I am pleased to announce that as of today, my check has cleared, and I am a member of the Actors Equity Association. I am now part of two unions. (AEA and AGMA.) I feel that while there are naturally some down sides to only being able to do union shows, the benefits (health insurance, better wages, better contracts over all) in the long run will well out way the negatives. As I have said, I feel fulfilled artistically having been on stage for almost ten full seasons, that if it takes me a little while to get back up there, I will be ok.
To me, it is important to be able to walk into the union audition calls without having to wait to be seen. I also feel that while yes, my resume isn't yet as extensive in the theatre department as it will be, it is good enough to back me up in this decision. I have worked consistently in a union theatre for the past four years. I've worked consistently in a reputable ballet company for ten. I've weighed the pros and cons a million and two times, and I feel confident in my decision.
Most importantly, I'm excited!! I feel like I'm ready to have that label (AEA) attached to me. Now it's time to prove to the casting directors that I can indeed back it up! Once again, here goes.