7 Basic Facts about Actor Labor Unions

By Webmaster

  •  

    7 Basic Facts about Actor Labor Unions

    (By AM Staff)

    Do you know why SAG merged with AFTRA? Do you know why Actor’s Equity Association was created? Do you know how unions benefit actors?

    In honor of Labor Day, here are a few quick facts about the main actor labor unions in the United States that you may not know:

    What do the acronyms mean?

    *SAG stands for the Screen Actors Guild
    *AFTRA stands for the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists
    *AEA stands for the Actor’s Equity Association

    Why did they form?
    *AEA is the oldest major actor’s labor union in the United States. It was founded in 1913, working on behalf of stage actors and managers.
    *SAG formed in 1933 to protect and defend actors from what they perceived as exploitation by major studios in Hollywood
    *The Union now known as AFTRA was formed in 1937, after supplanting Radio Equity and Radio Actors Guild and then merging with the Television Authority in 1952.

    Why did SAG merge with AFTRA?
    On March 30, 2012 the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists merged to ease the conflict and confusion for actors who, for example, might have qualified for benefits under one union but not the other. It also removed the need for the two unions to make adversarial decisions against one another. The merger of the two unions created the largest actors’ union in the US.

    How many members in each union?
    *SAG-AFTRA boasts a total membership of 160,000 members, which includes actors, broadcast journalists, dancers and voice-over artists.
    *Equity boasts a total membership of 51,000 stage actors and managers.

    How do you join SAG-AFTRA?
    1. Actors can join by working as a principal in a project that is covered under SAG-AFTRA.
    2. Actors who work as background actors (extras) may join by working at least three days on a union contract in a project that is covered by SAG-AFTRA.
    3. Actors may also join if they are paid-up members of affiliated unions, such as AEA, and have worked and been paid as a principal on a project under the jurisdiction of that union.

    How do you join AEA?
    1. Actors may join by working under an Equity contract.
    2. Actors can earn enough points – 50 are needed – and join the union under the Equity Candidate Membership Program, by working in participating theaters.
    3. Actors can buy their way in by becoming members of an affiliated union, such as SAG-AFTRA.

    What are some benefits to joining an actor union?
    Benefits includes things like:
    1. Negotiated pay rates
    2. Ensuring proper lunch breaks and overtime pay
    3. Ensuring safe work environments
    4. Health, pension and 401K benefits
    5. Dispute resolution
    6. Work and educational opportunities

    For more information, check out:

    Actor’s Equity
    SAG-AFTRA

    Recommended Posts

  • Ad

  • Check Your Ego at the Door, But Bring Your Confidence into the Audition Room

      Check your ego at the door, but always bring your confidence into the audition room. And bring lots of it! The audition process, in many ways, is like the job interview process….

    Actor Stories: Jenna Fischer Recalls Her First Day in LA, as an Aspiring Actor

    Actor Stories: Jenna Fischer’s First Day in LA, as an Aspiring Actress It was my first day in Los Angeles and everything felt perfect. Then, nothing happened for six years. (Arranged by AM…

    Why Natural Actors Still Need Training

    Why Natural Actors Still Need Training While an actor might be a natural performer, he or she is also a human being. (Jim Webb) ____________________________________________________________________________ Training is vital to the actor’s life. Being…

    Being-in-the-moment

    Being-in-the-moment “Being-in-the-moment”, usually refers to the abstract event when an actor feels genuinely connected to their character. (by Tonya Tannenbaum) ____________________________________________________________________________ “Being-in-the-moment”, usually refers to the abstract event when an actor feels genuinely…

    “Do not run for the sake of running” (Konstantin Stanislavski)

    “Do not run for the sake of running or suffer for the sake of suffering. You must not act in a generalized way, for the sake of action. You must act with a…

  • Ad

  • “There’s a wide river of actors and actresses. But there’s only a tiny pond of real talent.” (Charles S. Dutton)

        “There’s a wide, wide, wide river of actors and actresses. But there’s only a tiny pond of real talent.” (Charles S. Dutton)   ____________________________________________________________________________ Dutton went on to explain: What I…

    The Super-Objective

    The Super-Objective Unlike short-term or moment-to-moment objectives, the super-objective influences and guides the character’s actions throughout the entire course of the story. (By Tonya Tannenbaum) ____________________________________________________________________________ The “Super-Objective” is the primary goal that…

    When you speak words you don’t truly understand, you are not truly acting.

    When you speak words you don’t truly understand, you are not truly acting. So, pull out your dictionary or get busy on Wikipedia and find out the answer… (by Jim Webb) ____________________________________________________________________________ When…

  • Ad

  • The Unbroken Line

    The Unbroken Line. When this line is broken, Stanislavski believed, the actor gets “lost” in the role, the life of the character “stops” and the actor loses the overall thrust of the character….

    “A film actor must be able to dream another person’s dreams” (Michael Caine)

    Quote of the day: “They say you’ve learned a foreign language when you start dreaming it. A film actor must be able to dream another person’s dreams before he can call that character…

    Actor Luke Perry has reportedly died

    Actor Luke Perry has reportedly died. The actor suffered a massive stroke and never fully recovered (by AM Staff) ____________________________________________________________________________ Actor Luke Perry has reportedly died. He suffered a massive stroke on February…

    Continuity

      Continuity (by Tonya Tannenbaum) ____________________________________________________________________________ Continuity, as it relates to on-camera acting, is the effort to create the illusion of one continuous time and space, even though the process of filming the…

    Don’t Be Afraid to Politely Ask for an Audition Do-Over

    Don’t Be Afraid to Politely Ask for an Audition Do-Over The goal is not to be nice, the goal is to leave the audition room feeling good about the performance you put on…

  • Ad

  • Actor Stories: Tyler Perry

    Actor Stories: Tyler Perry Tyler Perry, the actor/director/playwright, proves that you can go from broke, homeless dreamer to Hollywood Mogul if you believe in yourself and never stop trying. (by AM Staff) ____________________________________________________________________________…

    What is a “Backstory”?

    What is a “Backstory”? (by Tonya Tannenbaum) _____________________________________________________________________ In acting, creating a “backstory” generally refers to the process of inventing details about the history of the character’s life, where those details are not…

    3 Good Reasons to see BlacKkKlansman

    3 Good Reasons to see BlacKkKlansman. This film will delight you with its wit and charm. And, while witty, it also manages to bring some heavy moments. (by AM staff) ____________________________________________________________________________ If you…

  • Ad

  • Quote of the day: “You might sometimes act badly” (Mikhail Shchepkin)

    Quote of the day: “You might sometimes act badly, sometimes only satisfactorily (it often depends on your inner mood), but you should always act truthfully.” (Mikhail Shchepkin) _____________________________________________________________________ Brief Bio The “father of…

    Quote of the day: “Real people struggle *not* to show their feelings” (Michael Caine)

    Quote of the day: “The modern film actor knows that real people in real life struggle *not* to show their feelings. It is more truthful, and more potent, to fight against the tears,…

    Local Hire Can Mean Playing with Fire

    Local Hire Can Mean Playing with Fire Why risk it? It’s probably much safer to get creative about discovering new acting opportunities where you live. (by Tonya Tannenbaum) ________________________________________________________________________________ Having family or friends,…

    Atlanta is Becoming the Hollywood of the South

    Atlanta is Becoming the Hollywood of the South If you’re an actor who lives in Atlanta, it may no longer be necessary for you to move to Hollywood to elevate your acting career….

    Fall in Love with Acting, All Over Again!

      Fall in Love with Acting, All Over Again! So, if you’ve lost your love for the craft of acting or lost your love for the struggles associated with being an actor…just remember…

  • Ad

  • Top 10 List of Actors Who Found Success Later in Life

    Top 10 List of Actors Who Found Success Later in Life If you feel like you’re too old to begin an acting career, or too old to continue one, just remember one thing:…

    Breaking Bad

      Breaking Bad (by AM Staff) ________________________________________________________________________________ Premiering on January 20, 2008, AMC’s Breaking Bad is widely considered one of the greatest television shows of all time. The series, and its stars, captured…

    Quote of the day: “When I act…I get a better sense of who I am” (Giancarlo Esposito)

    Quote of the day: “When I act, I become very focused and I get a better sense of who I am and so, acting was always a way for me to transcend my…

  • Ad

  • What is the “Magic If”?

    What is the “Magic If”? The “Magic If” is an acting technique that seeks to put the actor in their character’s shoes by asking a basic question, or series of questions, centered around…

    Quote of the day: Martin Landau – “Acting is *not* showing”

    Quote of the day: “Acting is *not* showing. Only bad actors try to cry. Good actors try not to. Only bad actors try to laugh. Good actors try not to. Only bad actors…

    Actor Kristoff St. John found dead

    Actor Kristoff St. John found dead The veteran actor was 52 years old (Carmichael Phillips) ________________________________________________________________________________________________ Kristoff St. John, one of the stars of CBS’s The Young & the Restless, was found dead…

    5 NFL Football Players Who Became Successful Actors

    5 NFL Football Players Who Became Successful Actors Just in time for the Super Bowl, we bring you our top 5 list of NFL football players who became successful actors! (by AM Staff)…

    3 Great New Year’s Resolutions for Actors

    3 Great New Year’s Resolutions for Actors Here are some great New Year’s resolutions you should strive to keep, if you haven’t already achieved them (by James Webb) ________________________________________________________________________________________________ We are a few…

    7 Basic Facts about Konstantin Stanislavski

    7 Basic Facts About Konstantin Stanislavski Whether you are “Meisner” or “Method” or draw influence from the teachings of Stella Adler, Uta Hagen or others, you are likely studying an offshoot of Stanislavski’s…

    What is the “Substitution Technique”?

    What is the “Substitution Technique”? Using substitution, actors can justify, to themselves, their character’s actions in various moments, now that they have related those moments to truths in their own lives. (by Tonya…

    “I’m Geoffrey Owens and I am an actor!”

    “I’m Geoffrey Owens and I am an actor!” “When it first happened, I thought it was going to be devastating; I thought it was going to be catastrophic, and it has been the…