I had mentioned before that I’m running as a convention delegate candidate for Unite For Strength in the SAG-AFTRA election. When I was asked first if I’d like to run, I wondered how involved I could really get because I’m not running for the board but for a convention delegate. But I’ve been able to be more involved than I thought and I’m so happy about that!
I’ve been pretty active on social media getting the word out that I’m running and who else is on the slate I’m running with. If you are SAG-AFTRA and haven’t voted yet, you can check out our handy voter guides and see who else is running with me!
I’ve gotten to know so many actors who have been very involved with the union for years, even before the unions had merged. Some of these actors are actors that I have watched on TV or in movies for years, and it’s makes me smile now that I can consider them my peers.
I’ve learned so much about the union that I was uninformed about in the past. I’m a bit embarrassed about how uninvolved I’ve been in the past, but I’m hoping to make up for that now. I have friends who have come to me with issues that they have encountered on sets or auditions in the past. I’ve been able to bring those up to current board members who are running for their seat again to find out what we can do to fix those problems. And I’ve learned that as actors, we do have more power than I thought before.
I have met people who are running on the other slate. Online, there are many nasty people. There are people online claiming that I (and my slate) are responsible for actors not making a living and that few actors are eligible for healthcare (the healthcare eligibility has gone up since the merger, but it’s still a small percentage of actors who make enough to qualify). But those running on the other slate who I’ve met in person have been for the most part very nice and friendly people. Although they have very different ideas about what is most important for us to focus on as a union, we have been able to have some polite and honest debates. I’ve brought to them some of the arguments or complaints that people have said online about why they won’t vote for me and the people from the other slate have pretty much said that all those reasons are either not the fault of the slate or something that no slate could fix anyway.
I’ve met lots of actors who either haven’t voted yet or didn’t realize that there was an election going on while I have been campaigning outside of union events. The elections typically have a turnout of about 20%, and that is just sad to me. More actors should care about their union and who is representing them. If you are a SAG-AFTRA actor and have not voted yet, do it now! You need to have you ballot received by the 20th, so we recommend mailing them today or tomorrow to get here in time!
Whether or not I win my seat, I’m so grateful that I’ve been a part of this election process. It has motivated me so much and has made me realize that even if I’m not elected there is so much more that I can do with the union to make sure that my voice is heard. I’ve learned so much about the union in general and have heard what other actors are concerned about regarding the union and the acting industry in general. And I’ve been able to hang out with old friends and make some new ones along the way.
Please remember to vote if you are a SAG-AFTRA actor and get your ballot in the mail today!