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May 21, 2003

Harriet Harris Headlines New Member Reception

Christopher Eid (left) and Tom Miller with Harriet Harris

New members respond to Harriet's remarks

The most recent New Member meeting for the New York area took place on Monday evening, May 5. Sponsored by the Eastern Region Membership Education Committee, the event was hosted by Tom Miller, committee chair, and Christopher Eid, Equity's Outreach and Education Coordinator.

The Council Room at AEA headquarters was full of members of all ages, including some younger cast members from the Broadway revival of GYPSY who recently received their Equity cards.

The reception is held several times a year to welcome new members to Equity. Staff and Councillors offered a presentation describing benefits and services as well as the responsibilities that come with membership. Adding to the festive atmosphere were a multimedia slideshow, a free prize raffle, and a birthday cake celebrating Equity's 90th anniversary this month.

A highlight of the event was the featured guest speaker, Harriet Harris. Best known for her work as Bebe Glazer, the talent agent on the popular sitcom "Frasier", Ms. Harris recently added a Tony Award to her diverse array of professional accolades for the role of Mrs. Meers in the acclaimed Broadway musical, THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE.

Starting off on a warm note, Ms. Harris charmed the appreciative audience with her gentle wit, fielding questions about her experiences working in the business. She spoke about the pleasure of refining her performance onstage nightly, something that is not usually possible in the fast paced world of television. When asked about advice for actors starting out, she noted the importance of listening skills, which she admits took her some time to develop. Her parting comments emphasized the importance of staying informed about union matters, noting that what you overlook today may become vitally important a few years down the road.

Also participating in the event were Eastern Regional Director Carol Waaser, and staff members Jerry Cole, Michael De Mono, Laurence Lorczak, and Steven Sobotta from Actors' Federal Credit Union.

The Eastern Region Membership Education committee looks forward to the next new member reception which will be held September 15, 2003.

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