A contract and a reality show

I received my late night SAG and other news bulletin emails stating that we have a contract with the AMPTP by 70% vote of the 35% of SAG members that took the time to vote. 110,000 ballots sent, 38,500 votes cast.

Mr. Rosenberg is quoted as already starting to circle the wagons for the 2011 contract negotiations. He wants to enlist the leaders of all the other unions and set a course for 2011. Bravo. Enlist the other unions first and make a plan. If that opening salvo can be had before you leave office that will be a gift you leave your successor. Your comment,  "the terms of this contract that many of us, who have been involved in these negotiations from the beginning, believe to be devastatingly unsatisfactory" shows you have learned very little.  70% of your fellow actors who voted, voted for this. Do you hear anything in that? Mr. Meisner taught me to listen and then answer. 

So this should make some summer work shake out and have the Fall be full of new starts right? We should all be getting more auditions and more meaningful auditions. Are you prepared? Are you going to be on the set moaning about how your fellow actors let you down in voting for this lousy new contract?

Don't let your politics sour your art. Go to work and be sure you show them that scripted series and scripted actors make better shows and reality TV needs to stop infecting the airwaves. Go to work and make sure the ratings for your shows go so high there will be no choice but to negotiate with us in 2011.

Reality crap is your enemy, a faction within SAG is not. Union means a group that's united for a cause. We are artists that create in collaboration, why does that stop when business gets in the way? Reality shows are very hard to compete with budget wise and they have created a whole new culture of celebrity. Producers don't care who it is they promote, they promote who sells best. There is no shortage of people willing to expose their stupidity or pettiness or neurosis for a shot at a walk down the carpet. Even if that carpet is just the carpet in front of Musso and Franks. Why not be better than them? Create and collaborate better than them? 

Reality stars are and will remain a subset in entertainment. Their goal is to be us. To get on to "real" shows and get real credibility. The infighting at SAG is like a crappy reality show where the intelligence leaves the room for scandal and gossip. So, so, silly. Everything starts at the top. You walk on a set and in a minute you can know how the show runner feels about his job by the way the people on the set treat you. It always starts at the top. 

If this continues in the halls of SAG, we SAG actors will become a reality show. Maybe the ultimate reality show. Real actors, actual trained artists, fighting with each other, building alliances with certain members in the house that can be trusted to vote others out of the house so we can gain strength and win the prize of running a union of artists who get to negotiate the contracts for shows and movies that prove once and for all that trained actors using scripts by real writers is better entertainment than a reality show. 

Is it happening already? Are we just missing the cameras and the editor? Honestly folks let's get back to work on being gracious and kind to each other. We have a much bigger enemy than one another.

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