Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Rik Deskin, SAG's Seattle Branch President and running for re-election, has been a Screen Actors Guild Member since 2003, and has served both locally and nationally on committees and task forces. Local Committees have included Organizing and Nominating as well as Wages and Working Conditions Committees for Industrial (Chair) and Commercials (Seattle Alternate Chair) and currently on the Negotiating Committee (Alternate Chair) for the Northwest Commercials Code. Deskin is also a Delegate for SAG to the Martin Luther King County Labor Council.

National Committees include: Alternate Eligibility Task Force, Casting On Line Task Force, Comedians (RBD Chair), Commercial Performers, Communications (RBD Vice Chair), Screen Actor Magazine Editorial Sub-Committee, Howard Keel Award Review, Interactive Contract Negotiating Committee (RBD Chair), LGBT, Low-Budget, New Technologies, and the TV Animation Negotiating Committee. Recently he had the opportunity to stand-in as Alternate for the National Director for Seattle, Abby Dylan at the Regional Branch Division Meeting in Atlanta. As an Alternate Deskin has worked to foster and cultivate relationships with fellow Alternates and National Directors across the country.

Recently, SAGWATCH has posted 30 questions for candidates running for office in the SAG elections. To date, only three have responded, Deskin being the most recent.

Q. What do you see as the responsibility of the office of SAG President (or the office for which you are running)?

DESKIN: The ultimate responsibilities of SAG President are to listen to all the members. To be a positive force and face for the entertainment industry and to cultivate a culture of collaboration amongst our industry peers. This is mirrored in the office of Seattle Branch President/Alternate National Director which I am running for re-election for.

Q. Why do you believe you are qualified to serve? Is the position you seek one for which a lot of previous union experience is necessary?

DESKIN: I’m qualified because I believe in advocacy for actors and the industry we work in. And no pun intended, but I “act” on that. I love acting and I love actors and I will do everything in my power to improve the courageous lives of actors. As far as my union experience, I was thinking like a union actor before I was even union. I’ve been a union member since 2003 and have been activated ever since. I still have more to learn and I look forward to that.

Q. Do you have the time to do the job?

DESKIN: Yes I do. Depending on the day or the week and what sort of acting work I book, I’m on 24/7 and if not available, I have very accomplished Alternates available to send in my stead.

Q. What do you see as the single greatest challenge facing SAG today, and, if elected, how would you address that challenge?

DESKIN: Our greatest challenge is relevance. How do we remain relevant in the 21st century and keep pace with the rapidly changing industry? How do we remain relevant as organized labor when all of our employers also employ our sister union performers. Being united is the only way. The old adage is true that there is strength in numbers.

Q. Do you think it is important, or even possible, for the various factions in SAG work together? What would you do to make that happen, or, if you believe it’s not possible, how will you cope with the schism?

DESKIN: I think it’s possible if we are rid of key instigators. I’m all for consensus, but I believe you reach it acting as adults and not playing High School Drama Club games. We are here to represent the members’ best interests, not our own.

Q. If elected, would you support any action by the National Board to remove David White as NED? Should he be given a contract to remove interim from his title?

DESKIN: Not at all. This man has done so much to help correct the direction of this ship. He should definitely be given a contract and become our Executive Director. I appreciate how patient and dedicated he is on behalf of all the membership.

READ THE REST OF THE Q&A AT: click on "30 Questions For Candidates" in the right-hand column.

Learn More about Seattle Branch President Rik Deskin at