Archives for : taft hartley


imagesAre you ready to work? Prove it!

Create your own New Media project and Taft-Hartley yourself. You can become SAG-AFTRA eligible that easily.

So, there are NO EXCUSES non union actors. If you feel you are ready to work, keep reading.

One of my clients from Act Now went to a SAG New Media FREE lecture recently. They have these frequently and you can find the next one by checking the CALENDAR. You don’t have to be a member to go, and they validate your parking, yay!

Here is what several of my clients had to say about the process:

The paperwork is only about 4 pages. There is no cost to process it. Your project can have any budget level. The only requirement is that a current member of SAG has a speaking role in the project. But only one SAG member (in good standing) needs to be employed by your production. If they agree to “defer” pay then technically you could have a zero budget self financed project.

The union will need a copy of your script and a cast list. Once you submit this preliminary paperwork, a rep contacts you for approval. You want to submit that paperwork at least 3 weeks before filming. “The Taft-Hartley forms for non-union members sound so easy to do and its real…makes you eligible. You could literally put something on youtube and even if it sucks just delete it after a few days because it was available for a time.”

Another client and a former co-worker who completed projects like this both said they spent no money on thier New Media productions aside from postage to mail things to the SAG-AFTRA office. “We were willing to sacrifice quality on sound and lighting (we had a good camera). We literally did this just to get into the union.”

One client took 3 months from start to finish. Another said,”In all honesty it took no longer than an hour to get everything filled out, signed, scanned, and sent back to SAG. Paperwork was easy and I AM SO GLAD I DID THIS!”

Both the clients who followed through with this were successfully able to Taft-Hartley themselves and several friends. “It was just a matter of submitting their names and Social Security Number on a Taft Hartley form that SAG provided. The folks at SAG were very helpful every time I had a question. I got quick answers via email and phone.”

“I kept telling myself I was going to do this for six months but kept being lazy. Once I finally got going it was so much easier than I thought. I’ve already lined up a manager meeting for next week, and feel much more confident handing my headshot to CD’s with that magical SAG-E on it!”

So there you have it. Don’t be lazy! I’ll even add some links and phone numbers below to help you get started.

If you have more questions, please put them in the comments section below. * And I invite you to come back and share your story and a link to your work when you’ve got your new media project up! *


New Media and Interactive: (323) 549-6446

Membership: (323) 549-6757

To get the New Media contract click: here!

New Media FAQ’s at the SAG-AFTRA page!

Three weeks prior to production submit the “preliminary Information sheet” and be sure you have all your New Media Documents!

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I remember when a Casting Director said to me, “The best actors are not acting, they are being.”

She also pointed out a shift in self-consciousness around age 8-10 for girls 10-11 for boys. Her point was that the more self-conscious we become as we get older, the less natural we become. We start to think: what do they want, am I doing it right, do they like me, am I pretty enough– and so “acting” starts to take over.

Auditioning children can be different in a number of ways as well. Many Casting directors like to slate differently. They are really casting the child’s personality, rather than asking the child to act. They want to find the child whose natural instincts and natural personality fit the character. Sometimes kids can be shy, or they’ve been coached to be respectful in the room, so the casting director wants to get them to open up and be themselves.

And isn’t that interesting? Because we all know that, in the beginning of our careers, we are ALL cast as someone very close to who we are because we just don’t get enough screen time in smaller parts to earn the audience’s faith.

Many times for these very young actors the child will be given the line and then asked to repeat it back to the director. Then, the takes can be cut together.

So for example, the Casting Director told me, during a child search for a major feature film, they asked the kids to sing a song, asked them about their brothers and sisters, and a few more questions that were specific to the subject of the film. The CD and the Director want to see– does this child have a creative mind? Are they hard to get stuff out of? How easy is it to get them to go with the flow? That’s what is being assessed.

And again, not so different from adults. Except when it comes to expectations. Generally most CDs will give kids a bit more time to warm up.

As the actors get older the dialogue has to be there. At ages 8-10 the CD will still want them to talk off the cuff a bit, just to get a sense of them, before launching into the actual material. But even at this age casting may spend a bit more time with a child if they feel there is something there, a look that is right, for example.

It also depends on the director. Some are better with kids than others. Directors like, for example, Chris Columbus have been working with kids their whole lives and they’re just so good with kids.

Most of the time, she said, the more you treat the kids like adults in the room, the more response you get out of them.

I wanted to follow up on my recent post regarding how to get your SAG-AFTRA union card as it pertains to both child actors and to the 18 to play younger crowd.

I discovered that a minor, anyone under the age of eighteen, can be taft-hartleyed into the union with no explanation. But anytime you have an adult actor (even someone who is over eighteen but playing a character under eighteen) who is getting a union gig and they’re non union, you have to do a Taft-Hartley. One of the things the person filling out the Taft-Hartley form will add to their explanation is that, for example, they needed an adult actor who could work more hours that a child is permitted to, but who also looked younger. However there are still plenty of people in the union who could match that description, so they must still be able to qualify for one of the other categories.

The production must fill out a form explaining why they are using a non union actor. Here are the categories the production has to choose from:

Reason for Hire (Check Appropriate Box)

Member of recognized “name” specialty group (Attach documentation and photo)

Important, famous, well-known or unique persons portraying themselves (Attach photo and bio)

Background actor adjusted for non-script lines (Attach photo)

Military or other government personnel used due to governmental restrictions (Describe restrictions below)

Special skill or unique physical appearance. (Describe skill below or attach photo)

First employment of a person who has training/experience as a professional performer and intends to pursue a career as a motion picture performer (Attach photo and resume)

Child under the age of 18 (State age and attach photo)
Owner or operator of special or unique vehicle or equipment (Describe below and attach photo) Employed as stunt coordinator (Attach photo and resume)

Employed as body double for scenes requiring nudity or sexual conduct (Attach photo)
Other (Describe reason for hire below and attach photo and resume)


Ultimately we grow up fast in this business. And yet, what makes the best actors sparkle is sometimes their ability to retain that childlike freedom from self — the ability to just be in the moment and let go of what others think.

Something to strive for no matter how old you are!






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