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SAG-AFTRA NY Formerly NY Actor/StandBy NY • Fall 2012 • Volume 1 • No. 1

We Merge


n March 30, 2012, in a historic vote

SAG and AFTRA stepped to the podium to

of SAG and AFTRA voted to

“yes” vote, SAG-AFTRA was born.

decades in the making, the members

become one union. For us, the third time really

announce the results. With an overwhelming Former SAG New York President Maureen

was the charm.

Donnelly said, “This final and successful

membership voting in the nationwide ballot,

(and) is a mandate and a unified new beginning

With more than 50 percent of the

82 percent of SAG members and 86 percent of AFTRA members voted in favor of merging

merger referendum is an astounding success ... that began with the members saying it must be done. The communication and conversations

New York, northern and central New Jersey,

bottom-up and top-down made the difference.”

and western Connecticut. SAG-AFTRA New

one new union called SAG-AFTRA.

both unions began coordinating functions and

journalists, singers, dancers, DJs, news writers

meetings across the country, the first of which

members of the new New York Local of

voiceover artists, puppeteers, stunt performers

the two unions, ending both AFTRA and SAG as independent organizations and creating After a round of successful town hall

was held here in New York, members of the Group for One Union (G1) undertook the arduous work of creating

Immediately after the vote, the staffs of

York represents actors, announcers, broadcast

working to service the approximately 36,000

and editors, program hosts, recording artists,

SAG-AFTRA. Located in midtown Manhattan,

and a host of other media professionals.

the Local provides services to members across

continues on page 2 >>>

both the Merger Agreement and the new national

constitution. New York G1

member and former AFTRA New York President Anne

Gartlan said, “Our process

was invaluable. It provided us a new way to find

solutions, not by negotiation

but by coming to consensus.” On the day the results

were announced, members and guests filled rooms at the two New York

headquarters on Madison

Hubert Williams

Avenue. At approximately 4:45 p.m. EST, in a live

stream from Los Angeles, the national presidents of

Members at 360 and 260 (top right) Madison react to the merger announcement.

Letter From The Editors Dear New York Local Member:

our rich and varied cultures to govern effectively

Welcome to the historic inaugural publication of SAG-AFTRA NY. It is a very exciting time for New York, as two great unions move forward as one. Communication with members is a priority, and we take great pride in combining

during the transition. The New York Local Board of SAG-AFTRA is spending countless hours in concert with several committees and subcommittees to draft a strong Local constitution that will serve the New York membership.

the best of NY Actor and StandBy NY to bring this printed publication to every member in New York. Help us stay in touch with you by always keeping your contact information current, both for printed and email notices.

Join us at the Fall Membership Meeting on Nov. 5, 2012 and continue to be involved building this powerful New York Local. A year from now, as we experience our first election in SAG-AFTRA, we will be stronger

Over this next year, the unified New York boards of SAG and AFTRA will be striving to combine

We Merge

than ever, and your participation is key. — The New York Communications Committee


Now in a single union, SAG-AFTRA members

Review Committee, whose job is the creation

we are in our words, more importantly by our

inform New York, America and the world.

presented at the Nov. 5 membership meeting

meeting of the new Local in May. “We will

are the faces and voices that entertain and During the “initial period,” which runs

from March 31, 2012 until the first national

of a new Local constitution, which will be

being held at the Crowne Plaza Times Square. As departments within the Local merged,

convention in Sept. 2013, the former boards

top staff positions were announced. The

a single board. In New York, Co-Presidents

Je Simmons, executive director of the

of AFTRA and SAG govern the new union as Mike Hodge and Holter Graham have led the newly combined Local board in establishing

governing procedures, merging committees and making certain popular programs such as the

conservatories, SAG-AFTRA@Work, Business of the Biz and Film Society will continue.

The Board also appointed the Governance



following positions were named: Jae

SAG-AFTRA New York Local; Stephen

Burrow, national senior advisor; Richard Larkin, labor counsel Broadcast/New

York associate executive director; and

Jeffrey Bennett, deputy general counsel/ New York associate executive director.

“Over the next period, we will define who

actions,” said Burrow at the first membership make choices that will set our course and

reveal our character as an organization. It

will be best if we face these decisions clearly, consciously and courageously, honoring

our past, but not thoughtlessly bound by it.”

Finishing his remarks, he said, “The long fight for merger is finished. We are now in control of our own destiny and responsible for it.” New York’s media future remains

uncommonly bright. And as a strong merged

Local, we are better prepared to make certain that the jobs of the future are also union jobs.

SAG-AFTRA NY NEW YORK COMMUNICATIONS/ EDITORIAL COMMITTEE Ed Fry Co-Chair Liz Zazzi Co-Chair Sam Freed Anne Gartlan Mike Hodge John Metaxas Jeff Spurgeon Sharon Washington

EDITORIAL STAFF Richard Baldwin Communications Coordinator/ Board Secretary Bernadine Goldberg Manager, Member Outreach Victoria Pistone Manager, Communications //////

QUESTIONS? COMMENTS? COMPLIMENTS? We’d like to hear from you! Send them and your suggestions for topics you’d like to see covered in future issues to Please write

NEWSLETTER in the subject of your email.

Dancers’ Town Hall Meeting Sept. 4 at SAG-AFTRA. From left, Guapo, Tweety, Tanisha Scott, Autavia Bailey, LaJon Dantzler, Jessica Castro, Eddie Morales, Bryan Tanaka

New York Dancers Celebrate Music Video Contract


n the first contract negotiated since the historic merger, the dance community, in partnership with the Dancers’ Alliance, successfully negotiated the first industrywide music videos contract to cover dancers and other performers. Dancers’ Alliance is a grassroots organization whose mission is to improve working conditions and represent a united voice for all dancers. When asked about the contract, which was ratified in July, New York dancer Anthony Rue said, “This was a huge step to showcase that dancers are on the right track of taking care of our craft on a professional level.” The battle isn’t over yet. The next major step is to make sure all dancers and their agents are educated about performers’ rights under this contract. On Sept. 4, Dancers’ Alliance held a live streamed town hall. Dancers from New York gathered in the SAG-AFTRA office at 260 Madison and joined dancers from Los Angeles and Miami to celebrate their victory and learn more about the

contract. Later in the year, Dancers’ Alliance will be holding master classes as a way to continue organizing dancers into an even larger, cohesive group, ready to do battle again as they continue to fight for fair treatment for themselves and others. Any dancers who have questions regarding this contract, or if the work they are being contacted to do is or can be covered, should contact the following: Ralph Braun: (212) 863-4239 Kimberlee Archie: (212) 863-4294 Jennifer Peat: (212) 863-4206

SAG-AFTRA Softball Team Makes Playoffs The SAG-AFTRA New York softball team made some serious strides in 2012, playing Monday afternoons in Central Park’s Performing Arts Softball League. The squad, managed by 1010 WINS morning drive sports anchor Marc Ernay, came up with several key victories toward the end of the season to finish at 6-9, good for third place in the 12pm Division. Andy Breving led the team in hits (with 24), home runs (2) and runs scored (13). His .600 batting average led the league, making him the first SAG-AFTRA member to do so in several years. Dan Shafer contributed a team-high 9 RBIs, while Rocco Parente and Kevin Witt tied for the club lead in triples with two apiece. Greg Salata pitched the team to four wins, including the decisive victory on July 30 that enabled the SAG-AFTRA team to reach the league playoffs for the first time since 2008. If you’re interested in joining the co-ed squad for the 2013 season, send an email to and write “SOFTBALL TEAM” in the subject.

FALL 2012 // SAG-AFTRA NY //




It can be a scary thing or it can be an exciting, exhilarating thing.


think the reason it took us so long to actually merge these two unions is because in the past people were more afraid of the devil they didn’t know than they were unhappy with the one they did know. This time it worked, I think, because our members were actually feeling the damage that was being caused by our separation, and I believe our team did an excellent job of putting together a plan and a message that could be easily understood and digested. Now the only thing we want to ask for is patience as we work out the details of how it will all work. One of the more interesting sidelights of this process is recognizing that “this is the way we’ve always done things” is not the only way, nor the best way to get things done. I think it’s important for the membership to know that too. Even if it’s not apparent, changes have been happening ever since the votes were counted.

For instance, there is a new, integrated phone system. You can call either legacy number and reach any staff member you need. We are continuing with legacy programs even as we work out how they will work together. As you can see from the report on page 5 of this newsletter, your new SAG-AFTRA National Board voted that the union trustees of the respective Pension & Health and Health & Retirement Plans study the issue of reciprocity between the two plans. Reciprocity would allow those of you who have combined contributions to the existing separate plans, sufficient to qualify for health insurance, to potentially qualify for coverage. While there are many details to be considered, there is precedent in former union mergers with separate plans that tell us this is an absolute possibility. Our trustees are now tasked and determined to help our members qualify for health insurance as they also work for the larger goal of combining the plans. So though you can’t see it yet, there are lots of changes that are happening — structural changes, constitutional changes and policy changes. These changes will become clearer to you the more you interact with the new SAG-AFTRA. Meanwhile, we are getting ready to negotiate the commercials contracts. And while we have negotiated those contracts together as one for more than 30 years, this time we are truly one. And I’m thinking that will make us more unified than ever to meet whatever challenges await us. So please be willing to be a part of the negotiations, and participate in the W&W process. Remember, your union can only be as good as what you do to help it grow and sustain itself. — In Solidarity



N.Y. Governmental Affairs and Public Policy (GAPP) Update


he landscape of our work is defined not only by our contracts, but also by legislation and public policy. Laws passed in Washington, Albany, Trenton and Hartford can have as much impact on our work as the contracts we negotiate. Some issues, such as the online theft of our work, are not local, not even national, but are international in scope. The newest issue of SAG-AFTRA magazine has an in-depth article on the successful conclusion of the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Beijing treaty that, for the first time, protects audiovisual performances. The article is a must-read. Here in New York, Gov. Cuomo recently signed into law an expansion of the Post-Production Tax Credit, a little-used part of the overall Film and TV Tax Credit that has been so successful in building new production facilities and job opportunities for performers in the New York area. The “post” credit includes video editing, sound editing and mixing, color correction and visual effects. Under the new law, the post-production tax credit increases from 10 percent to 30 percent in the New York City metropolitan area, and expands to as much as 35 percent for qualified expenses beyond New York City to include facilities within the entire state. Also, a production’s principal photography is no longer required to have been done in New York in order to qualify for the post-production credit. The post-production credit may use as much as $7 million of the total annual amount available for production tax incentives — currently $420 million. And while production applications and spending have been rising to historic levels, post-production has lagged behind. That’s why this new law was needed to encourage more post-production companies to locate in New York state. Why does post-production matter to us? The more production companies locate part or all of their work and facilities here, the more jobs that will be generated from principal photography through finished picture. And hightech post-production combined with New York’s growing film and television production will build a technical and creative center of gravity whose innovations can help provide the next wave of employment for SAG-AFTRA members. Upon signing the legislation, Gov. Cuomo said, “[This] law is a clear sign that the state stands ready to help enterprises that are looking for new places to invest, expand and create jobs” and “help[s] make New York the television and film capital of the world.” We agree wholeheartedly with the governor, and Co-Presidents Mike Hodge and Holter Graham wrote to thank the governor and the bill’s lead sponsors, Assemblywoman Deborah Glick and State Sen. John DeFrancisco, on behalf of the New York membership.

“… help make New York the television and film capital of the world”

SAG P&H and AFTRA H&R Plans




n July 22, 2012 the National Board of Directors of

SAG-AFTRA voted overwhelmingly (99.47 percent) to approve a motion urging the union and industry trustees of the

CONGRATULATIONS. Now get to work.


e accomplished quite a bit by merging AFTRA and SAG, and we should be proud. That’s the beginning.

AFTRA and SAG merged for many reasons. The most important is because

SAG-Producers Pension and Health Plans

our industry has been changing for decades and will continue to do so. We used

(P&H) and the AFTRA Health & Retirement

very separated in our work categories, now many of us cross the borders of craft

to work for dozens of employers and now we work for a handful. We used to be

Funds (H&R) to undertake expeditious and

daily to earn our livings. Once there were a few select ways to create or receive

appropriate action to create a unified health plan

seen on a TV by a family at a certain time of day, and now those same shows are

for performers, broadcasters and others working

content, and now the options are almost limitless. The most-watched shows were beamed from the cloud to a 3-inch screen on a phone. Brave new world. SAG-AFTRA was created to interact with that new world much more efficiently

under SAG-AFTRA collective bargaining

and nimbly than SAG or AFTRA was doing before. We birthed a completely

agreements, and to implement immediately a

an important distinction. The SAG-AFTRA New York Local resides in buildings

reciprocity agreement between the two existing

contracts that will bear the old unions’ names for a while yet. Don’t be fooled.

health plans. The Board also urged the plan trustees to review the feasibility and advisability of

new union that bears a resemblance to its parents but is not all like them. This is you may recognize, has staff and member-leaders you may recognize, oversees It’s different now. We have one union that covers an enormous swath of work. We are members starring in dramas, delivering the news, creating performance capture in digital studios, filming huge-budget cable miniseries and writing political copy for the morning commute. SAG-AFTRA is organizing. From creating brand-new union work where none

creating a unified Defined Benefit Retirement

existed to creating a sense of unity among the New York leadership so we can

Plan and reciprocity agreement between the

to strengthen or expand our positions.

existing pension and retirement plans.

the potential to be a gift and a game-changer for those of us who pursue careers

The Board specifically directed the union-

more efficiently represent you. Combining SAG research with AFTRA groundwork I firmly believe and have worked very hard to ensure that this new union has in all media. I think we are starting to see our potential. Our future — the future of our craft, our work, our contracts, our health

appointed trustees of the plans to treat as

care and our aspirations — is only a minute or two ahead of us. What do we

priorities the creation of a unified health

might hinder our success, and embrace anything that might allow us to keep

need and want for the present and the future? To throw aside anything that

plan and the immediate implementation of

doing this for a living.

an interim reciprocity agreement between

a pretty strange way to make a living. We have the opportunity to take the

the existing health plans, and to meet

best possible position to succeed in a shaky economy and profession. All of us,

From puppeteers to sportscasters, actors to news producers, we chose amazing victory that is the creation of SAG-AFTRA and place ourselves in the

for the purpose of discussing the actions

regardless of work category, are drawn to these professions by human truths and

necessary to create a unified health plan and

too. I wouldn’t have it any other way and I look forward to the future we share.

a unified defined benefit retirement plan.

stories. For me, it wasn’t a choice; I was born this way. I bet many of you were, — Onward and Upward

FALL 2012 // SAG-AFTRA NY //


SUPPORTING UWA On Friday, July 6, SAG-AFTRA members joined the locked-out members of the Utilities Workers of America on their picket line in an act of solidarity. As a member of the New York City Central Labor Council, SAG-AFTRA prides itself on standing together with our labor brothers and sisters when needed.



e in the New York Local have a lot to celebrate. You, the members of the newly formed SAG-AFTRA, created history. And how profound that our membership marched next to brothers and sisters from Equity at this year’s New York City-Central Labor Council Labor Day Parade. SAG-AFTRA celebrated the pride of our new beginning while our sister union celebrated her centennial. SAG-AFTRA’s year one and Actor’s Equity Association’s 100 years are both incredible accomplishments. The New York Local Leadership — especially Co-Presidents Holter Graham and Mike Hodge — has been instrumental in making the transition from two separate organizations to one powerful New York Local. During the first few months since the merger, New York Local leadership and staff have been working hard to keep SAG-AFTRA working for you. This includes leadership’s responsibility to form a Local constitution and committees, and staff being tasked with keeping all of our



contract departments running smoothly. Our membership is made up of actors, broadcasters, and recording artists, and thanks to the strong production tax incentives in New York, that means more work is available across all SAG-AFTRA contracts. To get a sense of what the New York production landscape looks like, I encourage you to check out the newly updated Production Show Sheet, which features information about all union projects shooting in the area. I hope that you find it to be a comprehensive and helpful resource. More information about the Production Show Sheet is available on the back page of this newsletter. We have also made some internal upgrades to improve service and efficiency. We recently underwent an overhaul on our phone system, which was part of a nationwide effort. The transition to new technology often involves some glitches and delays, but your patience during the upgrade was appreciated, and we are now up and running smoothly.


JAE JE SIMMONS While we continue to make changes to improve our service at the union, I know many of you are curious about the status of the AFTRA Health & Retirement and SAG Pension & Health funds as well. The National Board passed a motion to encourage both funds to take action to merge the plans. More information about the motion is available on page 5. Finally, please keep in touch. Staff can be reached at NewYork@ This email account is regularly checked by staff on all business days. Please don’t let your question go unanswered. We hope to hear from you with any questions or concerns.


ven as a child,

be a crutch, just an aid.”


Having covered the news

WCBS-TV news

for so many years, what was

anchor Dana Tyler was a

her most memorable story?

self-admitted news junkie.

She said, “Doing this for

She recalled, “I grew up with

22 years, I have had many.

Walter Cronkite. I sat six feet

9/11 of course, how can

in front of the TV with my

anyone forget the power

homework on the floor and

and pain of that day?” On a


lighter note, she recounted

Tyler would go on to be a

a memorable meeting in

part of her junior high school

1995, while covering the

newspaper, The Nickelodeon,

papal visit. Dana had the

in the suburbs of Columbus,

honor of shaking Pope

Ohio. She was a curious child

John Paul II’s hand. To

who would take interviews

this day, people will come

of classmates using a big

up to her and tell her they

bulky camera. Tyler said

remember that moment. SAG-AFTRA (and

even then she was, “drawn by the challenge of telling a

legacy AFTRA) has been

story within a time limit.”

an important part of

Dana started her career at a

Dana’s career. She said, courtesy of WCBS-TV

top 40 radio station as a high school intern. While at Boston University, where she majored in marketing and minored in

“They have always been there for us; they always have our backs and we can’t forget that.” She

broadcast journalism, she interned at WBNS-TV

added, “They have an interest in the integrity of our fellow

in Columbus. WBNS-TV is also where she got her first on-air,

employees and the industry. Richard Larkin and Sean Taylor

paying gig. In 1990, she joined WCBS-TV. She made history

especially — they are good people and tireless advocates.”

by joining the late Reggie Harris to

To future broadcast journalists she gives

become the first African-American

sage advice. “Remember the basics: It isn’t

anchor team in New York.

just about how you look on TV, you have

In her more than 20 years as a broadcast journalist, she has seen many changes in the newsroom, “I can remember being at WBNS using carbon paper and clumsy typewriters,” she said. And while new


Dana Tyler

technology can make life easier, it can also

to know how to write.” She went on to say that while it is important to build up your specific interests, there is a premium on being able to do everything. Future reporters should be able to be general assignment reporters. She leaves future

create a distance: “Sometimes we don’t always remember to talk

journalists with this advice: “Find the real you and build up

to a live person.” She emphasized that “technology should not

your interests. Have a thick skin and be a good listener.” FALL 2012 // SAG-AFTRA NY //


Sharon Washington Interviews Denis O’Hare

“ I AM A NEW YORK ACTOR” had the privilege of seeing Denis O’Hare for the first time live on stage at The Public Theater in Take Me Out in 2002, a role that won him several awards, including the Tony for Best Featured Actor when it moved to Broadway. After that amazing performance, I followed his career on both the large and small screens: from his brilliant portrayal of the reviled John Briggs in the film Milk, to his roles in television’s current gothic game-changers, True Blood and American Horror Story, for which he has just been nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie. I continue to admire the depth and truth he brings to a diverse array of complex characters. He is a true triple-threat actor, moving easily through roles in film, television and theater, and even within the theater the rare actor that can move between musicals and “legit.” I sat down with Denis between a put-in rehearsal and half-hour call for his recent role as The Baker in the Public Theater production of the Stephen Sondheim musical Into the Woods at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. “I’m definitely a New Yorker,” Denis says, “I live in Fort Greene. Love it.” He’s lived in the same apartment for 14 years and he bikes to and from work every day. Denis was born in Kansas City but moved to Southfield, Mich., the first suburb north of Detroit. “I’m from 11½ Mile,” he said. He grew up in a musical family and played the organ starting at age 5. By 8 years old, he was playing in church



with his mother, who was the church pianist and “a great musician.” His aunt is a cellist and his brother is a drummer. He says, “I don’t know if music is genetic” but he feels it was “in our DNA.” “I was going to be a musician most of my life.” Denis was accepted to both the University of Michigan Opera Department and at Northwestern University for acting. At 18 he just wanted to get away from his parents, so he chose Northwestern because it was farther away from home, and the rest is history. “It was pretty arbitrary … but I think I would have ended up being an actor anyway.” Denis made his professional “Being successful acting debut in Chicago, where he in this business is remained for 12 years, booking his [not] necessarily first television job as a doctor on a medical show — the first time he about talent, it’s was in front of a camera. He still about persistence. remembers vividly that he had to say “hematocrit” in the scene and The people who kept forgetting the word, so he wrote continue to show up, it on the inside of his shirt, which did not endear him to wardrobe. continue trying to It was 1987, and that job earned work, end up him his AFTRA card. He earned succeeding.” his SAG card soon after and, when he got to New York, appeared in all the major shows that were shooting here at that time, landing in seven episodes of the Law & Order franchise alone, as well as 100 Centre Street and NY Undercover. Over the years, Denis has also become a member of British Equity and Musicians Local 802. “I am a union guy. I believe in unions.” He spoke passionately about the protection of unions, the importance of the fight for decent wages and decent treatment, decent healthcare and a decent pension. “This idea of the right-to-work-state I find such an oxymoron,” he said.


asked if he had any rituals or particular work habits, and if they changed depending on if he was preparing for a role in film, television or stage. “I think I have the same work habits no matter what I do. I’m off book fairly early.” He said that when you’re off book, “the lines live in you a different way.” Memorize early. Be prepared. “I’m not a big fan of

to do a character, you owe them your respect. You do as good a job as you can to bring that person to life. You don’t judge them, you do them.” We talked about doing commercials, and Denis said he’s auditioned in the past but never seemed to manage to book anything, but he does voiceover. “I love voiceover. I like the voiceover world but I don’t book enough. I do bookson-tape. It’s really hard work but I like it. I like that part of the business.”


actors changing scripts. I find it lazy. I think what happens is actors don’t like the way [the line] feels in their mouths. Rather than overcoming that obstacle, they make it easy for themselves. When you change it to make it easier, you’re changing the character. You’re changing the tone, the rhetoric …” I asked Denis what were some of his most memorable roles and how he chooses projects. Among the roles he’s loved playing are Richard Hauptman, the convicted Lindbergh kidnapper in the play Hauptman, and the title role of Vanya in Uncle Vanya. “I don’t do a lot of Shakespeare,” but he’d like to play Mercutio, he said. “As an older actor now, I’ll look at parts and say, ‘I’m not gonna go there, I don’t want to go there.’ I play a lot of serial killers, evil guys. I gotta have something else.” But if it’s a good part, he says he’ll do anything. “I played this homophobic senator in Milk. People said, ‘How could you do that?’ Because it was a great character! If you choose

enis is also a writer, and has written several screenplays and plays. His most recent was a collaboration on an adaptation of An Iliad at the New York Theater Workshop. The play was nominated for several awards last season, including the Drama Desk Award, and won the Outer Critics Circle Award and a Special Citation Obie. “As an actor, you need to have a lot of possibilities.” I asked Denis what advice he had, if any, for young actors or for those just entering the business. “Ask yourself honestly why you’re doing this and if the answer is ‘to be famous,’ there’s nothing wrong with that. Just know that the path to being famous is different. If the answer is ‘because I want to create great work and great art,’ that’s a different path. There’s no wrong answer to why. But you can’t lie to yourself about the why. Being successful in this business is [not] necessarily about talent, it’s about persistence. The people who continue to show up, continue trying to work, end up succeeding.” As we were wrapping up, I couldn’t resist asking if he was excited about his Emmy nomination for American Horror Story, which happens to be one of my favorite shows. “I didn’t expect it,” he said. “I’d been sort of whipped up into a frenzy last year for True Blood. You try not to believe that stuff, but it seeps in.” The word was he was going to get a nomination. He didn’t. So this year he didn’t pay attention. “My agent called me at 8:30 in the morning and I didn’t pick up.” The phone kept ringing, so he finally picked up and heard, “‘Denis it’s your agent. Do you know why I’m calling?’ The first thing I thought was ‘Oh no, the show’s been canceled.’” But this time he had indeed been nominated for that Emmy. Bravo Denis! — Sharon Washington is a SAG-AFTRA National and New York Local Board member

FALL 2012 // SAG-AFTRA NY //


Stephen Burrow


Senior Advisor



By Co-President Roberta Reardon

mong the many changes at the New York Local after merger was the promotion of former Executive

Director Stephen Burrow to the national leadership position of senior advisor. As senior advisor, Stephen will be able to use his great talent for negotiating and his immense industry wisdom to secure contracts that will protect SAG-AFTRA members. After graduating from Columbia College and the NYU School of Law, Stephen developed and broadened his skills as a labor lawyer fighting for clothing and textile workers, seafarers, longshoremen, pipefitters and others. In 1987, he took his first step into the entertainment industry by joining the staff of the WGA East. He worked on numerous projects, the most notable being the TV/Theatrical strike of 1988. In 1990, Stephen began his career at AFTRA as assistant executive director of the New York Local. Two years later, he became executive director and continued to lead the Local for 20 years. Over those 20 years, Stephen negotiated many local station and freelance agreements. He participated in eight Network Code and seven Exhibit A negotiations, often serving as chief negotiator. The unique systemwide agreements at Nickelodeon and Comedy Central were negotiated under his watch, as were the first basic cable contracts for promo announcers. He provided strong guidance for AFTRA New York members during the commercials strike of 2000, as well as for the Keep N.Y. Radio Live Campaign. His negotiating skills are legendary, but it is Stephen’s commitment to trade unionism and his deep and abiding sense of fairness that mark him as special. I know I speak for many of the elected leaders of legacy AFTRA when I say Stephen has been a mentor as well as an executive director. During my time as both a local leader and a national officer, Stephen was never too busy to answer my questions and give me straight and thoughtful responses. Lazy thinking was not encouraged and I know I grew as a leader because of those talks. Challenges bring out the best in some people, and Stephen not only liked a challenge, he encouraged me to like them too. I have every expectation that a new generation of leaders will come to rely on his advice and look forward to challenges just as many of us have done for the past 20 years. Congratulations on your new position, my friend.



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NEW KIDS IN TOWN New Member Orientations were held at the New York Local Office on June 26 and June 28. Above, from left, Subcommittee Co-Chair Kathy Keane, Manager of Member Education and Outreach Bernadine Goldberg, member volunteer Stan Krajewski, Manager of Communications Victoria Pistone, New York Co-1st Vice President Rebecca Damon, New York Co-1st Vice President Anne Gartlan, MORE Committee Co-Chair Sara Krieger, New York Co-President Mike Hodge, MORE Vice Chair Marc Baron, New York Local Board member Janette Gautier.

Left, New York Local co-presidents speak to members at the orientation on June 28 at 260 Madison. Below, Members attend the New Member Orientation held at 360 Madison Avenue on June 26.

Come to a New Member Orientation! Are you a new member of SAG-AFTRA or just want more information about the union and member benefits? Check out for upcoming event listings. To be added to the notification list about upcoming New Member Orientations, send us an email at Please remember to write NEW MEMBER ORIENTATION NOTIFICATION in the subject line. FALL 2012 // SAG-AFTRA NY //



W I N N E R //

Wendy Charles


AG-AFTRA member Wendy Charles of New York is one of

the five lucky winners of a week of free car rental with Union Plus. She was randomly selected from more than 12,600 participants in the Union Plus Car Rental contest. Wendy learned about the contest when visiting the Union Plus website. “I am flying to L.A. to attend a screening of a film in which I have a lead role … and I always

New York SAG-AFTRA Family Members Awarded Union Plus Scholarships


nion Plus has awarded $150,000 in scholarships to 129 students representing 44 unions, including two winners representing SAG-AFTRA New York, in the 2012 Union Plus

Scholarship Program. In this 20th anniversary year of the scholarship program, more than 5,600 applications were received from union members and families in all 50 states. This year’s SAG-AFTRA winners from New York are:

EVAN GRIFFITH of New York, NY, whose parents Edward and Lisa Griffith

check the travel deals on Union Plus

are SAG-AFTRA members, has been awarded a $1,000 scholarship. This is Griffith’s

to see what rental car discounts

second time being awarded a Union Plus

are available to union members.

scholarship. Griffith is a two-time Union

I saw the contest and entered.” Union members benefit from Union Plus with options such as savings on car rentals. Wendy

Plus scholarship honoree pursuing a double major in music and psychology at Dartmouth College. There he has achieved excellent grades

visits often and

while continuing to pursue his commitment

says: “I would tell fellow members

to community service. Among his proudest

that Union Plus offers wonderful consumer savings, discounts and benefits to union members.” Now that she has a week of free

accomplishments is having founded two choirs:

“I love seeing people of disparate demographics and occupations working together.” — EVAN GRIFFITH

one performing Christian music, and one Jewish music. “I love seeing people of disparate demographics and occupations working together,” he says. It is a lesson

car rental, Wendy is planning

he may have learned first from his parents’ longtime union memberships. “I am

a trip upstate in Western New

aware of how union membership benefits have impacted my life,” he says.

York to visit her hometown. “I haven’t been back in many years, and hope to drive upstate this fall, and revisit a special place

JACOB WEBER of Florida, NY, whose mother Debra is a SAG-AFTRA member, has been awarded a $1,000 scholarship. The arts were always at the forefront in Weber’s home and are deeply infused in his spirit. “I have always had the desire to

from my past,” she adds.

create,” he says. It is a passion he has expressed in music and painting, as well as by

Union members are eligible for

applying creative thinking in science and technology competitions. But if the arts

a Union Plus discount of up to

were important growing up, so were unions. “The anti-union sentiment of late in our

25 percent on car rentals. To take advantage of the best rates under this program, reserve online. Also be sure to visit the Union Plus website to learn about all of our programs and savings for union members. Union members in the New York

government,” he says, “has kept dinner discussions lively in my house.” Weber once thought he would have to choose between his creative impulses and his love of science, but has now decided that a career in engineering will allow him to combine the two. Union Plus Scholarship awards are granted to students attending a two-year college, four-year college, graduate school or a recognized technical or trade school. Recipients are selected based on academic ability, social awareness, financial need and appreciation of labor.

City and Hoboken, NJ areas can also save with Connect by Hertz car sharing program. Learn more at



For more information about Union Plus scholarships and other benfits available to

SAG-AFTRA members, visit

Looking for affordable housing? The Actors Fund can help.

Here are just a few ways The Actors Fund can help all SAG-AFTRA members prepare to find it. HOUSING SEMINARS

To start your search, attend The Fund’s “Finding Affordable Housing in NYC” seminar. Learn who’s eligible and how to apply for the City’s many affordable and middle-income residences. Hear about some of the best opportunities becoming available in the next year such as Gotham West, a 1,238-unit residence in Hell’s Kitchen, the backyard of Broadway, with 250 low-income and 432 middle-income units, set to open in 2013. This brand-new development will occupy an entire city block and applications are now available. For applications, visit Most importantly, this seminar should help you understand how best to position yourself by learning what landlords are looking for regarding your credit scores, rental histories, earnings and tax returns. Upcoming seminars are on Oct. 9 and 17, and Nov. 5. Reservations are not necessary. You can just show up to The Actors Fund offices at 729 7th Avenue, 10th Floor. Also coming in January 2013 is the next “Home Buyer Readiness Seminar,” where you can learn all about how to prepare yourself for home ownership and take advantage of lucrative first-time home buyer programs.


The Fund’s online Housing Resource Center provides information on affordable housing, roommate opportunities, temporary housing, tenants’ rights and housing court.


The Fund also maintains an online Housing Bulletin Board that allows the entertainment community to post housing availabilities and search for places to live. For those looking to/for a sublet, a roommate, something temporary or permanent, check it out.


The Actors Fund has two affordable housing facilities right here in New York City: The Dorothy Ross Friedman Residence in mid-town Manhattan (which houses The Fund’s Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic for anyone in the performing arts who is uninsured), and The Schermerhorn in the heart of Downtown Brooklyn (which includes a 2,000 sq. foot performing arts center). Visit to download an application.


The Actors Fund’s AFHDC is working to develop more affordable, supportive and senior housing for the performing arts community. Looking to the future, AFHDC is currently conducting a survey of the visual and performing arts community in the New York City/New Jersey region to help gather information for the development of affordable artists’ rental housing in Rahway, NJ. Visit to take the 10-minute survey, and you’ll help make this building a reality. Your responses are vital and will assist in determining project financing, design, amenities and more. So if you are you looking for affordable housing, visit The Actors Fund. They can help prepare you to find it. For more information, visit or call 212.221.7300 ext. 119 today.

FALL 2012 // SAG-AFTRA NY //


New York Local Casting 101 Here are some tips to keeping your headshot and resume current.


Martin E. Segal

• Update the union listing on your resume to read SAG-AFTRA.


• Make sure the contact information on your resume is up to date.

age of 96. Segal helped fashion

• Add new information as soon as possible (i.e. add new experience immediately

the first pension and health plan

after working a job or add a new skill as soon as you have mastered it).

for union performers, which

• Have digital copies of both your headshot and resume available. Most casting

was first adopted by legacy

directors now collect submissions online or via email. Digital versions are much easier and cheaper to update early and often. • If you’ve recently drastically changed your look, make sure your headshot is an accurate reflection of what you look like now.

Stay Tuned for Our Upcoming E-Newsletter >> Featuring an Audio Interview with Z100’s Elvis Duran!

n Aug. 5, 2012 Martin E. Segal passed away at the

AFTRA. Segal also organized the first AMEE Award Gala and raised $50,000 toward the AFTRA Foundation on May 12, 2003 at the Waldorf Astoria. Walter Cronkite, who was


Segal’s good friend and was

stopped Clear Channel from voice tracking on their New York Stations. To listen to Jim Kerr’s

Segal also served as Chairman

im Kerr and Elvis Duran are both longtime New York Radio personalities and members

of SAG-AFTRA. Together as disc jockeys on Clear Channel Stations, Jim on Q104.3 and

Elvis on Z100, they were big parts of the Keep N.Y. Radio Live campaign that successfully

interview with Elvis Duran, look for the first edition of the Local’s e-newsletter later this year. We need your help to name our e-newsletter. Submit your suggestions for a newsletter name to and we could end up using your suggested title for the electronic

publication. Please include your name and SAG-AFTRA membership number in your email and write “E-NEWSLETTER” in the title.

host of the evening said, “We’re all here because of Marty.”

Emeritus of Lincoln Center Inc. from 1981 to 1986. Mitchell McGuire, SAG-AFTRA member and longtime friend of Segal’s said, “[Marty] was a man who

How to Follow Us! SAG-AFTRA NY

inspired awe and respect … You could fill this paper with all of [his] accomplishments. He was a sweet man who gave so much


to so many. We at SAG-AFTRA owe so much to Marty. He will be missed

How to Find Us! 260 Madison Avenue, 7th Floor • (212) 532-0800 360 Madison Avenue, 12th Floor • (212) 944-1030 For information about the Local, events, and member benefits, please visit:

but never forgotten.” For a memoriam to SAG-AFTRA members who recently passed away, please see the Fall 2012 issue of our national SAG-AFTRA magazine.



Record Crowd at Labor Day Parade


pirits were high at this year’s New York City-Central Labor Council Labor Day Parade, held on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012 on

5th Avenue in Manhattan. More than 100 SAG-AFTRA members braved sudden downpours to march in solidarity with the working men and women of labor in New York City. SAG-AFTRA National Board Member Lainie Cooke sang the National Anthem to kick off the parade. Members donned SAG-AFTRA T-shirts and specialized signs were available for all member categories. While SAG-AFTRA celebrated its first parade as a merged union, Actors’ Equity Association

Top: Members get drenched at the Labor Day Parade.

unions pinned the T-shirts together to show their

Middle: National Board Member Lainie Cooke, New York Co-1st Vice President Rebecca Damon, National Co-President Roberta Reardon, New York Co-President Holter Graham, NYC-CLC President Vincent Alvarez, NYC-CLC Secretary Janella Hinds, New York Co-President Mike Hodge

support of both organizations.

Bottom: The SAG-AFTRA and AEA parade contingent

celebrated its centennial. Proud members of both

FALL 2012 // SAG-AFTRA NY //


Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage

PAID New York, NY Permit No. 9313

260 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016 @ sagaftra



The New SAG-AFTRA Production Show Sheet!


he former SAG Production Schedule and the former AFTRA Show Sheet have been combined into the new SAG-AFTRA New York Production Show Sheet! In this newly redesigned document you will find information for all projects shooting in the NYC area under both legacy AFTRA and legacy SAG contracts. The new document features production information for theatrical and television primetime programming, nondramatic programming, and animation, public television and other projects as they come up. You will also find information about wrapped and local programing. Each project lists the legacy contract under which it is signed. Questions about legacy AFTRA contract projects should be directed to the office at 260 Madison at (212) 532-0800. Questions about legacy SAG contract projects should be directed to the office at 360 Madison at (212) 944-1030. The new Production Show Sheet can be found online at You must be logged in as a member to access the Production Show Sheet. You can also pick up hard copies of the Production Show Sheet from the reception desks at both locations – 260 Madison Avenue, 7th Floor (between 38th and 39th Streets) and 360 Madison Avenue, 12th Floor (entrance at 45th street).

SAG-AFTRA New York Local Fall Membership Meeting DATE:

Monday, Nov. 5, 2012 ting mee


5:30 – 8:30 p.m.


Crowne Plaza Times Square, 1605 Broadway (Between 48th and 49th Streets) This meeting is only open to paid-up SAG-AFTRA members in good standing. Unfortunately, no guests allowed. Parents/guardians of younger performers under 18 years old are welcome. No RSVP necessary.

SAG-AFTRA Members, Please Bring Your Membership Card For Admittance. If you require ADA accommodations, please let us know by contacting (212) 827-1542 or

Fall Newsletter Fall 2012  

Fall Newsletter Fall 2012