So, as you may recall from a couple weeks back, I am now SAG eligible. After briefly celebrating that fact, I've been anxiously weighing my options as far as joining. So, here are some of the pros and cons of becoming a member of that hallowed fraternity known as the Screen Actors Guild.
Pros: 1) Potential to work on tv shows and movies - this is a biggie, because, although you can technically get cast as a non-union actor, it is very difficult to even get auditions unless you are SAG. 2) Get to make some money working as a SAG extra - the day rates are equal to about 2 1/2 time those of non-union extras. 3) Potential to work as a commercial SAG extra - rates are about 5-6 times those of non-union extras (as far as TV/Film day rates) 4) vote for the SAG awards! ;) 5) Try to get a TV/Film agent - they typically won't take anyone over 25 who isn't SAG (and most people over 25 who are SAG for that matter!) so my odds would certainly be better. 6) Make my way towards health insurance - I understand you need to make a certain amount to qualify, but I can't start to make that SAG money unless I join...
Cons: 1) No more non-union work - There is more non-union work here, though it pays less in general. But being SAG means no commercials, tv stuff or films that aren't sanctioned by the union. Which is an especially big concern now because of... 2) Possible SAG strike? - the union contract is up in June and there is still a possibility that the actors will strike. That means no work -- not even extra work -- for however long the strike goes. 3) $2400 - Joining fee, which is of course an investment, so that is the least of the cons.
I WILL definitely join the actors union, since that's why I'm here in the first place, and it will likely be sooner rather than later. But, the possible strike, and the idea that I can no longer do non-union stuff (basically everything I've ever done) gives me pause.
In other news, I got a call today from the Daniel Hoff Agency, one of the more well-known commercial agencies in town, and the first one I auditioned for after I came out here. Though that audition was in January, apparently there was some mix-up with the tape so they were just finally able to view it, and they wanted me to come in to talk to the agent herself. Strange, but true L.A. industry... I politely told them that I had signed with another agent in the interim and they wished me luck. While it is certainly nice to know that they wanted me to come in, I am very excited to be with my current commercial agency, so maybe things just work out for the best.