How To Get Your SAG & AFTRA Cards
AFTRA contracts cover work in daytime drama, game shows, reality shows, radio, and cable.
The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) is not an open union. Like many labor unions you have to get a job to get your union card and you can’t get your union card without a job.
So, if you are hired for a speaking role (a principal) in a SAG project (film, video, TV program, or commercial) you’re SAG eligible (SAGe). Now, you can work for 30 days until you have to join or decline. That’s the Taft-Hartley Act that you’ve heard so much about. You’ll have to take your contract with you to the SAG office when you apply. You can also bring a paystub but it has to have your Name, SSN#, name of production, salary, and dates worked printed on it.
Next, if you work as a background player, for three days, at full SAG rates, for a production company that has a SAG contract, you can present your paystub at the SAG office for eligibility. Since paystubs almost never have all the required information you can have the payroll company fax a payroll printout to the SAG offices. They’ve done it before, it’s not scary.
Finally, if you’re a member in good standing for one year with one of the sister unions (AFTRA, EQUITY, AGMA, AGVA, ACTRA) and have gotten at least one job under their jurisdiction, you’re SAG.
Now, take your contract, paystub, payroll printout, or proof of AFTRA, EQUITY, AGMA, AGVA, ACTRA membership (and paystub from one job under their contracts) and call the SAG office to make an appointment to review your documentation and fill out the application. Again, it’s not scary.
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Michelle Danner is an international film director & acting coach. Her student list include James Franco, Seth MacFarlane, Salma Hayek, Henry Cavill, Zooey Deschanel, Gerard Butler, Chris Rock, Chris Martin, Penelope Cruz, Michael Pena, Michelle Rodriguez, Kate Del Castillo and many others.
Stella Adler Technique| Meisner Acting Technique| The Stanislavski Method| Uta Hagen Technique.
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Acting Workshops: Breaking into Hollywood and Golden Box
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