I wanted to share some information about being SAG- AFTRA versus being Ficore, which is just about the same thing except you are not limited to the types of jobs you can do if you go Ficore.
- SAG-AFTRA and Ficore are essentially the same thing. You are a paying union member with a SAG ID number. The ID number is always called a SAG-ID number, there is no other name for it if you go Ficore unless you choose to call it your SAG-AFTRA ID number. When you book a job for the union, you are required to provide your SAG ID number and your social security number so you can be verified to be a “member in good standing”. Which means your dues are paid up to the date. If you have been cheating and getting caught doing non-union work, this can affect your standing if you are SAG-AFTRA. This specific type of negativity stated can only affect your status if you are SAG- AFTRA and not Ficore. Ficore talent can do any type of job they please without SAG-AFTRA watching over you. No matter what your status, if your payments are behind, you will need to pay up immediately if you wish to book the job offered to you. Delay in payments could also prevent you from booking the job offered.
- What are the benefits of being SAG-AFTRA? You can say you are SAG- AFTRA, you carry a membership card, you can vote in SAG Elections, you can promote yourself as a SAG- AFTRA talent and you can attend SAG- AFTRA events.
- What are the benefits of being Ficore? You are a SAG member who can say officially that you are a Union talent. You do not carry a card but you can easily access your id number online or keep a copy with you if needed. You are not limited to only doing SAG-AFTRA work, you can do any type of work and not receive a penalty for it. In our area specifically this keeps the doors open for many more options with most commercials going non-union.
- If you decide to be SAG-AFTRA and then switch to Ficore, do know that there is an initiation fee and review if you decide to switch back to SAG-AFTRA. This is a significant fee. All the more reason to start out as Ficore.
False information: SAG-AFTRA has told many of my talent the following information:
- If you become a Ficore talent, no Agencies or producers will ever hire you. (FALSE) First, no agencies or producers will ever know if you are a Ficore talent. All you do is provide your SAG ID number if requested and they can verify you are indeed a paid member.
- If you become a SAG-AFTRA paid talent and are offered a non-union project, just get the client to convert the project to Union status, they do it all of the time. (FALSE). The majority of producers who reach out to talent want to hire a talent quickly. The amount of time it takes to fill out the union paperwork, find a payroll provider etc. takes up lots of time and many producers will just find another talent that won’t eat away their time.
No one can Force you to join the union, whether SAG-AFTRA or Ficore, if you do not have two credits already in the SAG system. We just had this happen here at Impressive and we stood our ground and told the producers that the talent is not required to join, so they will not join at this time. Any talent can call SAG-AFTRA at any time to see if they have any credits if you are unsure of where you stand.