Posted December 7, 2009
National Equity Membership Candidate (EMC) Week
Equity works collectively to build and deepen connection to future members
Commencing September 14th, 2009, EMC events and gatherings were hosted in 10 cities throughout the country by Area Liaisons, Equity Councillors, Committee Members and Equity Staff. The meetings connected EMC's with other actors and stage managers in their respective cities. EMC's were provided with Equity swag and EMC informational handouts and refreshments. Each gathering reflected the unique personality and spirit of the city in which it was held.
Austin/San Antonio EMC Event Attendees: Benjamin Summers, David Stahl, Lara Toner, Ben Wolfe, Don Toner, Charles "Huck" Huckabee, Molly Karrash, Barry Michael Miller, Michael Stuart, Sheila Gordon, Ken Bradley (hidden), Douglas Taylor, Parker Williams
In Austin, EMC's were treated to 4 different productions during the week, ending with a reception at the Austin Playhouse, where they mingled with Equity members and Western Region Stage Manager Councillor and Area Liaison, Bill McMillin. Also present was Don Toner, one of two Lucy Jordan Award winners from the Austin / San Antonio Area.
A Chicago EMC said, "I just wanted to thank you guys so much for putting together such a great evening last night for EMC's. It really did clear the air about a lot of rumors as well as introduce me to the Equity office, which I had never been to before. It's really great to know that people who have been in the industry for a while are helping younger actors find their place in the industry. Thanks again and looking forward to seeing you at the office and taking advantage of all that Equity has to offer. "
Denver - (L - R) Jasmine Kief, Jeremy Sartore, Jenna Ehrle
The Denver Area Liaison Committee hosted their Annual AEA Fall Gathering at Racine's Restaurant. Socializing with the 40 Equity members present were three EMC's and two local producers who were interested in familiarizing themselves with the Equity talent in Colorado. Committee members Brian Hutchinson and Heather Rubald provided a slide show of AEA productions (on stage and back stage) and a photo collage highlighting the Liaison Committee accomplishments, including member Valerie Hill's work with the very successful Veterans' Administration Initiative outreach program.
The Houston/Galveston EMC event was held at the Main Street Theater where EMC's were able to mix and mingle with Houston Area Liaison Celeste Roberts, local Equity members, LA Equity Business Representative Ivan Rivas as well as producers from the Main Street Theater, Alley Theatre, Ensemble Theatre, Houston Shakespeare Festival and Mildred's Umbrella. The first part of the evening provided an outreach opportunity for local producers to ask Equity related questions and afterwards EMC's met with producers and had an Equity Q&A with Ivan Rivas. It was a fun social event with great information shared among members, local producers, and Membership Candidates. Thanks to Gugliani's for catering the event and to our local Equity members for making this a great first EMC event for Houston/Galveston!
EMC's in LA were welcomed by Western Regional Director Mary Lou Westerfield. Equity Councillors Clarinda Ross and Linda Tross along with Entry To Equity Committee members Pat Loeb and Maggie McCollester led a discussion on the benefits of Equity membership and shared first hand tips, info and advice on auditioning for Southern California theatres. Staff members Doug Dixon and Ivan Rivas provided an overview of the EMC program and info about "Casting Call" - Equity's on-line audition information site.
Philadelphia - Back row: Alan Breslin, Steven Carpenter, Sean Thompson, Kristen O'Rourke
Members of the Philadelphia Liaison Committee hosted ten EMC's at The Irish Pub at 20th and Walnut Streets where stories and information were shared about the benefits of Actors' Equity. Issues such as "why are there so many different kinds of contracts" and health insurance were discussed with these passionate, hope-someday-to-be members.
San Francisco / Bay Area
The San Francisco Bay Area Membership hosted 24 energetic EMC's along with 56 Equity members and staff for an EMC/Member reception at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. The reception was held just prior to the Fall 2009 General Membership meeting of Bay Area membership. Berkeley Rep graciously donated the lobby and theatre of the Thrust Stage. Questions about the EMC program were answered and facilitated by Bay Area Advisory Committee, (BAAC) Chair, Kelly Ground and Equity Staff, Mary Lou Westerfield and Bethany Umbach. There was Equity swag and BAAC provided a buffet and drinks for all.
Seattle EMC's gathered at the Stone Soup Theatre with Seattle Liaison Roger Curtis and Committee members Laurie Bialik, Marianne Boyd, and Rik Deskin. Attendees participated in a vigorous discussion about Equity, auditioning, and working in the Seattle area and beyond.
The South Florida Equity Liaison Committee hosted a meet and greet for local EMC's on September 14th. The EMC that attended enjoyed the full attention of Liaison Committee Chair Irene Adjan and Committee members Oscar Cheda, John Felix, Wayne LeGette, Amy London, Margot Moreland and Laura Turnbull. The EMC was given an information packet, swag, and the opportunity to ask questions one on one of her South Florida theatre colleagues. As an actress in the South Florida theatre community for some time she had newly come to the decision that she would like to take the leap and join Equity. Everyone was pleased to connect with her and provide the information she was looking for!
In New York, EMC's were enthusiastic and full of questions. Equity Councillor Buzz Roddy and Entry To Equity Committee member Sandra Bloom welcomed everyone to the gathering which was moderated by AEA's Membership Candidate Coordinator Tom Miller.
Equity Councillor Linda Cameron shared insights and tips about Equity auditions.
National Director of Membership, John Fasulo provided an overview of the EMC program. The EMC Registration Form must be completed each time you accrue weeks with a participating theatre. Weeks are submitted by the theatre and tracked by Equity. Once you have accrued enough weeks to complete the program you will be notified by Equity and your eligibility to join lasts for five years. During that time, if you are engaged to work at an Equity theatre, you must be signed to an Equity contract.
If you do not choose to join within the five-year period, your accumulated weeks of credit will expire, your registration fee will be forfeited, and you will not receive the credit toward a future initiation fee. When you choose to join Equity, you must complete a membership application and pay the required minimum of the initiation fee. Your $100 EMC registration fee will be credited against your initiation fee. Once you've put in an application to join, you have two years to pay your initiation fee.