Ok, lemme back this up a minute.Right now there are two actors unions (actually there are a few more than that, but only 2 really affect film and television), SAG and AFTRA. The two unions are operated a bit differently. SAG is primarily Film, while AFTRA seems to be taking over TV. AFTRA you can just join. A farmer in the middle of Iowa with zero experience or even interest could join if he wanted to pay the $1600 (ish) registration. SAG, on the other hand, you have to qualify for. You have to get 3 vouchers or a lead role in a SAG production. And vouchers are not easy to get; everyone seems to want them. Plus, you have to pay $2400 (ish) when you do qualify.
So right now all the members of the 2 unions are voting. Ballots are due back by the 30th, I think, and the vote will be counted on the 31st. Once they have a final tally, if the votes are in favor, it's a done deal. There's no extra time for people to join last minute, there's no ramping up, it's just done. They'll still have to figure out logistics and all that, but there's no more open door.
So, all that said. I need to figure out if I'm joining this piece now, or waiting until I qualify. I know I have to join sooner or later, as this is what I want to do. I want to act, be on screen, tell stories, become other characters. And I know I will have to join the union at some point.
The question is:
- Do I spend the $1600 now? Join the union now? Save myself $1400 in the long run, but go seriously over-budget in the meantime? I don't have any savings right now, and I owe Uncle Sam a good amount of money on my taxes this year.
- OR Do I wait? Be patient? Wait to qualify? Spend more money in the long run, but potentially be more able to afford it?
I know if I don't join, I will regret it, but I don't know if I'll regret it if I do join. There is a potential problem if I join too early. I could maybe lose work because I'm union and there's still some non-union work I can do. Although, I could go fi-core (lose my voting rights, but be able to work whatever I want).
It's a hard choice, and I only have about 6 days. I have to join by the 29th just to be on the safe side.
Question of the Day: What's your opinion?