Saturday, August 02, 2008

Equity shutting down SF office

I'm the least active Actors' Equity member ever, so my commentary isn't exactly going to be influential, but I do think it's a shame that Actor's Equity is shutting down their San Francisco member office this September. They're consolidating West Coast operations to LA and hoping that "modern technology advances" will make it easy to support the Bay Area theatre scene without actually being here. We all know that technology is great, but physical proximity does matter. Face-to-face relationships do matter.

Not that I'm sure the SF office was always that helpful. I've heard lots of my friends who are on the management side of small theatres say that they felt Equity was more hindrance than help when it came to finding ways to employ Equity actors. And that's probably pretty consistent across regions.

Then you hear that the SF office has had 5 different people in charge in as many years, and you wonder how on Earth it could be that hard to get someone to stay leading an Equity office in one of the country's most beloved cities? What the heck were they doing to that poor person?

I haven't even done a show/contract since 1999, and I don't think I've EVER interacted with the SF Equity office, so like I said: I'm just yammering. I just pay my dues and resist giving up my membership as a weird matter of pride and denial.

Why don't some of you who are actually currently active in the local Equity scene comment: What do you think?

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