How to Use Backstage to Join SAG-AFTRA

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A career goal for many actors, joining SAG-AFTRA takes a bit of grit and determination—and help from Backstage. Considering that union membership is typically granted once you can prove you’re a working actor, you’ve come to the right place! As the most trusted source and top casting platform for acting jobs, Backstage has everything you need to land the gigs that can make you SAG-AFTRA-eligible.

With over 6,000 casting notices, there’s something for everyone. Here’s how Backstage can help you get that union card.

Make sure your Backstage profile is complete and updated.
If the early bird gets the worm, then the working actor with a professional Backstage profile gets the gig. Not only will this allow you to quickly and easily apply for gigs, but it will help you stand out to casting directors and industry professionals when they’re browsing Backstage for talent. 

To better your chances of standing out as a professional working actor, make sure your headshots reflect your current age and look, and are professional. Ensure your resume is up-to-date (and honest!), and self-tapes or relevant media is uploaded properly. Contact info is a must. 

Get background work. 
Not only is doing background/extra work a great way to learn what it’s really like on set (and make some money), it can also lead to SAG-AFTRA eligibility. Luckily, Backstage has countless background casting notices

Sometimes, productions will grant a nonunion actor a union voucher for a day of background work (maybe there are only a few actors in that scene, you performed a role that normally would’ve gone to a union actor, etc.).Not only are you getting paid, but once you have three union paystubs that are of union scale, you can then be submitted for union eligibility. Win-win!

Apply for union roles and get a Taft-Hartley. 
Just because you’re not in the union doesn’t mean you can’t apply for SAG-AFTRA roles. Backstage has union casting notices that can actually help grant you membership. The Taft-Hartley act basically says a nonunion actor’s skills are essential to this union production. Therefore, if you get cast in a SAG-AFTRA role, producers fill out a Taft-Hartley report for you to become SAG-AFTRA-eligible. You then have 30 days to work (union or not) before becoming a must-join. Sweet! 

Keep up with casting news. 
Keeping up with Backstage’s casting news is essential for working actors looking to join SAG-AFTRA. You can keep tabs on what films are in production, what the biggest industry players are working on, and more. With Backstage’s help—well, and the union fees—you’ll be a SAG-AFTRA member in no time. 

Ready to apply for your next acting job? Browse Backstage’s casting notices