Woke up this morning to find my first response to a query letter - one I just sent out yesterday, to one of my Big Three Dream Agents, and its a request for the first fifty pages and a synopsis.
This makes me happy.
Also scared, nervous, insecure, anxious, hopeful, cynical, and a whole host of other emotions. It's a plethora of emotions. We're a cornucopia of emotions over here in Kalen land.
So pardon dear writer friends and readers, for any incomprehensibility as I switch hats briefly to think about acting things to distract from nerves and fears and OMG I SUCK AND SHE'S GOING TO HATE ME AND I'LL NEVER GET PUBLISHED NEVER EVER EVER.
So we shall distract ourselves by bitching about the acting unions. Well, more specifically, union dues. It's that bi-annual time again, time to pay union dues for AFTRA and SAG, and just further proof that the two unions just need to hurry up and merge already. It's been inevitable for the past couple years, given AFTRA's rapid growth and rise in power, and the fact that all new shows seem to be going with AFTRA contracts instead of SAG, and its not exactly a surprise to anyone. And I firmly believe its for the best as an actor, because last year was a bitch and a half trying to find work because SAG kept threatening to go on strike as part of the new contract negotiations and a whole crapload of productions either shut down or never even started up in the first place because they were afraid of that possibility. When in actuality, it was never really a possibility, as the second SAG did go on strike, everyone with an AFTRA card (which is most of SAG anyways) would have been more than happy to swoop in and take all those jobs. You can't threaten strikes as a negotiating tactic when you have a competing union willing and capable of doing the same work as you. Does not compute.
Plus, trying to make enough hours to earn our benefits is practically impossible when the work is so evenly split between SAG and AFTRA contracts that nobody can get enough work in either union to make the minimums.
So yeah, more than ready for the unions to merge at this point. Their contracts are practically the same these days anyways, so its not like it was even three years ago when an AFTRA contract was going to lock you into a much lower rate than a SAG contract. Now the only lower rate contracts are Disney and Nickelodeon ones, and I don't see that ever changing much really.
So basically - just hurry up and merge already so I can just pay dues for ONE union instead of two, please? I get where all the other SAG actors are bitching about having had to earn their union eligibility the hard way when all you have to do to join AFTRA is pay up, and now all those AFTRA members who've never worked under a single SAG voucher or been Taft-Hartleyed or gotten so much as an Under Five contract will now be considered on the same level as them, but blah blah blah get over it. The voucher system has been broken for awhile now, there's no rhyme or reason to getting your SAG eligibility and they need to just start from scratch and figure out new eligibility requirements that actually have something to do with acting experience, talent and skillset, rather than just being in the right place at the right time when a union extra doesn't show up for work. The merge is going to happen, deal with it, and worry more about making it happen quickly already so we can stop shelling out twice the money for half the work, alright?
(Actually what I'm most interested in seeing is how they handle initial joining dues. I had to pay sixteen hundred to join AFTRA and twenty six hundred to join SAG. Is the merged union's initial dues going to be the joint sum of those dues? Are AFTRA members who aren't currently SAG going to have to pay another twenty six hundred to keep their union status current and active and fully paid up? I mean, honestly, I would be pissed if it ends up I had to pay an extra twenty six hundred that actors in the 'new' union don't have to worry about and yet still be considered on even footing with them. At the same time though, if I were an actor who had been completely comfortable being simply AFTRA for years now and had no aspirations to join SAG despite their eligibility, then I would be pissed as hell if I were told I had to pay another twenty six hundred to keep my AFTRA status active. Don't get me wrong, I completely get that this is a colossal headache and a lot of people are going to get a lot more pissed before things get any better, but the problem isn't going anywhere until its dealt with.)
There. Now I feel better. It helps sometimes to remember that as messy and nerve wracking and confusing as the literary publishing field can be - it could be worse, haha.