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How To Be A Paid Extra

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How To Get Into Sag or Aftra

The Union for EXTRAS working in the film business is the Screen Actors Guild (SAG). This is the Union that almost every working actor in America belongs to. As you have seen, being in the uUnion means that you will make more money than Non-Union EXTRAS. But getting in is the tricky part - there are only a few ways to do it.

Get Taft-Hartly'd And Love It.

One way is to get a Taft-Hartley opportunity.
This happens when you are cast in a speaking role in any Union project, and are not currently in SAG.

If the Production Company casts a non-union person into a speaking role, automatically they are allowed to join SAG. This can happen to you as an EXTRA as well. (But remember you do still have to come up with the membership fee and dues to join).

Say you show up to the set to work as a Non-Union EXTRA and the director sees you and thinks you would be perfect to say a line to make the scene better. In order to do this you must be in the SAG. Since you are not, they will Taft-Hartley you. This will cost the Production Company a union fine, so it doesn't happen everyday, but it does happen.

Snag A Speaking Role.

Another way is to be employed in a principal or speaking role in a SAG film, videotape, television program, or commercial. The first is to get a Taft-Hartly opportunity. It is when you are cast in a speaking role in any Union project, and are not currently SAG. If the Production Company casts a non-union person into a speaking role, automatically they are allowed to join SAG. This can happen to you as an EXTRA. as well. Say you show up to the set to work as a Non-Union on-union EXTRA and the director sees you and thinks you would be perfect to speakay a line to make n thethe scene better. In order to do this you must be a member of SAG, since you are not yet a member; this scenario has now made you eligible to join the union.in the SAG. Since you are not, they will Taft-Hartly you. This will cost the Production Company a union fine, so it doesn't happen everyday, but it does happen.

Three Union Vouchers and You're In.

A third way to become a member is to earn three union vouchers, while working as a non-union EXTRA. Every union project requires a certain number of union EXTRAS be present on the set. For TV shows this is 15 and for movies it is 45.

When not enough union EXTRAS are on a set, for whatever reason, the Production Company must now pay its non-union EXTRAS the union pay rate for each one not present.

Each time you get paid as a union EXTRA you will receive a union voucher. If you earn three of these vouchers, you are eligible to join the union.

Cost of Joining SAG.

To become a member of SAG at this time you must pay the initiation dues of $1,310.00 plus the first semi-annual basic dues. These fees must be paid at the time of application and are payable in full, in cashier's check or money order. No personal checks are accepted. You can learn more about the Screen Actors Guild by going directly to their web site at http://www.sag.org/

And Finally Do I Really Want or Need To Join Sag? - Coming Soon

Benefits:
Hassles:
What If I don't live in LA or NY...do I really need to join?:
For a comprehensive and official look at SAG go to www.SAG.com .:
For a comprehensive and official look at AFTRA go to www.AFTRA.com .:

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