A non-union voice actor is a voice actor who is not a member of a labor union related to the entertainment industry, specifically in the context of voice acting. In the United States, the primary union representing voice actors is the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA).
Voice actors who are not part of a union are often referred to as non-union voice actors. They work independently and are not subject to the rules, regulations, and standards established by the union. Being non-union can have both advantages and disadvantages for voice actors:
Advantages of being a non-union voice actor:
More flexibility: Non-union voice actors can negotiate their rates and terms directly with clients, giving them greater control over their work.
Access to non-union work: Some projects, particularly smaller or independent productions, may not require union talent, providing non-union actors with opportunities in these markets.
Disadvantages of being a non-union voice actor:
Limited access to union projects: Many major productions, especially those in film, television, and high-profile commercials, may be only available to union actors.
Lack of certain benefits and protections: Union voice actors often receive benefits such as health insurance, pension plans, and minimum salary rates, which may not be available to non-union actors.
Union preference: Some clients and casting directors may prefer working with union talent due to established standards and industry experience.
It's worth noting that the voice-over industry can vary by country, and different countries may have different unions or industry associations that represent voice actors. Additionally, the voice acting landscape is continually evolving, so it's essential for voice actors to research and consider the best path for their career.