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Spotlight

To Join or Not To Join? The New Actor's Dilemma

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Anyone who wants to be a serious actor in this town will need to join that benevolent behemoth known as the Screen Actors Guild. A fractious and sprawling organization made up of 118,000 members, SAG includes everyone from the Tom Cruises and Michelle Pfeiffers of the world to bit players who have worked a mere handful of jobs as extras.

Newcomers may be startled to realize that 70 percent of the Guild's members earn less than $7,500 a year as actors—which proves that being a union member does not guarantee you work. When you join, you will find yourself in a large and competitive talent pool where you will struggle to find jobs.

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