Thursday, June 28, 2012

"How did you get your S.A.G. card?"

This question pops up often in the biz...

I got my S.A.G. card 14 years ago. I was booked as a rollerblade girl in Season 8 of "Baywatch" marking the beginning of my union eligibility!

How do you get your S.A.G. card? 

Getting your S.A.G. card is a milestone in most budding actor's careers. This is because you can't work on most productions without being in the union. However you can't get into the union without being booked on a union production. It's a "catch-22", to say the least. It's not designed to be easy. :)

The best way to get in is to figure out what your "specialty" is. Do you have a skill, talent, sport, anything specific enough that a production company is willing to hire you? Production companies are encouraged to book actors already in the union.  So they should have a good reason why they needed you......another non-union actor.

In my case it was "bikini". Yes, in Hollywood, that is a "specialty"! It may have been the ability to rollerblade in a bikini may that put me over the edge into getting chosen.

I was a full time student and had sent in my headshot and sparse acting resume to the casting director. Didn't have an agent yet. Needless to say I was gobsmacked when she called the next day! This was my first real work on a major production. Every actor remembers their "first"....

The "Screen Actors Guild" is now 
SAG/AFTRA...or "ONE" Union.

"I got my SAG card doing an episode of Murder, She Wrote with my heroine Angela Lansbury. I played an English floozy." - Jane Leeves

"I got it on a TV show called Throb. I played a little kid who was stalking Jane Leeves." —
Neil Patrick Harris

The above two quotes are an excerpt from


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