Equity prohibits the issuing of a professional name that is identical (or similar sounding) to that of an already-current member of the union. If a conflict exists you will be advised at the time you submit an application to join Equity that you may have to change your professional name. Equity Membership Candidates cannot secure their name until they join Actors' Equity Association.
At its meeting on June 24, 1986, the Council resolved to amend the Constitution and By-Laws and adopted the following policy regarding professional names:
"Actors' Equity Association shall not enroll an applicant under a name, nor shall a member use a name which is the same as, or resembles (so closely as to tend to be confused with), the name of an existing enrolled member, except that an applicant may enroll under and use such name professionally, upon proof of consent by the existing member, or a finding by the National Council that under the circumstances there is no likelihood of confusion, or that there are extenuating circumstances.
Administratively, the following procedures will be followed:
If an applicant or member must change or alter a professional name to distinguish it from an existing member, that member may change the first and/or last name completely or add a middle name. (Note: The use of a middle initial under these circumstances is not acceptable.)
If a member requests a Temporary Withdrawal/Suspended Payment inactive status, and if after five years the member has not returned to active status with Equity, any claim to the sole use and possession which that member may have to any name or names within the jurisdiction of Actors' Equity Association is hereby declared null and void.
If a member loses or resigns membership for any reason, that member may lose the exclusive right to the professional name.
Remember: All contracts, billing and programs must show your professional name as recorded with Equity.
You can find information on requesting a change of Professional Name in the Member Portal.