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"After 9/11, Equity was instrumental in letting America know the show must go on."

Roger Bart, Guest Speaker

Guest Speaker Roger Bart

Tony award winner Roger Bart was the Guest Speaker at the Los Angeles New Member Reception on April 6, 2011.

Roger's credits on Broadway include YOU'RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN for which he received both the Tony and the Drama Desk Awards, THE PRODUCERS, originating the role of Carmen Ghia and for which he was nominated for both the Tony and the Drama Desk Awards, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, originating the role of Dr Frederick Frankenstein, TRIUMPH OF LOVE, and The Lincoln Center production of THE FROGS. Recently, at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, he reprised his role in YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN. Film credits include THE STEPFORD WIVES, THE PRODUCERS, AMERICAN GANGSTER, SPY SCHOOL and the singing voice of Young Hercules in HERCULES. Television credits include THE EVENT, CSI: MIAMI, MEDIUM, 30 ROCK, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES and LAW & ORDER.


Mr. Bart spoke about his career and the many challenges Actors go through on a daily basis. He also spoke about that exhilarating day when he received the Tony Award for YOU'RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN. A lasting memory in his career was during the challenging time of the terrorist attack in New York City on 9/11. At that time, he was performing in the Broadway run of PRODUCERS. He took great pride in the fact that immediately after 9/11 the Broadway community came together with Equity leading the recovery. He concluded his talk by reading an excerpt from a letter written by the late actor Robert Prosky which he finds particularly inspirational.

"It has been said that an Actor must have the hide of a rhinoceros, the courage and audacity of a lion, and most importantly, the fragile vulnerability of an egg. It also has been said, and I'm not sure by whom, that the moment of not knowing is the moment that has the greatest potential for creativity. The professional and private lives of most Actors are filled to the brim with moments of not knowing. Actors are survivors and will continue to strive because they have the need to celebrate, in performance, that sacred communion between Actor and audience."

Other guest speakers included Tina Hookum of The Actors Fund & Gabriel Olmos of the Actors Federal Credit Union. Tina spoke of The Actors Fund mission as a nationwide human services organization that helps all professionals in performing arts and entertainment. The Fund is a safety net, providing programs and services for those who are in need, crisis or transition. It offers a broad spectrum of programs including comprehensive social services, health care services, employment and training and housing. Programs include The Phyllis Newman Women's Health Initiative, The Actors Fund Work Program, and the Artists Health Insurance Resource Center (AHIRC). They are located in Los Angeles at 5757 Wilshire Boulevard. Gabriel told attendees that The Actors Federal Credit Union is a nonprofit financial organization chartered in 1962 for the benefit of the members of Actors' Equity Association. They, unlike commercial financial institutions, care about and serve only one group, the entertainment community. This often means a better deal than commercial institutions offer, like lower credit card and mortgage rates, more cost-effective services, and overall better service. They also are located at 5757 Wilshire Boulevard.

New Equity Members

Equity staffers Ivan Rivas and Doug Dixon explained various contracts, Equity required auditions & the L.A. pre-sign privilege and Membership Department frequently asked questions. Agency Representative Michael Van Duzer went over the Commission Schedule and answered questions about what it means to be an Equity Franchised Agent.

As Western Councillor Clarinda Ross put it "I prize my AEA membership above all. In AEA we have a system where someone with talent and chutzpah can go out and audition and get themselves a job. If you have an Equity card in your pocket you can BE an actor, be active, go out and really do it, not just sit by the phone and wait for some agent to call you. The New Member Reception provides our newest Members with a good foundation of information and hopefully the courage and support to embark on a challenging but rewarding career."

Past new member receptions:

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