Often asked: How To Become A Union Background Actor?

SAG-AFTRA membership is available to those who work in a position covered by a SAG-AFTRA (or AFTRA or SAG) collective bargaining agreement, provided that any person qualifying through work as a background actor must have completed three (3) days of work as a background actor under a SAG-AFTRA (or AFTRA or SAG)

What do you need to become a background actor?

The basics are: 1) you have to be working on a SAG film, 2) you need to fit a SAG part that no other SAG background actor is qualified for, 3) your character is imperative to the scene, 4) you worked a certain number of days for the same film.

How much do union background actors make?

Stand-in actor salary can be found in the SAG-AFTRA: Background Artists Contracts Digest. As of July 1, 2020, general background actors made $178 per day, with weekly rates of five times the daily rate. Weekly rates had to guarantee five consecutive days of employment.

Is there a union for background actors?

The SAG card, as it is commonly known, is issued to qualified actors by SAG-AFTRA, which is a union organization for professional actors. Background actors take pride in possessing a SAG card.

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How do you become a union actor?

You can join SAG/AFTRA in one of three ways: By being cast and hired to work in a principal or speaking role for a SAG signatory producer. After a minimum of one year’s membership in an affiliated performers’ union, with proof of principal work under that union’s jurisdiction.

How do I get a background acting job?

Contact Background Casting Agencies To increase your opportunities, apply to casting agencies, especially those that specialize or focus on background acting roles. By working with an agency, you’ll have access to more opportunities, and you can build rapport and connections that may help you land additional roles.

Can extras talk to actors?

It is strictly not permitted to talk to the actors, ask for autographs, take photographs, or use recording equipment of any kind. This can result in you being dismissed immediately without pay. It is not permitted to bring a friend or family member with you, this also applies to costume fittings.

Do extras ever become actors?

Extra work doesn’t necessarily get an actor noticed by casting directors or agents, but it can be a valuable way of gaining experience on set. It can sometimes result in being upgraded to a speaking role, or helping an actor get his union card.

What is golden hour pay?

“Golden Time” is a term used by SAG-AFTRA members to refer to the Sixteen Hour Rule Violation in SAG-AFTRA contracts. When a union member works beyond sixteen hours from their call time, they receive an additional day’s pay for each hour beyond sixteen hours.

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Can a SAG actor do a non-union film?

Take advantage of SAG’s agreements. Yes, they can work on non-union projects. And, no. SAG actors aren’t always pricy. SAG has done a great job of diversifying their agreements for student, documentary, experimental, and short narrative films.

Do background actors get credits?

Generally, the names of background actors will not appear in the credits of a movie or television show. In other words, background roles are “uncredited”.

Can non-union actors do union work?

Absolutely! As casting director Paul Russell pointed out in a recent article for Backstage, it is a myth that non-union actors cannot be hired for union productions. In fact, it happens all the time. It is essentially how non-union actors make their way into the union – should they chose to do so.

How much does it cost to join actra?

When you purchase your third work permit, advise the ACTRA Membership Department that you want to become a Full ACTRA member. The initiation fee is $1600, less total permit fees paid for all qualifying credits earned as an Apprentice in good standing, plus your annual dues of $195.

Do actors have to join SAG?

It only becomes a requirement – as a condition of employment- if you wish to work any SAG-AFTRA jobs going forward. Many actors opt not to join, even after they become must-joins; choosing, instead, to remain eligible to join while continuing to work non-union jobs until they are cast in another SAG-AFTRA job.

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