I have a decision to make. Do I become an Actra Apprentice or stay a Non-Union actor? I’m not sure what to do. I am hesitant because I feel my Resume isn’t strong enough to compete in the Union world of Film & TV. Mmmmm….What to do?!?
ACTRA and Equity If you are an ACTRA Apprentice you are not allowed to do any non-union films. You can, however, still do non-union theatre productions. If you are a full ACTRA member, you are not allowed to do any non-union films AND any non-union theatre. If you are offered a role in a play you must contact your local EQUITY branch office and ask about joining. If you are an Equity Apprentice, you are still allowed to do any non-union projects you want, film or theatre. Equity does not yet consider you a professional at this stage and so neither will ACTRA. If you are a full Equity member, you are not allowed to do any non-union films. If you are offered a role in a film you must contact your local ACTRA branch office and ask about joining.
I decided to do an online search and found this↓. It was in respond to joining SAG (the american version of Actra). I did a bit of tweeking and inserts so it related to Actra (Changes in Bold).
There are many, many NON union projects out there that Union actors can’t audition for (Bullet for Adolf). If you are non-union, these are the projects that you have a better chance of landing therefore gaining experience, credits for your resume and material for your reel, all of which you need. You can still audition for some union parts. If they like you, all you need to do is get a permit. If you are an Apprentice, then you can ONLY audition for union parts. Then the number of potential auditions decreases plus you are up against not just talented actors (there are plenty of talented non-union actors) but these actors are the ones rep’d by good agencies and most of the time the good auditions, which are always union, go to the bigger agencies or more well-known actors. In my opinion, you should only join Actra when you HAVE to. Ride the wave as long as you can and keep your options open. I hear all the time that once actors become Actra they find themselves with less auditions and they are offered less parts. Of course ultimately you do want to be Actra but there is plenty of time for that down the line. Again – that’s only my opinion. -Jeremy
Still thinking about this. What’s your opinion/thoughts. Help me out.