Nowadays, the idea of acting in a film or television show as a job that starts and ends with one set release date is rare. More often than not, actors take up acting as their full-time careers. Today, however, the prospect of being an actor can be daunting for students with no professional experience or actors who have been jobless for some time. In this article, we will go over the benefits of being an actor union.
The major benefit of being in a union are health insurance, pension programs, and overall financial assistance. Health insurance is given to actors after completing all the necessary requirements for membership. These requirements include the ability to provide proof of continuous employment in the entertainment industry, good moral character, and three years of acting experience.
There are two types of pension plans offered by unions in the pension programs. The first one is a defined benefit plan that guarantees periodic payments to the participant. The second is a defined contribution plan based on a set formula for investment returns and, therefore, does not guarantee regular payments. Either way, members are entitled to receive the same or similar benefits in active membership as they would have received under the defined benefit plan.
There is also a savings plan, which is a form of a retirement account and is available for any current or former member of a union. Any individual who has actively been in the union for thirty years or more can contribute up to $11,000 annually to their respective union’s coffers. This money can be invested in the union’s pension plan, an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), or U.S.-domiciled mutual funds. The money is deposited into one’s personal account and disbursed on a certain date each year. Depending on the member’s needs, there are many different options to choose from.
The injury benefits consist of different financial aid levels for members involved in accidents that have been pre-approved by their respective unions. There is a list of pre-approved injuries, including accidents sustained on set, accidents sustained during travel, and medical expenses related to the accident. This type of insurance is beneficial to the individual, as it provides them with an easy way to obtain funds for injuries sustained during work.
Actor unions provide many rights that an actor is legally protected under. This includes the freedom and right to negotiate one’s own salaries, working conditions, and services. Also, a positive aspect of being a member of a union is that if you have been blacklisted from work, this will not affect you as long as you are a member in good standing.
Being an actor can be a very difficult career, and a way to ease this is to have professional development as well as encouragement from peers and other fellow members in the union. The union provides many ways of encouraging members through its programs, such as seminars, lectures, workshops, educational programs, and other methods of advancing one’s performance in the entertainment industry. Also, the union often subsidizes acting classes, where members can participate in classes free of charge.
Working near and becoming friends with other actors is an important aspect of being in a union and having role models to follow. For example, being in a union, you can visit studios and meet your peers. This improves the atmosphere for any actor because it makes them feel more at ease and gives them an opportunity to establish good relationships with their fellow members.
In a union, you can gain easy access to get an agent or casting director interested in hiring you. Moreover, your union’s newsletter will provide you with all the necessary information and keep you up-to-date on what is happening in the entertainment industry.
In conclusion, the positive benefits of unions can greatly outweigh any negative aspects. Unions are beneficial because they provide various services and opportunities for actors, such as health insurance, intensive training programs, etc. An actor can receive more than what a production company would offer them by becoming a union member and having their interests in mind at all times.