SAG and Joining a Guild

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Buckner/Variety/REX Shutterstock (5490254a)
Screen Actors Guild Awards statue
22nd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards Nominations, Los Angeles, America – 09 Dec 2015

SAG and Joining a Guild

Labor unions emerged as a way for employees to leverage their power over a company to demand fair and equal work agreements. From pay to allowable hours of work, groups like this can be found in virtually every industry. That being said, nowhere are they more prevalent than within the arts.

 

Screen Actors Guild (SAG)

Most commonly referred to as SAG, the Screen Actors Guild is a labor union founded in 1933 as a way to protect actors from the exploitation they faced regularly at the hands of the major movie studios of the time period. Including no limits on work hours and contracts that gave these studios full control of the performers’ public and personal lives, the union was a huge success, being supported by virtually all major actors of the time, including Humphrey Bogart and James Cagney.

 

Joining

Almost every aspect of the performing arts has guilds. Because it is a collection of professionals that protect one another, there are rules in place to verify that those applying are, indeed, what they say to be. To join SAG specifically, one of two conditions must be met. The first is that you have received work as a background actor for three days under a position covered by a SAG-AFTRA collective bargaining agreement. The second option is you having been a paid-up member of an affiliated performers’ union for a period of one year and have been paid at least once as a principal performer. From there, it’s a matter of providing the proper documentation and paying your dues once accepted.

While this is a fantastic opportunity, it does come with the downside that you can only work on SAG-approved projects after you join, something that could potentially limit your career options. In the end, it’s a decision that isn’t right for everyone but may be perfect for you.

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Summer Haircare

Summer HaircareCurly or straight, thick or thin, blonde or brunette, caring for your hair this summer is the same regardless of the genes you’re rocking.

Time to Trim

At the outset of summer, go in for a trim. No doubt the last time you had your hair cut was a while ago, meaning split ends and a flat style are sure to plague you unless you opt for a change. This is especially important since the bright days will only highlight any weaknesses. A new cut will take those away and give you a fresh palette to work with.

Careful with Chlorine

To keep our pools from filling up with dangerous bacteria, chlorine is used. Unfortunately for your hair, this abrasive chemical not only strips the pool of dangerous microbes but strips your hair of the oils that give it a healthy shine. Some blondes may even find themselves going green. The ocean isn’t any more forgiving either. The excess salt draws moisture out of your strands, leaving them limp and unappealing.

The simple way to protect your tresses before swimming in a pool or in the ocean, apply a leave-in conditioner or drench it before going for the dip. This will saturate the hair cells, reducing how many chemicals or saltwater they absorb. After swimming, be sure to wash your hair and a nearby shower or with a spray bottle filled with fresh water.

Not So Hot

While heating tools, like curling irons and flat irons, help you achieve that certain look morning-of, it’s important to give your hair a break. Already scorched under the summer sun, the extra heat damages your hair, leading to unwanted split ends and frizz. Instead, wash your hair at night and put it up in a bun or braid. In the morning, you’ll have the curls and waves that you can then set with a touch of hairspray.

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Summer Sun Skin Care

Summer Sun Skin CareThough it provides us with ample amounts of vitamin D and decorates our skin with beautiful, natural tans, the sun can also be a negative force. Too much wrinkles the skin prematurely and unintended burns can lead to skin cancer later in life. With the right steps, though, you can avoid such bad side effects.

Face Time

Even if you’re only outside long enough to get to work and make it home, your face is still hit by the rays of the sun. Because hats are no longer fashion forward, it’s best to invest in sunscreens with adequate SPF. The shorter your time in the sun, the smaller the SPF rating you’ll need. For those that wear make-up, look for concealers and foundations with built-in sunscreen to protect your face for a protective look that avoids appearing greasy.

Blocking Rays

For the rest of the body, invest in breathable materials, such as cotton, if you work out in the sun. Though it might be uncomfortable, the material will protect you from direct UV damage. Should the material be translucent or you wear as little material as possible due to the temperature, sunscreen is your best friend. If you want a slight tan, go for a lower number. As for when to apply it, slather it on whenever you feel like the previous layer is beginning to wear off.

Drink Water

Never underestimate the sheer importance of getting enough water in these hot summer months. With the increased heat, your body will be sweating more than normal as a way to regulate your internal temperature, resulting in increased water loss when compared to the winter months. Apart from helping the body stay you cool, remaining hydrated keeps the skin looking full and fit with that healthy summer glow.

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Beach-Ready Beauty

Beach-Ready BeautyJust because you’ll be hitting the waves this summer doesn’t mean you’ll be forced to do so without your signature face. Check out these awesome options for a long lasting look this summer.

Fixed Foundation

MAC is a well-known name in the makeup world. Covering pretty much every type of makeup, one of their top options this summer is the Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation. Free of oil and useable as both a foundation and a concealer, it’s a great option for a more permanent base that will also keep you looking cool without looking greasy.

Must-Keep Mascara

Of all the aspects of your look that should never smudge, it’s the mascara. Notorious for creating unflattering raccoon eyes, it becomes even scarier when water sports are involved. Improving their already legendary formula, Too Faced’s Better Then Sex Waterproof Mascara uses collagen to enhance the lashes while maintaining that dramatic flair no matter deep you dive.

Luscious Lips

Because most outside looks don’t employ intense lipstick color, that doesn’t mean you don’t want to keep a nice pink or rose going throughout the day. Beauty Bakerie offers just the trick with their Lip Whip brand of matte lip colors. Trending more toward natural lip hues, they are as subtle as they are substantial when it comes to surviving a dip.

Long-lasting Liner

For a more decorated eye, it’s impossible to go without some variation of eyeliner design. Often even more treacherous than mascara when introduced to water, there are specially designed liners that can take everything, including tears, chlorine and ocean water. Cherry Blooms’ 24 Hour Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner offers continual protection as well as the precision required by so many of today’s eye designs.

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Best Way to Record Your Actor Reel

The actor reel is the single most important method of selling your talent currently in existence. It is a short, one minute video showcasing either three to four clips of professionally filmed work you’ve already done or a single body of work that you are proficient in presenting. For most newer actors, the actor reel is the latter. However, the task doesn’t end there. In fact, how you film it is just as important as what’s on the reel.

 

Professionalism

Above all else, the video must be professionally shot and edited. Luckily, modern technology allows you the capability to purchase and use equipment with a high enough quality that you could produce your own reel without needing to head to a video production service. Regardless of how you choose to shoot the video, there are a few things you need to make sure it includes.

First and foremost, the shot itself must be close-up and uncluttered. Remember, this is a film demonstrating what you would look like on camera if cast. Instead of stage where big body movements are preferred, film asks for acting through the face and making far more subtle body motions.

Secondly, choose to film is something you are proficient in. Be it a monologue or a song, you are filming you at your absolute best. You have, at most, eight seconds to grab someone’s attention. Why would you ever go for anything lackluster?

Finally, if you choose to film at home, know that you will need some sort of background, a high quality camera (this include webcams), lights, a good microphone and video editing software. It’s not a cheap endeavor by any means, but it is a great investment if you plan on producing similar reels on a regular basis.


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Bathing Suit Body Types

Bathing Suit Body Types

Let’s face it, no matter how fit you are, not all bathing suits look good on every body type. Instead of heading out knowing you don’t look your best, wear what works to impress.

 

The Pear

Most women will fall under this category with a smaller bust and larger hips. Ideally, you want a swimsuit that balances out your body. Aim for a skirted bottom and a plunging neck to draw attention to your top rather than your bottom. Avoid boy shorts as these accentuate what you’re trying to hide.

 

The Hourglass

As an hourglass, these women are equally as curvaceous top and bottom with a thin waist. Ideally you’ll want a swimsuit that highlights the curves while still providing enough support. Asymmetrical designs that draw the eye to your favorite asset are the best. Avoid strings if possible since such small fabric can make your curves look too curvy and disproportionate.

 

The Pencil

Sometimes known as athletic, pencil builds are the opposite of the hourglass. Typically tall and lacking big curves, women that fall into this category should aim to show off the curves that are there so to create the image of a shapelier figure. Bold embellishments as well as tiny swimsuit bottoms create this impression. String ties are great because they allow for a much more adaptable and accurate fit.

 

The Guys

For guys, the rules are based around your height more so than cut. If you’re tall, get a pair of trunks that end right above the knees to balance out your torso. For short guys, find a pair that end around the mid-thigh. Skinny guys look best with bold patterns, and big guys rock solid colors.

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2017 Summer Fashion

2017 Summer FashionWith the cool of spring quickly burning off, it’s time to prep for those lazy summer days with the trends that will be making their way across the world.

Seasonal Stripes

It’s no secret that beach manufacturers love stripes. From umbrellas to chairs, nothing embodies a lazy day of sunbathing more than a colorful collection of stripes. Whether you’re close to a beach or not, this year you are fully supported in bringing that stripped pizazz with you wherever you go.

Simple Sunshine

Summer has always been known for long, cloudless days and bright colors. However, if you’re looking for something more specific, yellow is the hot new color. Indoors or out, the sun will come out tomorrow, but why wait when you can have it today?

Sexy Shoulder

Asymmetry is on the rise with a large number of designers building tops and dresses that hang off one shoulder. Sexy yet refined, it’s a great way to show off part of your beach body without needing to hit the sand.

Waspish Waists

Though the actual circumference of the waist doesn’t matter, what does is showing off that you have one. Instead of the draping clothing of fashion trends past, belts, cinches and similar additions to clothing that show off the waist have made their return.

Legging Love

Though it never seemed they truly disappeared, Paris has declared that leggings are officially back in. From translucent tights made of lace to thicker options sewn from velvet, the color doesn’t matter so long as they hug you just right.

Trottin’ Trenches

When fashion designers brought khaki back this summer, they did so in a tremendous fashion by also bringing back the trench coat. Down to the feet or hanging only to the knees, it’s a must-have look in those areas where summer nights remain chilly.

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Acting Warm Ups

Acting Warm UpsAs an actor, it is your job to be ready physically and vocally for the roles you take on. After all, your paycheck comes from your ability to embody a wide number of characters on a daily basis. Like any physical sport, the most important part of successfully pulling this off is the warm up.

Let’s Get Physical

Step one to any good warm up is to do just that—warm up. Common sense says that this is something you don’t want to rush into, and common sense would be correct. Start getting physical too fast and you run the risk of hurting yourself. Instead, you’ll want to start with light cardio. Stand up, walk quickly around the room or otherwise choose an activity that begins to elevate the heart rate and get the blood flowing through the body faster. After the heart rate is more active and you feel warm, begin performing light stretches to loosen the joints and the muscles, making them more receptive to sudden shifts of motion.

Let’s Get Loud

Now that the body and the muscles (including those that make up the vocal tract) are warm, it’s time to loosen the chords so your voice doesn’t strain. Like the rest of the body, your throat is made up of muscles that work together to produce sound. If those aren’t warmed up, they can injure just like any other muscle in the body. To warm them up, start with a moderate hum that rises and lowers in pitch. Once you feel good there, move to lip buzzing to loosen up the lips and continue rising and falling in pitch. Finally, throw out some tongue twisters let loose the tongue.

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The Model Model

The Model ModelAchieving a model body is possible for anyone so long as you are willing to put in the time and hard work required. Luckily, that’s the biggest challenge since the recipe for an incredible body is straight forward.

Weights

As a model, your goal is to be skinny but maintain an aesthetic shape. Your muscles are what give you this look.

You need to lift weights four times a week with each day targeting two specific parts of the body. Each muscle group should be worked with a total of three different exercises with four sets of high reps (8-12). The different muscle pairings are the deltoids and the back, the chest and the triceps, the hamstrings and the biceps, and the quadriceps and the glutes. As far as the weight goes, use weights that are challenging to push through the repetitions but aren’t so easy you don’t break a sweat.

Cardio

Cardio is well-known as the fat buster and rightfully so. That being said, it’s important to know that not all cardio helps you lose fat. In fact, only what’s known as aerobic cardio does this. The simplified reason for this is that once in the aerobic zone, the way the body creates energy to keep fueling your workout is one that forces it to use the fat molecules stored in your body. In terms of heart rate, aerobic cardio is cardio that keeps your heart rate at around 75% of your Max Heart Rate (MHR). A great cardio session lasts 30 minutes and can be either steady state or HIIT. Do this 3-5 times per week.

Diet

What you eat is the final pillar of this triumvirate. It is as important as working out. Without a proper diet, all of the hard work you put into your body will never be seen. Keeping it simple, your diet needs to be clean. Anything that goes into your mouth should not be processed. Brown rice, chicken breasts and lots of veggies are the go to. This diet is what keeps you from putting on extra fat so that you can lower your overall body fat percentage low enough to see muscle definition. That being said, with this much physical work, you’ll need to be eating at least 1600 calories to maintain a good looking cut. Anything lower than 1500 should only ever be done prior to a show or shoot.

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Market Basics

Market BasicsIn any line of work, from business to art, understanding your ideal market and how to find it is a major key to unlocking success. While the execution of finding this niche can be nebulous, having at least a small understanding gives you an enormous advantage over your competition and launch you to the levels of success you’re aiming for.

What is a Market?

A market is an audience. More specifically, it’s the audience that will invest in your creations whether you’re a model or an actress. Disney, for instance, has a market that revolves around children. Marvel has a market that revolves around young adults. The more specific you can be in regards to defining your audience, the better you can shape yourself to be more appealing thereby resulting in higher desirability.

Where is my Market?

To find your market, you need to start with an honest look at yourself and your abilities. If, for instance, you want to become a voice actor, you’ll land roles faster if you audition for the correct market. Say you have a high female voice that sounds young. Your market in that case would be children and the cartoons they watch. If you have a booming, deep voice, you’ll have a better chance auditioning for villains in things geared toward teenagers or adults. Once you figure this out within your artistic realm, you can then apply yourself toward roles that you’ll have an easier time landing, increasing the rate at which you book gigs and, ultimately, increasing your notoriety and desirability within that market. As you grow, it certainly becomes easier to branch out to other markets, but as you begin, the more specific you are, the better.

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