Sad about AG and a very long "thought"

by hanniganfan (no login)

Though it is sad about the closing of AG, maybe they will re-structure and perhaps do a full length musical, play it in the big towns where the stores are and then tour the country, bringing the AG experience to those unable to afford or otherwise get to the cities where an AG store exists. I think a savy producer would see the gem in this and realize that we need positve, exciting events for young girls that have nothing to do with dressing inappropriatly for your age, emulating those young stars who are in and out of rehab, having babies at 17, breaking the law (and by that I mean drinking under age AND driving)or making young girls feel like it's uncool to grow up with positive moral values and an education! We MUST help our young women of today realize how valuable and special they are just being themselves!
WOW, didn't mean to go on so! What I really wanted to say was in response to a previous post:
"And anyone would be foolish not to think that the decision by the adults in the New York show to join Actor's Equity had something to do with the decision to close the New York theater."
Please undersatnd that the reason the adults in AG in New York asked (and yes, they came to the Union) for help in negotiating the contract was not to stick it to AG. It was so they would be able to perform professionaly, get paid a living wage in keeping with the cost of living in NY AND recieve health benefits and a pension. Many factors went into the negotiations, the real truth of how it happened is known by those who were active participants, be careful what you believe from those who were not part of the negotiating process and the spin that it can take when too many "stories" get created due to the sensitive subject matter. Too many times Actors Equity gets blamed for shows closing, when in fact, there are so many factors in the decision to close a show, that there really is never one single factor that plays into that decision.
Actors Equity is the union for professional actors, if a show is going to call itself professional then the Union is going to step in and actively try and create a professional work place and contract when called upon by a cast to help, by putting in place rules and regulations for both the actors and the producers, protecting both and ensuring that no one is mistreated. Is it a perfect union, not in the least! Is it always striving to better and change the contracts and work environment for the working professional? You bet. Unless you have sat on a committee and been to the meetings and participated in a negotiation pertainig to a new contract, it is hard to understand the intricasies from both sides that factor into a realized and positive contract.
Now, before everyone jumps on me about the union, I am a member and have been for 3,000 years (it seems) I've sat on commitees, been part of negotiations and am a firm believer in the education and promotion of our Future Professionals. I am a coach, teacher, actor and have made my living for many years in the business. Key word: Business. So, with that said, I can't think of a better way for young people hoping to become professional to get started than in community and local theatre AND some of the wondeful non-equity tours out there! Annie being one of them. But please, don't knock the union, once you are a participating member and avail yourself of the amazing opportunities available to you (where else can you get a free pair of shoes every year by simply asking?!)you will come to understand the reason for a strong union. Beacuse, we who are members ARE the union!
I urge every parent whose child is considering this profession as a carreer to go to Equity's website and read everything you can, talk to people who have made their living in the business (not just the ones who have had one show or tour and are now experts on the business). Julie, I believe, has a business seminar for this exact thing. Trust your instincts and hold fast to your morals and decisions that concern your child, the parent is the only one who will ensure the proper care and nuturing of the child, and by educating yourself about the business, you will ensure a safe and healthy experience for your budding star!
OK...I'm finished...I just get so passionate when thinking of all the new talent waiting to be discovered! Best wishes all and Beak a Leg!

Posted on Aug 3, 2008, 11:16 AM
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