Making the Most of the SAG-AFTRA Strike: A Guide for Actors

Since July 14, 2023, the American actors’ union Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) has been on strike over an ongoing labor dispute with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Negotiations. You can read the details HERE and see an update below.

While not working in the business, it’s easy to become lazy. If you want to keep your wits and your chops, you should make the most of the strike.

The SAG-AFTRA strike is a pivotal moment in the entertainment industry. It represents the collective voice of thousands of artists seeking fair compensation and safer working conditions. While this period can be stressful for actors due to the uncertainty of work and income, it’s also an opportunity to invest in personal growth, network, and explore alternative avenues of creativity and revenue.

Here are some suggestions for actors on how to navigate and make the most of this time:

Personal Development and Skill Enhancement

Take a Class: Use this time to enroll in an acting workshop, a dance class, or even learn a new language. Enhancing your skills not only makes you a more versatile actor but also keeps you engaged and motivated.

Voice Training: Voice is a powerful tool for an actor. Consider taking voice lessons or joining a choir to explore different dimensions of your vocal range.

Physical Fitness: Staying in shape is vital for performance and mental health. Explore different forms of exercise, from yoga to martial arts, to keep yourself fit and agile.

Networking and Building Relationships

Attend Industry Events: Even during a strike, there will be seminars, workshops, and networking events. Attend these to meet industry professionals and fellow actors. You can even join the picket lines where I’m told sometimes donated food is available.

Start a Discussion Group: Create or join a discussion group with fellow actors to talk about the industry, share experiences, and brainstorm on future projects.

Engage on Social Media: Use platforms like X (formerly known as Twitter), Instagram, and LinkedIn to share your thoughts on the strike, connect with peers, and stay updated on industry news.

Exploring Alternative Avenues

Theater: While film and TV might be at a standstill, the world of theatre is vast and offers numerous opportunities. Consider auditioning for plays or even starting a community theatre group.

Voice-Over Work: With the ever-growing popularity of podcasts, audiobooks, and animation, there’s an increasing demand for talented voice artists. Make sure that any voice-over endeavors you pursue during the strike are not connected to SAG-AFTRA.

Writing and Directing: If you’ve ever had a story to tell, now might be the time to write that script or short film. You could even try your hand at directing.

Financial Planning

Diversify Income Streams: Consider alternative ways to earn, such as teaching acting classes, starting a YouTube channel, or even venturing into a different field temporarily.

Budgeting: With uncertain income, it’s crucial to budget wisely. Consider seeking advice from a financial planner or using budgeting apps.

Support Groups: Join or create support groups where actors can share resources, job opportunities, and even financial advice during these testing times.

Advocacy and Involvement

Stay Updated: Stay informed about the strike’s progress by attending union gatherings and actively participating in discussions.

Advocate for the Cause: Utilize your platform to increase awareness about the strike’s underlying reasons. The more individuals comprehend the issues, the more powerful our collective voice becomes.

Contribute as a Volunteer: Contemplate volunteering for the union or affiliated organizations as a means of giving back and remaining engaged.

Personal Well-being

Mental Health: Times of uncertainty can take a toll on mental health. Engage in activities that relax you, be it meditation, reading, or even therapy.

Stay Positive: Surround yourself with positive influences. Whether it’s through motivational books, uplifting music, or supportive friends, keep a positive mindset.

Take a Break: Sometimes, it’s okay to take a step back. Consider traveling, pursuing a hobby, or just spending quality time with loved ones.


Read the SAG-AFTRA Members in Solidarity Open Letter

News Update from SAG-AFTRA on October 29, 2023

Over the course of the weekend, we have discussed all open proposals, including AI, with the AMPTP.

Both parties will be working independently Monday and re-engage on scheduling at the end of the day.

Join us and flood picket lines in the morning. Make your voices heard.

In solidarity and gratitude,

Your TV/Theatrical Negotiating Committee


News Update from SAG-AFTRA on October 27, 2023

Dear Member,

We completed a full and productive day working internally and will continue into the weekend.

We thank you for the incredible solidarity and support you have shown on the pickets and across the country all week long.

In solidarity and gratitude,

Your TV/Theatrical Negotiating Committee


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