Magazine article Variety

Guild's Growth Game

Magazine article Variety

Guild's Growth Game

Article excerpt

Ken howard has headed SAG-AFTRA for the past four years while also remaining a working actor. He was recently seen as a mop executive in "Joy" and portrayed a jurist in 2014's "The Judge" with Robert Duvall. But he admits the acting game is tough for all of the union's 160,000 members.

"The primary concern of most of our members has and always will be getting enough work," he says. "In a media landscape that has grown in unimaginable ways, there are more projects that have come along now than ever. While the number of projects has grown, many players are vying for that audience. Everyone on the creative side of this industry is adjusting to new realities of how the business works and what it takes to make a living at it. Getting paid enough to make a living and attaining health and pension credits are also key concerns for members."

Howard created the President's Task Force for Education, Outreach and Engagement a year ago to push for greater activism and organizing to persuade performers to join SAG-AFTRA rather than working non-union.

"We've achieved some real success and it's going strong," he says. "We are a union that is growing and gaining in strength. We are a union that knows that bringing up the next generation of performers is vital and with record new joins every month, I can't say enough about the success of the President's Task Force and thank them for their dedication and hard work with local leaders throughout the country."

He's also particularly proud of SAG-AFTRA participation in the White House's Call to Arts, launched a year ago by President Obama with the goal of providing 1 million hours of mentorship by 2018. …

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