Were you at Indent Studios on Friday, September 28?
If you were, you saw the public introduction of the Alliance of Professional Performers NW to nearly 300 people working in Oregon’s film and TV industry – and members of the Oregon Legislature as well as state Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian.
Not only were APP-NW members on hand to staff the table our organization shared with Portland’s SAG-AFTRA local, but the local’s Executive Director Nathaniel Applefield had a few things to say about the movement from the stage:
“We must, as a community, protect each other and foster our industry’s growth in a sustainable and professional way.
Unlike producers and crew members, I know that many of you walk onto set feeling mostly like an outsider. For one, or three, or even 10 days, you focus on bringing the acting. As you should. And it’s difficult to speak up in that situation if you need something, like a chair – it’s hard to be alone.
As performers, you have such amazing power, yet you are rarely in a position to feel empowered. Let me tell you, there is not a grip, or a gaffer, or a camera technician, or even a producer in this industry that makes a dime – if it were not for YOU, in front of the camera or on the mic.
Some have said that Portland could be “Hollywood North”. I don’t think that’s exactly right. We will be better than “Hollywood North”. Portland isn’t an attractive place to film a project because we do it for less; our market is an attractive place to film because WE DO IT BETTER.
Over the past year, a new movement of performers has been developing – bringing hundreds of both non-union and union performers together to talk about our work, and the basic standards that professionals deserve in the workplace. This organization is called the Alliance of Professional Performers, and it is a movement committed to improving the level of professionalism within our industry and protecting performers through the establishment of workplace standards.
What standards, you might ask? Well, simple things, like… you deserve regular and timely meal breaks. Like… you deserve a secure place to rest and get shelter from the elements. These are not extravagant demands meant to scare our employers. On the contrary, these things are simply what professional actors need in order to give their best work.
We don’t want to engage in a race to the bottom of working conditions and wages. No! We want to engage in a race to the top of professionalism. So we stand together – as an alliance – to elevate our careers, our industry, and our work.”
Now that we’ve “gone public” it’s time to start spreading the word! If you picked up some of our bi-fold information cards at the SAG-AFTRA and APP-NW table Friday night, be sure to pass them along to the actors you meet at auditions, on set, or wherever you encounter them. Encourage people to visit the web site and find out more about the movement! We’ll be announcing our next big membership meeting in the coming weeks – be sure to keep an eye on the “News” section of APP-NW.org for all the details.