Spotlight on… Gabrielle Carteris, President of FIA

Executive Committee News

“Spotlight on…” is a new FIA project, a series of interviews with our members to help you get to know them better. The first person to inaugurate this new series, posted simultaneously on our website and Instagram account, is Gabrielle Carteris, the Federation’s President.

Tell us about yourself.

I am a mother, an actor, and a proud trade unionist.  I am the president of the International Federation of Actors (FIA), the past president of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), and a vice president of the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) serving on the executive council.

What made you want to become an actor?

I have wanted to be an actor since I was a little girl. It was storytelling that excited me and freed my imagination. I would watch television shows or go to the movies and often imagine that I lived in those stories. I started as a ballet dancer and then did pantomime – traveling throughout Europe. I used to do shows in my friend’s backyard. We made a small stage and then would invite our family and friends to watch. We wrote, directed, and performed. It was exciting and that has never changed for me. I always thought that there were many jobs I could do but the one I wanted to do was act. I went to college and then when graduated, I continued to study and audition. I also worked in the industry to learn what it really took to be a working performer. I felt if I understood the work, I wouldn’t be afraid but rather would be freed.

Tell us about a movie or a show that changed your life.

The one job that changed my life was Beverly Hills 90210.  Playing the role of Andrea gave me the opportunity to work with wonderful actors, directors, and producers.  It was so unexpected and to this day I will always be grateful to have had the opportunity and experience.  I believe the success of that show helped to support my fellow actors and helped direct my growth into leadership.

How did you first get involved in your union?

I came into my journey as a union labor leader by attending a union convention and expressing my unhappiness and confusion about a contract with low wages.  When I expressed my concerns, I was directed to someone on staff who explained how and why this contract existed.  I learned it was a new contract that the union was working on strengthening and it was a first step. In that moment, I understood that:

A. Contracts are negotiated by members and staff with the employers.

B. That our contracts must be created so that we can grow them.

C. If I wanted to be a part of the solution I needed to participate.

What are your dreams and hopes for performers worldwide?

My hope for performers worldwide is that they are given the opportunity to create and express their craft with dignity and respect. If they can make a good living wage, have protections, safety, and the security of knowing that they are not alone – that they are respected for what they bring to the global audience – that they mean something and are valued – that is what I care about.

What is your priority as the President of FIA?

As President of FIA, I am dedicated to fight for the rights of artists worldwide.  We are a global industry and do not all receive the same conditions, compensation or respect in every country or province. My goal is to help elevate and stabilize our industry for performers so that no matter where in the world they may work they will experience a fair and stable work environment.

Give us one example of how FIA’s work has improved the working conditions of performers in your country?

FIA’s work helps encourage countries to recognize collective bargaining rights, and reasonable standards for wages and working conditions in communities across the globe.

If you had to describe FIA in one word, what would it be?


Scroll to Top
This site is registered on as a development site.