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Notes From the Other Side of Union Membership

September 15, 2011

Hey, Friends! It’s me, reporting live from the other side of union membership to say that so far it’s exactly the same, except that I’m a whole lot poorer from paying my joining dues. Oh, and don’t forget the obligatory daily deluge of mail from Equity:

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Just kidding, there’s a lot more to it than that, of course 😉 I have a staggering $10.65 in a 401k fund (which I am unjustifiably proud of), access to a whole lot of awesome union-sponsored social services like the free healthcare clinic, the chance to submit myself and get seen for a much higher level of projects, and most importantly, some street cred (definitely the most important part).

In all seriousness, it has been a big transition from thinking of myself as a non-union actor technically able to work on any project, but unable to get seen for the ones that I really wanted to work on, to a union actor with the responsibility to only work on union-approved projects, but the privilege of getting my 2 minutes to shine in front of the casting directors for even the most exciting of productions.

Even the way I check for auditions daily has shifted. Where I used to religiously read the ActorsFirstNY yahoo group emails and NYCastings daily digest, I’ve now unsubscribed from both. They served me well when I was first starting out, but now are full of mostly projects that I’m not interested in or can’t work on. Where I used to see “Equity Principal Audition” in a Playbill job notice title and scroll on by, I now click eagerly and take note of the date. And the Equity Casting Call page got a shiny, new link on my bookmark bar 🙂

After a few (slightly nerve-wracking) EPAs, I finally find myself comfortable in the Equity lounge. I’m familiar with exactly what the audition procedure is (conquering ECCs is next!). And I’m proud to be attending the New Member Reception next week.

Basically, I’m slowly settling into this new world. I know that the hardest work lies ahead for sure, but for now I’m enjoying this rejuvenated sense of excitement and possibility that I’ve found when it comes to auditioning. And if you catch me in the Equity lounge, be sure to say hi, okay?

Any other tips for an Equity newbie like me?

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. The Practical Artist permalink
    September 15, 2011 8:48 am

    … come with me to the 48 Lounge and celebrate with our free drinks?

  2. Erin G permalink
    September 15, 2011 4:40 pm

    Congrats! Keep chipping away. I know you’ll accomplish great things!

  3. September 30, 2011 7:32 pm

    Congrats are in order! 🙂

    It’s quite a change, getting used to a new union, but it’s a change for the better.

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  1. “And if I only could/I’d make a deal with God/And I’d get Him to swap our places” « The Green Room

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