I Joined Actors’ Equity Association!

This is something I have been mulling over for some time. In 2019 I became a member of the Equity Membership Candidate Program, earning points towards full Equity membership, after understudying at Bristol Riverside Theatre’s production of On Golden Pond. Shortly after that, I attended grad school at Villanova and then the pandemic happened. I sort of cast aside my notions of being an Actors’ Equity member, at first thinking it was too risky to be out there performing, but then I was contacted by a friend who put me in touch with Delaware Theatre Company where I got an opportunity to understudy for Peter and the Starcatcher at Delaware Theatre Company. From there, I ended up in Crazy for You at Villanova University, and, to my surprise, right back to DTC for The Flatlanders. I essentially worked in Theatre the entire Winter into the Spring. I tried my best to keep the momentum going.

Over the pandemic, the Equity Membership Candidate program ended and AEA instituted Open Enrollment, however, I never became a union member and I no longer have EMC status which helped a little to get union auditions as a non-union member. So, at this point, I can only apply for non-union jobs. I had three auditions lined up that would have booked me for the summer into the fall, and I got callbacks for 2 of them, but in the end, zero jobs. All the while, I see tons of opportunities for Equity members. One Equity audition even had some time slots for non-union folks and when I applied for one, I was denied.

So, after some coaching from a former teacher, I decided that it made sense to join the union in order to simply get access to auditions. Once I join the union however, I won’t be able to do non-union work. I think that’s ok. After years of training and experience, I think it’s time to work in a professional environments with access to the benefits therein. Thus begins a new journey and I’ve already got my first union audition scheduled. Turns out, it’s at Bristol Riverside Theatre, the very same theatre where I got my first points towards union membership.

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