Author Topic: Heather Sherman LA Acting Industry Examiner  (Read 1734 times)


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Heather Sherman LA Acting Industry Examiner
« on: April 26, 2015, 02:22:35 PM »

SAG strike will mean less work for starving actors
March 3, 6:40 PM

I wrote yesterday that there is a good chance the Screen Actors Guild will go on strike in the next few weeks and wanted to follow that up with what that means for the working actor.  When I say working actor I don't mean for Sean Penn and Tom Cruise.  I mean the extras, the under fives, the cameos, and the features.  The little people who make it so Hugh Laurie isn't operating on a teddy bear in an empty hospital every week on House.

I found myself in this unfortunate position last year when the writers went on strike.  This is what I experienced during that time:

December 11, 2007

I have always felt like I was living in the wrong century and in the wrong country. I have known for most of my life that I belonged in the early nineteenth century. I would have found myself in rural England embroidering cushions, painting little tables, attending balls and gossiping about the local militia and making Jane Austen my very best friend. After weeks of having no money and nothing, but what was available in my apartment to amuse me, I find I have been sorely mistaken. Doing nothing is boring! I am bored! A combination of factors has led me to this awful position I now find myself in:

1. The writers strike-Yes, I understand they have a legitimate complaint. They want to earn a percentage of the profits from television episodes being aired online. Since I only watch TV on my computer, for the sole purpose of avoiding advertising I can understand why they want to get paid for it. They wrote the episode and I am enjoying it free of charge, so they deserve to get paid for it. This doesn't help me in anyway, however. I know I wasn't about to be cast opposite Brad Pitt in a feature that fell through because of the strike, but it still hinders my ability to do extra work AND extra work is what gives me the change to earn SAG vouchers.   With three SAG vouchers I can get into the union, even though unions aren't helping anybody get work right now.

2. Not having any money-Rent is high, eggs cost $4 per dozen, and Christmas is exactly two weeks there has been a high outflow of funds. There has not been an INflow of funds in over a month. Which is directly linked to the other reason I have nothing to do.

3. Not having a job- I arrived in Los Angeles ready to work harder than I have ever worked before by holding a full-time job in the evening and spending all day auditioning or in acting classes. I have NEVER seen a city operate the way this city operates. I have two jobs right now. TWO! Have either of them used me once? NO! I have a job with a temp agency downtown where I can be sent on jobs as an administrative assistant or data entry person, which would be great because it's like substitute teaching and I can take days off when I need to so I can go on auditions. When I call they say they will send me out "soon".  I was also hired over a month ago by Bond St. which is this upscale Japanese restaurant in Beverly Hills that is still under construction so I can't work there yet.

So you can see that the combination of no job, no money, and no way of auditioning that there isn't anything I can do besides read books (I refuse to watch TV while I have no job, that would just make me into a sad stereotype) and take walks. So not only has my vision of being an actress in Los Angeles been crushed but simultaneously has my idealized view of the pre-Victorian era, because it's REALLY REALLY boring!

See my article about the Screen Actors Guild demands.