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Working non union after becomeing SAG AFTRA

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March 23, 2012, 11:46 PM
Working non union after becomeing SAG AFTRA
And the ONLY attractive non union gigs are Voice over gigs that ONLY Voice Over Agents have access to. $1000-10,000 for an hour in your pajamas and at home is pretty cool and the reason why a lot of frequently working VO actors have gone Fi-Core or even do it under card.

BUT, to get a Voice Over agent, you have to be good and have a bomb ass VO demo so getting those non union auditions are not easy. Booking them are not easy either.
March 23, 2012, 11:48 PM
And you come across them as often as a fart in space. Non-union VO gigs that pay over 4-digit numbers are rare.
March 23, 2012, 11:52 PM
The more I visit this forum, the more I realize that most, give bad advice, naive, almost to what is really going on in the real world out there, what the experience really is for actors. I used to believe it and now, i have doubts.
What some think is true, others have other opinions, based on personal experience. What others think is legit, others struggle with it's illegitimacy based on personal experience.
I'm speechless, lately.
All these proper rules for this business, but the reality is that this business is not that proper as some experts make it sound to be.
March 24, 2012, 01:18 AM
I think 901 Actor best understood where I was coming from.

I am mainly concerned with missing out on the work of my film director friends and colleagues that I have built strong relationships with, that are very passionate and talented directors. I don't want to leave that world behind completely just yet.

As for non union work, I can live with out it, but there are some very good paydays in the non-union world (I am not concerned with background work)--Although background for SAG commercials is just about as much as high paying non union jobs, so I understand that completely.

I am joining next week, but I have a few short films slated for this month and next. What if the project doesn't have a contract? Is that still forbidden for a union actor? I appreciate all the replies.
March 24, 2012, 07:27 AM
If you join an acting union (I'm assuming AFTRA) you are not allowed to work on non-union projects. It really is that simple.

It does not matter if your best friend is the director. If it is a non-union film project as a union member you are not allowed to work on it.

Again, just to make sure, if you are a union member you are not allowed to work on non-union film projects.

member of a union = no non-union work.

non-union film work = no union members

Also known as Global Rule One.

Get your friends to make it a union project (not a hard thing to do, especially if they're passionate and talented film makers). But if they don't and you join a union anyway then you, come on say it with me; can not work on non-union projects.

If this is a problem for you then I suggest you not join the union just yet. But who are we kidding? We both know you'll join and we both know you'll work this and any other non-union job that comes your way. Otherwise you wouldn't have even asked the question. So, good luck and I hope you get caught.
March 24, 2012, 07:41 AM
Originally posted by quazimoto:
I am mainly concerned with missing out on the work of my film director friends and colleagues that I have built strong relationships with, that are very passionate and talented directors. I don't want to leave that world behind completely just yet.

If they really wanted you then they would make their project SAG ultra low budget.

And if this is just AFTRA you're joining, you still can go do them UNTIL the merger happens.
March 24, 2012, 03:52 PM
Some people just don't get it. The truth is, you are your own worst enemies. These unions exist for a reason. To protect you actors. If it weren't for unions you'd all work for free because you are so desperate for the one job that will make your career.

It seems people come on here for advice and then don't want to heed that advice when it isn't what they want to hear. So here's what you want to hear.

If you are a SAG member go and do a non union film. I'm sure it will work out great for you. Because it's such a great project being made by such professionals that you won't work any overtime, your working conditions will be excellent. I'm sure you'll have a great big trailer to hang out in in between shots with all the amenities. I'm sure the craft services will be top notch. I'm sure you will be paid on time.

And since this is such a great project that you can't pass on, I can't wait to see it in theaters. I'm sure it will have a huge opening weekend making hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office. I'm also sure you won't see a penny of it while the producers get rich, but you'll be so well known from the film that someone will see that you are a SAG actor in a non union film and you'll be expelled from the union. Then you won't have to ask this question again, because you'll only be able to do non union work.

Good luck, don't come to me for representation, because you are beyond help.
March 24, 2012, 04:41 PM
You can probably get away with it in Wyoming or in WA (I heard that some do do it up here) but you won't be able to get way with it in a market like lA. that's howcome you wait even in my market to join because there's more non-union stuff than union stuff, especially when they don't have a film office in place yet.
March 25, 2012, 08:48 AM
Ok bottom line is this: Just recently booked SAG commercial and been SAG Elgible for a few months, I am also Aftra must join as well, but I have been biting my time until the merger so I can potentially save money on joining the union.

I go on between 1-3 SAG auditions every two months currently-I am looking for that number to progressively build this year.

I am committed to two short films right now, both $100 a day pay, but both lead roles with some great scenes working with some great people. Both projects are set to shoot April/May.

I wanted to join the union next week before the merger to save money, however I still want to very much work on both of these short films. I do not want to 'sneak' behind any unions back.

I appreciate everyone's feedback and please I would like some more. However try to keep it positive. I sense people getting a little too arrogant in some of their response. Hope I don't sound that way right now.....
March 25, 2012, 09:08 AM

We are in a similar situation, but live in NYC and my son is a tween. A lot of people are right there with you. i spoke to his agent and manager about joining AFTRA to save the $ and they don't have the answers. It's really an individual choice. What is right for one person, might not be for another depending on their market and where they are with their career.

I want to reiterate what TT already said:

"If they really wanted you then they would make their project SAG ultra low budget."

It's really that simple.

Best of Luck
March 25, 2012, 09:18 AM
Also, what if I make sure to sign the contracts before I join the union? Would that help any if the contract was signed prior to me becoming union even though the shooting takes place after I have became union?

Thoughts anyone......
March 25, 2012, 09:45 AM
Seriously, you've gotten the answer to your question multiple times now. But here it is once more;


I hope that finally clears it up for you. Sorry about all the arrogant and confusing answers up until this point.

Actually, you could call SAG and explain to them that you really want to do these two non-union films and I'm sure they will give you permission. After all the whole Global Rule One thing really isn't that big a deal.
March 25, 2012, 12:12 PM
Sweet I'll call. Thanks
March 25, 2012, 01:16 PM
Originally posted by quazimoto:
Sweet I'll call. Thanks

I guess this means you don't realize he was joking.
March 25, 2012, 05:02 PM
It doesn't matter when you sign the contract. If you are a union member it is against union rules to work on a non union project.

That is the answer. You've gotten it over and over on this board, but as I said earlier you just don't want to hear the answer you don't like.