How Hollywood strikes affect behind-the-scenes workers

Cathy Marshall is a film and television set decorator and artistic director with more than 35 years in the industry. Her last job was on the Peacock original series "Poker Face."  She hasn't worked since May, caught in the crossfire of now dual strikes by the Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA unions.

"Well, I've seen a strike, you know, a couple of strikes in the past, and I figured, you know, two or three months. It definitely hits the pocketbook. I've been in the business for some time now, so I you know, I've always had the freelance mentality of saving for a rainy day," Marshall said.

Saving for a rainy day has now extended beyond the actors and writers carrying signs in their fight with Hollywood studios and producers over issues including profits from streaming services and the use of A.I.


What to know about SAG-AFTRA waivers: Why are actors still making movies after the strike?

The actors and writers strike have resulted in most Hollywood film and television productions being shut down, from the "Gladiator" sequel to the live action "Lilo & Stitch."

RELATED: Hollywood on strike: SAG-AFTRA actors begin picketing with writers

It's affecting the livelihoods of unsung heroes behind the cameras like set decorators, craft services or, in Alexandra Rutkay's case, make-up artists.

"The biggest impact for me personally is definitely emotionally. I have felt it financially, but more so emotionally. It's very, very difficult to see friends and colleagues struggling. And not knowing when they're going to be able to do what they love to do again," Rutkay said.

RELATED: WGA Strike: Producers want to meet with Hollywood writers to resume negotiations

Rutkay does make-up for the Showtime original series "Billions" – or rather she DID. She hasn't worked since early June. 

Rutkay continues to monitor the strikes daily, if not by the hour.

Marshall, in a cruel twist of irony, was recently unexpectedly impacted again by the strike. She's nominated for an Emmy for her work on Poker Face but the Emmys have now been moved to January 2024 because the strike may not be over in September when they were set to air.