The Screen Actors Guild is one of the most prestigious organizations in the world for actors. Those who join receive a number of benefits, including higher salaries and access to health insurance. Once you have your SAG card and work on productions approved by the organization, you will earn more than scale. Joining SAG isn’t as easy as filling out an application and waiting for approval. You must actual meet a specific set of requirements and pay annual fees that vary from year to year. Learn more about the process and how you can become a member.
Show Proof of Employment
Before you can join SAG, you must show that you worked on one or more productions approved by SAG in the past. Background actors, sometimes called extras, typically have nonspeaking roles on television and in films. If you primarily work as a background actor, you must show that you spent at least three days working on that production. SAG also grants membership to those who have speaking roles in films and on television shows. You may also apply and show proof that you joined a similar organization dedicated to professional actors in the past.
Filling Out the Application
SAG requires that all potential new members complete an application that asks about your acting history, previous work and current address. You must also submit paystubs that show your social security number, name and name of the production on the front. SAG will also accept a report from the production company in charge of the film or show you worked on in lieu of paystubs. This report must list your name and social security number, the name of the production you worked on and the name of the studio or company responsible for the production. If SAG determines that anything on your application is false, the organization can deny your membership application and ban you from applying again in the future.
Paying Your Fees
After becoming a member of SAG, you must pay a membership fee. The size of this fee varies based on where you live. Most states charge $3,000, but other states may charge less. You are also responsible for paying annual fee of around $200. If you do not pay this fee, you may lose your membership card. Actors with a SAG card also pay a portion of the income they make each year to the organization. You typically pay less than 2%, and all money given to the Screen Actors Guild goes towards the cost of running the organization and helping members.
Why Join SAG?
Joining SAG lets you command a higher rate for the work that you do. Instead of earning minimum wage like most background actors do, you earn a higher wage set by SAG itself. You also have the opportunity to work for famous directors and in larger productions. You never know when you might see actors like Jason Hanold working alongside you. SAG members also have access to health insurance that covers routine check ups and emergency care.
The Screen Actors Guild started as a way to protect professional actors. Though you must have some acting experience in films or on television before you apply, SAG makes it easy to fill out the application and get your membership card quickly.