Friday, July 2, 2010

Showbiz Extras Blog on SAG Membership Benefits

SAG Membership Benefits

Also see Nevada SAG Benefits: click here.
Editors Note: This blog has many links and explanations that may be of interests to beginners and those who are considering doing background in a film. This blog strongly endorses the use of experienced background actors, strong emphasis on the word "actors', however students and those new to the business may wish to get their feet wet working "over contract" or non-union. If you do, use it as a learning experience and do apply yourself professionally. it is easy to get sucked into the non-professional lark and "fan" mindsets your first few times on the set. If you act professionally and do the job professionally you have a much greater chance of being asked back or even upgraded to a speaking role.


As a current paid up member of SAG you will have access to certain perks other than the Health & Pension Benefits. These are in some cases sponsored by SAG or are film industry related. They are listed on the SAG website, but I have also listed some of them here with a brief description.

SAG’s free, members-only online casting directory. You must be a paid up member in good standing before you can register for this service. It will let you post a resume with pictures for casting directors to view.

SAG Conservatory
 (only available in Hollywood, Nevada and New York)
The SAG Conservatory offers a variety of workshops taught by industry pros who will assess and enhance your skills as an actor.
Some of the workshops and classes offered: On-camera commercial and film techniques, Auditioning for Film and Television, “Meet the Casting Director” seminars, Cold reading Classes, Voice Over Classes, Improvisation, Video Scenes and Teleprompter Classes. Visit your branch page for Conservatory news and events in your area.

SAG Hollywood Film Society
The Screen Actors Guild Film Society is a nonprofit organization created to allow actors to observe other actors’ performances in order to improve their own skills, and to raise awareness of current productions.
Membership is by application only and accepted on a yearly basis. The membership fee is $75 for a full season and guarantees 26 screenings for member and a guest. Parking passes can be purchased in advance for an additional fee.
The new season begins in May and runs through April 2009. All SAG Hollywood Film Society Screenings are held at the DGA Theatre unless otherwise noted. Next application process is approximately March 17, 2009 – April 30, 2009 with the season starting on or around May 30, 2009 – April 2010.
Directors Guild of America Theater
7920 Sunset Blvd.
(one block west of Fairfax)
Hollywood Film Society
5757 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Phone: (323) 549-6658
Fax: (323) 549-6065

SAG New York Film Society
The Screen Actors Guild New York Film Society is a nonprofit organization, which brings our membership a full season of films and allows actors to observe other performers’ work as well as to make members aware of the types of films being made.
The SAG NY Film Society Membership is by application only and accepted on a yearly basis.
The membership fee is $100 for past members who still have a bar code membership card; and the fee is $115 for new members (and past members who have lost or never had a bar code membership card).
During the season, replacement of a bar code membership card—for any reason—will cost $25. Your membership card will admit you and a guest to view the screenings of 20 films during the season However, additional bonus screenings may be scheduled during the season. The new season begins in September 2008 and runs through August 2009.
All New York Film Society Screenings are held at the DGA Theater unless otherwise noted.
Directors Guild of America Theater
110 West 57th Street
(between 6th and 7th Avenues)
New York Film Society Contact Information
Film Society Hotline: (212) 827-1592
NY Film Society Office
360 Madison Avenue 12th Floor
New York, New York 10017
Phone: (212) 944-1030
Fax: (212) 944-6774

SAG Awards Nomination Committee
Voting for the Screen Actors Guild Awards® is done in two stages. The first, nominations balloting, is voted on by two nominating committees. These nominating committees are selected at random by computer in April of each year. The second stage of voting, the final balloting, begins once the nominations are announced.
Nominations for the SAG Awards® are selected by two nominating committees. The SAG Awards® Theatrical Motion Picture and Television Nominating Committees are newly drawn each April, each made up of 2100 members. The committees are selected by a random sample drawing of active paid-up members of SAG. Members selected to serve on the 15th Annual Theatrical Motion Picture ‘SAG Nom Comm’ and Television nominating committees are not eligible to serve on their respective committees again for three years. This allows more members of SAG the opportunity to serve on these important committees. The second stage of voting, the final balloting, begins once the nominations are announced.
Final ballots will be prepared and mailed on December 26, 2008 to the entire active, paid-up Guild membership. Only active, paid-up Guild members are given the opportunity to vote for the recipients of the Screen Actors Guild Awards coveted bronze Actor statuette. Also, “For Your Consideration” and nomination screenings are only available to active, paid-up Screen Actors Guild members. Visit the SAG Awards at for more information and to register for email updates.

AFTRA-SAG Federal Credit Union:
SAG & AFTRA members are eligible to join the credit union as are there family members and domestic partners. The credit union operates like a normal bank with the products and services you might expect plus specialty services that cater to actors like residual deposits.

The SAG Foundation
Founded in 1985, the Screen Actors Guild Foundation is an educational, humanitarian and philanthropic non-profit organization.Their mission is to enhance the lives of actors by investing in programs which help them in their professional endeavors. The programs reflect the concerns and interests of SAG members as well as the desire to “give back” to their communities. The SAG Foundation is independent from SAG but offers substantive services to Guild members, free of charge. The Foundation relies solely on the support from grants, corporate sponsorships, bequests and individual contributions to maintain our programs and create new ones. They strive to assist, educate and inspire actors. Below are two of their offerings and I encourage you to visit the SAG Foundation website for more details.

SAG Foundation Catastrophic Health Fund
The Foundation’s Catastrophic Health Fund provides grants to eligible Guild members and their dependents who suffer from catastrophic illness or injury and are unable to afford the Guild Health Plan’s Self-Pay Program.
The Fund ensures that every eligible Guild member and his or her family can depend on continued health benefits when they need them most.
For more information please visit The SAG Foundation Catastrophic Health Fund

Financial Life Raft Workshops
The SAG Foundation’s Life Raft program offers seminars to educate actors, including Commercials 101, agent panels, how to prepare an actor’s taxes, developing your own project, parenting young performers, set etiquette and many others.
For more information please visit SAG Foundation LifeRaft.

The Actors Fund
The Actors Fund is a nonprofit, national human services organization that helps entertainment and performing arts professionals in theater, film, music, opera, television and dance through a broad spectrum of social, health, employment, and housing programs that address their essential and critical needs. The Fund is a safety net, providing programs and services for those who are in need, crisis or transition.

Conrad Cantzen Shoe Fund:
In 1945, actor Conrad Cantzen bequeathed his estate to The Actors Fund with the stipulation it should be used to help actors purchase shoes so they did not appear “down at the heels” when auditioning. Mr. Cantzen believed a good pair of shoes made a great first impression on casting directors.
This Memorial Fund reimburses eligible entertainment professionals up to $40.00 towards a pair of shoes costing no more than $80.00. For eligibility requirements please see the Actors Fund website.

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