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    Posted February 16, 2009

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Nashville Members Jive At Java

by S.E. Traveling Rep Doug Truelsen

The Nashville Liaison Committee held their annual membership meeting on February 10 at Bongo Java. Thirteen members attended, as well as guests Developing Theatre Rep Matthew Summersgill and SE Traveling Rep Doug Truelsen.

Liaison Henry Haggard announced that the committee was looking for twelve volunteers to work the phone bank for the local PBS affiliate’s telethon. He also reported how he and several others had recently used the Members Project Code and encouraged others to create their own opportunities as well.

A discussion about the financial woes of area theatres followed. Several theatres are making emergency pleas to patrons for funds. Matthew reported that many theatres in the South are struggling, and have asked for and received concessions. Matthew and Doug balanced that with news of the theatres that are doing well or just beginning to use contracts. They also assured everyone that members are being credited with health weeks and pension credits even if a theatre is delinquent in making its payments.

A couple of members had attended the recent Unified Professional Theatre Auditions in Memphis and reported on the lack of callbacks for Equity members. Doug, who also attended UPTAs, explained that most Equity theatres do not use these auditions to find Equity talent, but rather are often looking for interns and non-pros; however, there is some value to being seen by 45 theatres at once.

A member said that, in these poor economic times, unions are often blamed for causing companies woes. He asked for Equity to educate members and provide talking points on how to present our union in a good light and combat anti-union feelings.

Elections for the committee were held. Reelected for another term were Henry Haggard, Peter Vann, Sam Whited and Eric Pasto-Crosby. Newly elected committee members were Matthew Carlton and Patrick Waller.

Front L-R: Patrick Waller, Eric Pasto-Crosby, Vickie Hall, Peter Vann
Middle L-R: Brian Russell, Matthew Carlton, Liaison Chair Henry Haggard, Erin Whited
Back L-R: SE Bus Rep Doug Truelsen, Developing Rep Matthew Summersgill, Vance Ormes, Evelyn Blythe, Sam Whited, Cecil Jones

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