Actors Inequity Frequently Asked Questions
Here is a smattering of questions we've received over the past year. If you don't find your answers here, please contact us!
Q. How are membership dues spent exactly and what services are available to me as a member/performer?
A. Your membership dues are spent on keeping the web site up and running, paying for the P.O. Box, postage, stipends for the staff (to keep fresh content on the site), paper, toner and X-acto blades. Any remaining funds are squandered on a kick-butt rubber chicken collection and beer. Actorsinequity.com offers a growing list of free resources - i.e. resume examples, acting career advice, theater signs. Theaters can also take advantage of very affordable show logos. The most important point of Actors' Inequity is to provide a framework for offering free and affordable advice and resources to actors and theaters...and to provide the "Inequity Card," a source of pride and levity for those familiar with the actors' union of a similar name.
Q. The word "inequity" by its very definition means 'an unfair circumstance or proceeding.' Why give your organization a title of that nature?
A. True, "inequity" in and of itself does offer that connotation. We feel that there is a bit of inequity in how non-paid/under-paid performers are treated. We don't get paid, we work long hours and we love the art just as much as any union member. So, we get to carry the "Inequity Card," wear the "Inequity Pin" and give other performers a smile when we say, "I'm Inequity!"
Q. What are the duties and responsibilities of 'Honorary Presidents?' Do they sit on the Board of Trustees, if AI has such a board?
A. This position is only an honorary title. Some folks want to support the organization with a bit more funding and have a lifelong membership to claim. For an extra $10, these big spenders can claim "Honorary Presidency" (as opposed to "Lifetime Member" - which is just $20 more than an annual membership) - and they get to carry a card to prove it. These folks are placing their bets that A.I. will last longer than 7 years and that, in the long run, they'll be saving money. Plus, they get their names in lights, get "bragging rights," and can drop another $35 on a nice frame for their Honorary President certificate...
Q. Theatre and live performance are the oldest aspects of show business. Your organization was created in 2008. What took so long?
A. We just got "theatre" out here in Ohio.
Q. What is the address and telephone number to your New York City office?
A. Dude - if we had a NYC office, we wouldn't have $5 membership fees. A.I. isn't a lobbying organization. We don't have health care coverage or other resources like a union... we're an on-line organization with a card that our members enjoy carrying and a button they enjoy wearing - it makes them feel part of a fun (hopefully informative) organization, offers them some good advice and shows that they were willing to toss out halfa sawbuck or more to try to get this thing off the ground.
We aren't out to represent performers, we're out to help performers looking for advice and resources that are free or affordable.
Q. Is Actors’ Inequity a national organization or does it, like the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, have local branches across the country?
A. A.I. is web-based and International: we have members in 12 states and 2 other countries (Australia, Canada and Great Britain).
Q. To my understanding, “Honorary President” and “Lifetime Memberships” are a one-time fee. Is that true? And if it is true, can private donations be made to your organization on an annual basis, anyway?
A. Yes, Lifetime Members and Honorary Presidents only pay once! They have no further financial obligation. While donations are groovy, we'd rather have you put money into the organization through the purchase of memberships for friends, family or cohorts... or complete strangers (barring any restraining orders, of course)!
Q. Of your 400 members (non-specifically), how many of them are in my area? I love networking through Facebook and such. It's a great social networking utility, in my opinion.
A. I have quite a few in NY, but none in CT. You can join our Facebook group for free: Actors' Inequity!
Q. How many performers currently belong to your organization?
A. As of December, 2008, we have more than 400 members. When you do the math, as most of them are annual supporters, given our overhead, we're not retiring any time soon!
Q. Performers only or can Stage Managers, etcetera, join too? Would they have the same career specific beneficial resources available to them?
A. Any person who enjoys performing (actors, dancers, singers, jugglers, performance artists, even mimes) and any person who comes in contact with them (stage hands, stage managers, lighting technicians, box office folk, set designers, sound designers, even mimes) are welcome to join. Resources allotted them depend upon their involvement and request for information.
Q. What's the detailed story about how your organization came to be...? I can tell that you and your other co-founder mean well and hope to make a difference. I truly admire that.
A. How much more detailed can I get than what's on the web site (about half-way down: http://actorsinequity.org/index1.html)? If you have specific questions, we'll be glad to answer them just write to us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. I love workshops; does Actors’ Inequity offer any of those?
A. Some day, young padawan, some day...
Performing because we love it ... and we got cast