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September 2012


And Now a Word from Your Local Co-Presidents Joe Corcoran As I write this report, the closing ceremonies marking the end of t he London Olympics are “bolting” towards the finish line. I know, I know, it’s possibly the worst opening line that I could have used. As one of my comedian friends and I might have said about another comic’s weak joke: “Very pedestrian, very pedestrian indeed.” My first choice in honoring the history of London was going to be: “There were some pretty bad times, then there got be to some really good times,” but I digress.

I did not get to see the opening ceremonies that weekend. I did, however, see many critical and negative comments via da Internets and da Facebook. According to these negative comments — “It’s boring. What’s with those big chimneys? That’s really lame music” — I was half expecting the IOC president (halfway through Hey Jude) to have to proclaim, “I declare these London opening ceremonies the worst ever.” Thanks to On Demand, I got to view the entire opening program and what I saw was an intricate, well-executed display of England’s history, culture and diversity. That is the purpose of the opening cere-

mony of the host country; it has been the custom and should continue to be so. Apparently these negative ninnies have no desire, nor patience to really appreciate the work and effort by the thousands continued on page 4

Inside this issue: National Board Letters


Initial Board of Directors


From Behind the Camera


Co-Executive Director Letters


Casting 101


SAG-AFTRA Rx Discount Card


Are You Accessible?


Mark DeMichele As this is my/our first communication under our new union, I think we should congratulate ourselves for voting overwhelmingly for merger!

Mark DeMichele article

I had hoped to report our actual vote tally and put in a request for the specific merger vote for our Local. Unfortunately, this was the reply received: “The breakdown of the merger results was tabulated by region only: Los Angeles, New York and Other. We (legacy SAG) do not have the percent approved by individual Branches or Locals outside of Los Angeles or New York. This applies to legacy AFTRA results as well.” Let it be enough that the numbers were as strong as they were — I’d like to

think that we were slightly more ters to add their voices to our own, in the positive in Arizona than the nation- boardroom and through the newsletter and Internet, as we begin to work on our al average. The Initial Board of Directors for organizing documents. the new Phoenix Local of SAGAFTRA has been meeting since May and we anticipate settling into a “second Tuesday of the month” schedule. The Local Merger Committee has been formed and is tasked with developing a constitution for our new local — any member that has any thoughts on the topic is welcome to communicate them to me via the Local email at or through Don or Roxanne. Other committees will be merged, added, reformed or eliminated in response to the needs of our new, and larger, membership. I invite our Utah brothers and sis1

The organizational structure nationally is starting to flesh out — we interface nationally through the Committee of Locals, co-chaired by Small Locals National Vice President David Hartley-Margolin and Mid-Size Locals National Vice President Craig Dellimore. Our own National Board Representatives, Margie Ghigo and Steven Fried, have been appointed to national committees (please see their columns for more information). I am truly looking forward to the integration process, both nationally and locally, over the next 12 or so months and am confident in a brighter future for all the members of our new entity! Most respectfully, Mark

September 2012

A Continuing Letter By Steve Fried, National Board Member It is about time that we’ve become one!

can start now by contacting Don or Roxanne.

More bargaining power at the table was t out ed as a benefit of merger… so let’s work to make it happen. SAG-AFTRA is already gearing up for next year’s commercials contracts negotiation. The AZ-Utah Local (pending us deciding our official name) will form a Wages and Working Conditions Committee. You should then be letting us know what you want included to improve the contract. I assure you that, when received, the National Committee takes seriously your (our) recommendations! Do not presume someone else already thought of your suggestion … you

There were two different meetings held in Los Angeles in July. Remember, as a result of merger, there are the Los Angeles and the N.Y. Locals with their VPs, and regional Locals, of which there are mid-size Locals with a VP and small Locals also with a VP. The two groups comprise the membership of the Committee of Locals (COL). Prior to the Saturday and Sunday National Board meetings, the COL met. In attendance were the National Board representatives of both former AFTRA and SAG. Although creating internal administrative structure both on the national and COL level is painfully slow, it is evident that the COL will become a cohesive unit.

The National Board, meeting jointly (the former SAG and AFTRA National Board representatives), was indicative of how well the two unions work when merged. Although not all issues were met with 100 percent agreement, after discussion, decisions were reached without creating friction or factions. A major issue that would have affected us was whether to raise the regional Local’s waivered national initiation fee rate to a much higher level. The COL, opposed to the increase and acting as a cohesive unit, with support from both L.A. & N.Y. Locals’ reps, prevailed; the waivered rates remain untouched. To be continued . . . Steve

The View From National By Margie Ghigo, National Board Member We did it! Now you are a member of one of the largest and most powerful entertainment unions in the country. Our first historic meeting of the National Board on May 19-20 held the promise of what is to come for our future, a momentous new beginning for our members with extraordinary staff members across the country ready to support our opportunities and continued success. Blending best practices that have proven to be successful from both AFTRA and SAG, and seeking new solutions to common challenges in our rapidly changing industries was the direction taken by combined leadership. One apparent vision was the understanding that merger is a process — an undertaking with com-

mitment and education that has only just started. With discussions from all … N.Y., L.A., midsize and small Locals, education is just beginning. Consideration, though controversial, regarding an increase in initiation fees to areas like ours that have waivers to the national rate was debated fully and for now remains at our current waivered rate due to the National Board willing to listen and educate themselves to the diversity of our members. Though spirited, all were respectful and willing to listen. We met again July 21-22, where we approved the first industrywide Music Video Agreement covering dancers and other performers in music videos. It came about due to the total commitment of the dancers’ community organizing and standing together, proving that organizing does work. This was huge! The National Board 2

also unanimously approved terminating the SAG Interactive Media Agreement to producers using the expired contract and inviting them to transition to the active AFTRA agreement. The National Wages and Working Conditions Committee was established for our commercials contracts negotiations. If you have questions or input, please let either me or Steve Fried know, as we chair the Local committee and will send all suggestions to the national committee. I urge your personal involvement. Take your union where you want it to go. This means bringing your ideas to the changing times brought about by new media and technology, a growing non-union talent pool, and a competitive global market. All it takes is passion, commitment and ideas.

2012-2013 Initial Phoenix Board of Directors With the merger of SAG and AFTRA, the local boards of both organizations combined to form the SAGAFTRA Phoenix Board.

Co-Presidents Joe Corcoran Mark DeMichele Executive Vice President Betsy Beard First Vice President Stephen Nathenson Second Vice President Rodd Wolff Vice President No. AZ Elaine Moe Vice President So. AZ Barbara Glover Co-Treasurers Sharon Friendly Bruce Halperin Co-Secretaries Sharon Friendly Amanda Melby Co-National Board Members Steve Fried Margie Ghigo Member-at-Large No. AZ Kyle Marsh Member-at-Large So. AZ Don Frye Co-Members-at-Large Lynnette “L.A.” Brown Larry Clever Joey Evans Sally Frances Nancy Hall Sean Kapera Sherry Leigh Amanda Melby Marla Price Burney Stark Alternates Deborah Lee Hall Linda Rae Jurgens Justin Kreinbrink Ted Raymond Charles St. Clair Jonathan Simpson

SAG-AFTRA From Behind the Camera by Amanda Melby, Co-Secretary, Co-Member-at-Large As a SAGAFTRA actor here in a socalled “rightto-work” state, I’ve often found myself talking to film producers and directors about the ins and outs of the SAG low-budget contracts. “It’s really easy,” I’d say, “Just a few forms to fill out. SAG scale is $100 a day for the Ultra Low Budget Agreement and the Short Film Contract payment can be deferred.”

much is either lazy or doesn’t know what he/she is doing. These were basic preproduction items that SAG requested. Overall, my experience with becoming a signatory was a piece of cake and now I know from whence I speak: “It’s easy for a filmmaker to hire a SAGAFTRA actor — signing a union contract is not hard.” While most of the parts were cast from people I’ve already worked with, I did audition actors for four roles. Here’s where the surprises started to pile up. I posted an audition notice and asked actors to submit a headshot under 1 MB in .jpg or .pdf format and a resume in .pdf format. I asked them to title the documents with LastNameFirstName.filename. I was AMAZED at how many actors sent me photos called DSC111.jpg or Smiling One.jpg or how many resumes I got in .wps (a file that I can’t open) or .doc (a file I can open). As a director now, I can’t imagine that this actor is going to follow direction on set with me if s/he can’t even submit using the directions I provided. I also looked on iActor and to find

This past fall, I directed my first short film and had three SAG actors in the cast. Because my producer hadn’t ever done the SAG Low Budget Agreement paperwork before, and because I wanted to find out first-hand what the process was really like, I said I would be the signatory. Most of the forms are now online, so really, that was a breeze. There were some redundancies with the paperwork, and some of it was in .pdf format, so I needed to retype them, but everything they asked for were items that we already had (a full budget, a shooting script, a cast list). So any filmmaker who says that SAG-AFTRA requires too


local actors – perhaps people I didn’t know. I was surprised at how few actors were actually on these sites. Here I am, specifically looking for local union talent and I can’t find any because they haven’t taken the time to list themselves online. Perhaps they don’t want work? Assuming that you DO want to work, I suggest that you check your electronic documents for both file size and names, and regularly check your online profiles for iActor and And, if you aren’t on these sites, get on them! There will probably be some changes coming with these sites due to the merger, but p a y a t t e nt i on an d ge t online. Lastly, I highly suggest that you read up on the SAG Low Budget Agreements so you can speak with confidence about them. Knowing how easy it is and what SAGAFTRA requires from the filmmaker can easily turn a non-union project into a union one. Get proactive and get some bookings!

Don’t know how to rename or resize your photos? Here’s a primer. Open your photo in whatever photo program you have on your computer. In the “file” menu, you’ll probably have something like “rename” or “save as.” Simply click on that and rename it with your stage name. If your file is very large and your headshot photographer didn’t give you a “low rez” version for emailing, you can 1) email your photographer and ask for a low rez version, or 2) resize it yourself. To resize it, again open the photo in your photo program. Look for a “Tools” menu bar and something like “adjust size” or “image size.” If you’re working with the original photo, it’ll be something like 36 inches wide by 54 inches in height and 4.1-5 MB. This is HUGE! A photo to email needs only to be 8 x 10 inches. By reducing the dimensions, the file size will reduce to somewhere around 100 KB. Your “resolution” size can be from 72 pixels/inch to 300 pixels/inch. The higher this number, the higher the file size. 3

September 2012

With Hard Work and Tenacity, Dreams Can Come True By Rodd Wolff, Second Vice President Neil Summer s always knew he wanted to work in Western films. Neil was born in London, with his family eventually immigrating to America and settling in Phoenix. During his summer vacations, Neil worked as a dude wrangler in Sedona. As one of Hollywood’s favorite Western movie locations in the mid ’60s, Neil’s boss often rented livestock to the film companies and Neil would go along with them to the locations. Realizing his dream to be in the film industry, he eventually got to double for actors who couldn’t ride. Neil chuckles and says “I made more money as an actor than I did in a month wrangling dudes.” In June 1965, the late war hero-turnedactor, Audie Murphy, was on location in Apache Junction, filming scenes for one of his Westerns, Arizona Raiders. The opportunity arose for Neil to do a staircase fall after getting shot in a scene courtesy of Audie Murphy. Neil continCo-President Report continued from pg. 1

of volunteers that it took to show the rest of the world England’s history. They would rather mock and belittle than to learn anything outside of their own “little world.” So sad for them. What I personally saw was a large diverse group of individuals showing the world that in unity you can put on a really big show. The main reward, I suspect, for all those volunteers participating in the ceremony, will be a lifelong sense of pride knowing that they were a small part of something bigger than themselves. Especially to be a part of an event that is about inclusion, diversity and unity certainly must bring them a great sense of accomplishment, joy and satisfaction. So at this point you might be asking what this has got to do with your

ued to work in Arizona and the southwest region on many other films, and that’s where I met him in 1968 on another movie produced by Audie Murphy, A Time for Dying, filmed at Apacheland Movie Ranch and Western Street. Neil also worked for years on the television series High Chaparral under the guidance of stunt coordinator, Henry Wills. In the early 1970s, Neil moved to Hollywood and was admitted to the Stuntmen’s Association of Motion Pictures. Neil had the opportunity to work with some of the greats in the stunt profession, including Red Morgan, Bill Hart, Jean Smith, Chuck Roberson, Chuck Hayward and Al Wyatt, among others. He honed his acting skills and garnered speaking roles in Ride in the Whirlwind with Jack Nicholson, Duel at Diablo with James Garner, Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean with Paul Newman, Rio Logo with John Wayne, and Outlaw Josey Wales with Clint Eastwood. After appearing as the gunman, Snake River Rufus Crile, for director John Huston in the aforementioned Judge Roy Bean, Neil was spotted by noted director Sergio Leone and cast

SAG-AFTRA co-president’s report. Honestly, I was beginning to wonder the same thing. For more than 30 years I was a member of both SAG and AFTRA, each union having their own cultures and history. Now, I am a member of SAG-AFTRA, one union, starting on its journey of creating its own culture and history. This process will take time, compromise and a willingness to use and blend the best parts of both cultures and histories, as well as a willingness to let go of what no longer works and return them to their respective places in history. The winner’s podium now reads SAG -AFTRA, but to really appreciate all that went into that accomplishment, we must look behind that podium and give medals of recognition, respect and appreciation to all those individu4

“I made more money as an actor than I did in a month wrangling dudes.”

as Squirrel in My Name is Nobody starring Henry Fonda and Terence Hill. This big-budget Italian Western was filmed outside of Guadix, Spain. After Spain, Neil continued to work in television on shows such as Gunsmoke, The Fall Guy, Quantum Leap, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, and many more. He also authored six excellent books based on Western movies and television shows. I take my Stetson off to a man who made his dreams come true.

al volunteers whose tireless efforts brought us to being one union. I keep thinking of all those little lights around the Olympic Stadium, by themselves not much to look at, literally or figuratively, but when thousands of them are in choreographed synchronization they create a huge canvas that displays an image of inclusion, diversity and unity. Regardless of which country they are from, what their individual story is or which event they are participating in, they are all Olympic athletes. Regardless of which union or unions you are from, what your individual story happens to be or what your category is, we are all SAG-AFTRA members standing together as one on the winner’s platform.

SAG-AFTRA Arizona It’s a Brave New World

The Value of Union

Roxanne D. Chaisson, Co-Executive Director

Don Livesay, Co-Executive Director Although my start date as Arizona Executive Director would not come until the following week, I attended my first Arizona membership meeting for Screen Actors Guild on Sunday, May 3, 1981 at the Francisco Grande Hotel in Casa Grande. Members showed up in droves, primarily because they were upset with what was happening to their paychecks. Briefly, Phoenix members were finding themselves stuck with huge hotel bills when producers would book them as local hires for films and TV work in Tucson, and the same was happening to members from Tucson working in Phoenix. Because of the quirky nature of the contract, any performer living in Arizona was considered a “local hire” when working anywhere in Arizona, and customary travel costs were not picked up by producers. Gas, food and lodging came out of the actor’s pocket. Witnessing my first membership meeting, I was impressed, really blown away. Everyone who attended voted not to accept work unless an agreement was made upfront with the producer that their travel expenses, including hotel accommodations, would be covered. That policy went into effect immediately, and was followed consistently until producers rediscovered their back-pocket instincts and just stopped hiring Phoenix people for jobs in Tucson and Tucson people for jobs in Phoenix. Something had to be done, and I recommended to the Wages & Working Conditions Committee that the preference of employment zones for Phoenix and Tucson be expanded to 150 miles, a step that would at least require that qualified professionals be given preference in hiring in an expanded area that overlapped both cities. The language was agreed to in the negotiations in 1983, and I was honored to be asked by National Executive Director Ken Orsatti to write the covering interpretation that was eventually accepted by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Although mileage, hotel, travel time and per diem still had to be separately bargained upfront, members were finding better chances to work in jobs away from home, and over time many producers gradually found it easier just to pick up these expenses anyway. The purpose for sharing this story is to tell you, the members of the Phoenix Local of SAG-AFTRA, how good you are when you stand together. You will continue to be tested. You were tested in 2000 dur- continued on page 8 ing the commercials strike and you

Side by side once again. When I first started working for AFTRA, we were a joint office the first eight years. And now, 10 years later, we’re back together again. But not two unions under one roof as before — one union — united. Congratulations to all members and staff who worked tirelessly side by side during this historic time of our union. I commend you for having the courage to see the future of our industry and realize, in order to survive, we needed to come together. In 1985 there were 29 major employers of performers and media artists … now there are eight giant media companies. They have been consolidating all along. Now we are 165,000 strong and growing every day. It’s exciting to be a part of laying the foundation of this new union. And with that comes change. Socrates said, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” You have an opportunity to build a brave new union. Members united, standing together side by side. We saw how well this can work when we stood with the dancers who ultimately were successful in organizing the first collective bargaining agreement for music videos. And soon we’ll begin negotiations for the commercials contracts. Together, the possibilities are limitless. As Don has announced his retirement, I will continue as your executive director. I eagerly look forward to continuing to protect the artistic rights of performers in Arizona and Utah, while assisting signatories, producers, advertisers and agents in understanding the contracts. Your leaders are hard at work with leadership from Utah drafting the new Local Constitution. And come summer, you will be electing the Local’s first Board of Directors. Once the board is elected, committees will be created and we will formulate a comprehensive organizing strategy that will require strong leadership and member involvement. Your Local’s new vision will continue to grow out of extensive involvement with and by members at every stage. Take an active role in your career and help to build your union. Attend membership meetings, join a committee, and participate in workshops and events. Keep informed with SAGAFTRA by making your home page. Be an integral part of the exciting changes to come for SAGAFTRA. Through constant contact I believe great things are possible. Do not hesitate to connect with me at any time. 5

September 2012

A.C.E.S. for Kids

Your Voice is Your Vote. Be Heard! Registering to vote and voting are the most important things you can do to protect your own interests and those of your family, friends and community. If you are not currently registered to vote, register online at VoterRegistration.htm. For the general election, registration closes Oct. 9 at midnight in order to vote Nov. 6.

A.C.E.S. for Kids is a nonprofit organization of actors, comedians, entertainers, and sports figures, working with the community to inspire, encourage and mentor underprivileged kids for a better tomorrow. Programs are designed to help kids regain their self-confidence, learn the skills to begin a brighter future and follow their dreams. The goal of A.C.E.S. for Kids is to touch as many lives possible so that every kid has a chance to live, dream and achieve. The organization arranges trips to the zoo, parks, museums, educational and sporting events, as well as holding acting workshops, sports clinics, and vocational training.

Important: ID at the polls is required for all AZ elections Every qualified elector is required to show proof of identity at the polling place before receiving a ballot. The elector shall announce his/her name and place of residence to the election official and present one form of identification that bears the name, address and photograph of the elector or two different forms of identification that bear the name and address of the elector. For more information regarding proof of identification at the polls, log onto:

These kids don’t ask for much … just maybe clothes on their back, food in their mouths, the ability to get the education they need, the love they deserve and the chance to realize a dream. For more information, log onto:

We Need You — Production Incentive Update by Mike Kucharo, AFMC President Some may see the failure of the Arizona legislature to pass the Arizona Film and Media Coalition’s incentive bill this last session as being the third strike. I think we’ve just hit three fouls. The AFMC board has put into place changes that will give another chance to go for the gold by broadening our reach, increasing our visibility and turning us into the voice of the industry that we need to succeed in our efforts.

ryone wins when Arizona gets back into the film production business.

When the Multimedia Production Incentive bill failed to come to a vote this session, I couldn’t believe what had happened. I was frustrated and angry, but most of all I was disappointed. Not so much about what happened but why and how it happened. We were 90 percent of the way there. We had wide support in the Legislature itself and energized armies of volunteers like you, ready to make calls, send emails and AFMC is putting together a new bill write letters to those legislators who didn’t that gives us a fighting chance. Our know the bill. We had it all, except for new bill will not just be revenue neu- adequate funding to hire our own lobbyist. tral, it will make money for the state, When we began in 2004, we asked for your create jobs and encourage large studios help financially. That effort raised the and major producers to locate and ex- money we needed to hire our own lobbyist. pand their businesses in Arizona. Eve- It also resulted in the law that AFMC got

passed which created the (now expired) incentive program. We’ve tried to ignore this elephant in the room for the last three years, hoping we could somehow make it happen without raising money. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that we weren’t successful. The reality is, if we are to ever have an incentive program passed to bring jobs back to Arizona, we have to show we are serious and willing to make the investment. Hundreds of artists like you have chosen to make Arizona your home. Please consider becoming a member of the AFMC. We don’t have membership “dues” but we do ask for a donation to become a member. To join, log onto: Together we can make extraordinary things happen in Arizona; we’ve proven that over and over.

Coming soon … Arizona/Utah Talent Website … Member Benefit With ever-changing and newly created technology, it is more evident than ever that we must keep up with the times. General audition notices are sent by email and agents increasingly refer casting directors or producers to their websites when looking for talent. We are hard at work on a new, Arizona/Utah online talent directory that will be made available to production companies and ad agencies in 2013. Busy producers and agencies know that online directories like ours are one of the easiest ways to cast professional talent. There is no cost for Arizona/Utah members in good standing to participate. If you’re interested in participating, complete the registration form and submit a color headshot, a complete resume, a one-minute MP3, and a two-minute video. To request the website registration form, send an email request to Requirements for submitting will be included with the registration form. Don’t wait until the last minute: Request your registration form today and join your fellow members in the 21st century. 6


Casting 101 – Meet Scott Lairson

Scott Lairson has worked as a casting director in Hollywood for years and recently relocated to Phoenix. His projects have included Emmy Award-winning NYPD Blue, City of Angels and Blind Justice. He has also worked on Desperate Housewives, Ghost Whisperer, and many feature and independent films. Find out a little more about Lairson as he shares some valuable insight to the audition process. What types of productions do you cast? Feature films, independent films and shorts, television and commercials. How do you find your actors? Most always by sending out a breakdown to agents/managers through the Breakdown Services. But I have also found actors for projects by going to the theater and actor showcases, also online submissions sent to me by actors. How many actors audition for roles? Depending on the size of the role, usually 15 to maybe 25 actors per role for one audition session, only seeing about two, maybe three roles per session. Then if we don’t find the role in that casting session, we have another session.

What do you look for in an actor? Confidence and professionalism, both as an actor and a person. Is the actor able to take direction and listen? Has the actor brought the character to life with interesting choices that gives me and the director something exciting we hadn’t seen before in the audition? How do you determine if an actor is right for a role? As a casting director, it is my job to fully understand the characters I’m casting. Knowing that, I know when I have found the actor that’s right for the role. Actors have to fully understand the character they are auditioning for and then bring that realness and understanding to their audition for me to see. Then I know they are right for it.

What are your top pet peeves at auditions? Not knowing the material and being unprepared. I really want the actor to do their best. Making excuses for not being ready. That to me is just a cover up for not being prepared and it wastes time. Using props and wearing costumes to auditions. What are your top three suggestions for actors? Come into the audition with confidence and knowing what you are there for is to audition. Believe in yourself and your abilities. Don’t talk too much, you could talk yourself right out of the job Count the cost mentally, spiritually, emotionally and financially before being in this business. Never compromise yourself to get an audition or to get an acting job.

SAG-AFTRA Members: Protect Your Security Protect yourself from the growing problem of identity theft: Avoid using your Social Security number on any public document. Use your SAG-AFTRA performer ID number whenever you fill out audition sign-in sheets, member reports, or send correspondence to the union. Do not put your Social Security number on resumes or head shots. The following productions have initiated the signatory process to produce under a SAGAFTRA collective bargaining agreement. It is the responsibility of each member to confirm that each producer has signed the applicable contract before making an agreement to render services. Failure to confirm the signatory status before rendering services may lead to disciplinary charges being filed. If you have any questions, please contact the office at (623) 687-9977.

Production Update

DramaSutra - New Media Actor’s Alchemy Location: Phoenix Start Date: 8/27/12

Plum – Ultra Low Budget Deuandra Brown Location: Scottsdale Tentative Start Date: 9/21/12

The Hangover Part III – Theatrical Warner Bros Pictures, Inc. Locations: Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Nogales, Tentative Start Date: 9/10/12

Shades of the Future - Short Film Judith Eisenberg Locations: Phoenix, Cave Creek, Scottsdale Tentative Start Date: 9/22/12


September 2012

BECOME a BookPAL or a PencilPAL Give back to kids in your community BookPALS (Performing Artists for Literacy in Schools), a nationwide program of the Screen Actors Guild Foundation, is an organization of enthusiastic actors, theater students, educators and community members who volunteer their time to visit classrooms on a weekly basis to read aloud to kids for an hour (1/2 hr per classroom). These are children in high-risk, disadvantaged schools who may have no one at home to read to them. You will make a BIG difference in their lives. You can be a READER. Or, you can be a WRITER and participate in the BookPALS PencilPALS program where you are paired with a student and exchange letters with that student throughout the school year. At the end of the year, the partners meet at the school for a pizza party. This program helps students develop written literacy as they exchange letters once or twice a month. For more information contact Arizona Coordinator Ellen Dean at (602) 750-2923 or by email to: Visit the BookPALS web site at to see what other Locals are doing across the country. Co-Executive Director Letter continued from pg. 5

The SAG-AFTRA Prescription Discount Card

are tested now during the merger transition, as we become a stronger, more effective force for members.

Group Benefit Associates (GBA) is excited to announce the expansion of the SAG-AFTRA Prescription Discount Card to all SAG-AFTRA members. This program is free to all members of the union, friends and family. This added benefit has no monthly fee or additional premium for SAG-AFTRA members. Simply present the SAG-AFTRA Prescription Discount Card at the register to receive the discount.

Yes, we have some obstacles, most of which we’ve lived with for a long time: so called “right-to-work” and the general lack of production due to Arizona not having a job-creating incentive. But even those battles will not be won without members standing together. The good news is that we are now one union, and as SAG-AFTRA we have a much better chance to overcome them than ever before.

There are no annual discount limits Everyone qualifies for the prescription card – there are no restrictions

As many of you know, I will be retiring at the end of the year. I will be on the job until then, and I want very much to continue as long as I can to help plot the course of action that will lay the foundation of unity in the years to come. I am very confident that with the leadership of your board and Executive Director Roxanne Chaisson, you will see success. Please know that Roxanne has my deepest respect and confidence. You are most certainly in good hands.

The Rx card never expires An entire family can use one card Cardholders save on drugs not covered by other plans Members can locate a participating pharmacy and obtain discount pricing information at

It has been an honor to serve you. You are friends and you make it my personal pleasure to work each day on your behalf.

Mail order pharmacy service is also available The Best Price Card program is just one of the ways that GBA is helping SAG-AFTRA members control their benefit costs as part of its continuing effort to provide members access to additional benefits.

FORD/RBA CELEBRATES 25 YEARS We wish the very best to founder Robert Black, current owner Sheree Hartwell, agent Matt Englehart and staff. We commend you all for the steps you have taken to position Arizona as a known source for the model and talent industry.

To get started, go to: RxCard/AFTRA.RxCard.html, print out your card and present the card to the pharmacist at time of purchase.

Congratulations Ford/RBA! 8


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SAG-AFTRA is pleased to announce the beginning of the Wages & Working Conditions (W&W) process in preparation for negotiation of the commercials contracts that expires March 31, 2013. Proposals for this important negotiation are developed through the involvement of members like you. Make your voice heard and participate in this very important process. Local W&W Committee Meetings — These formal meetings use the information and ideas gathered from members to create proposals for the 2013 contract negotiations. (Note: Upcoming dates for the W&W meetings in Arizona will be emailed soon.) The meetings are open to all paid-up SAG-AFTRA members.

Co-Executive Directors:

Email Suggestions — Can’t make it to a committee meeting? You can still play an active part by emailing your ideas to

Roxanne D Chaisson Don Livesay

Please note that the last day for suggestions is Friday Oct. 19, 2012. All proposal recommendations will be reviewed by the Wages & Working Conditions Committee and inform the committee’s final recommendations to the SAG-AFTRA National Board.

This is a publication of SAG-AFTRA. The appearance of advertising in this publication neither guarantees nor implies an endorsement by SAGAFTRA of the product, service, or company or the claims made for the product in such advertising. SAG-AFTRA disclaims any liability whatsoever in connection to the advertising appearing herein. Letters to the editor are always welcome from members in Arizona and Utah. They must be signed with your full name and are limited to 150 words. Letters selected may be edited for accuracy, space and clarity. Every effort will be made to preserve the author’s intended substance. This section is not available to sitting Board members. Send Letters via mail, fax or email: Letters to the Editor SAG-AFTRA Newsletter 20325 N 51st Avenue, Ste. 134 Glendale AZ 85308 Fax: (623) 362-2218 Email:

Upon completion of the national contract negotiations, we will begin the W&W process for the Arizona regional commercials contract. It’s never too early to start planning for the future, so gather your thoughts and ideas about this contract too. The code offers a discount to producers and ad agencies that hire SAG-AFTRA members in commercials that are produced and aired exclusively in Arizona. How can we improve the regional contract so more local commercials are turned into union jobs? Questions, Comments or Suggestions: Please contact Roxanne Chaisson at (623) 6879977 or; or Don Livesay at (480) 264-7696 or

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SAG-AFTRA Arizona/Utah 20325 N 51st Avenue, Ste. 134 Glendale AZ 85308

Are You Accessible? Get Connected Today! Over the years, advances in technology have had a major impact on the art of being a performer, as popular media moved from stage to film to radio to television. And with the emergence of the Internet, everything has changed about the business of being an actor, broadcaster and recording artist yet again. Being plugged in has never been more important. If you’re one of the people who has been holding out, it maybe time to reconsider. As a SAG-AFTRA member, you need to make it easy for casting directors and employers to reach you. Like it or not, today that means being reachable online. If you don’t have an email address, register for free with one of the online email services such as Gmail or Yahoo. Also, be sure we have your correct email address so you can receive important member information, casting and event announcements, and members-only deals and discounts. Technology is making inroads into the auditioning process, and members often audition and book jobs without ever seeing the casting director in person. The smart use of technology helps members break down regional barriers and allows them to compete for a

larger pool of jobs. Most importantly, though, technology gives members the tools to take command of their careers. Potential employers know that members have these resources at their fingertips, and that has raised expectations — a simple headshot often isn’t enough anymore; they want to see what you can do, they want to see information that is up to date and they want it all easily accessible. As technology continues to advance, we can expect an increasing amount of member business to take place online — but keep in mind, where there’s change, there’s opportunity. Successful members have to be good salespeople, and with the Internet and related technology, the toolbox for packaging and promoting yourself and reaching potential employees just got a whole lot bigger. So use it. Online isn’t just the future of the entertainment industry, it’s the present. If you need assistance getting connected, contact Roxanne Chaisson at the office at (623) 687-9977. This article contains excerpts from an article that originally appeared in the fall 2011 issue of Screen Actor magazine. 10

Arizona Newsletter - September, 2012  
Arizona Newsletter - September, 2012  

Arizona Newsletter - September, 2012