is a points system (an actor must accrue points over a span of time to qualify) or obtaining a role under an AEA contract.
    Fun fact: AEA is a sister union of SAG-AFTRA, so a full-fledged Equity member who has been part of AEA for more than a year can join SAG-AFTRA based on their AEA experience.
    is short for “financial core“. It is not a union– it is a status that allows an actor to pay some union dues and work as a union actor on union projects, but because they do not pay full union dues and are not full members, they can also work on non-union projects with no penalty from the union.
    Being NON-UNION simply means that you are not part of SAG-AFTRA or AEA.

That’s it for this week’s Wordy Wednesday! See you next week!

3 Quick Tips on Practicing Your Craft!

If it’s Tuesday, then it must be time for some quick tips… welcome to another #QuickTipsTuesday!
OK, so to the average observer, modeling and acting may seem like it doesn’t require much prep work, but that’s not true! Acting and modeling can require a significant amount of prep work, and today we’re giving tips on how to prep for a successful audition or casting!

  1. The mirror is your friend!
    Practice everything in the mirror. If the commercial has copy, tape it to the side of the mirror and practice reading it, while going back and forth between the copy and the mirror. The mirror will stand in for the camera.
  2. The mirror is your friend, Part 2!
    Some commercials have no copy or may be a print-only job. For these, spend some time looking at yourself in the mirror and connect your emotions with your facial expressions. This will help you to be more in touch with how you want to look during the casting!
  3. Flex the muscles
    A wise person once said, “acting is a muscle which must be kept in shape through endless practice”. Flex those muscles: practice smiling so big that it reaches your eyes, practice copy whenever you can, and practice moving with purpose and intention.

Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to a successful casting and booking the job!
That’s it for this Tuesday…stay tuned until next week for more quick tips!

FLASHback Friday!

kodak box camera
It’s #FLASHbackFriday! These Kodak No. 2 Brownie box cameras were first introduced in 1901! Fun fact: these cost just $2 to buy in 1901! Happy Friday! #FBF #AlwaysThinkGreen