You’re reading the ramblings of an AFTRA newbie and I have a shiny little pin to prove it. I signed all the paperwork January 7 and wrote them a horrendously fat check to cover a mere ¼ of my initiation fee. I think I urped a little when I handed it over. And I know I about had a coronary when I was handed the payment schedule for the next three months.

I find it ironic for unions to require actors, on actors’ wages, to pay a crapload of money that they don’t have in an obscenely short amount of time so that they can make union wages. It brings to mind a scene in Quicksilver wherein Paul Rodriguez explains collateral to Kevin Bacon, ultimately breaking it down to “you need money to make money” (sidenote - My uncle is credited in Quicksilver as “Options Trader,” and I’m certain I’ve been in a home video here or there with my uncle, thereby solidifying my place as a mere two degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon – WIN!).

Back to my point – I will grant that I’ve gotten some good voice-over jobs lately – it’s just that they’re one-off radio spots and one-off radio spots aren’t all that lucrative if they’re only coming around once a month. I tried to impress this point upon the union’s Assistant Executive Director. His response? A story about a guy who landed a Miller Lite spot aired during Monday Night Football for the season, and how he made a load of cash and how the union initiation fee was a pittance to him. My response? “That’s great for the guy, I guess – maybe he’ll want to pay my initiation fee, too, while he’s at it – do you know his address?”

Enough kvetching… did I mention that I’m actually THRILLED to finally be Union? It’s true! I am.