If you attended last night’s APP-NW Actors Happy Hour, you heard an update from SAG-AFTRA board member Anita Barry on the union’s decision to close its Portland office and terminate Executive Director Nathaniel Applefield.
So, why should non-union actors care, you may ask, about the closure of Portland’s SAG-AFTRA’s office? This closure effects every actor in our market, whether you’re in the union or not. SAG-AFTRA sets the standard in our industry for wages and working conditions on every set – union or non. Even “non-signatory” productions look to the standards set by the union when making decisions as to length of shoot days, safety, and treatment of actors. Reducing SAG-AFTRA’s presence in our market doesn’t help our mission to raise the bar of professionalism in our industry; rather, it removes a vital component in that effort.
In addition, Executive Director Nathaniel Applefield has played a major role in growing Oregon’s industry during the two years he’s held his position. You may not have met him, but you’ve seen him at industry events – lobbying for our film incentives at the capitol, rallying the troops at OMPA events, and visiting the sets of large productions such as Grimm, Portlandia, and Leverage. Oregon’s film and TV industry is losing one of its staunchest advocates with the elimination of Nathaniel’s position.
Actors in Portland, union or non, aren’t going to take this decision lying down. Tomorrow, Wednesday May 22nd, Portland’s SAG-AFTRA local is holding a general membership meeting at
3645 SE 32nd Ave
Portland, OR 97202 (Click here for a map!)
SAG-AFTRA members will be meeting to discuss the closure at 7:00 PM.
The proceedings will be open to “stakeholders” (that means everyone effected by this closure) at 8:45 PM.
The Alliance of Professional Performers NW is encouraging every actor in our region to attend this meeting; if you’re a SAG-AFTRA member go and make your voice heard at 7:00. If you’re not in the union but understand how vital the union is in upholding professional standards in our industry, attend the “Stakeholders” meeting at 8:45.
Whether you can attend the meeting or not, we’re also encouraging everyone to “Like” Occupy Portland SAG-AFTRA on Facebook to stay up-to-date with news on the Portland local’s efforts to keep a strong union presence in our region. This decision effects every actor in Portland, and fight is far from done.