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"Seek out your excellence- it is what sets you apart and ultimately, what makes your performance dynamic, fascinating, and transcendent."

Bryce Ryness, Guest Speaker

Guest Speaker Bryce Ryness

LA New Member Reception 10/06/10

Bryce Ryness, accompanied by his adorable daughter Mercy, was the Guest Speaker at the Los Angeles New Member Reception on October 6, 2010.

Bryce's credits include the Broadway revival of HAIR, the Reprise! production of ON THE TOWN and the Broadway production of LEGALLY BLOND. He is currently performing in LEAP OF FAITH at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles.

He spoke about how his career has developed. From earning a degree in business at the University of Southern California to singing in a renowned a cappella group at Disney's California Adventure theme park, to his first Equity contract doing TURANDOT at the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor, NY, to a big break playing Roger in the national tour of RENT to participating in the Shakespeare In The Park Revival performance of HAIR that then led to the Broadway Revival for which he was nominated for a Drama Desk Award. He credited his business degree for giving him a good perspective on marketing himself throughout his career, and encouraged the new members to distinguish themselves, "There is a difference between 'capability' and 'excellence'".

Mercy Ryness upstaging her Daddy

Also speaking at the Reception was Keith McNutt, Director of The Actors Fund Western Region. The Actors Fund, a nonprofit human services organization founded in 1882, serves all professionals through programs that address their unique and essential needs.

A national organization with offices in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, The Fund directly serves nearly 12,000 performing arts and entertainment professionals across the country every year, and hundreds of thousand through online resources. In providing care and service to professionals throughout the industry, The Fund's programs are wide in scope, responsive in nature, and produce significant results, affecting the lives of people in our community year after year.

AEA Business Representative Patrick Lee discussed the "ins and outs" of various Equity Contracts and stressed that staff is always available to answer questions. Outside Business Representative Ivan Rivas rounded out the meeting with information about the privileges and responsibilities of Equity membership. He also addressed frequently asked questions about the Agency and Audition departments. As new member Jaclyn Friedlander put it, "The new member meeting was very informational and I learned a lot. The staff at Equity has been amazingly warm and helpful. I'm proud to be a Member of this union!"

After the event, attendee Cameron J. Oro e-mailed "After years of training, non-union gigs, and hard-earned EMC points I finally got my Equity card. What an honor it is to be welcomed so warmly into this community--this family that works so tirelessly for the well-being of professional artists."

Respectfully submitted,
Maggie McCollester, Membership Education Committee Member

Past new member receptions:

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