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For those of you in markets outside of LA and NY, the chance to get to an awards show may seem pretty slim. It’s something you only see on TV, right? Wrong. Even if there are no red carpet opportunities where you are right now, there may be one closer than you think.

Many cities in the U.S., including Houston, Austin, and Dallas, host viewing parties for one particular awards show every January. It’s the SAG Awards and it gives actors and industry people around the country a chance to gather with peers in their respective markets. In this case, you don’t even need to be in the union to attend the party.

As a newer actor, going to an awards show viewing party serves a great purpose beyond walking away with a pocketful of business cards. It’s about making connections that will turn into relationships and fuel your career momentum. It’s also about celebrating the actors who have accomplished great things in their careers and putting yourself on a path to do the same.

Here are some photos from the 2013 SAG Awards party in Houston.

At the SAG Awards Viewing Party in Houston with actress Kay Salem

At the SAG Awards Viewing Party in Houston with actress Kay Salem

With Brenda PentecostPhoto by Anisah Khan

With Brenda Pentecost
Photo by Anisah Khan

With actor Brandon Thomas Photo by Anisah Khan

With actor Brandon Thomas
Photo by Anisah Khan

With actor Brandon ThomasPhoto by Anisah Khan

With actor Brandon Thomas
Photo by Anisah Khan

With actor Brandon ThomasPhoto by Anisah Khan

With actor Brandon Thomas
Photo by Anisah Khan

With actors Paris and Hunter CudiniWith actors Paris and Hunter Cudini

With actress Aneela Qureshi Photo by Cinnamon Auld

With actress Aneela Qureshi
Photo by Cinnamon Auld

Watching Dick Van Dyke accept his Lifetime Achievement Award from SAG Photo by Love Lee Photography
Watching Dick Van Dyke accept his Lifetime Achievement Award from SAG
Photo by Love Lee Photography

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