Friday, May 07, 2004


i'm a teamster.

i'm joining the actor's union today. if you don't know that that's a big deal to me, rest assured: it's a big deal to me. lots of actors will tell you correctly that joining Equity isn't necessarily a sign of arriving into any higher echelon; plenty of college kids get their union cards through theatres attached to their schools or through other ways that don't particularly connote professionalism. in fact, i could not be joining the union under a stupider premise myself--but i've been trying to do this for a long time, and i think i'm ready. i only wish the contract that was opening the door was something a little more splendid, or dignified--say, Vivie in Mrs. Warren's Profession, or some other role one can picture a young judi dench in.

i'm a roving character improvisor at a theme restaurant.

i'm not shitting you. but i am also not shitting you that i am going to the Equity office in an hour, giving them many hundreds of dollars, and walking out with a union card, and subsequently getting access to all the Equity principal auditions held in new york. i will soon tire of these, especially of getting up at the ass crack of dawn to stand in line for them, but i've been yammering at the gate for a long time, watching my boyfriend trot off to auditions weekly for theatres that made me pine. popular recieved wisdom is that those required auditions never yield any regular people any work, but a) not really true, and b) i still want to go. auditioning is what you're supposed to be doing here.

anyway. most important right now is that it feels like a huge step forward and actually opens a few doors. and it's not everyday you achieve something you worked for--at least not as an actor. moments of recognition are few and far between and often not linked to any specifically sterling effort of your own.

it also means, i'm realizing, that i'm really truly not coming back to seattle in the short term. i mean, i knew that, but . . . turning Equity is a reasonable choice here in new york where it honestly doesn't rule you out of much work. almost anything worth doing, here, either uses union actors or has a way to accomodate them if cast (including the show i'm doing right now). in seattle, it's a far more isolating choice. it means if i were to go back tomorrow, i wouldn't necessarily get to work with some of the people i love.

but that's good, too, because here is where i am now, and this is a good decision for here. better than good. the right thing.


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