September Notes -AEA Members and EMC Community Gathering

 AEA Members and EMC

On a rainy Tuesday evening in September, a small representation of our target group, AEA members + Equity Member Candidates met to talk through the usual questions: What is the ideal community look like, what resources exist and what are the obstacles to achieving the ideal community here in Seattle. It began with strong opinions and vehement language, and once we got past that the conversation was quite cozy and revealing. Please comment, expand, clarify and share!

Question 1- The Ideal

-100% employment

-increased access to showcase (audition) opportunities, with equity support

-Seattle specific contract between mid-sized theaters

-a continued culture shift in casting directors committed to using local, AEA talent

-increased patron awareness—how they fit into the financial piece of the puzzle

-more visibility for smaller companies leading to more funding leading to more contracts

-understanding producer/actor relationship in Seattle-not adversarial here

-more AEA/EMC community involvement


Question 2 – Existing resources

-Roger Curtis’ listserv/ Seattle Liaison Committee



-national AEA website

-network – actor to actor

-individual theater websites

-SUSA (Seattle Union Stage Actors) – yahoo group


Question 3 – Obstacles

-general apathy and lack of involvement

-focus on LA & NYC- both audience and casting

-misunderstanding Seattle’s artistic culture-non local council members

-large disconnect between the audience and the work as an actor

-gender and age disparity

-large divide between musical and straight theater- begins in the training programs

-Seattle culture encourages ‘self –identification ‘  —questionable professionalism

-few members = lack of desirability

-high expectations (by AEA National) of the grown rate for small organizations

-Union effectiveness is leadership dependent, not currently listening to constituents

-lack of contracts weakens the entire pool- has a ripple effect throughout the community

-intern programs taking positions from EMC

-AEA companies inconsistent in listing(or how or when they list) auditions

-casting bias based on resume and type


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