Although I am a SAG agency, I still submit on non union jobs and represent some non union actors. When I first began the agency I took on a lot of non union actors. Since we were new most established or union actors wanted a bigger or more established agency. I love my non union actors, they are able to audition for both non union and union. They are usually extremely grateful for any opportunity given to them. They are building their resumes and careers and I really enjoy being a part of it. Its hard for non union adults to break in. For kids being union or non union doesn't really matter until the late teens. Casting directors do not expect them to be professional. I am in the process of considering being a SAG only agency for adults, or just to not submit on non union jobs anymore.
Non-Union jobs are so very frustrating. There is no way to force the ad agency or production to pay. I have had actors wait up to 4 months for payment. There is no recourse, other than small claims court to force them to pay. Its silly as most of these jobs pay so little. I am frustrated because I do love to help career build, but these jobs are such a headache for me. The worst part of it is if my client only gets paid $200 for a job-guess what I get paid? That's right!- days of work for $20.
ON A LIGHTER NOTE:
My husband's Grandfather booked a commercial and finished shooting today. It was a State Farm commercial. He has no head shots, I submitted his passport photo. He is actually a lawyer, still practicing in his late 70s. The Casting Director was having a hard time finding elderly Chinese actors and reached out to the agents asking us to dig deeper. So I submitted Grandpa and here he is! I have some actors that have classical training and cannot get an audition or a booking. Its crazy. I have had a few other bookings like this. My entire family (10 people) booked a print job together last spring for Cigna. My husbands coworker booked a job seeking real doctors for the American Medical Association. When I was an actor I hated it when people thought that anyone could be an actor--maybe I was wrong. Sometimes its not the training. Sometimes its the right look and having the opportunity. Especially on print jobs and non speaking parts.