SAG-AFTRA Conservatory (or Feeling Like I’m Back In College)

This weekend was the SAG-AFTRA Conservatory intensive weekend. Throughout the year, the Conservatory hold various events. But during the intensive weekend, you can attend up to 9 events in a weekend.

This was my first year being part of the Conservatory. And due to my crazy schedule, the intensive weekend was the first thing I had been able to attend.

Out of 9 available class times, I went to 3 (1 on Saturday and 2 on Sunday).

Saturday was a panel of casting directors. This class was very reminiscent of events that I used to go to at The Actors’ Network. First, the moderator asked the panel some questions, then it was a Q&A open to the audience. Most of the questions were goo. There were a couple of beginner questions, but nothing too amateur (all attendees were members of the union after all). The only part of the panel I didn’t really like was when the casting directors said that to get seen for some of the smaller parts (like the 1 or 2 line parts), you have to do one of the paid workshops that they do. I’ve already mentioned my opinion on workshops, so I won’t repeat that.

First for me on Sunday was a class to help us find our “type”. For you non-actors reading this, it means what type of characters that others (preferably strangers) can imagine us playing by just looking at us. There were 12 people who took notes on my type. When I got my notes back, most of them said similar things. People see me playing a working class or middle class character. Possibly the funny best friend of the lead. And I look friendly, fun, and kind. These were things I already knew about my type, but it’s always good to hear what new people have to think about my look.

My last class was a panel of showrunners. I got to sit with a bunch of my friends in this class (which always makes things more fun for me). I loved hearing from these producers/writers about what their life is like working for their shows. This is not something I get to hear about very often, and it was a nice lesson on what their jobs are on set.

All in all, it was a pretty full weekend for me. I took a lot of notes (and still need to go and organize them!) and learned many new things. I still need to reapply for the Conservatory for the upcoming year, but I really am going to try to make it to more of the regular classes. I pay for it, so I should take advantage of it!

Leave a Reply