The decision to embark on a career performing as an ACTRA member is not one to be taken lightly. Performing is a challenging profession that requires discipline, continuous training and lots of hard work.
If you have the passion to be a performer and are willing to make the commitment then by joining ACTRA you will be joining a 22,000-strong family that has your back.
There are three ways that a performer can become a member of ACTRA:
1. Taking out Apprentice Membership
Your Apprentice Membership Card immediately opens up performing opportunities for you by ensuring your eligibility for all ACTRA work. Within ACTRA, you will receive all the applicable rights, privileges and mailings of a full Member including full non-voting participation in ACTRA membership meetings. More important, as an Apprentice Member you automatically join the professional ranks of your peers performing in film, television and radio.
If you hold at least one qualifying work permit, you are eligible to become an Apprentice Member. This includes work permits for principal and acting roles as well as stunt but excludes work permits issued for background performing. There is a $75 initiation fee plus an annual fee of $75 that you would pay upon becoming an Apprentice Member.
Once you become an Apprentice Member, your next step on the performers’ career path is to assemble the body of work, signified by work permits, necessary to advance to being a Full Member.
CLICK HERE FOR AN APPRENTICE MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION
In fall 2010, Full ACTRA members voted to reduce the number of credits required for Full membership. As of December 15, 2010, Apprentice members need THREE credits to become a Full ACTRA member. Please contact your Branch for more details on qualifiying credits.
Like Full Members, Apprentice Members may not accept non-union work.
CLICK HERE FOR A FULL MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION
2. Being a Member of a Sister Organization
If you are already a full member in good standing of Canadian Actors Equity Association (CAEA), SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists), and are a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant, you can apply for Full Membership with ACTRA.
CAEA members are obliged to join ACTRA upon being cast in their first ACTRA gig; they pay a discounted one-time initiation fee and annual dues. ACTRA members are similarly obliged to join CAEA upon obtaining their first role in CAEA jurisdiction. For more information, please view the CAEA/ACTRA Reciprocal Agreement.
SAG and AFTRA members who are Canadian citizens or landed immigrants can join ACTRA by being cast in a role (speaking part, stunt or silent-on camera in a commercial) in Canada and paying a one-time initiation fee and annual dues. SAG/AFTRA members must also provide proof of engagement in a residual category under SAG/AFTRA’s jurisdiction within the last year as of the date of application.
3. Joining as an ACTRA Additional Background Performer
The ACTRA Additional Background Performer category was created for performers who want to pursue work as professional background performers.
There are many advantages to becoming an ACTRA Additional Background Performer.. You will be protected by ACTRA collective agreements and have input into the bargaining process as it affects your wages and working conditions.
In order to be eligible for ACTRA Additional Background Performer membership, you must prove that you have worked as a Background Performer 15 days within a 12-month period immediately preceding your application for membership.
To apply, visit your local ACTRA branch in person where you will be asked to complete an application form, present proof of your 15 work days as a Background Performer and to provide a current photo and resume.
In order to maintain your membership you will have to work 15 work days as a Background Performer during a period of 12 consecutive months measured from March 1st of each year.
Want to become a full ACTRA member? If you are an ACTRA Additional Background Performer with well-documented proof (i.e. vouchers or cheque stubs) of 200 on-set engagement days or 1,600 hours over the preceding four-year period on ACTRA sets, you may apply to the Apprentice Program.
CLICK HERE FOR AN ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND PERFORMER APPLICATION