With U.S. labor unions under constant conservative fire, Reardon campaigned hard as the president of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists to merge with the Screen Actors Guild. The goals? Create a single performers union that can bargain more effectively, react to the changing landscape more nimbly, organize new areas of work and take the first step toward merging the health and pension plans. The merger proposal was backed in March by 86% of AFTRA members and 82% of SAG members.
What we should know: “The public tends to see the celebrity and glamour as well as the other side — the rejection and struggle. But what many fail to see is that it is a business and must be approached that way. For all its flamboyance, it requires practicality and thoughtful application.”
Words of wisdom: “Be prepared. Don’t stint on your training and don’t lose focus on your passion. Luck only works when you are prepared to take advantage of it.”
Smartphone on vacation? “The real question is do you take a vacation? And yes, it is always in my pocket.”
Work week hours: “Too many. I continue to work as an actor as well as a union leader. I am rarely completely off the hook.”
Life-work balance: “An incredibly supportive husband who doesn’t mind eating late as long as we are together.”
Charitable passions: “After the AFTRA Foundation and the SAG Foundation, it’s the Actors Fund. They do incredible work — from addiction counseling to financial wellness, affordable housing to senior services, health clinics to work programs, the Actors Fund is a safety net for all professionals in the performing arts and entertainment.”