1) You can get into SAG by doing Extra jobs on Union projects.
- Get on a SAG shoot to get the 3 required SAG vouchers. You can find Union Extra work on sites such as Cast Extras, Talent Pages, Actors.net, Extra Access or Central Casting.
- You can get your 3 vouchers by working on different Union projects or by working 3 days on one project. If the protect is Union don’t forget to ask the A.D. (Assistant Director) or P.A. (Production Assistant) on each SAG shoot if you can get a SAG voucher. The voucher allows you to get the union pay rate and is proof of your work as a principal extra on a SAG shoot. They may forget or not give you a voucher, just be persistent but never be a pain.
- Apply to SAG. Once you have your vouchers, submit your application and 3 pay stubs to the Screen Actors Guild. SAG verifies your employment as a principal on a SAG production and sends you a letter of eligibility.
- Pay your dues. SAG mails your card to you within 2-4 weeks of payment.
2) Get a SAG card through other unions.
- Join ACTRA, AEA, AFTRA, AGMA or AGVA. Get a principal role with any of these SAG affiliated union productions and you are eligible for a SAG card.
- Apply to SAG. Send them your membership information and proof of a principal role. If you are not sure about your SAG eligibility, check it at www.SAG.org.
- Pay your dues and get your card. If you are SAG eligible, they will send you an acceptance letter. Then pay your dues, get your card and enjoy your new status.
3) Get a SAG card under the Taft-Hartley Act.
- Seek out smaller SAG productions and get hired by a company that will “Taft-Hartley” you into SAG. Land a principal role as a non-union actor on a union shoot and after 15 days you are eligible for a SAG card. The production company has to do some paperwork and pay fees on your behalf to SAG, but if you can get it, this is a nice way to get into SAG.
- Await your acceptance letter. Since the production company has told SAG that you are eligible, your letter will come once they have processed the paper work. Like all other routes, you need to pay your first annual dues before you get your card.