I came across a blog post by a man named Art Lynch. In his post, he referred to people who don't join the union immediately as "scabs" like we're less than the all high and mighty union members because we have chosen to delay joining for one reason or another. I personally have worked hard to become eligible to join the actors' union. There is no road map for success in the entertainment industry. While I'm not yet where I want to be in the industry currently, I took a big step up this year. To quote Frank Sinatra, "I did it my way." For someone who acts like he's so professional and such an expert in this area, Mr. Lynch's blog post is littered with misspellings, poor grammar, and a general air of undue superiority. I wrote (what I think was) a fairly rational argument in his comments section. I doubt he'll approve my comment, so I will share it here on my turf.
My rebuttal to Mr. Art Lynch:
This stance on union-eligible actors seems closed-minded and pompous. I am proudly union-eligible and I got that way through a Taft Hartley, and I have every intention of officially joining the union as soon as possible.
But my definition of "as soon as possible" doesn't sound immediate enough for you based on your post. I am almost at the end of my eligibility period where I "must join" but there are plenty of logical reasons why I am not joining yet. Elaborating on what Anonymous said, if I join tomorrow, then I can no longer accept non-union jobs/theatre jobs to build my resume and my reel. While I am thrilled to be union-eligible, and I have worked very hard for years to get to this point, I know that joining now might not be the wisest decision. I want to develop my craft more, expand my resume and make sure I have a decent reel before I join. Otherwise, it will make it that much more difficult to get work. Who wants to hire a union actor who has no union credits?
Also, I don't know about you, but $3000 is a helluva lot of money for me. It's more than I make in a month at my "real job" so joining SAG-AFTRA immediately is not even remotely possible right now from a financial standpoint. Last time I checked, my landlord and the grocery store don't accept SAG-AFTRA union cards as valid payment.
While I'm sure there are a handful of actors out there who become eligible to join the union and then "milk" it and/or attempt to abuse the system or "tarnish the brand" that is SAG. But it's ridiculous to assume that everyone who is eligible who doesn't join immediately is like this. I'm sure there are also plenty of naive actors who join the union or buy their way in as soon as possible without enough experience or credits to their name, or without strengthening their own brand - thinking that their union status alone will guarantee them an agent and work, and rocket them to fame and fortune, and that they don't have to work hard to achieve success. Again, I'm sure these types are few in number, and I bet they don't last long in this business.
So, excuse me for continuing to stay on my "selfish" SAG-E path until the timing is right for me to officially join. I am proud to be eligible. I am proud of the hard work I did to get here. Maybe you should take a second and get off of your high horse and see what SAG-AFTRA has to say about joining:
"...don’t be in a hurry to join unless you are sure that you're ready to compete as a professional. For performers, you should prepare yourself by studying, performing in plays and non-union on-camera projects in order to build your resume and gain valuable experience. The time to join is when it makes sense for you. (Everyone's) situation is different."
Who are you to judge when it's right for someone else to join?
|And then I rage-quit the internet|
|TBIF: Thank Boo it's Friday!|