It feels like it’s been a while since I’ve had a meeting with the Union Working group, but I think that’s because things have been so busy for me lately! But at the same time, it doesn’t feel like it’s been that long because I’ve seen so many of the other group members at other events (both social and union related). I feel so connected to this group and I love that.
But since the group hadn’t had an official meeting in a few months, I was so glad that we had a meeting this week. There have been so many things that I have learned about the union that I wanted to connect to my knowledge that I get in the group and I was so antsy to see what I was going to learn this time. And because I love the group so much, I am always trying to get more people involved. I wish that there was a group like this when I joined the union because I was scared to be involved when I first joined. But a group like this is a great way to ease into getting involved in union issues.
I invited so many actor friends to go to the meeting and a bunch of them were hoping to make it. I totally understand how tough it can be to schedule around day jobs to attend events, so I also tried to let people know that we try to live stream as much of the meeting as we could in the Facebook group. But I was so excited when my friend Sarah said she could make it! Sarah and I were in the UCB class together and I don’t think we had seen each other in person since class! And she’s going to be joining the union soon so I thought it would be perfect for her to attend the meeting and hopefully get more involved in the group.
Before going to the meeting, my friend (who is one of the core members of the group) asked me if I could help out a bit more at the meeting. I’m always happy to help and he needed me to run the live stream on Facebook for the group. I figured it was a great opportunity to use my newish tripod and iPad stand and I could live stream from my iPad. It would be easier than doing it on my phone (and would keep my phone free for me to take notes). So I spent a lot of the meeting making sure that the live stream was working (we had some WiFi hotspot issues), but it still allowed me to pay attention to what was happening.
This meeting was really interesting for me. With the special guests we had, a lot of the discussion was about influencers and how that affects union work. This was almost the other side of the event I was at last week where it was mainly influencers learning about the union. This time, the union members were learning about influencers.
We also had a guest who discussed how to maximize using Instagram. I’m not the best at Instagram and I’ll admit that I don’t always have the prettiest photos up there. It’s a wide variety of photos and that’s fine if I want it to be that way. But there is a better way to represent my life on social media that could benefit me as an actor (and probably as a blogger too) and I’m going to be more aware of that from now on. I’m not going to make my social media only show the best things of my life because I do believe in staying honest. But I do want to make it look more like the professional that I feel I am in my career. The guest really gave me a lot to think about and I love walking away from our meetings with a little bit of homework so I stay involved and active.
Besides all the amazing guests we had at the meeting, the leaders of Union Working shared this incredible video that they created. While Union Working has been about SAG-AFTRA a lot, we want to be pro-union for all unions. The group is supportive of all unions and we want to make sure that unions are protected. In this political climate, many politicians are anti-union and trying to encourage workers not to unionize. But we know that as a group we are stronger. Unions protect workers and allow us to have collective bargaining to make sure that everyone benefits from contracts. I’m so excited that Union Working is expanding their reach and I can’t wait to see what unions we are able to partner up with.
I know I’ve said this before, but if you are an actor in Los Angeles I highly encourage you all to check the Union Working website, social media, and hopefully attend a meeting. You can also check out the YouTube channel for more videos. If you are an actor somewhere else in the country, still check out the group and maybe you can start a chapter of Union Working where you are. And if you are a member of a union and want to connect with Union Working, reach out on their website and social media. We are all working together to better unions for everyone in all industries.