Over the last two weeks, we have discussed SAG-AFTRA and the benefits of membership. It was our goal to facilitate your exploration through the website as you seek further information. Now that you are more aware of SAG-AFTRA and its resources, it’s time to begin the journey into membership status.
How Do I Join?
Not surprisingly, membership in such an exclusive organization is not automatic. You must qualify for membership in one of two ways:
1) Proof of SAG-AFTRA employment
2) Employment under an affiliated performer’s union.
In other words, a performer seeking to qualify under the first condition must have worked under a SAG-AFTRA contract which will be validated by the organization. A performer seeking to qualify under the second condition must have worked under an affiliated union such as ACTRA, AEA, AGMA or AGVA for at least one year and been paid at least once as a principal performer on that event. Background actors seeking to qualify must show at least three days of work as a background actor under SAG-AFTRA productions.
Once you qualify for membership by working for a SAG-AFTRA employer or affiliated union and are cleared by the organization, you must pay initiation fees. Fees are currently averaging $3,000.00 (but may be lower in some states) and assistance in covering this fee is provided by the organization. Annual membership dues and work dues are also required once membership is established. For more information on membership, click here.
Membership in SAG-AFTRA is an accomplishment in itself. Members are in the company of some of the most elite talent in the world and have access to some of the most relevant, career building resources in the industry. Surely, it takes an investment, but a good investment can bring great returns. Over the last two weeks, we have discussed these returns in detail. So, now the ball is in your court. If do not already, if possible try seek roles only from a verified SAG-AFTRA employer. This will get you the credit that you need to qualify for membership. If you are an industry professional, register your production with the organization as soon as possible. This will give you access to the talent and resources, while providing more opportunities to the performers.
Whether you are a performer, producer, low-budget filmmaker, high-budget filmmaker, indie filmmaker, agent, or casting director, SAG-AFTRA’s got you covered. Our advice to you– know what you want to accomplish in your career, set short-term and long-term goals with deadlines and then get to work. We encourage you, for the benefit of your career, to include SAG-AFTRA membership on your list of goals. Furthermore, once you attain membership, be sure to make it work for you! Good luck!
Disclaimer: Please note that the information contained within this blog post and site is offered simply as a consideration to visitors who are in the entertainment industry and are seeking to learn more about various areas of entertainment, be it in film, movies, television, music, digital, new media, film financing, merchandising and/or branding. As such, the information so provided should never be construed as legal advice. If you need further assistance or legal advice for your specific matter, please do not hesitate in contacting an entertainment attorney (film, music, digital, licensing, financing) here in Los Angeles, California at The Hollywood Lawyer by(1) emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org; (2) calling us at (323) 300-4184; or (3) filling out our online form.