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May 12, 2003

They Really Pay Me For This?

by Debra Cole

Studio Arena Theatre in Buffalo, New York made an effort to hire locally for the 2002-2003 season. The result was that seven actors joined the Actors Equity Association.

The production of A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE introduced Studio audiences to Rolando Gomez, Victoria Perez, Rahkel Jackson and Richard Lambert. Studio's production of THE MOUSTRAP gave Katie White the chance to join Equity. SHEAR MADNESS, Studio's final show of the season has been extended five times much to the delight of new members James Fuetterer and the legendary Jimmy Janowski.

Gomez and Perez run a theatre group that focuses on Hispanic themes and topics. Lambert is the Artistic director of the New Phoenix Theatre and is a well-known local theatre actor/director. Fuetterer is a Buffalo State College student majoring in theatre and White performed with "every company in town" before getting her Equity "break" with Studio Arena.

Buffalo has a supportive theatre community and it is great to see new Equity members at the meetings. One exciting opportunity they look forward to is auditioning for GeVa Theatre in Rochester, New York, a mere one hour commute away. The enthusiasm of new members reminds us what a privilege it is to receive fair pay for doing what we love, thanks to the protection of our union, Actors Equity.

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