I had an opportunity to meet with an actor the other day whose real name was really simple. When she joined SAG-AFTRA, she had to add a couple of initials to it to make it unique.
It got me thinking that there are some other extremely important considerations you need to think about besides whether or not anyone already uses that name in SAG-AFTRA.
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Hope this helps!
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The origin of my name is a long story, but I will agree that the day I plugged it into Google and got ZERO results was a happy one indeed. Today, Google reports about 2400 results, and every single one of them points to my work (except the occasional “public records search” ad).
Is there a way to check SAG/AFTRA name availability? The union’s website says because they list of members changes all the time you should list your preferred stage names when you join. But what if you’re trying to select a stage name before that point?
For me, it was a phone call to then-SAg for the “check”. I’m sure Google would be helpful in your pre-check. Check out Stuart’s comment here.
First of all, thank you for your daily doses of inspiration and gems of knowledge that you’re sharing. I’m enjoying every morning’s episode.
Secondly, I wish I had seen this segment before I signed up for all my social media years ago! Thankfully my IMDb name is the first Julia Parker but my website (MsJuliaParker.com), FB fan page (Julia Parker – Actress), my Instagram (MsJuliaP), my twitter (MsJuliaParker), my YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBOeR_OhvKf6CjuaWeP2jew)…as you can see the list goes on and NONE of them are the same.
You have such great advice! Anything you can share for making my sites more connected, name-wise?
Thank you for all you do!
I wouldn’t change things at this point, especially if you have a big following.
My chosen stage name was Alison Frazier (my real first and middle names), which I was able to get legally upon my divorce. It was available with SAG, and I was delighted to get it upon joining. YAY! Then came the awful moment when I went to join AEA and discovered that there’s already a renowned Broadway actress named “Alison Fraser” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alison_Fraser), and I was SOL. I wish SO HARD I had taken this advice first!!!! I was stuck changing my name with SAG after I already had a couple of credits, which sucked, but I figured better early in my career than later. FORTUNATELY I had remarried, and it turned out that my first name + my husband’s last name was available in BOTH (now ALL) unions, and it is a great name!So happy to be able to have ONE legal name for screen and life. BUT I do need to go get all the social media presences, as you suggest, David! I have the .com, but it’s not enough!
Really getting a kick out of David’s newsletter messages… it’s selling me on signing up (whenever that is lol) for his classes… having already done the SuchAVoice class a couple of years back, his should be a real treat….
Let me add my thanks for these daily videos, David. I used to think the perfect stage name belonged to Tom Hanks. If asked for an autograph he only needs to write “thanks.” Turns out though that he was actually born Thomas Jeffery Hanks. Maybe his parents were especially grateful.
And the most famous David H. Lawrence would be . . . ? I’d nominate the brave and brilliant English writer D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930). He’s the guy who wrote, “Life is ours to be spent, not to be saved.”
Oo! Stage name! I haven’t thought about it yet! It’s fun to think about! Thanks for putting something out there that I’d never considered!
For months I’ve been thinking about trying to pick a name for my eventual VO business so I can get it incorporated for taxes, but not choosing a name with regard to the union. I’ve tried setting up my Twitter/Instagram/FaceBook/LinkedIn to have the same name. So far I’ve been going with chrisbucknervo because it works with character limitations on Twitter/Instagram and basically everywhere else. I own christopherbuckner.com and chrisbucknervo.com (no actual page for this one yet), but chrisbuckner.com has been taken for a while now. I’m not sure what would happen if I ever did union VO work. It probably makes little sense to have chrisbucknervo as a union name but maybe I shouldn’t worry about that for now. I’ll post a question about this on the FaceBook page. Thanks for the video David.
I had wondered what the 17th was all about. Love it. Thank you for the info…