As of writing this right now, it is Monday, September 2nd, 2019. Labor Day. While most have the day off of work and school, not having to worry about anything except what they’re going to do today (or catching up on that homework assignment, it’s okay I’ve been there too!) let’s talking about the union.
Or Equity. The Actor's Equity Association(AEA) that is.
Now I have significant respect for AEA. Even as a nonunion member, most of the equity auditions I have been to have been pretty straightforward and even chill. I get there early, put my name on the non-union wait list, and I do just that, I wait. I find things to pass the time like read, listen to music, and find other auditions. If I’m seen that day, I am seen that day.
However, I said most not all. Because there are some auditions where I’ll be honest, they treat non-Equity like crap, even to the point where they won’t let non-Equity use the same bathroom as equity. We have our own separate waiting room (which is the size of a glorified shoebox) while Equity has the whole floor. Not to sound like a petulant child, but this seems rather unfair.
Most non-Equity members spend the day with auditions. If they get to your name and you’re not there guess what? Chances are you won’t be seen at all. It’s a sacred thing when non-Equity are seen. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve held my breath and sighed in relief and think to myself, “Thank God It wasn’t for nothing.”
It’s Labor Day, but the ones who aren’t in the union are doing just as much,. if not more, than people who are.
So do me a favor if you are a casting director or someone who is running auditions. If you see our resume and you see that we are a non-Equity member. Please don’t dismiss us.
Just because we don’t have a card yet doesn’t mean anything. We are here because we got up and signed up at the crack of dawn.
Give us a chance. And we will show you why we deserve to be seen just as much as the person with the AEA card in their pocket.
Happy Labor Day and to everyone auditioning, Break a leg!