Author Topic: Being offered my card, good idea?  (Read 9797 times)

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NomieRae

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Being offered my card, good idea?
« on: Aug 10, 2007, 08:14 pm »
Hello All--

I just posted yesterday that I may be offered a job on a LOA-NYC contract, and I believe that they may offer it to me, and it would mean that I would get my card, just wanted to run details by you all to see if you thought it was worth it, and if I know what I'm getting into.

So if I submit my application for this job, I owe AEA $1100 within 2 years of filing, and $400 of that within 6 months of filing. On top of that they'll take $118/yr and 2.25% per paycheck. Correct?

I'm possibly getting paid as much as $300/wk for a contract of 11 weeks, and financially I can swing it, although it would be nicer if they paid for transportation but alas I'm not far enough away (20miles).

Does it seem worth it? Oh and the other wrench in the works is that I'm still in school (undergrad) and while I can work my classes around the schedule, but would I be ineligible to work on shows at school, or only as a stage manager?

So eager to want this versus a mallrat job, but wanted to pick the brains of everyone and see if I'm not seeing some big hole...

Thanks!
--Naomi
"First, I honor life, and with it my life in theatre." -- Jacques Burdick

Jessie_K

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Re: Being offered my card, good idea?
« Reply #1 on: Aug 10, 2007, 08:59 pm »
How many years of school do you have left?  Do you think you can get enough more work in the next two years to make it worthwhile?

I got my card young (just out of college) and things worked out well.  I was able to pay my initiation fee bit by bit and take care of it all.  Yearly dues and working dues are not too bad.

My only caution to you would be: are you ready to turn down all non-AEA theatre work?  If the answer is no, don't get your card yet.  Another opportunity is sure to come around.

NomieRae

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Re: Being offered my card, good idea?
« Reply #2 on: Aug 10, 2007, 09:52 pm »
There is a clause with AEA about productions for completion of a degree, yes? So if I went to grad school with my card (I have only one year left of undergrad, just general eds) would I be able to SM productions there?

May be a silly question-but I can still do other theatrical work (lighting, wardrobe, makeup) on the side since they aren't part of AEA, correct?
--Naomi
"First, I honor life, and with it my life in theatre." -- Jacques Burdick

StageMgr2Stars

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Re: Being offered my card, good idea?
« Reply #3 on: Aug 10, 2007, 10:15 pm »
There is a clause with AEA about productions for completion of a degree, yes? So if I went to grad school with my card (I have only one year left of undergrad, just general eds) would I be able to SM productions there?

May be a silly question-but I can still do other theatrical work (lighting, wardrobe, makeup) on the side since they aren't part of AEA, correct?
That's my understanding of it but I could be wrong. I looked into it a bit until I decided I wanted to intern after I graduate and not freelance in NYC.

Your best bet... CALL EQUITY.
-C-

Jessie_K

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Re: Being offered my card, good idea?
« Reply #4 on: Aug 10, 2007, 11:24 pm »
Sorry.  Yes, you can do wardrobe or electrics or PA or usher, etc. You just can't "stage manage" for "theater" on a non-AEA basis.  Dance, opera, special events, etc are not covered by AEA so you can stage manage them.

I am not sure about educational stuff.  You could probably get a waiver from AEA for any graduate studies you wanted to do to allow you to SM in an educational environment.

nmno

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Re: Being offered my card, good idea?
« Reply #5 on: Aug 13, 2007, 02:23 pm »
another option if you want the gig but not the card (at this time) is to Taft-Hartley.  Short definition is that you are offered a contract but don't accept the union membership.  As I understand it's a one-time thing (you can't Taft-Hartley your way through your career) but a friend of mine here in CA is doing it for a second time with the same theatre.  This is definitely a case where you need to contact Equity to get details (I don't know if we're able to do it in CA b/c it's a "right to work" state;  I think there is a limit to the number of weeks; etc.)  But it's one way to have your cake and eat it too. Maybe some NY folks here have more knowledge/experience with T-H.

Balletdork

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Re: Being offered my card, good idea?
« Reply #6 on: Aug 13, 2007, 03:46 pm »
I Taft-Hartley-ed once- and I'm pretty sure it is a one-time offer.

But yeah- check your AEA business rep!

ReyYaySM

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Re: Being offered my card, good idea?
« Reply #7 on: Aug 14, 2007, 01:30 am »
The Taft-Hartley act was also discussed in this thread.  Best of luck to you as you make your decision!!

SMExtraordinaire

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Re: Being offered my card, good idea?
« Reply #8 on: Aug 01, 2008, 02:14 pm »
Actually, in a right to work state you are never required to take your card if you are offered an Equity contract. If you so choose to work 3 or 4 contracts ONLY in a right to work state you can without taking it and if you work 4 shows under an AEA contract regardless of being a member (as they are still taking their cut from your check) they have to offer you health insurance.

Good things to keep in mind if you will be living for a while in a right to work state.
"It required a bland, conscientious temperament that expected abuse and never admiration. The best stage managers are usually women, who bear the indignity for the historical neccessity of continuity itself." - John Osbourne

loebtmc

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Re: Being offered my card, good idea?
« Reply #9 on: Aug 01, 2008, 08:53 pm »
you may want to check - my understanding is that they take out the health and pension, but if you are not a member you are not entitled to collect it - esp as there are requirements of numbers of weeks worked for any given health plan.

But I cd be wrong - have been before, chances are good I will be again

SMExtraordinaire

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Re: Being offered my card, good idea?
« Reply #10 on: Aug 05, 2008, 12:54 am »
You still have to work the required amount of time (under an equity contract) to earn the health insurance, but you don't have to have the card.
"It required a bland, conscientious temperament that expected abuse and never admiration. The best stage managers are usually women, who bear the indignity for the historical neccessity of continuity itself." - John Osbourne

SMrose

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Re: Being offered my card, good idea?
« Reply #11 on: Aug 09, 2008, 08:48 am »
Nomie Rae,

Here's the advice I give my students: have you got enough shows under your belt to take an AEA card?  SM-ing is challenging enough w/o having to work under the AEA rules.  Have you checked into becoming an AEA candidate and use the time served on this show for credit toward your card?  Ask your local AEA office about that possibility and what the ramifications are for working non-union shows as an AEA candidate.

Meg_23_c2o

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Re: Being offered my card, good idea?
« Reply #12 on: Aug 16, 2008, 10:29 pm »
I think it also depends on where you want to work.  I'm new to New York theatre, but it seems helpful that I have my card.  However, I come from St. Louis, and there it wasn't necessary at all.
Superman can leap tall buildings in a single bound.  Stage managers have to lift up the buildings so everyone else can walk under them.

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