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    Posted September 7, 2011

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Eastern Regional Board Acts on Membership Meeting Resolutions

At an Eastern Regional Membership Meeting on January 7, 2011, with a quorum present, Eastern Regional members in attendance approved the following three resolutions regarding Equity Principal Auditions.

1. "RESOLVED to make sides available online to Members in advance of Equity Principal Auditions."

2. "RESOLVED to provide advanced notification of who will be sitting at the casting table at Equity Principal Auditions."

3. "RESOLVED that the Director be required to attend at least one full day of Equity Principal Auditions for each show."

At its regularly scheduled meeting on March 8, 2011, the Eastern Regional Board voted to approve Resolution 1, and to deny Resolutions 2 and 3. The Board referred Resolution 1 to the President's Planning Committee and sought legal advice. At a subsequent regularly scheduled meeting on August 2, 2011, the Board voted to adopt the Staff's recommendation and rescind its previous support of Resolution 1.

Rational for the Board's Actions

Resolution 1: When Equity's staff investigated the feasibility of posting sides online, possible legal issues such as copyright infringement persuaded senior staff to recommend to the Eastern Regional Board that it rescind its action of March 8, ordering the posting of sides online.

Resolution 2. Members complained when Equity attempted to publish this information several years ago. Frequently the personnel were switched between the time Equity received the list and the audition itself. Auditioning members went to the audition expecting to see a certain auditor and were disappointed when that individual was not there. In addition Equity's contracts are with Producers, not with the casting director who is hired by the producer to schedule, watch and determines the individuals who sit in the auditions.

Resolution 3. It has been difficult to negotiate specific personnel such as directors, artistic directors, casting directors, musical directors, or choreographers at auditions. Directors are not always engaged or available when Equity wants EPAs to be scheduled, that is, prior to agent auditions or callbacks. In seasonal auditions, theatre's artistic director or casting director may be more beneficial to the Actors auditioning. There would be an unfair advantage to the actors who auditioned on the day the director was required to be there, since this resolution would only require the director to be present on one day of an audition.

Votes

1. "RESOLVED to make sides available online to Members in advance of Equity Principal Auditions."

On March 8, 2011, The Board voted in favor of the resolution by a roll call vote of, In favor: Paul Ames, Bill Bateman, Joanne Borts, Jonathan Brody, Linda Cameron, Brian Myers Cooper, Ira Denmark, Greg Hirsch, Marjorie Horne, Dana Ivey, Tim Jerome, Francis Jue, Jeanne Lehman, Margot Moreland, Kristine Nevins, Melissa Robinette, Buzz Roddy, Nancy Slusser, Joe Zaloom; Opposed: None; Abstaining: None.

1.A "RESOLVED to rescind the Board's recommendation of March 8, 2011.

On August 2, 2011, the Board voted in favor of the motion by a roll call vote of In favor: Paul V. Ames, John Atherlay, Joanne Borts, Ronald L. Brown, Tom Helmer, Greg Hirsch, Marjorie Horne, Dana Ivey, Tim Jerome, Francis Jue, Stas' Kmiec', Bob Knapp, Margot Moreland, Kristine Nevins, Judy Rice, Melissa Robinette, Gil Rogers, Nancy Slusser, Jennifer Smith, Lisa J. Snodgrass, Allyson Tucker, Nick Wyman, Joe Zaloom Opposed: Brian Myers Cooper, Sandra Karas, Buzz Roddy; Abstaining: Nicole Flender, Ira Mont.

2 "RESOLVED to provide advanced notification of who will be sitting at the casting table at Equity Principal Auditions."

On March 8, 2011, the Board voted against the motion by a roll call vote of, In favor: Paul Ames, Joanne Borts, Jonathan Brody, Linda Cameron, Brian Myers Cooper, Marjorie Horne, Dana Ivey, Tim Jerome, Francis Jue, Jeanne Lehman, Margot Moreland, Kristine Nevins, Melissa Robinette, Buzz Roddy, Nancy Slusser, Joe Zaloom; Opposed: None; Abstaining: None.

3. "RESOLVED that the Director be required to attend at least one full day of Equity Principal Auditions for each show."

On March 8, 2011, the Board also voted against the motion by a roll call vote of: In favor: Paul Ames, Joanne Borts, Jonathan Brody, Linda Cameron, Brian Myers Cooper, Greg Hirsch, Marjorie Horne, Dana Ivey Tim Jerome, Francis Jue, Jeanne Lehman, Margot Moreland, Melissa Robinette, Buzz Roddy, Nancy Slusser, Joe Zaloom; Opposed: Kristine Nevins; Abstaining: None.

The Board deliberated at length over all three resolutions. In rescinding its action to publish sides, the Board members noted that they wanted to make sides for Equity auditions more widely available and instructed the staff to investigate methods for achieving this goal. Eastern Regional Director Rick Berg commented, "I hope the membership understands that the Board and staff have taken note of the members' strong desire for these reforms that were ultimately voted down because of impracticality. We have heard them and will make every feasible effort to address the problems these resolutions identify. I will report back to the ERB and the membership as solutions are identified."

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