The actors’ strike finally ended on 9 November 2023 and was ratified by 78% of the membership on 5 December 2023.

With the strike over, there was a small, flurry of television auditions at the end of the year – all saying, “memorization not required”, as SAG-AFTRA had not fought to enforce the existing audition pay clause and worse still, had negotiated for fewer protections for the majority of their membership by failing to get us back in the room for auditions and then agreeing that self-tapes and online auditions will no longer be considered “auditions” and therefore, ineligible for compensation.

I despair, I really do!  118 days on strike and no attempt to remind the studios of the benefits gained when, through an audition, an actor brings the material to life and gives them a glimpse of how a project might take shape. And no attempt to curb the lottery that self-taping has become when the studios can ask for hundreds of self-tapes without having to compensate actors for their time and craft.

And because of this lack of respect for actors, I found myself walking away from a commercial that had asked me to audition four times. When my agent asked for compensation for the fourth audition, casting responded by saying that the director had changed so the third and fourth auditions were really only a first audition and a callback and there would be no compensation, but that was not the fault of the actors who were giving up their time to audition over and over again. At the end of such a terrible year, I could ill afford to walk away from any chance of income but I took a stand and didn’t attend the last audition stating that, without compensation, four auditions is unreasonable.

Apologies for banging on.  My new year’s resolution will be to stop moaning about these things so I thought that I’d get it off my chest here whilst I still can!

With the run up to awards’ season, I spent many evenings at screenings throughout November and December and although I’m sure it is going to be overlooked, the best film I saw in 2023 and my recommendation for this blog is, Society of the Snow. I was lucky enough to see it at the cinema and experienced the film’s full impact. It will be released on Netflix in January 2024 but I would strongly recommend trying to see this at the theatre if at all possible.