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Scot Augustson

OK, Paul. I'm calling you on one point:
"Let’s face it, a key reason 14/48 can get such amazing acting talent working such insane hours is that Equity, the stage actors union, looks the other way. "
Bull fucking shit.
Now, I love that our equity brethren and sistren can participate in 14/48. And I love it when actors are paid. And I do believe that equity should find ways to allow it's members to be in interesting 99 seatish things.
HOWEVER. In Seattle membership in equity is no prediction of talent. There are brilliant union actors, so-so union actors, and stinky union actors.
The same as non-equity.
Many of the e-actors who participate in 14/48, were in 14/48 before jumping the broom. Do you think they're now better just for being equity? (And again, I am not anti-equity.)
Oh, I could go on and on.

Julie Gillis

I'm glad I found this blog (via Chris Lucas). I'm glad to see that the Seattle scene is just as intense and vibrant as when I left, probably more so.
We'll be out this summer, hopefully we'll see you all.

Andy Joe

Thanks, Paul. I couldn't have said it better myself.

Kurt Beattie & Carlo Scanduizzi both attended 14/48 when it was at ACT last year. They dug it. Carlo came a number of times and saw us at On the Boards in the Summer. ACT asked us back to the Falls Theatre.

Michael Place

I agree Scot...and to digress...
Its a tricky situation in our fair city with the Union. Lets take a look at someone like Marya Sea Kaminski for a moment. She, in my opinion, is one of the most dedicated, talented and passionate fixtures of our community...equity? Nope. Im sure she would love to be in order to get the support that comes with joining the union but it is simply not worth it to her (as far as I know) to lose her ability to say YES! to projects that excite her. This is part of what makes her so awesome. Equity looks at our city and thinks "oh, seattle only has 400 union actors, they arent big enough to listen to." Well, theres a reason equity and its cause you guys are outdated and do not serve your member's best interests. I am reminded of Lawrence Ballard's tyraid when he finally told the realities created by the institions that support life-time artistry in Seattle to wake the fuck up.
I bet you can google it.

I want nothing more than to help Seattle develop into a world class theatre town (even if only by proxy for now: My investment at Yale is actually about and for Seattle) and the union needs to be taken to school. What can a relatively small arts scene do against the national, ancient Equity? What do we have to bargin with? How can we make the changes we need to take the next step to keeping the artists the city breeds and needs IN SEATTLE.

Paul Mullin

Here, here, Micky.

I couldn't have said it better and I'm glad you did because I worry that people have started to tune me out as a broken record on this subject.

One response point: it's no big mystery what Seattle actors (both AEA and non) should do in response to Equity. They should simply do any work that they deem appropriate as artists. This is basically what AEA actors are doing with 14/48 anyway. I'm just asking them to expand their scope to other new plays.

The dirty little secret is that Equity has no teeth. If every AEA member (like myself: I've been doing this for years) started acting in full productions of new works at fringe houses for free or less than scale tomorrow, Equity would do nothing to stop them except, perhaps, issue a sharply worded letter. We could call it the "anti-strike": A coordinated effort to WORK as artists instead of waiting for AEA jobs that never or rarely appear, and when they do, are uninteresting.

Once it becomes clear that Seattle Actors, union and non, will do new work as they see fit, then Equity will codify it in a new agreement and call it good in order to avoid an unseemly struggle.

Money Changes Everything

So the union should be more willing to let actors work for beer and let someone else pocket the money when it's for something that you deem artistically worthy (i.e. you're involved in it?)

What's the point of a union again?

Paul Mullin

You're asking me, Money? To explain what Equity is for? I'm the wrong person, trust me.

But I can say this, plenty of other artists' unions let them do art for free and then offer their services when that artist works for an established large institution. My wife works as a singer through a union for the Seattle Opera, but that union doesn't prevent her from performing in smaller circumstances. This a particular thing Equity does, particularly here in Seattle. As I say, pretty much any AEA actor who wants to can do one of my plays in LA or NY.

On a completely different note: I know it's considered the custom of the internet country to post anonymously, but there is no tradition of it in the theatre. In the world of live performance, one says one's words in public and stands by them with their body. So as a rule I won't be accepting any more anonymous posts.

Stand and deliver, people!


I love my baby bro's dictums! I concur with the whole Anonymous posting shenanigans. Anonymous is synonymous with "yellow bellied, chickenshit".

Louis Broome

And let's not forget my post attempting to bring peace to the 14/48 world - http://opensourcetheatricals.blogspot.com/2009/02/mullin-equation.html

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