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? asked in Arts & HumanitiesTheater & Acting · 10 years ago

How can I become a union actress while I am still young?

I've been non union for a couple years and really want to step it up. Becoming union would really help you with better chances out there, too. I've researched and found out that you need a SAG card or that you must be SAG to become union and you can do that by getting 3 SAG vouchers or a speaking role in a SAG production. The only problem is that I live in Maryland and the film/acting industry is terrible. Our governor just recently passed a bill willing to support it. Should I talk to my agent about my dream of becoming union since she represents union actors too? or would that be too pushy and unprofessional? Any Advice? Thanks!

7 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I don't know where in Maryland you live, but I live in Maryland and have done very well as an actor. Perhaps you're just not looking in the right places if you think the acting industry here is terrible. The DC/MD/VA area is an excellent place for acting opportunities - after NYC & LA, it's definitely challenging Chicago for 3rd place.

    Anyway, about SAG - If this is really what you want to do, talk to your agent. It's not pushy, you need to be your own advocate as an actor. Let your agent know what you want and start to form a business plan to reach your goals.

    However, you really need to think this through. Is there a lot of SAG work for someone your age and type in this area? Do you already have a lot of professional experience on your resume and you're getting a lot of offers already? Are you willing to give up all the potential non-union work that's available in this area. Joining SAG would also mean that it would be very much looked down upon if you did any non-union theatre or television, because Actor's Equity Association and AFTRA are SAG's sister unions. That's a lot of potential work to give up.

    What do you think SAG will do for you? Talk to your agent about the realities of joining SAG. Make sure you really know what you're getting into. Perhaps it's right for you, perhaps it isn't.

    A good friend of mine is an actress in NYC and a member of all three unions. I once asked her if she had any advice I should pass along to my students. She said to only join SAG when you have to. That's the one thing she regrets - turning SAG too soon.

    I work more than she does. In fact, I work more than pretty much most of the actors I know who have turned union. Which means, I have better and more current footage for my reels, as well as having a more satisfying life as an actor, because I get to do what I'm in the business for - acting.

    It's a tricky thing deciding when it's right to join the unions, but joining too soon can seriously limit your career. Be careful and be wise about it. Having SAG on your resume doesn't mean that you're more talented or skilled than someone who is non-union - so people aren't necessarily going to take you more seriously as an actor because of that, if that's what you're thinking SAG will do for you.

    Best of luck to you.

    Source(s): Professional Actor PS How did you like our Earthquake?
  • 10 years ago

    You DO NOT want to be a member of SAG yet. As soon as you do, you will close the doors to a lot of opportunities. Possibly even casting opportunities in college. You will know when its time to become union. A: Your agent will tell you B: The industry will tell you by hiring you and giving you points/vouchers/etc. This is not meant to be rude by any means, but the fact that you are asking what it takes means that you are not ready. You will be ready when you know what it takes to get it, know the benefits and downfalls of having it, and have worked enough non-union to know that you would rather have your SAG card and never work again than to keep doing non-union work.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    If you have an agent, he/she works for you. So, if you have a desire to go SAG (meaning that you are willing to turn down non-union work in the hopes that you might get union work and might end up getting no work), there is no problem whatsoever with you saying to him/her that that's what you want and that he/she should make it his/her goal.

  • ?
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    you don't necessarily need a speaking role. you just need to be credited as a principal actor. there is no reason your agent can't send you on auditions for union projects. you don't need to be a member of SAG to go on an audition for a role covered by SAG. your agent should be sending you on this stuff

    without you having to ask her. you will probably need to get out of maryland for opportunities though.

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    No, it would not be pushy. If you really want that, then politely bring it up, and see what's involved, and if it's possible. And yes, it would be hard to get it, A in Maryland and B at a young age. But you can always try!

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago


    believe it or not, you can sometimes get more jobs as a non sag performer, especially in commercials. but i feel your pain, i've had 2 vouchers forever and i've been waiting for my third since 2 years ago. i'm at that awkward age (15) that they can get younger/ older actors to play :( so good luck! wish you the best! <3

    Source(s): personal experience....ALMOST sag member :(
  • It wouldn't hurt to try!! :) good luck

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