Sunday, December 22, 2013

SAG Bashing

I overheard local talent talking about how they resent how you never see locals in commercials and on television. When I approached them I discovered they were all non-union and most had taken advantage of and abused their potential to ever land serious work by adding "SAG Eligible" to their resume. They offer their services for free or low pay without the protection of a union then wonder why only union, perceived as being "out of town" union get the good parts.

It’s funny how those who want to continue to have free or low cost talent feed the rumor mill that in turns fuels the first of SAG-Bashing. Playing upon and building on a popular myth that unions are evil giants, these actors then turn around and ask why they never get a “fair chance” at commercials and movie roles.

It is because union talent is professional talent.

That may raise shingles, but the truth is that perception is everything and producers, who come in from out of town, and an increasing number in town, equate the willingness to commit to your craft and join a union with being professional and serous about the industry and your career.

Don’t believe me. Ask a major director, not some local who exploits, sorry…”trains and offers opportunity to”…gullible locals.

I have noticed in my role with film festivals, the SAG awards, Ad Federation Awards and other activities that the video and film product that rings true and really rises above the rest all use union talent. There is a reason for that.

And when it comes time to worry about such things, there is a reason SAG is being targeted by conservatives for our “Cadillac” pension and health plan. It is because the Screen Actors Guild exist to protect actors and to serve our membership.

The reasons out of town talent are used are many. But the strongest reason is that if talent fails to join SAG the market will always be looked upon as back-water, and the incentive to bring talent in from out the market will continue to be there. Unfortunate, since there is a wealth of qualified professional union and pre-union (a positive term for those who do not join as they are still welcome anytime they decide to be truely professional)available right here in Nevada!

First posted 2/25/2011

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