The Business

Performance is about the creating, but entertainment is about The Business.

Through this program, actors receive first-hand tips and strategies from established creators, emerging voices and industry professionals who know how to navigate the often complex waters of the entertainment world – creators like the legendary showrunner Norman Lear, who spoke frankly to actors in a Career Retrospective about pushing the creative envelope, and why it’s essential in our industry.

The Business panels provide multiple viewpoints from directors, producers, writers, agents, managers, casting directors and industry experts on a wide range of topics such as Marketing and Audition Technique, Taxes and Financial Planning, Audiobook Narration, Independent Film Producing, and New Media.

Presented in our Los Angeles screening room and Robin Williams Center in New York, The Business also takes on diversity in Hollywood with bold panels that address issues of race, gender, and sexual orientation in casting and storytelling.

Check out some of our latest panels and topics:

Zal Batmanglij & Brit Marling on Collaboration and THE OA

Tell Your Story: A Multi-Hyphenate’s Guide to Creating Your Own Series

A Woman’s Right to Shoot

Depicting Reality: From Life to Screen

Shakespeare & Gender: Are All Roles Fair Play?

Submitting to Film Festivals

To check out all of The Business videos, visit the video gallery.

“Most actors can’t afford to go to classes and seminars and pay all sorts of things, so what the SAG-AFTRA Foundation provides is a brilliant resource for all actors.”

– Minnie Driver on The Business

In addition to panels, The Business offers small group sessions -facilitated and focused discussions of approximately 20 SAG-AFTRA members to help actors map out the big picture of their careers while organizing all the little details. Small group sessions include The Branding Workshop, Representation, Accountability, Money Management and Actor Record Keeping.

The Business also offers special screening series and short film showcases:

Independent Feature Screening Series
Los Angeles Short Film Showcase
New York Short Film Showcase

The Business events are recorded and archived in our video gallery so that these tools and tips are always at your disposal. Many panels are live streamed, so you can attend in person or watch live online.

The Business is free for SAG-AFTRA and Actors Equity members and relies solely on gifts, grants, and sponsors. Support this valuable program with a donation today!

For those who need disability accommodation, including Sign Language Interpretation, please email rsvp@sagfoundation.org for LA events or nyrsvp@sagfoundation.org for NY events with a minimum of three business days notice.

Los Angeles Contact:
Dennis Baker, The Business Program Director, 323-549-6708 ext. 5
Nicholas Dagostino, Program Assistant, 323-765-2958

New York Contact:

Melissa Zakri, New York Program Director, 212-863-4283

A conversation with feature film directors Ana Lily Amirpour, Patrick Brice, Liza Johnson, and Adam Salky discussing their approaches to working with actors, the creative process behind directing a feature film, and how the actor can best serve that process. Moderated by Michelle Satter, Sundance Institute.