Acting Advice

Ask Me! – SAG voucher or waiver? A difference?

Anonymous asked

Q: What is the difference between a SAG Waiver and SAG Voucher?

A:  Good question!

The SAG website is pretty behind and it’s not clear that they have the information up there yet. BUT, I just called them and this is the breakdown.

SAG Voucher is your paystub from a movie/TV show. If you were hired to do background work on a SAG production you would get a receipt at the beginning of the day that you have to fill out and sign at the end of the day to log your hours, etc. At the top of this voucher are 3 boxes: Non-Union, Taft Hartley, SAG. If the box marked Non-Union is checked you are a non-union hire and the voucher is simply a receipt for the job. If the box Taft Hartley is checked you were a special-skill hire (a minor, special local-hire, rare special skill or look, etc) and the voucher is more than a receipt. It is proof of work on a SAG film and if you get 3 of these vouchers you will be allowed to join SAG. If the SAG box is checked you are already SAG (or the production thinks you are).

SAG Waiver/Taft Hartley is requested by the production to waive a non-union actor to do a SAG job if no-one else within the union community can do it. For example, I got my SAG card after getting waived (Taft Hartley-d) for a British commercial that was being recorded in the States and because my voice and accent were exactly what the production wanted but couldn’t find within the SAG community. Because I was a principle (lead role) I only need to be waived once. From what I understand the same applies if you are an under-5 or a day-player on a movie or TV show. If you are asked to  speak a line from the screenplay/teleplay on a set whilst the camera’s are rolling and you were a non-union hire, you will need to have your voucher’s Taft Hartley/SAG box checked and then follow up with SAG to make sure you have all the correct paperwork. If you do get a line – or a special featured background appearance, even – you will get what is called a “bump” which is a rise in pay and if you’re non-union the opportunity to join SAG (BTW, I don’t think it’s common for this to happen to non-unioners. So don’t get too attached to it)

When you get called in for a job by a casting director and you are not yet SAG you should ask them if you will be Taft Hartley-d for the job. They will let you know. You can also ask the film production on-set.

Hope that’s helpful!via The NYC Actor – What is the difference between a SAG Waiver and SAG Voucher?.

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About The NYC Actor

Angela Dee is a professional actress working in Film, Theatre, TV, Commercials and Voiceovers. She currently lives in New York. www.angeladee.com

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