AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TELEVISION AND RADIO ARTISTS SCREEN ACTORS GUILD CHICAGO
SAG Chicago Branch Annual Membership Meeting Features Producer and Stars of Hannah Free Chicago’s annual Screen Actors Guild membership meeting, held October 5 at the Kaufherr Members Resource Center, featured the producer and stars of Hannah Free. After calling the meeting to order, Branch President Todd Hissong introduced the guests, Chicago actors Taylor Miller (All My Children), Maureen Gallagher and Ann Hagemann, who spoke, along with Executive Producer Tracy Baim. The film also stars Sharon Gless (Cagney and Lacey, Burn Notice). SAG Council Member Mary Kay Cook served as panel moderator. Beginning as a play written by Claudia Allen, the panel discussed what it took to turn a hit stage play into the latest indie sensation, what it was like to film in Chicago, the tricks to keeping the project on budget, casting, auditioning and much more.
Photo: Harold Baim
L to R: Maureen Gallagher, Ann Hagemann, Taylor Miller, Tracy Baim and Mary Kay Cook.
Produced under the SAG Low Budget Agreement, Hannah Free follows the lifelong love affair between two women. Through flashback, it tells how society, and family, can conspire to keep people apart, even after a 60-year relationship. “I’m from Chicago,” Baim told the members filling the Kaufherr Members Resource Center. “I really wanted to give these amazing actors amazing jobs right here in Chicago.” Premiering with a very successful Chicago run at the Gene Siskel Film Center in September 2009, Hannah Free has played theatrically and at film festivals around the world, continuing through spring 2010. See hannahfree.com for more information.
SAG Chicago Branch New Leadership Team On September 14 Screen Actors Guild announced the election results for the Chicago Branch elections. Elected council members at large to serve three-year terms are Molly Glynn, Jane McCreedy, Elaine Opsitnik, Stephen Spencer and Maureen Steindler. John Carter Brown was re-elected to serve on the National Board. The newly elected leaders assumed office on September 25.
(See page 3 for the complete Chicago SAG Council including newly elected and continuing members.)
Chicago is Actors’ Town
City has third-biggest talent pool, training
Chicago has long been known for its vibrant, diverse acting community, which also is the largest talent pool away from New York and Los Angeles. “Actors here work in multiple disciplines—onstage, commercials and films,” says Eileen Willenborg, executive director of the AFTRA Local and Chicago SAG Branch. “We’re also a large voiceover city, because Chicago’s a big avertising hub, so our members can make a really good living, as they’re able to work in all three areas, unlike in Hollywood, where you tend to be pigeonholed more as just a commercial actor or a TV or film actor.” Willenborg adds that because Chicago actors tend to “do it all, (it) gives them these great multitasking skills.” The city’s many training schools —including Northwestern U., Columbia College Chicago and DePaul U.—“offer a great variety of theater and film programs, and students can also train to be producers and directors.” The list of Chicago-bred talent is large. It includes the likes of Vince Vaughn, Joan and John Cusack, Jeremy Piven, Ed Asner and William H. Macy—just to name a few. “A lot of famous names got their SAG cards here,” Willenborg notes. Other Illinois-bred thesps over the years have included Robin Williams, Chris Farley, Richard Widmark and Jean Harlow. Sharon D. King, a Chicago casting director and producer whose credits include Nothing Like the Holidays, Witless Protection, Of Boys and Men and the Barbershop franchise, says the city’s strong theatrical tradition translates into “an incredibly well-trained and diverse pool of talent; every director I’ve ever worked with loves Chicago because of our talent.” King’s favorite local theater companies include the Goodman Theater, Steppenwolf Theater, Congo Square Theater Company, the Lookingglass Theater Company, Teatro Luna Theater Company, ETA Creative Arts Theater, Batey Urbano Theater and Black Ensemble Theater.
King also cites the Second City comedy group as fertile ground for growing fresh talent. “They have a wonderful training program, and not just for people who want to do improv, but for actors in general,” she says. “So anytime an actor here asks me, ‘Where should I take classes?’ Second City is one of the first places I send them. And it’s so diverse—minority actors, gay, Latino, they cover all the bases; it’s a great resource.” King has frequently worked with producer Bob Teitel, who notes that in addition to its acting pool, the city offers “great crews, a great filming infrastructure, wonderful locations and a very attractive transferable tax credit of 30%, making it a great place to shoot—which is why we keep going back.” “Chicago has the best actors on the planet,” adds casting director Claire Simon, who works in film, TV, theater and commercials and whose credits include The Beast, Prison Break, The Lake House and A Home at the End of the World. “They’re grounded, trained, hard workers, and it’s very, very rare that I run into any attitude,” she says. “Everyone just wants to do great work. They may not have a ton of big Hollywood credits, but they do have an amazing work ethic.” And she notes, “Second City has some of the funniest actors in town, but Improv Olympic has wonderful untapped improvisers, and we have Zanies and (other) comedy clubs with some wonderful standup talent.” Simon, too, stresses the city’s theatrical tradition, citing Steppenwolf, Court Theater and the House Theater, “not to mention a hundred more small, exciting theaters with houses of 30 doing great work. Actors here are hungry. They work for nothing and bust their asses for nothing. I think we have edgy, eager, exciting theater here with no pretense. I wouldn’t want to be casting anywhere else.” From Variety, December 10, 2009 By Iain Blair Used with permission of Variety, Copyright© 2009. All rights reserved.
CHICAGO EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR The close of the year usually prompts pundits of all stripes to issue their evaluations of the year gone-bye. This year, as we transition to the second decade of the 21st century, I am certain that there will be more “best” lists, “year/decade in reviews” and other year-end commentaries than ever. I can’t help myself – I’m going to join the pundits’ ranks and prognosticate about what lies ahead for AFTRA and SAG and Chicago members. In no particular order, I hope union broadcasters and performers will consider these issues: 1. Kaufherr Members Resource Center: 2009 marked the 10th anniversary of the Daniel M. Kaufherr Charitable Trust. Under the terms of the trust, the trust spent all its money and was dissolved at the end of 2009. In order to face a future without the generous support of the trust created by Jerry Kaufherr, a long-time AFTRA/SAG member and union supporter, the AFTRA Board and Screen Actors Guild Chicago Branch Council agreed that the Kaufherr Members Resource Center (KMRC) should incorporate as an independent Illinois corporation. In 2009, the KMRC Committee also sought and obtained tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status from the Internal Revenue Service. The next step in preparing for the KMRC’s continued existence in the post-Kaufherr Trust era will be the official launch of an endowment campaign in 2010. The goal is to raise $1.5 million over three to five years through pledge drives so that the KRMC can continue to offer its facilities and training programs free of charge in perpetuity to AFTRA/ SAG/AEA members in good standing. When you are contacted about the KMRC Endowment Campaign, I hope that all AFTRA/SAG members will thoughtfully consider making a generous three-year pledge to keep this wonderful benefit of union membership flourishing in Chicago! 2. Organizing: I have written on numerous occasions that a union that isn’t organizing is a union that is dying. I believe the Chicago AFTRA local has done a decent job of organizing broadcast shops over the past 15 years (11 campaigns and 10 victories), but there is always more to be done, and your staff constantly searches out and evaluates broadcast organizing targets. On the freelance side of the AFTRA/SAG equation, much, much more needs to be done. I think that union staff, elected representatives, committee members—indeed all AFTRA/SAG performers—must contribute their ideas for new strategies to recapture nonbroadcast work under the unions’ contracts, to reverse the decline in radio and television
commercial work, and to create contract terms that will foster organizing work on the Chicago local cable channels, interactive games and out-of-home platforms. Integral to any successful external campaign to gain new members and sign new employers is internal organizing of current union members. Member education and greater involvement in their unions must always be a primary goal of AFTRA/SAG elected leaders and staff. 3. No Contract, No Work & Rule One: No organizing strategy will be effective in the freelance sphere if AFTRA or SAG members violate the most sacrosanct rule of any union: no contract, no work. This is the rule for all AFTRA members and SAG members. (In SAG it is known as Rule One). Members in freelance categories who work off the card undermine staff’s ability to organize and sign new producers to the freelance contracts, thus creating new job opportunities and helping to secure union work for future generations of actors. Perhaps the most difficult situation for many of us to understand is when a union performer knows that a fellow AFTRA/SAG member has worked off the card for a producer who wasn’t signed to a contract, and yet does nothing. Maybe the union performer turned down the job, yet still feels constrained about outing a fellow actor by “naming names.” I submit that not to contact staff and ask them to review the alleged no contract, no work violation is a dereliction in the responsibilities of being a good union member—and indeed could be considered conduct unbecoming a member of AFTRA or SAG. There are myriad other issues/topics that I could list, but those are my “Big Three.” I can’t begin the new year without acknowledging that I will step down as your executive director in April. Eric Chaudron will become the Chicago Local/Branch executive director, and I am confident that he will successfully build on the work your staff, elected leaders and member volunteers have accomplished over the years. In the next edition of Playback I will reflect on the amazing 15 years that it has been my distinct pleasure to work for AFTRA and SAG. However, rumors of my full retirement are premature. I will work two days a week as senior advisor to the unions to assist Eric during the transition to his leadership. Many changes and challenges lie ahead for Chicago AFTRA/SAG members in the coming decade, but I am confident that the members, your elected representatives and your staff will successfully preserve Chicago’s well-deserved reputation as the Local/Branch that gets things done—the right way. Go, Chicago!
AFTRA LOCAL President I’m writing not so much a “letter” as a series of notes. There are no “big thoughts” this time, just a welcome, a bit of applause and some observations. By now, most of you should have heard that the AFTRA Local Board and Chicago’s SAG Council have selected Eric Chaudron to be the next executive director for our joint office. I think the board and council are still in at least partial denial about the fact that Eileen Willenborg is giving up that post. But we have reluctantly acknowledged the existence of reality long enough to select an exemplary successor. Eric has impressed everyone here who has met him. He is a bright, thoughtful and easygoing guy who—nevertheless—
has an obvious fire in his belly to confront the challenges that face us. Eric knows many of our issues already, and is proving to be a quick study on the ones with which he’s less familiar. I have every confidence that he is prepared to move the Chicago Local and Branch forward. I welcome him with excitement about the road ahead of us. I should also say a word or two about the process that brought Eric to us. As you may know, members of the local AFTRA and SAG leadership met for weeks poring over resumes and interviewing candidates for the exec’s job. It was a difficult task, made harder by some high-caliber applicants. Chicago already has impressed AFTRA boards and SAG councils around the country with the way we work so well together. The selection process has proven that the cooperation is even stronger when the stakes are at their highest. I will first say that each person who participated in
the process brought something valuable to the table. The various perspectives and experiences made the interviews and the deliberations much richer. Were there differences? Of course. That’s what made the selection so successful. I will single out one person for extra praise: SAG Council President Todd Hissong, who became the coordinator of our search. He was the point of contact for the candidates, organized our interview sessions and subsequent meetings, and even delivered the good news and bad news to the finalists. He’s been more than a full partner and deserves hearty applause. On another matters, you should be prepared to hear a lot about so-called MMJs in the coming weeks and months. This is a major issue for broadcasters that is coming to a head. Multimedia journalists are often television reporters who are now being told to carry their own cameras and—in many cases—they are also editing
SAG Branch PRESIDENT The 2009 Screen Actors Guild Anual National Membership Meeting was held on October 18 in Los Angeles. Normally, the 3rd national vice president—currently David Hartley-Margolin—delivers an address on behalf of the Regional Branch Division, but as luck would have it, he was booked for a job—in Chicago no less! So, there I was... minding my own business... blissfully unaware of the boom about to be lowered... when David informed me that as 1st vice chair of the RBD, the task of delivering the address had fallen to me.
(And I will never forget the look of glee on David’s face as he left for his gig!) How does one accurately describe the RBD to a room full of Hollywood members? Not as easy as it might sound. First, I asked my RBD colleagues to stand up and be recognized. Not surprisingly, we were somewhat outnumbered by the several hundred members in attendance. I then began by quoting SAG Nevada National Board Representative Art Lynch: “While the RBD elected leadership may seem like a minority in this room, geographically, we cover more ground than the New York and Hollywood Divisions combined. From Honolulu to Philadelphia. From Seattle to Miami.” I continued...
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS Tom Cramer
Todd Hissong Craig Dellimore Paul Meincke
Nancy Sellers Darren Stephens
STAFF Eileen Willenborg Linda Swenson Kit Woods Letters to the Editor are always welcome. Those selected for publication may be edited for space and clarity and must be signed and limited to 150 words. Union policy dictates that Board members who express their personal views in this column are not to use their official union titles in the signing of letters. PAGE 2
and producing their own stories on laptop computers. There’s a lot of resistance to this expansion of duties. A reporter who must also handle the technical aspects of a news story may be forced to give short shrift to the journalism necessary to do his or her job well. That means shortchanging viewers. There are—of course—some journalists anxious to assume such responsibilities. But the consensus is that there must be limits to maintain the integrity of the work, and TV station management must offer “something of value” in exchange for the expansion. Premier among the goals: full AFTRA jurisdiction over all “platforms.” What that means is that any stories the station puts on the Internet, other frequencies, cable, mobile phones and the like must be performed by AFTRA employees. The companies are resisting that. The first confrontations are well under way. Stay tuned.
“Twenty Branches. Nearly 27,000 members spread out across the country. The Regional Branch Division works every contract Screen Actors Guild has to offer. Some have compared us to lighthouses, casting the light that guides non-union members to shore. We shine light on a lot of non-union work, too, organizing and bringing it into the fold. Some have likened us to sentinels, sounding the warning of approaching storms. Sometimes we’re the first to see what’s coming. Sometimes we’re the first line of defense. “But we’re called ‘Branches’ for a reason. We stretch our arms out and gather the sunlight that feeds the tree. The Branches would not exist without the tree, and a tree that loses its branches dies. Now
more than ever, we need each other to survive. “To a person, the elected leadership of the Regional Branch Division pledge to work toward unity—not acquiescence enforced by momentary boardroom majorities that swing back and forth like a pendulum in the wind—but true unity born of consensus, which can only come from trust and mutual respect, so that we might stand side-by-side with our brothers and sisters in the Hollywood and New York divisions and say without equivocation: “We are a national union. “We are Screen Actors Guild.”
Please send submissions to: AFTRA/SAG One East Erie #650 Chicago, Illinois 60611 Attn: Publications Committee or to email@example.com
how can they find the time to stop us after we have developed something we want to do? Maybe this plan won’t work, maybe it can’t be created. Maybe leadership is correct in ignoring this sector that used to provide some real income for us. Maybe, like the daytime drama, its time has passed. But, I would like to be part of a group that at least tries something before it goes away forever. I know this is inflammatory, and I know leadership will defend themselves. Good. Bring it on. Engage. We just can’t sit back and pine for the “good old days” and expect someone else to carry our water. It is up to us. If you want to help me get started, call the AFTRA/SAG office at (312) 573-8081 and leave me a message or share your ideas with Chicago Executive Director Eileen Willenborg. You also can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and include that you “want to talk to Dev about industrials.” As the committee or task force develops, you’ll be onboard. And trust me, I got too much on my plate as it is, so don’t expect me to be the Flash on this, but we have to start somewhere. Thanks, Dev Kennedy
Dear AFTRAns, As a second time delegate, I have a few thoughts about the recent AFTRA convention. First, the positives. As before, this convention did make me feel impressed by the level of organization, the very thorough and well thought out planning and execution by our members on the planning committees, and the tons of extra work our staff did. It was a terrificly run convention. Nothing but kudos to them. It was very impressive and very well done. National President Roberta Reardon and National Executive Director Kim Roberts Hedgpeth are clearly thoughtful, intelligent, respectful, and honest leaders of this union. I am glad we have them. Resolution 09-CVR-14 presented at 2009 AFTRA Convention But... Organize and Recapture Freelance Work If you are an ACTOR who lives outside of Los Angeles WHEREAS freelance employment for our members has and New York—and I am not so sure about those actors dropped precipitously over the past 20 years, and seems living in New York anymore—you are in big trouble if you to diminish further every year, and like working with the Non-Broadcast/Industrial/Educational WHEREAS retirement qualification thresholds have risen this year, making it more difficult for members to qualify Code. I was very disappointed that the Chicago resolution for these important Union benefits, and (see box) asking for assistance in organizing “industrials” was WHEREAS Financial Core has undermined the ability of our members to obtain work under AFTRA contract, shuffled off to committee Siberia, where leadership will give NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that AFTRA re-commit lip service to working on something, while accomplishing to assisting freelance members’ attempts to find covered very little that is tangible. Any bets about whether something employment, and BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that in order to do this, AFTRA along this line will be in place by the next convention? shall hire a group of non-traditional union organizers—a Therefore, I would like to ask for help. We have to take boots-on-the-ground “sales force” to actively organize or re-organize companies into the AFTRA fold and to sell this into our own hands. Let’s bring a concrete plan to increase AFTRA’s contracts and its members to employers. work opportunities for actors in the “industrial” sector to Respectfully submitted: leadership and force them to adopt it. Not water it down, and The Chicago Caucus Referred to Strategy Cabinet by the convention delegates. not ignore it. If they can’t find the time to pursue this, then
Craig Dellimore, President Richard Steele, 1st Vice President Richard Shavzin, 2nd Vice President Craig J. Harris, 3rd Vice President Eileen Parkinson, Treasurer Don Stroup, Recording Secretary
AFTRA Annual Membership Meeting Monday, February 8, 2010
Be on hand to:
Board of Directors
Eileen Parkinson Nancy Sellers Craig Dellimore, National Vice President Bernie Allen Bob Baron Tony Castillo Erik Cervantes Charlotte Davis Craig Dellimore Mercita DeMonk Dan Frick Herb Graham Parker Gronwold Byron Harlan Shirley A. Kelly Karen Lockwood Julie Mann Mark McCarthy Michael Joseph Mitchell
Wendy Morgan Lisa Parker Greta Pope Harry Porterfeld Kathleen Puls Gail Rastorfer Jill Shellabarger Kevin Smith Richard Steele Maureen Steindler Don Stroup Bernie Tafoya Betsey Means Wills Joe Wright Cedric Young
Todd Hissong, President Ilyssa Fradin, 1st Vice President Bill Borah, 2nd Vice President Craig J. Harris, Recording Secretary
NATIONAL BOARD John Carter Brown Todd Hissong
BRANCH COUNCIL Regan Rohde Nancy Sellers Stephen Spencer Maureen W. Steindler Alma Washington Cedric Young Matthew O’Toole (MO) Ann Wilkinson (IA) Peter Moore (MN) Joe Parnell (OH)
Committee Chairs Standing Committees Agency John Carter Brown Dan Frick Broadcast Steering Craig Dellimore COCO Ilyssa Fradin Conservatory Stephen Spencer Mark McCarthy Singers Wendy Morgan
Mavis Staples,* Buddy Guy,* Butch and Brenda Stewart of Joy Art Music for their contributions to the success of this summer’s AFTRA Convention. Mavis and Buddy performed for the delegates and Butch and Brenda wrote One Voice, a song many feel should become AFTRA’s new anthem! *Potential scheduling conflicts may prevent Mavis and Buddy from joining us.
ENJOY AFTRA singers will perform One Voice and the Star Spangled Banner using a special arrangement that Jonathan Wagner created for the convention.
Roslyn Alexander Bob Baron Sean Bradley Mary Kay Cook Molly Glynn Craig J. Harris Shirley A. Kelly Jane McCreedy Elaine Opsitnik Eileen Parkinson
Diversity Tony Castillo Cedric Young Emerging Media Tim Dadabo KMRC Bill Borah Richard Shavzin Seniors Radio Players Connie Foster Parker Gronwold
HONOR Herb Kent, “The Cool Gent” for his 65 years in radio. A broadcasting icon, Herb was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1995 and in December set the Guinness World Record for “having the longest career by a deejay” in radio history.
LEARN Trends in Music for Web, TV and Radio with Comma’s Larry Pecorella, Creative Director & Composer, and Bonny Dolan, Executive Producer & Artist Liaison Comma’s client list includes Altoids, Jeep, McDonald’s, Nintendo, Buick, Dodge, and Kellogg’s. More than just jingles, Larry and Bonny work to “presenting our clients with original comprehensive songs written for their product and in their choice of genre. Instead of utilizing an existing song, we’re able to create a new voice by people who do this for a living -- and then tailor it precisely to the needs of the client.”
Monday, February 8, 2010 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. Social Hour 6:30 p.m. Meeting
Kaufherr Members Resource Center One East Erie, Suite 660
Please bring your paid-up union card. PAGE 3
SAG Travel Waiver for Theatrical Films
Well, we made it through another year. It was another year in which we continued to reach out to those in our industry and to those within our own ranks. We made great strides in the Illinois Production Alliance, we supported and sponsored several industry organizations, and we represented our unions at a variety of events. Staff and members spoke on panels at area colleges and universities and hosted many well attended new member meetings. But what do we do now that our unions have settled most of their contracts and that the newly elected and hired leadership is in place? We work even harder to deliver our message and ORGANIZE! COCO (Community Organizing Community Outreach) is very excited to begin working with new Chicago Executive Director Eric Chaudron, and we know that Eric is very excited to reach out to our community. We’re working on a Facebook page, a presence on Twitter, and have launched an exciting new flash ad seen on several industry sites. I hope you’ll join COCO and share your ideas and energies. We can’t do any of this alone.
On November 16, 2009, the Chicago SAG Council adopted the SAG Travel Waiver. Chicago joins many of the other Regional Branches that have worked with this waiver for the past few years. The waiver was developed by members to encourage producers to hire SAG talent for day roles on theatrical productions on location outside of the established Branch offices. Productions now have an economical way to tap performers from the existing talent pools rather than hire non-union.
Happy New Year!
The waiver is: 1. Only for performers hired as day players. 2. Only for productions within 500 miles of performer’s residence. 3. Only waives payment of the day rate for travel days. 4. Requires producer to pay for transportation, per diem, lodging and expenses. 5. Requires producer to pay the day’s pay if performer is rehearsed on the travel day. Sample mileage Chicago to: Cleveland, Ohio – 350 miles Cincinnati, Ohio – 300 miles St. Louis, Missouri – 300 miles
Have you gotten viral?! No not H1N1, viral advertising! It’s a hot new way to get out our client’s message, and another way in which actors can find yet another business opportunity in our exploding tech world. It’s also a way to spearhead something you may personally believe in—such as “going green.” If you don’t understand it all yet, viral marketing refers to marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc.) to produce increases in brand awareness. It can be word-of-mouth or enhanced by network effects of Internet video clips, Flash games, adver-games, ebooks, brandable software, images or even text messages. So here’s to you getting viral. But, stay healthy!
Grand Rapids, Michigan – 180 miles Detroit, Michigan – 300 miles Des Moines, Iowa – 350 miles Minneapolis, Minnesota – 410 miles
The Chicago AFTRA/SAG office has unclaimed checks. If you can help locate any of these performers, please call (312) 573-8081. Ahrens, Michael Arana, Viviana Arnold, Tiffany Brown, Ndidi Carmody, Jaclyn M. Chrones, Asia Crow, Cheryl Denney, Mike Everett, Alexander Fillmore, Brent Z. Fisher, Edith (Edie)
- Tim Dadabo
Ford, Logan Han, Joseph Herman, Nathan Samuel Johnson, Barbara A. Lennes, Nels J. Mejias, Jose Monroe, Tarus L. Moran, Brendan Nelson, Melissa Nelson, Ricky Olivia, Lorraine
Parks, Nelson Perez-Brayfield, Alicia M. Reed, Shanay Riddle, Harold Salter, Alexandra Scott-Haines, Erin Singletary, Julius L. Steward, Kelly Sullivan, Tim Velez, Salvador Woodard, Fines
SENIOR RADIO PLAYERS The AFTRA/SAG Senior Radio Players Offer Seven for 2010 The mission of the AFTRA/SAG Senior Radio Players is to demonstrate the amazing audience-gripping power of old time radio drama—even as you watch it being made. Their plan is simple: select the cream from the many thousands of available scripts and produce them with the respect they are due. And then invite an audience to share the experience for the same price live radio always used to charge: free. To help you plan which shows you might want to see, here is the lineup for 2010, all of them to be performed live on the stage of the Chicago Cultural Center’s second floor Claudia Cassidy Theater. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., show starts at 7. Wednesday, February 10, 2010 Series: Mr. District Attorney Program: Charity Never Began (original broadcast date unknown) Director: Bob Baron In the late 1930s, Thomas Dewey developed his reputation as a racket busting New York D.A. He went on to become governor of New York, but missed twice in attempts at the presidency. Despite that, radio historians swear that Dewey was the model for Mr. District Attorney, a hugely successful radio dramatization that fearlessly focused on prickly social issues. In this fascinating episode, the AFTRA/SAG Senior Radio Players demonstrate why the program opened with these words: “Mr. District Attorney! Guardian of our fundamental rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness!” The D.A. takes on a pair of unscrupulous operators of a retirement home and the infuriating way they treat their clientele. Series: My Favorite Husband Program: Liz’s Radio Script (originally broadcast March 24, 1950, on the CBS Radio Network) Director: Connie Foster Before there was a Lucy that the world would love on television, Lucille Ball starred in a radio sitcom that was described as “two people who lived together and liked it.” Sounds pretty tame, but Ms. Ball’s huge talent and some outrageous plot lines made the series very laughable. In this episode, Liz enters a radio script writing contest, is selected as one of the finalists, and is allowed to produce and broadcast the “finished product” on a local radio station. Stay tuned for chaos. Tuesday, May 18, 2010 Series: The Mercury Theatre on the Air Program: The War of the Worlds (originally broadcast October 30, 1938, on the CBS Radio Network) Director: Guy Barile This is the radio play that Time Magazine labeled “a textbook example of mass hysteria.” Listeners who were tuned into the program from its beginning knew it was simply a compelling drama adapted from the H. G. Wells story; however, many of those who came in late believed the dramatized news bulletins, interviews with scientists, and announcements from government offices were real—and some who lived in the Grover’s Mill, N.J. area tried to run from what they believed was almost certain extinction by creatures from Mars. The AFTRA/SAG Senior Radio Players are proud to re-create the script that made America love, hate and, most of all, become aware of a huge talent by the name of Orson Welles. PAGE 4
Tuesday, July 20, 2010 Series: Theatre Guild on the Air; also known as The United States Steel Hour Program: The Man Who Came to Dinner (originally broadcast November 17, 1946, on the ABC Radio Network) Director: Parker Gronwold Sheridan Whiteside, the cantankerous but talented writer and radio personality, reluctantly accepts a dinner invitation while on a lecture tour in a small town in Ohio. His thought is to eat and run, but he slips on a patch of ice on the front steps of the Stanley house, damages a leg, and is forced to change his quick-escape plans. It turns out to be a nightmare for the host family as Whiteside takes over the household with a combination of demands, rudeness, and expensive whims. Even after the doctor reveals to Whiteside that he has misread the x-rays and the leg is fine, Whiteside bribes the doctor not to tell anyone of the changed diagnosis, so he can stay on to—in the words of critic Hal Erickson—“stagemanage the lives of everyone around him.” Wednesday, October 6, 2010 — A Double Bill Series: The CBS Radio Workshop Program: The Enormous Radio (originally broadcast May 11, 1956, on the CBS Radio Network) Director: Mercita DeMonk Jim and Irene Wescott could be considered a fortunate married couple: their income is pretty good, they have compatible friends, and they share a passion for symphonic music. They attend concerts, of course, but most of the time they depend on the radio for their music. And when their old receiver finally dies, they reluctantly replace it with a state of the art model that eventually changes their lives. Series: The Gulf Screen Guild Theater Program: The Shop Around the Corner (originally broadcast September 29, 1940, on the CBS Radio Network) Director: Herb Graham Such a complicated tale to convey, and only a half hour to do it—minus more time for the commercials—but in Norman Corwin’s capable hands, not only does it work, it shines! A boy-meets-girl story in which, at first, Klara and Martin can’t stand each other. Little do they know that they genuinely admire each other as anonymous pen pals. If you missed the play, the musical, and the movies that were based on this play, this may need further explaining. You’ll be rewarded with just that when you attend the AFTRA/SAG Senior Radio Players version of this charming story. For now, let’s just say... it shines! Wednesday, December 8, 2010 Series: Easy Aces, The Bickersons, Bob & Ray and a surprise or two Programs: A medley of comedy, singing, dancing and a surprise or two Director: To be determined The AFTRA/SAG Senior Radio Players join the millions who believe that laughter is beneficial for humans, and joyously offer a presentation overflowing with laughs! They have put together a carnival of ha-ha-ha—moments that originated in the old time network radio studios that broadcast a rich brew of comedy and the occasional blooper that proved that actors, announcers and emcees were all too human. As Woody Allen has said: “I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose.”
- Herb Graham
BROADCAST BULLETIN Multi-Media Journalists AFTRA members are beginning to tap their collective strength around the country in response to employers’ efforts to require newspersons to become Multi-Media Journalists. (“MMJs” are also known as “video journalists,’ “backpack journalists,” or “one-man– bands.”) No longer is the daunting issue of MMJs limited to the small markets. Right here in Chicago a few employers have raised the issue of MMJ single crews. In January 2009, the National Broadcast Steering Committee vigorously debated this issue. A BSC National Standards Subcommittee was created to consider the appropriate response to this trend. Chicago Local President Craig Dellimore is a member of this subcommittee. It confirmed the policy that local negotiators must share information about MMJ/new technology/cross-cutting issues that arise in local negotiations with the national director of news/broadcast, as well as with other Locals, and do so as early in the bargaining process as possible. One question that AFTRA and the broadcast professionals its represents are struggling with is whether a reporter can provide the same quality of reporting when the reporter is expected to be editor, photographer and reporter. It is true that advances in technology do simplify certain tasks but technology does not replace an artful eye or how to track down and report a story. This is particularly troubling in an environment where a reduction in ad revenues is causing news staff to be cut. The question is: how will the quality of the news product be affected, a product critical to a well functioning democracy? AFTRA is working to protect the profession and the profession’s product as it confronts this most recent and dramatic demand by some news organizations. As the newsroom continues to change, it’s critical that members have a voice through AFTRA participation in these vital debates over the future of broadcast journalists’ work and the impact changes might have. The best way to assure that AFTRA broadcasters have the most leverage in this evolution of their work is to conduct a national, coordinated strategy across all AFTRA Locals. If you have questions or comments please contact broadcast staff representatives, Ann Woelk or Paula Weinbaum, at (312) 573-8081.
Contract Updates WTTW-TV and AFTRA reached an agreement on a new contract that will run through 2012. Despite the current economic situation, the negotiations were able to achieve a 2 percent increase to wages. The agreement also includes an improvement in severance. However, in light of financial considerations raised by WTTW, AFTRA did agree to flexibility in a few areas for the life of this agreement. WFLD-TV: Earlier this year, AFTRA and WFLD negotiated an experimental agreement for a full-time four-day work week. WLS-AM and FM: AFTRA and Citadel continue to meet and negotiate the terms of a new collective bargaining agreement.
New Broadcaster Members Alex Banegas Randi Belisomo Mike Bloomberg Bruce Buckley Consuella Dana Divine El Pitufo Diane Fong Gonzo Berenice Guzman David Haugh Christopher Koetke Marcus Leshock Erin Mendez Michael G. Michonski Nikki Gilbert Sanchez Monica Schneider Shamara Loni Swain Judy Wang Nicole J. Wilson Gene Wojciechowski
Newsperson Newsperson Sportscaster Newsperson Announcer Announcer Disc Jockey Announcer Announcer Announcer Disc Jockey Actor Newsperson Newsperson Newsperson Disc Jockey Announcer Newsperson Disc Jockey Host Newsperson Newsperson Sportscaster
WNUA-FM WGN-TV Metro/Shadow Metro/Shadow WGCI-FM WGCI/WGRB WNUA-FM WNUA-FM WNUA-FM WNUA-FM WMVP-FM WLS-TV WGN-TV WGN-TV WGN-TV WBBM-FM WJMK-FM WGN-TV WGCI-TV WGCI-FM WGN-TV Metro/Shadow WMVP-AM
AFL-CIO Joins the Fight to Pass the Performance Rights Act On Dec. 1, AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka sent two letters to members of Congress—one to senators, one to representatives—asking them to support the Performance Rights Act, a piece of bipartisan legislation that seeks to correct the fact that the U.S. is the only developed country on the planet that does not recognize the right of performers to be compensated when their music is played on broadcast radio. Trumka writes, “This issue, a basic fight for fairness for working people, is what the Labor Movement was founded on and we are fully committed to victory.” AM and FM music radio stations earn billions every year without compensating the artists and musicians who bring music to life and listeners’ ears to the radio dial. Other radio platforms—satellite radio, Internet radio and cable TV music channels—already pay a performance royalty. AM and FM radio stations that stream their signal on the Internet— same music, same DJs, same ads—also pay a performance royalty for their online use. Additionally, although radio stations around the world pay performance royalties, because the U.S. does not recognize this right for American performers, those monies are never paid to them. The Performance Rights Act will close a loophole in the U.S. Copyright Act by requiring that broadcast radio compensates all artists for playing their music on AM and FM radio stations and will repatriate hundreds of millions of dollars back into the U.S. economy. Under the provisions of the Performance Rights Act, more than three-quarters of music radio stations will pay just $5,000 a year or less a year to clear the rights for all the music they use, while some will pay as little as $100 a year. “AFTRA is a proud affiliate of the AFL-CIO and today we applaud President Trumka and the AFL-CIO’s support for this critical piece of legislation,” said AFTRA President Roberta Reardon. “If passed into law, the Performance Rights Act will vastly improve the lives of many AFTRA members across the country, especially the thousands of artists who either are not celebrity performers or whose antiquated record deals have not sustained them into their elder years. AFTRA members who have spoken out on Capitol Hill about establishing a performance right on terrestrial radio include will.i.am, Sheryl Crow, George Clinton, Bob Bailey, Dan Navarro, Judy Collins, Lyle Lovett, Alice Peacock, Ray Benson, Sam Moore, Martha Reeves of Martha and the Vandellas, Duke Fakir of the Four Tops, Dionne Warwick, Billy Corgan, Sheila E. and many others. Additionally, thousands of AFTRA members have contacted their representatives in Congress in support of the Performance Rights Act in response to the AFTRA activist e-mail alerts sent by the union.
AFTRA Participates in FTC Journalism Conference In December, AFTRA National Director for News and Broadcast Debra Osofsky participated in a panel discussion sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, D.C. Osofsky spoke on a panel of experts focusing on how the Internet has affected journalism at the two-day journalism conference titled, “From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?” In her remarks, Osofsky observed that unregulated media consolidation and costcutting measures negatively affect the news business, deter journalists’ ability to gather and report accurate information, threaten diversity and, ultimately, harm the public interest. In formal written Comments submitted to the FTC,, Osofsky called on the Commission to support public interest standards in broadcasting stating: “Consolidation of media ownership has led media companies to behave in anti-competitive ways, to the detriment of diversity and localism in the news and information available to the general public. AFTRA submits that support for public interest standards in commercial broadcasting, as well as increased support for public broadcasting, is essential to create a media landscape that promotes democratic principles and an informed electorate.” While the explosion of digital media presents almost limitless opportunities for the public to receive information, Osofsky further warned that without meaningful protections for journalists now required to work in both traditional and digital media, the public faces a similar threat to the accuracy of the information it receives. “The proliferation of new media platforms, such as the Internet, when combined with a downturn in the economy, puts tremendous pressure on the way journalists do their jobs, meeting their employers’ demands to produce more news product in a shorter period of time, with fewer resources,” she wrote. “In the most extreme cases, journalists have essentially become ‘one man bands’—conducting interviews, shooting video, gathering audio, editing news packages and performing live broadcasts from the field, with minimal technical support. With the assumption of new technical duties, but a limited time to get news out to the public, the quality of journalism invariably suffers. Reporters do not have the time and resources to check facts and return calls to sources so that the information in their reports is correct and complete. “...Media companies that employ journalists do not provide reporters with the time and resources to provide the kind of in-depth analysis that citizens need in a democracy,” Osofsky said. Osofsky’s written comments also brought to the FTC’s attention the impact media consolidation has had on the spectrum of entertainment and news media covered by AFTRA contracts: “Though the Commission’s inquiry focuses on the crisis facing journalism, it is worth noting that similar considerations of consolidated media ownership come into play in the entertainment arena, where television and radio broadcasters have consolidated, are increasingly competing against themselves and often behave in anticompetitive ways to reduce costs—all at the expense of the public interest.” PAGE 5
Freelance Questions? Answers!
On Monday, October 26 the Kaufherr Members Resource Center hosted the fifth annual SAG Chicago Blood drive, but this year was a bit different. In addition to giving the gift of life, SAG, AFTRA, and Equity members got something back—free flu shots, free medical consultations and even a massage! In the end, there were 15 pints of blood donated, 38 flu shots were given and massage recipients never knew what hit them! Special thanks to Don Towne, director of the Central Region of The Actors Fund, for arranging for the donated flu shots and medical personnel, and to Equity member Eric Wallbruch, a certified massage therapist, for lending a hand. The Actors Fund is a national human services organization that helps professionals in performing arts and entertainment in times of need, crisis or transition. In Chicago, you can reach The Actors Fund at (312) 372-0989 and online at actorsfund.org.
Below: Madeline Fallon donating blood.
Photo: Todd Hissong
My call time for a commercial audition was 1:30 p.m. I actually didn’t get to audition until 2:45 p.m. and didn’t get out of the room until 3:10 p.m. Aren’t I supposed to be paid for this?
A: Yes, if you’re required to stay beyond an hour for your first or second audition. However, if you did not sign out on the commercial audition report (Exhibit E), you will not be paid. So remember always sign out after every audition or you could be losing money. Q: A:
What are the changes I heard about regarding callbacks for commercial auditions?
Under the 2009 Television Commercial Agreements, a performer may be called for a third or fourth audition without payment for the first two hours IF there are no more than three performers called back per role and there are no new performers auditioning for the first time.
I was contacted by a casting service that only handles extras. The casting service offered me a booking but only knew the product. Should I have gone?
A: Nope. First of all, since you’re a union member. you only should accept union work and the ONLY way to know if the job is union is to find out the signatory. The casting agent, talent agent, producer—whoever calls you—has to know the signatory. (“Signatory” is defined as the company that signed the appropriate union agreement and is therefore responsible for payment to the performers.) Once you know the type of work and the signatory, you then simply call the union at (312) 573-8081 so we can check the national database to confirm or deny that your session is covered under a union contract. There’s no getting around this. You are 100 percent responsible for making sure all your work is union work. Q:
A friend of mine just became a union member and was invited to some sort of orientation. I don’t think I was invited to anything like that when I joined so can I come to this one?
ARE YOU AN iActor?
A: Of course—just be sure to RSVP! The New Member Orientation takes around two hours and typically is held on the second Wednesday of the first month of each calendar quarter. You’ll be given a folder filled with a ton of important information, and there’s an open forum afterward so bring any questions you may have. You’ll also get a tour of the KMRC (Kaufherr Members Resource Center), the AFTRA/SAG office and you’ll meet some of the staff and other members. It is well worth your time to attend. The next meeting is on February 10. Please call the office, (312) 573-8081, to attend. Q:
I was told that when you work as an extra in a commercial that you don’t have to pay commission, but that doesn’t sound right. What’s the deal?
iActor 3.0 Online Casting Database Now Simpler and Faster Screen Actors Guild has announced new enhancements to the iActor online casting database. The new features enable actors to create profiles that reflect their talents more accurately than ever. The upgrades also make talent searches more focused and easier, a significant benefit for casting agents, producers, new media developers and others needing to cast their projects. The enhancements are geared toward providing actors with the ability to further personalize their online profiles to better capture their unique attributes that will influence the casting decision. They also improve the functionality of the site by reducing the number of steps needed to perform common tasks. The enhancements include: Profile enhancements • Improves published resumes by providing both PDF and HTML formats • Offers additional options for actor body type, ethnicity and special skills • Adds description fields for “voice quality” and “sound-alikes” to voice-over resume • Adds a new integrated media slideshow • Updates options for gender • Adds the ability to create custom credit types for more control and flexibility Functionality enhancements • Adds drag-and-drop functionality throughout the site for superior ease of use • Allows the ability to include a mini headshot on printed resume • Allows the ability to update business contact numbers within iActor • Combines “Actors to Locate” with iActor search to provide results for all SAG members • Adds the ability to publish multiple resumes to public sites • Changes the way languages are selected; adds options for proficiency and accents or dialects • Allows additional cross-platform interfaces to share data with third-party casting services iActor is Screen Actors Guild’s proprietary online casting database, populated exclusively by SAG members. Launched in 2007, the online resource provides industry professionals with automated Station 12 clearance, detailed actor resumes and multimedia files. It is provided as a free service to all SAG members and is accessible by the industry at no charge. For more information, visit iactor.org or e-mail email@example.com. Need a Little Assistance? Help is waiting for you at the KMRC every Wednesday and Thursday evening from 5 - 9 p.m. Call the office at (312) 573-8081 to schedule an appointment. Also, iActor liaisons are ready to help you at (323) 549-6789 or firstname.lastname@example.org. PAGE 6
A: The deal is the commission is to be paid by the signatory and the additional 10 percent is to be included in your gross compensation. So if you worked as a commercial extra, your check stub should indicate your payment was made at plus 10 percent. A simple example would be if you worked as a commercial extra with no overtime or wardrobe or travel or night premium—nothing more than just a simple eight hour day; you should be paid $323, plus $32.30, for a gross amount of $355.30—with the commission due your agent being $32.30. This payment covers unlimited use of the commercial. There’s also a 13-week rate of $187.50, plus $18.75, for a gross amount of $206.25. That means you would pay your agent a commission of $18.75. We know this can be confusing, so just give the Freelance Department a call at (312) 573-8081 and have your check stub in hand. And please know that we often ask that you either fax or e-mail us a copy. Q:
A guy I went to college with is thinking about making a movie and asked me to be in it. Can I do that?
A: Only if the appropriate SAG agreement has been signed— and there are many available! Your friend should call the union office and explain his project. The receptionist will direct his call to the right staff person to help him. Getting a movie covered is often simple, but the producer has to call the office first before booking any union performers. Anytime you have any questions whatsoever, please call the Chicago AFTRA/ SAG office at (312) 573-8081.
Calendar Monday, February 8 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m.
AFTRA Annual Membership Meeting Social Hour Meeting, Kaufherr Members Resource Center See Page 3 for details
Wednesday, February 10
New Member Meeting, noon
Wednesday, February 10 7 p.m.
AFTRA/SAG Senior Radio Players present Charity Never Began and Liz’s Radio Script (doors open at 6:30 p.m.) Claudia Cassidy Theater, Chicago Cultural Center Randolph at Michigan, second floor
Office & KMRC close at 1 p.m. Office & KMRC Closed, Presidents’ Day
Friday, February 12 Monday, February 15
Monday, February 22
Voiceover Workshop with Norm Woodel 5:30 – 6:30 Social Hour 6:30 – 9:30 Workshop Watch The Activator for more information
KMRC Committee Meeting, noon
Tuesday, February 23
Workshops, Training and Networking at the KMRC
In conjunction with the Chicago AFTRA/SAG Conservatory, the Kaufherr Members Resource Center offers a variety of workshops, seminars and special events. These informative programs are meant for you the member. They might provide you with insight regarding your current and future career path. All events take place in the KMRC, One East Erie, Suite 660 —just down the hall from the Chicago AFTRA/SAG office. Events are announced in The Activator, Chicago’s e-newsletter and on the hotline, (312) 867-3710. To subscribe to The Activator send your name and union ID number to email@example.com with “add me” as the subject.
Networking Nights Beginning on January 28, new KMRC Committee co chair Karen Cole will lead a weekly networking night every Thursday from 6 – 9 p.m.
Voiceover Workshop with Norm Woodel Monday, February 22 5:30-6:30 p.m. Social Hour, 6:30-9:30 p.m. Voiceover Workshop Watch The Activator for more information and registration details.
KMRC Committee – New Co-Chairs Asking for Volunteers and Ideas The KMRC Committee is kicking off 2010 with two new co-chairs, Karen Cole and Michael Joseph Thomas Ward. Congratulations to both! Their role is to lead the committee’s effort to ensure that the KMRC continues to provide the latest in technology and educational services to assist members. Your help is needed to develop and implement training programs that are meaningful and have value to Chicago’s members. The KMRC Committee oversees programs of the center including planning, fundraising, scheduling of activities and teaching of classes. The KMRC also needs individuals willing to learn to use the video and audio equipment, possibly to assist members.
NMS-The Revolution Begins A revolution has begun in the music industry and New Music Seminar is leading the charge. The time of the independent music artist has arrived. This was music to the ears of more than 100 artists, musicians, managers and various independent record label personnel as they crowded into New Music Seminar’s all-day conference, held in Chicago for the first time on October 6. Within the great walls of Chicago’s iconic music venue, Park West, attendees listened to words of wisdom and advice from some leading music industry professionals, including NMS co-founder and CEO of Tommy Boy Entertainment Tom Silverman, NMS Director and CEO/President of Worldwide Entertainment Group Inc. Dave Lory, and keynote speaker and head of Yahoo! Music Michael Spiegleman. “The trends are clear now and the future can finally be foretold. The music business has changed beyond recognition. The old record business is over. For record companies, it’s a bleak picture, but it puts thousands of artists in the strongest position they have ever been to create their own success,” said Silverman. Seminar topics included a brief business history of the music industry, cutting edge of new technology, business regimens, being resourceful and innovative while tapping into the Internet’s capabilities and how to embrace social media as a very important marketing tool. Attendees also were given the New Music Business Guidebook, filled with music business tips and tools. In addition, there were plenty of opportunities for networking and schmoozing. AFTRA (an NMS co-partner) had staff on hand at their exhibit table to answer questions from the attendees. New Music Seminar was founded in 1980 and quickly became the world’s largest music business conference through 1995. After an almost 15-year hiatus, NMS has returned to the forefront, completing successful conferences in New York and Chicago. Next for NMS is the Los Angeles seminar on February 2, 2010. For more information, please visit newmusicseminar.biz. Below: Chicago freelance staffer Jolene Jones (right) at the NMS.
KMRC Committee Meeting Noon, Tuesday, February 23 Do you want to have a role in guaranteeing that the KMRC continues to be a valuable resource for Chicago’s AFTRA and SAG members? Put your ideas and energy to work. Join the Kaufherr Members Resource Center Committee. Whatever your skills or areas of interest might be, your help is needed. There is always much work to do. Think about how you can help. To join the committee or to RSVP for the February 23 meeting, call the AFTRA/SAG office at (312) 573-8081.
Board/Council Actions Board and Council Actions are the property of Union Members whose negotiating interests are often best served by confidentiality. This summary does not reflect sensitive issues or routine activity i.e. approving minutes or receiving reports. Members are welcome to examine full minutes of all meetings at the office during normal business hours. AFTRA Board 4/13/2009 Approved To APPOINT Mercita DeMonk to fill the freelance position vacated by Todd Hissong for the remaining two years of the term. To APPROVE the national ABC Digital Channel (aka D-2) contract and local Shadow Metro contract. AFTRA Board July 15, 2009 Approved To ESTABLISH a sub-committee to explore the reapportionment and streamlining of the Local Board. To ELECT Karen Lockwood to serve in the Freelance category for three years. To APPROVE the WLUP-FM and WKQX-FM collective bargaining agreements. To APPOINT Bernie Tafoya, Mark McCarthy, Greta Pope, Wendy Morgan with alternate: Parker Gronwold to the Nominating Committee. To APPOINT Karen Cole to the Elections Committee. To APPROVE that claims reports submitted to the Local Board span a monthly period, rather than cover the time span from the last meeting. To APPOINT Anton Peters to the Broadcast Steering Committee. To DONATE $250 to the Betty Mitchell Sick and Benefit Fund in memory of Tasha Johnson. To DONATE $250 to the Kaufherr Members Resource Center in memory of John Callaway. AFTRA Board September 22, 2009 Approved To ENACT a payment plan for members joining AFTRA in Chicago as follows: After an initial payment of $415, the balance of the initiation fee is paid in 12 monthly payments of $104 each. In addition, the new member also agrees to pay any dues that come due. To APPROVE the Workers Independent News Service contract. Joint AFTRA Board/SAG Council October 13, 2009 Approved To DONATE $200 to the Betty Mitchell Fund, $200 to the KMRC, and $100 to Sister Paulanne’s Needy Family Fund of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, 1775 Grove Street, Glenview, IL 60025 in memory of Joe Slattery. SAG Only: To KEEP the Chicago Branch initiation fee at its current rate of $1,708.
SAG Council April 27, 2009 Approved To APPOINT Shirley Kelly, Regan Rohde, Alma Washington, Mary Kay Cook, Todd Hissong, with alternate Eileen Parkinson to the Nominating Committee. To APPOINT Bob Baron, Sean Bradley with alternate Ilyssa Fradin to the Elections Committee. SAG Council June 15, 2009 Approved To APPROVE that claims reports submitted to the SAG Council span a monthly period, rather than cover the time span from the last meeting. SAG Council August 24, 2009 Approved To APPROVE specified recommendations to standardize Chicago’s Rules of Procedure with that of other Branches. SAG Council September 21, 2009 Approved To APPOINT Todd Hissong as designated National Executive Committee Member, with John Carter Brown serving a 1st Alternate to the National Executive Committee. To APPOINT Ilyssa Fradin as 1st Alternate National Board Member and 2nd Alternate National Executive Committee Member and Bill Borah as 2nd Alternate National Board Member. SAG Council November 16, 2009 Approved To APPROVE a 500-mile travel waiver for work done under the TV/Theatrical Agreement in the Chicago Branch jurisdiction. (See page 4 for more information.)
AFTRA Only: To REFER the potential National Board vacancy to the Nominating Committee, rather than fill the seat by Local Board vote. Joint AFTRA Board/SAG Council November 16, 2009 Approved To DONATE $1,000 to the Unite Here Hardship Fund. AFTRA Only: To APPROVE the WTTW-TV contract.
IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS and Internet sites Chicago AFTRA/SAG Office: 312/573-8081 Fax: 312/573-0318 800/599-1675 Hotline: 312/867-3710 E Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org AFTRA: AFTRA.com SAG: SAG.org Chicago Singers: aftrasagsingers.com KMRC: kmrcchicago.com AFTRA/SAG Senior Radio Players: seniorradioplayers.com Illinois Film Office Hot Lines 312/814-9605 (casting) 312/814-7155 (crew) SAG Residuals Payment Info Center: 800/205-7716 SAG Young Performers Hot Line: 323/549-6030 SAG P&H questions: 800/777-4013 SAGph.org AFTRA H&R questions: 800/562-4690 AFTRAhr.com SAG/AFTRA Federal Credit Union 800/826-6946 aftrasagcu.org SAG Foundation 323/549-6649 SAGFoundation.org AFTRA Industry Program for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (AIPADA) 800/756-HOPE Equity Hot Line: 312/641-0418
In This Issue SAG Member Meeting features Stars, Producer of Hannah Free
Details — AFTRA Membership Meeting Tuesday, February 8
Broadcast Contract Updates
Freelance Questions? Answers!
KMRC — Workshops, Training and New Co-Chairs
American Federation of Television and Radio Artists/Chicago Local Screen Actors Guild/Chicago Branch One East Erie Suite 650 Chicago, Il 60611
Office: 312/573-8081 Fax: 312/573-0318 800/599-1675 Hotline: 312/867-3710 E Mail: email@example.com
NON - PROFIT U.S. POSTAGE PAID CHICAGO, IL PERMIT NO. 7794
Dated Material Please Expedite
In Remembrance of Joe Slattery
AFTRA/Heller Memorial Foundation
It is difficult for me to compress in a few lines the feelings and thoughts of a man I have held in esteem for more than 50 years. Joe Slattery was a great guy—and I believe that I don’t over-compliment myself in calling him my great and good friend. Joe and I both got into Chicago “show business” roughly 60 years ago; he after a radio career already well started in the South and I fresh out of an Army uniform. Joe became an AFTRA member and I an AFTRA employee. The ’60s were both difficult and challenging days for Chicago. Performers fled to both coasts. The Chicago School of Television was becoming just a footnote in the history of the American entertainment industry. Joe, as so many others, also was tempted, but he stayed and became a most successful commercial performer. And so, too, did the Chicago Local become successful. We expanded and organized the emerging FMs, as well as stations in the Milwaukee area, Northwest Indiana, Peoria in downstate Illinois, and elsewhere. Joe was most active and meaningful in these efforts. He was on the AFTRA board and SAG council, and he was elected president of both the Chicago Local and of the SAG Branch, trustee on the H&R board, and, of course, AFTRA national president. I once asked him, “Joe, as busy and sought after a performer as you are, how can you spare so much time to the unions?” He answered without hesitation. “It’s payback. I owe much of my success to these unions.” That was Joe. Loyal and steadfast to his family, his faith, his friends, his associates and his unions, he was deserving of his success in his profession and highly respected by his colleagues, many of whom rightly considered him primus inter pares, first among his equals. When he was no longer able to enjoy his hobbies of painting or photography, he expressed himself in poetry. And his voice never failed… - Herbert H. Neuer
The AFTRA/Heller Memorial Foundation was established to honor the key founder of the union, George Heller, and now memorializes him as well as many other AFTRA members and executives who cared about and contributed to the union. Scholarships are offered by the Foundation to AFTRAns and their dependents for academic study in any field, including broadcast, journalism and labor relations, or for professional training in the arts. Twelve to 15 scholarships, not subject to renewal, are currently awarded up to a maximum of $2,500 each and are funded entirely by tax deductible contributions to the AFTRA/Heller Memorial Foundation. The deadline for submission is May 1, 2010. For more information, including application guidelines and eligibility requirements, go to AFTRA.com.
Chicago Federation of Labor Applications for the 2010 William A. Lee Memorial Scholarship offered by the Chicago Federation of Labor are available at chicagolabor.org. Applications must be postmarked by March 1, 2010. The CFL offers five academic-based and five randomdrawing scholarships, $2,000 each, to students graduating from a Chicago or suburban-area high school. Students may only apply in one of the two categories. To be eligible, either the student or a parent must be a member of a local union affiliated with the CFL. The scholarship awards are named after Lee, who served as president of the Chicago Federation of Labor for 38 years. He devoted more than 60 years to organized labor and community service. Applications and eligibility are available at chicagolabor.org.
Screen Actors Guild Foundation Dales Scholarship Celebrating its 25th anniversary of service, the Screen Actors Guild Foundation is once again happy to announce availability of applications for the John L. Dales Scholarship. The John L. Dales Scholarship Fund has helped qualified Guild members and their children reach their educational potential by providing more than $6 million in scholarships for study at accredited institutions of higher learning. Two types of scholarships are available. Standard scholarships benefit eligible members and children of eligible members for college education. Transitional scholarships are designed to assist SAG members seeking further education to change careers. Dales Scholarships are awarded specifically toward education at accredited and licensed universities, colleges, junior colleges, adult specialty schools or trade/vocational schools. Printable applications, as well as further details including eligibility guidelines, are currently available at sagfoundation.org. Submissions must be postmarked no later than March 15, 2010, to qualify.
Herb Neuer retired in December 1989 after 33 years as executive secretary (now called executive director) of Chicago AFTRA/SAG and AFTRA regional director for a 16-state area.
Do you read the Activator? What breaking news did you miss? Did you win free tickets to Will Clinger’s one man show—Dr. Harlon’s Key to Better Living—or did you get to a Bull’s game for half price? How about the events at the KMRC. Did you miss out on any of the trainings and workshops? Print newsletters are great, but you can’t beat e-mail for quick communication. Stay informed. Subscribe to The Activator, the Chicago AFTRA/SAG e-newsletter. To add your name to the official Chicago e-mail list (union business only and the list will not be shared), send your name and union ID number to firstname.lastname@example.org with ”add me” as the subject. Thought you were on the list but haven’t seen a copy lately? When sending each issue there are always addresses returned as undeliverable. After three returns, these addresses are removed. If you’ve changed your e-mail address or it’s been deleted in error, please re-subscribe today!