Screen Actors Guild is for actors with experience or un-experience?
I've heard that I need to have act in something, but I haven't. So I thought that SAG was an acting agency. Can someone explain me how does it work and if I need to pay something?
- Katrina E.Lv 78 years agoFavorite Answer
The Screen Actors Guild is a labor UNION (not an agency) - it's designed to protect the rights of actors and help ensure safe working conditions. They make agreement with various production companies. The production companies agree to follow SAG guidelines when hiring actors and SAG actors agree to work only for companies that have signed an agreement with SAG. They also provide benefits to members like recourse to handle disagreements with production companies, health insurance, pension benefits, and a casting database.
SAG recently merged with another union - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA). So now it's the SAG-AFTRA union.
Being a member of SAG-AFTRA indicates that you are a professional actor. You can't just pay a fee and join SAG - you have to qualify or be eligible to join. Here's details in how to join:
Basically if you get cast in a principal role in a SAG-AFTRA production you become eligible to join. If you're a background actor (extra) and gotten 3 SAG-AFTRA vouchers (not every extra gets a SAG voucher - they're hard to get.). If you've been a paid-up member of an affiliated performers' union like Equity (AEA) for stage actors for one year and have worked at least once as a principal performer in that union then you're join SAG-AFTRA. So SAG-AFTRA is only for experienced actors.
All new members pay a one-time-only initiation fee, plus the first semiannual dues at the time of joining. The national initiation fee rate is currently $3000 (initiation fees may be lower in some states). Annual Base dues are $198.
Most production companies in LA - the places that produce the TV shows you watch and the major movie studios are all SAG-AFTRA so actors who appear in those productions are members of the union.