When Is The Right Time To Join SAG-AFTRA? | Workshop Guru
If you’re an actor, especially here in Los Angeles, eventually you’re going to cross paths with SAG-AFTRA, the (on-camera) actor’s union.

Becoming eligible and joining SAG-AFTRA, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, is one of the most major milestones an actor has in their career. SAG-AFTRA represents the collective voice of hundreds of thousands of actors, and not only supports and protects actors on set, but also negotiates higher wages, can get you health insurance and a pension plan, loads of resources, like the SAG Foundation, and gives you a sense of camaraderie among a community of professional actors. It’s not easy to become eligible, but it does pay off.

So… when is the right time to join for you? The answer is simpler then you think. In this episode of Guru Tips For Actors, learn some easy questions to ask that allow you to self-evaluate and figure out Should I join the union?

We’re so glad to get this video out, and hope it helps you on your journey!

What do you think? When did you know it was the right time to join SAG-AFTRA? Or when would you like to? We give away prizes to the commenters every Tuesday, so be sure to comment below!
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Ajarae Coleman | Workshop Guru


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Ajarae Coleman is a working actress living in Los Angeles. You can see her on shows like ABC’s SCANDAL, REVENGE, PRIVATE PRACTICE, and THE CATCH, CBS’s THE McCARTHYS, 2 BROKE GIRLS, and NCIS: NEW ORLEANS, NBC’s DAYS OF OUR LIVES, TNT’s PERCEPTION, I'M SORRY on Netflix, and more. Ajarae founded Acting Resource Guru (ARG) in 2012 to give actors practical steps to book more work and take ownership of their careers. In 2020, Ajarae launched The Table, an exclusive online membership for actors who crave an artistic life that goes beyond just booking gigs. They are ready to make a greater impact, which looks like building communities of collaborators, creating their own opportunities, and developing residual income streams. Ajarae believes that actors play a huge role in bringing forth a reality where every being on the planet is safe and valued, and The Table empowers actors to claim their seat. Join the Interest List at ClaimASeat.com to be notified when the doors open for new members.


  1. Hey! This is a great topic to bring up because there is a lot riding here! SAG is an important entity to join but only when you’re ready! There are a lot of nonunion projects atm so if you join too soon you’ll be locked out of those projects. You should have a resume and/or team of representatives, which/who can help you get SAG jobs. I know a lot of actors that hustle to get into SAG with only background vouchers and once they’re in they don’t have any credits to get them in the offices casting SAG projects. Get SAGe, build a resume & reel, & save up for the initation fee & annual dues!

  2. I’m SAGe and I plan to join when my paperwork gets in. Before I was passed over for a nice role in a movie. Let’s face it, if you want access to the nice Roles, you have to join SAG. If you have the skills, a great headshot, and a reel, they’ll book you.

  3. I’m at a real crossroad.. I feel like I’ve got tons of experience and am there craft-wise, but I don’t want to lose non union hosting gigs and non union projects! And of course the price. Sigh.


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