Author Topic: Another question on joining AEA  (Read 4652 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

FrodoLives86

  • Tourist
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Another question on joining AEA
« on: Nov 06, 2006, 10:09 pm »
I'm sorry if this has been asked before:

So, I was just offered a job (which i most desperately need right now) in which I'd be ASMing for a company.  The production manager said it was an equity position and if he hired me I'd have to join.  I really want the job and he really wants me to have the job.  The only thing that might be a problem is a scheduling issue.  I do a lot of freelance and volunteering as a stagehand and techie, and I'm trying to work towards IATSE which is proving to be challenging.  So my question is if I join AEA, does that bar me from doing any show (paid or not) that's not an equity contract, or just any show in which i'd be acting or stage managing?  Could i still tech/run crew? 

Scott

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 252
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Another question on joining AEA
« Reply #1 on: Nov 06, 2006, 10:39 pm »
So my question is if I join AEA, does that bar me from doing any show (paid or not) that's not an Equity contract, or just any show in which i'd be acting or stage managing?  Could i still tech/run crew? 

The latter.  You could still tech/run crew.

MatthewShiner

  • Forum Moderators
  • *****
  • Posts: 2477
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, SMA
  • Current Gig: PSM THE LION KING NORTH AMERICAN TOUR; Assc Director and Production Supervisor HUNCHBACK International
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Another question on joining AEA
« Reply #2 on: Nov 06, 2006, 10:48 pm »
Quote
So my question is if I join AEA, does that bar me from doing any show (paid or not) that's not an Equity contract, or just any show in which i'd be acting or stage managing?  Could i still tech/run crew? 

You could tech/run crew a show.

You could also do non-union dance and opera.

You could also do circus.

You can also do non-English productions. 

But once you join, you can not work non-AEA theatrical production again - there are penalties for such things.  It's a big no-no in the union, and one of the things to keep in mind when taking your card.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Anything posted here as in my own personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer - whomever they be at a given moment in time.

ReyYaySM

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 360
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA
  • Current Gig: Freelance
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Another question on joining AEA
« Reply #3 on: Nov 08, 2006, 12:41 am »
You might also be able to defer your membership to the union for one show.  Under the Taft-Hartley act (also known as the Labor-Management Relations Act), a person may defer membership to a union for a specific trial period.  In the case of AEA, it's one production.  Contact the membership department at AEA for more specific information.  An SM at the company I work with exercised this option.  She signed an AEA contract, but she struck clause 7, the clause regarding membership/the deduction of working dues.  She was paid at the standard SM rate, but no dues were deducted. The company still paid all Equity benefits (pension, health, etc) despite the deferment. 

It's definitely worth investigating if you really want the job but aren't quite ready to go union. 

MarcieA

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 370
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, AGMA, SMA
  • Current Gig: PSM, Lake George Dinner Theatre/Tri Cities Opera
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Another question on joining AEA
« Reply #4 on: Nov 08, 2006, 12:12 pm »
You might also be able to defer your membership to the union for one show.  Under the Taft-Hartley act (also known as the Labor-Management Relations Act), a person may defer membership to a union for a specific trial period.  In the case of AEA, it's one production.  Contact the membership department at AEA for more specific information.  An SM at the company I work with exercised this option.  She signed an AEA contract, but she struck clause 7, the clause regarding membership/the deduction of working dues.  She was paid at the standard SM rate, but no dues were deducted. The company still paid all Equity benefits (pension, health, etc) despite the deferment. 

It's definitely worth investigating if you really want the job but aren't quite ready to go union. 


People do that in PA because it's a Right to Work state, so you can't require people to join a union to do union work, though I know of people who have taken advantage of that and do it continually.

Just be careful about it.

Personally, and it's really only my opinion, I don't think you should take a union job unless you're willing to be a part of that union, which includes paying the dues and the initiation (which i really what everyone is referring to here, I think, because it's $1000- or did it go up to $1100??). The people at Equity aren't some horrible monsters, and if you know that it's a step you want to take, but can't afford to pay, talk to them. I had an actor on an SPT 1 contract who was only getting paid $125 a week, and was in between part time jobs, so it was his only income for a while. He talked to AEA, explained the situation and they were more than willing to allow him to stop paying for the duration of the show.

Only take the step if you're ready to. If scheduling is the problem, talk to the PM and the SM if you can. Maybe they know the rehearsal schedule and you can miss an hour or a night at the beginning of the process. If there's a PA as well, it may not be a problem.

It took me 4 years of working in the same place to feel that I was able to ask to miss a show to go to my sister's graduation, but it was fine. I trained some one, and shadowed them while they ran the show twice and then they were on their own for 2 days. People have lives and other responsibilities in those lives, and as hard as it is to believe,  you're allowed to. If you have other work opportunities that have been scheduled, see if you can work it out, if the ASM job is what you want to do.
Companions whom I loved and still love, tell them my song.

Scott

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 252
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Another question on joining AEA
« Reply #5 on: Nov 08, 2006, 09:54 pm »

I think, as a business descision,  the best time to join a union, especially AEA, is when one is offered a contract under that union, assuming that the job can pay for the inititiation fee over the course of the contract.

Scott

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 252
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Another question on joining AEA
« Reply #6 on: Nov 08, 2006, 10:18 pm »
But once you join, you can not work non-AEA theatrical production again - there are penalties for such things.  It's a big no-no in the union, and one of the things to keep in mind when taking your card.

I assume you mean you cannot work on a non-AEA theatrical production in a stage management capacity -- you can work under a union contract for another union (IATSE, SSDC, Local 1, etc.) or another non-stage management non-union position (electrics hang crew, carpenter, etc.)

You cannot perform these additional duties if you are engaged as an Equity Stage Manager without compensation above the Equity min.

As usual, I would reccomend talking to an Equity rep. for the best clarification.

Rebbe

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 271
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA
  • Experience: Former SM
Re: Another question on joining AEA
« Reply #7 on: Nov 10, 2006, 10:16 am »
You might also be able to defer your membership to the union for one show.  Under the Taft-Hartley act (also known as the Labor-Management Relations Act), a person may defer membership to a union for a specific trial period.  In the case of AEA, it's one production. 

Wow, I hadn’t heard of that before.  Is this where The Myth of the Pre-existing Contract comes from? 

(That’s what I call the rumor I’ve heard that you can join AEA, do your first show as an AEA member, then do a non-equity show as SM, as long as you signed a contract to do that non-eq show before you signed the contract to do your first AEA show.) 

When I first joined equity, I was under the impression that this was OK, but have wondered about it since then, and not yet been able to find the rule or loophole that would support it.  Anyone else have insight into this?
"...allow me to explain about the theatre business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster."  (Philip Henslowe, Shakespeare In Love)

MarcieA

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 370
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, AGMA, SMA
  • Current Gig: PSM, Lake George Dinner Theatre/Tri Cities Opera
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Another question on joining AEA
« Reply #8 on: Nov 10, 2006, 10:34 am »
You might also be able to defer your membership to the union for one show.  Under the Taft-Hartley act (also known as the Labor-Management Relations Act), a person may defer membership to a union for a specific trial period.  In the case of AEA, it's one production. 

Wow, I hadn’t heard of that before.  Is this where The Myth of the Pre-existing Contract comes from? 

(That’s what I call the rumor I’ve heard that you can join AEA, do your first show as an AEA member, then do a non-equity show as SM, as long as you signed a contract to do that non-eq show before you signed the contract to do your first AEA show.) 

When I first joined equity, I was under the impression that this was OK, but have wondered about it since then, and not yet been able to find the rule or loophole that would support it.  Anyone else have insight into this?


That's called a Grandfather Clause, and I've known people who have done it. Always check with Equity, and yes, the non-union contract needs to be signed before you're even offered to AEA one. It's actually what I did.
Companions whom I loved and still love, tell them my song.

ReyYaySM

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 360
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA
  • Current Gig: Freelance
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Another question on joining AEA
« Reply #9 on: Nov 12, 2006, 09:11 am »

People do that in PA because it's a Right to Work state, so you can't require people to join a union to do union work, though I know of people who have taken advantage of that and do it continually.

Just be careful about it.

You can exercise this option in states that are not a "Right to Work" state as well.  From my conversations with AEA when I was doing all of the contracting and reports on this particular contract (I was the company manager at the time), someone can exercise this option for the length of one contract and must join the union the next time they are offered union work.

Again, you should contact AEA for further information/clarification. 

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
3 Replies
1739 Views
Last post May 15, 2014, 02:51 pm
by KaBooM
5 Replies
2808 Views
Last post May 14, 2016, 01:54 pm
by NJ.JerrySmith
2 Replies
903 Views
Last post Oct 15, 2018, 02:07 pm
by Michelle R. Wood