Some of you have already been following the news regarding the ongoing talks and negotiations between the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers. With the Writers Guild officially calling for a strike authorization vote with its members (voting runs from April 11th through April 17th) and with strong vocal support from various writers to vote yes, it is looking more POSSIBLE that a strike could occur.
From Deadline: “Now we need to demonstrate that determination. You can help by voting yes on strike authorization, to give your leadership the leverage to make the strongest possible deal before deadline or to call a strike after May 1st if the companies are unwilling to meet our reasonable demands. Throughout April, WGA negotiators will continue to work toward the goal of a fair contract for writers,” it added. Luvh Rakhe, an exec producer on Dave and Mo, who is on the negotiating committee, explained to members what such a move means. “Asking for an SAV is a step that unions often take to demonstrate resolve and support for the bargaining agenda in negotiations. Passing an SAV does not mean we automatically go on strike,” Rakhe said in a video. “Instead, it would give our West board and East Council the authority to call a strike after the expiration of the current MBA contract on May 1, if that’s what’s necessary to get a fair deal for writers.” Keep reading below 🙂
As actors, what do we do IF the writers go on strike? I would love to use this forum as an opportunity to exchange empowering ideas on what we can do if a strike occurs. It reminds me of when the writers last went on strike for 100 days from late 2007 into early 2008. It also reminds me of when the Covid-19 pandemic shut down the entire world. What do we do when our industry shuts down for an unknown period of time? In this instance, what do we do if Hollywood shuts down…again? And yes, I’ve read articles that studios have stockpiled on scripts and have moved up and rushed production schedules to anticipate a strike, but what if Hollywood eventually shuts down? Keep reading below 🙂
The first thing I can think of is to support the writers. Support comes in many forms. Support the writers. We are all in this together. We bring their words and characters to life. SAG-AFTRA’s current contract expires on June 30th, 2023 and they are going to be at the negotiating table as well with the AMPTP starting on June 3rd. I’ve sat in on a few LA local meetings earlier this year and it was informative to hear fellow actors talk about the issues they want our leaders to bring to the bargaining table such as additional protections, credits, wages, compensation, etc. So, support the writers. Keep reading below 🙂
What else can we do if Hollywood shuts down? Do we just take a break or a vacation? I know I can’t because when things open up, I want to be ready. I want to stay ready so that I don’t have to get ready. No different from what I did when the pandemic shut everything down. I was so productive during that time in order to stay ready. Staying ready allowed me to transition easily into the world of self-tape auditions when Hollywood reopened. I attended different Zoom panels and discussions to broaden my knowledge. I revisited and tightened up a couple of scripts. I attended casting director workshops. And many other examples. So for all of you out there, what can you do to stay active? Here are some ideas: Enroll in an acting class. Learn a new artistic skill set. Read plays. Update your demo reel. Create a business plan for your career. Enroll in a writing class to appreciate the craft of writing and storytelling. Build and nourish your relationship map. Ultimately, look at what YOU need to do to keep your artistry sharp and alive should Hollywood shut down. Keep reading below 🙂
I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments section on how we can support our fellow writers and on how we can artistically support ourselves if Hollywood shuts down.