So I just recently became SAG-E here in my hometown of Atlanta, GA. I've contacted the SAG office and done some research on the union (benefits, Fees, etc.). I have one problem - Is it really worth going SAG in ATL when a lot of projects casting down here are non union? (some paid, some deferred). I have this feeling that if I sign up for SAG and I'm not in LA or NYC, I'll end up with even LESS work or possible auditions. Should I wait until I get ready to move to LA to be SAG or go ahead and suck it up in ATL? Help!
Oh, also talked to a rep at the ATL SAG office and I was told my SAG-E status wont expire so I could wait if I wanted to...
I'm SAG/AFTRE-E in Colorado and it was advised to not join until I get to L.A. as I would lose out on so much non-union work. There's not a whole of union work here. I can't really afford to join right now anyways, but as soon as I get to L.A. I will be joining SAG-AFTRA asap!
I would say do as much non-union work you can, enjoy getting your SAG/AFTRA-E status in the meantime (because it can be difficult, I know!), and join when you get to L.A. :-)
The other side, tho, is that you probably have a lot more union projects in Atlanta than there is in Colorado, so you might have better odds to get a union role in Atlanta if you do join.
Stay non union in the southeast as long as you can.
I believe GA is still a right to work state so do not join until you actually HAVE to
If Atlanta is a small market (more non-union than union), you probably don't want to join until you have to join in Atlanta, but if you're going to LA, and you want to build up your resume more, you want to stay sag-aftra-e as long as possible.
Join SAG/AFTRA because you have to. When you get cast for something that requires SAG/AFTRA then go for it. Make sure they know you're SAG-E. Put it on your resume or something. Why would you join SAG/AFTRA and waste money? You're also limiting your options because you can't work on any non-union projects. ATL is blowin' up but it isn't LA or NY so keep your options open. I've read that you can work on SAG/AFTRA while SAG-E and they don't make you join until your next SAG/AFTRA project. Might want to double check that last part. Something about 30 days too. I'm not sure. I'm not at that level yet, so I don't know the specifics.
Now, this hasn't happened to me yet, so I do not know for sure. But I am also SAGe, I have heard from a few of my SAGe acting friends that because we are in a right to work state, even if you do a SAG project, you still do not HAVE to join. They will tell you to, but because it's a right to work, they cannot MAKE you! This is from very seasoned regional actors who have been in BIG Budget Hollywood films on this coast. I am talking decent speaking roles too, not extra work.
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