Unions, Strikes, and Working In the Hinterlands

I've been seeing some tweets from the voice actors I follow with the #performancematters hashtag, about the deal between SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP. As a newly-minted non-union voice actor working in the exceptionally tiny market of Winnipeg, I've got concerns about this.

First, let me express my empathy with my union-member brethren and sistren. I get it, job security and benefits are extremely important, and residuals are key to making VO a viable career and not just a sideline gig.

What I worry about is that in some way any deal that is cemented between the industry and the union will shut out non-unionized actors from any kind of lucrative work.

As I said before, I live and work in a tiny market and I'm still stumbling my way through figuring out the industry as a whole, and finding work specifically. To that end, I've even gone the P2P route and subscribed to the much-maligned voices.com service (more on that in another post, perhaps). Has the work been streaming in? No, it's pretty few and far between at this point. Do I hope it'll pick up? Absolutely. Do I worry that a deal that will make SAG-AFTRA happy will effectively shut me out of the industry? I'd be lying if I said it wasn't on my mind.

I hope, during the negotiations between the union and industry players, that the established talent will remember us little guys and gals and the struggles involved in trying to get a career off the ground. Hopefully, any deal that's made will make the industry better for everyone, non-union talent included.

In the meantime, I'll just keep on keeping on.