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Name dilemma….

February 5, 2014

The topic of Equity came up in lectures recently which obviously got some of us onto talking about what our equity name would be.

I believe our equity works similar to yours but in case not I’ll briefly explain why I have a dilemma. You are not allowed to join Equity with the same name as someone else, I believe this is even if they are in a different area to you (for example an actress and a stage manager). Now considering there’s a famous actress with my particular name I think the chances of being able to use it professionally is going to be slim.

I’ve come to a decision that I’d much rather just add my middle initial than completely change my name (I quite like my name is I’m honest). However I’m not going to be joining Equity for a couple of years yet, but am still working as a professional occasionally with my name on programmes etc. So should I start using my (hopefully) equity name to start getting it out there? or should I just stay as I am? My name has a good reputation with it and I don’t want to lose that but would it be easier to start again now than in a couple of years?

I can’t decide so now I’m asking you (:

Heather Sig

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. February 5, 2014 9:38 am

    I say if you don’t want to change your name, just use your middle initial or even your whole middle name processionally. And yes, I’d start doing it now if you know that you’ll have to someday! Easier to change the earlier you do it.

  2. February 5, 2014 9:39 am

    Yes yes, start using it now. It’s not a huge change since you’re using your middle name. People will still recognize you. If anything just use your middle initial. Professionally you could be First name, middle initial, last name.

    You are right in that if someone in the union already has your name, you cannot use yours.

    This is most definitely not as big of a deal as it sounds. Especially if you just add the initial.

  3. The Enterprising Actor permalink
    February 5, 2014 9:55 am

    I agree with The Redheaded Actress, start using the name you will use in Equity, now. Think of it as branding; you wouldn’t want to start a company and then, a few years in, change the name of the company.
    Also, double check current rules, because when I joined Equity, they no longer allowed use of the middle initial as a way to make a name unique. And google your intended name to make sure there isn’t someone INfamous associated with it. Unfortunately for me, a woman with my name murdered her husband, and then got a TV movie made about it, AFTER I’d joined Equity.
    As an anecdote, a friend of mine had to change his name when he joined Equity and didn’t have much time to mull it over. He ended up taking his dog’s name as his last name. It’s now his legal name. And that’s a post on a whole other topic: when your legal name and stage name don’t match, ergo he finally made his stage name his legal name.

    • February 5, 2014 10:22 am

      Good point on the stage name vs. legal name. I started using my married name as my stage name before I got married because I knew it was coming (we were already engaged). It was a major PITA to have a different legal name and stage name.

  4. The College Theatre Dork permalink
    February 5, 2014 10:14 am

    I don’t think adding an initial in would be as much as a dilemma as declaring your new stage name is say, Princess Consuela Bananahammock. People already know you and your good reputation – all you have to really change is adding that initial in your bio and it will catch on.

  5. Tattooed Theatre Student permalink
    February 5, 2014 4:04 pm

    Nice friends (ironically watching it while I type!) reference there college theatre dork (: and thanks everyone for the advice. I think the middle initial is the way to go. I would just use my middle name but unfortunately there is another theatre person with that name as well. As there is with my mothers maiden name and both my grandmothers maiden names. Apparently the universe really doesn’t want me to join equity!

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