What Is Screen Actors
(by AM Staff)
into the Screen Actor's Guild can be a humbling and
emotional experience for many actors. Most actors work
really hard for many years to become established actors.
For many actors, getting a SAG Card signifies that an
actor has "arrived" and become a respected, professional
The Screen Actor's Guild was established to represent actors
who perform in film. Like all actor's unions, Screen
Actor's Guild, or SAG for short, protects actors from
unfair treatment and ensures that actors receive fair and
just compensation for their work. SAG is responsible for
setting the minimum amount of money an actor should be
paid, which is known as scale. SAG also sets guidelines
for working conditions and for the amount of time an actor
is to be expected to work.
How Does SAG Help Actors?
The Screen Actors Guild helps actors in a
number of ways. In particular, SAG provides benefits and
contractual representation, as well as other services
that help actors further their careers.
- SAG negotiates the minimum rates
at which their members must be paid for SAG-recognized
- Collects compensation for actors
when use of their work is unauthorized or misused.
- Health benefits for members
- Retirement benefits, such as
401k and pension
- Alerting actors to auditions and
- News alerts
How Do I Join SAG?
Joining SAG is usually not very easy. Joining
SAG requires that an actor has worked on a
SAG-recognized film project. The trouble is, an actor
cannot work on a SAG-recognized film project if he or
she is not a member of SAG. However, there are a number
of ways to join the union even if you are not a member:
- An actor can join SAG through
the Taft-Hartley Act, which makes it possible for an
actor to work on a SAG-recognized project for 30 days,
even if he or she is not a member.
- An actor may be able to join SAG
if he or she can prove that they have worked or are
expected to work on a SAG-recognized project.
- Actors may be able to join SAG
if they can prove that they have been a member of
another actor union, such as the Actorsí Equity
Association, and they have had a lead (principal) role
while a member of that union.