Spring 2015

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 47 of 62

46 SAG-AFTRA | Spring 2015 | Johnny Belisario of Brooklyn College speaks with SAG-AFTRA member Amy Lawrence of CBS Sports Radio Network at the New York broadcast mentoring event, April 11. 4 online commercials. Is That a Commercial? Understanding Advertisements on the Web gave the young members a chance to work with mentors to create sample Web projects about a randomly selected object that served as a product. The projects included a traditional Web commercial, an instructional video and an independent product review video blog. The format gave both the participants and the mentors the opportunity to learn something new. "I never cease to be amazed at the enthusiasm and creativity of our young performers," commented New York Young Performers Committee Co-Chair Lee Bryant. "I occasionally needed some instruction in all of this new technology. However, they were very patient with me and we all learned a great deal during this process." While the kids prepared their presentations, parents got to sit in on a contracts panel discussion with National Director, Commercials Contracts Lori Hunt and New Media Specialist Connor Mooney. In the afternoon, they were treated to a commercial audition technique panel featuring Graham, acting coach Denise Simon and National Commercial Performers Committee Chair Sue-Anne Morrow. "The concept of 'new media' is difficult enough for those of us who live it, and earn our living from it, each day," said New York Young Performers Committee Co-Chair Alan Simon. "The parents of the child performers took to it like the pros they are and walked away with a greater understanding of the many different aspects that comprise new media and the awareness it takes to professionally guide their young performers as responsible SAG-AFTRA members in these new opportunities." When child performers get a bit older, the challenges don't stop — and the union's advocacy doesn't either. The union has launched SAG-AFTRA Next Generation Performers committees, which are subcommittees of local Members Organizing Volunteer Efforts (MOVE) committees, including MOVE L.A., chaired by Ellen Crawford, and MOVE N.Y., chaired by Rebecca Damon. Check with your local to see if there's one in your area. NextGen is aimed at the 18-to-30-year-old demographic and seeks to foster young creators. Last year, a July 31 event, which was co-sponsored by NewFilmmakers L.A. and held at the Mack Sennett Studios in Los Angeles, drew hundreds of energetic members and young filmmakers. The event was a chance for creative people to network, engage with the union and learn how to take charge of their careers by starting up their own productions, rather than waiting on a call from someone else. MOVE L.A. NextGen subcommittee Chair Ben Whitehair urged young members to get involved in the union, while LOOKING AHEAD The Actors Fund's Looking Ahead program hosts events and education for professional young performers aged 9 to 18 in Southern California. Find out more at To keep up with the latest news, follow the NextGen Committee on Twitter @NextGenPerforms. SAGindie National Director Darrien Michele Gipson told attendees to take advantage of the assistance offered through SAGindie and its contracts for low budget features. SAG-AFTRA New Media Manager Will Marshall discussed resources for developing Web series and other new media projects. SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director David White and NewFilmmakers Los Angeles Executive Director Larry Laboe both told attendees that they have more control over their careers than they think, and stressed the importance of creating their own projects. The gathering was hosted by actor and TV personality Quddus, who said it filled a need for young creatives. "I think the community really needs this and wants this. They want to be able to connect and take advantage of what SAG-AFTRA has to offer in every way," Quddus said. Whitehair, who is also an actor, agreed, saying these kind of events have great value for those embarking on a career in a rapidly changing world. "In order for the career of a performer to be viable in the next five, 10 or 20 years, it's imperative that we engage with the future leaders of our industry. As technology, distribution channels and content evolve, we have the opportunity to grow with it," he said. "I think SAG-AFTRA can be the catalyst for this important dialogue, and my vision is that the incredible artists I encounter every day engage in these conversations — in person and online — to intentionally create our future. After all, we're a community of creators." This year, members of the MOVE N.Y. NextGen subcommittee volunteered at the SAG-AFTRA table at Actors Pro Expo on April 18 at the Radisson Martinique on Broadway. NextGen volunteers talked to SAG-AFTRA members about upcoming events and benefits available to them, and spoke to pre-members about the benefits of union membership and how to become eligible to join. These are just a few of the ways the union works to serve its young members and future members. The Young Performers Committee is in the process of updating the Young Performers Handbook with current post-merger information and more events are in the works. Make sure the union has your contact info and bookmark for all the latest.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of SAG-AFTRA - Spring 2015