Acting : Sag/aftra by Cole David Murray

Cole David Murray


Hi everyone! Making this post for myself and others who may also be confused in the often quiet and cold path one takes on the pursuit of an acting career. I know I can't be the only one unclear on how it is you actually join this elusive SAG/AFTRA union. I've recently signed with my first agent out of Virginia Beach and I'm unclear on whether I can submit myself for SAG work even though I'm not in the union. I have heard you have to be in the union to join the union.. which doesn't make much sense, to me. I've also heard that once you join you can no longer work on non-union projects. Is this true? And if so, I guess I'm trying to decide if I'm at the point in my career where joining would be beneficial (if I can even figure out how haha). I have done several small budget short films and web series projects over the past 4-5 years along with local community theater and taken several acting classes/training throughout college. P.S. I am 21-years-old (starting tomorrow!!) and have 3 semesters left of college here in Jacksonville, Fla. I'm planning to move to L.A. in the summer of '17. I've heard it's easier to get your SAG card in local-regional areas than it is to get one in L.A. Thanks for the help! -Cole

Lina Jones

Cole, It sounds like you've got a lot of decisions to make I'm pretty sure your in the right place to get the questions answered you need. I don't know anything about SAG/AFTRA when I lived in CA the OC I took my daughter on interviews and she landed a role in a series but she never got as far as you have. Congrats and good luck.

Jesse St. Louis

Cole, Move to Atlanta before L.A. there is a lot of work going on there and it will be easier to get your SAG card. Hold off joining until you have at least a solid reel and at most solid tv and film credits. Don't join until you have to. There are a lot of non union indie films being made these days. Good luck!

Gabe Reyes

Congrats on being signed by an agent! Joining SAG requires a speaking role in a SAG certified production, on three separate occasions (typically one line, unplanned). You can also join SAG by obtaining a principal union job (reoccurring speaking role) on a production. You technically can't submit to a Union-role until you are in the Union but I would recommend submitting anyway. -SAG productions require a certain percentage of SAG actors in the cast, and although they may be mad that you aren't in SAG, if you're perfect for the role then it is much easier for them to hire a SAG extra than to find another actor perfect for the role- It is false that you can't audition for non-Union roles once in the Union. Short films and web series are great experience, I'm unsure of the difficulty getting in the Union in L.A. vs. where you currently reside. Sounds like you're doing pretty great, best of luck!

Cole David Murray

Thanks Gabe! This clears it up a lot.

Other topics in Acting:

register for stage 32 Register / Log In