Last March my union, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFL-CIO), merged with the Screen Actors Guild, which instantly gave me the power to determine Ben Affleck’s future.
Each year Screen Actors Guild members vote on their favorite actors, actresses and movies with the winners receiving trophies and fine parting gifts. Winning a SAG Award, it has been said, is a precursor to winning an Academy Award. Win a SAG (A Saggie?) and you’re a shoe-in for an Oscar.
I’m the guy who decides all that.
I had no idea about any of it, of course. I just pay my dues and hand the receptionist my card after the doctor fixes what’s wrong. But one day I received an email from SAG that explained that, now that I’m a SAG brother (160,000 members strong) I get a vote on the SAG awards. In fact, the message clarified, the union would make sure I’d seen all of the big films nominated for the award by supplying me with a copy of each.
And for the first time in a long time (perhaps ever) I was happy I’d sent my union dues in time.
As each movie appeared my wife and I watched and counted our blessings. What a great life. We were watching “Argo” before it was on Netflix, “Lincoln” before it was offered On Demand and “Silver Linings Playbook” while it was still in theaters. That’s the kind of life you have when you’re somebody who holds Ben Affleck’s future in his hands.
I won’t reveal my picks, but let’s just say that it would be unfair of me to judge “Les Miserables” having only seen 20 or so minutes of it. The whole film played. My wife saw each and every song, all two and a half hours. Me? I was worn out, the pressure of being a SAG voter having sent me to Slumber Falls.
Later, she admitted that some of my snoring was actually in key.
I still have a few minutes before I have to cast my ballot and that’s why I’m posting this message: If someone knows Ben Affleck I would appreciate you passing to him the news that his future is secure.
Thanks to me.
I’ll be waiting by the mailbox.
In case you’re in the mood to reciprocate.