Can non-union actors do union work?

Sure. But you will likely have to join the appropriate union before or sometime after actually performing.

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  • Any person who has performed or intends to perform professional work in any one of AFTRA's jurisdictions is eligible for membership. Contact your Local office for specific information about AFTRA membership and its benefits.
  • The SAG (Screen Actors Guild) collective bargaining agreements provide that membership in SAG is required, in most cases, either (a) 30 days after the first principal employment or (b) 30 days after a background actor has received his or her third voucher.
  • Keep in mind, you must be ready and willing to follow SAG’s rules and regulations and to accept ONLY union employment once you become a member of SAG.
  • Also, joining Screen Actors Guild, members also agree to abide by Rule 9, which states that members of one of the Four A performers' unions (SAG, AFTRA, Equity, AGVA, AGMA) will not accept non-union work in another union's jurisdiction.

Can a union actor do non-union work?

Not usually. There are some exceptions, so the actor should contact their union. If a union actor is caught performing in a non-union production - even in the jurisdiction of a union in which the actor is not a member, there could be serious financial consequences and/or loss of union membership.