Elect and serve
Elected by the Actors’ Equity company members in a show, the Equity Deputy serves as a liaison between the performers and the union. And how do you get that post? An Equity member in the production volunteers, or is voted in by the other Equity members.
Of course, winning the position of Equity Deputy isn’t like snagging a Tony. There are no designer gowns, tearful speeches, or Neil Patrick Harris. In fact, according to Equity member and blogger Kate O’Phalen, who has served as deputy a few times, the job means dealing with forms and relationships and details that have less to do with acting than with making sure actors are given a safe, professional space to do their work.
Despite the pressure and responsibility, being an Equity Deputy can be a fulfilling experience. If any of your fellow union members have concerns about work conditions, the way they’re being treated or what they’re being asked to do, they come to you. You record rehearsal and performance hours to make sure there are no overages and that there are regular breaks. You call meetings when necessary and can even oversee secret ballots if union members need to vote on a particular issue. And you keep the folks at Equity informed about everything they need to know. Basically, you’re the big kahuna backstage. Being an Equity Deputy may not come with a shiny award, but it could earn you the respect and gratitude of your peers and your union.
— Raven Snook
This video was made in collaboration with our friends at F*It Club. It was written by Allyson Morgan, shot and edited by Nicholas Guldner, and directed by Mark Blankenship (the Theatre Dictionary’s editor-in-chief). It stars Kevin Dwyer, Mara Kassin, Topher Mikels and Allyson Morgan (all members of F*It Club). Special appearance by and thanks to Ian-Julian Williams for cape wrangling.
F*It Club, a film and theatre production company, was founded in 2010 by Executive Director Allyson Morgan and a collective of actors, writers, directors, producers, and filmmakers. The goal of the company is to provide access and opportunity with immediacy. We work on short plays, short films, and short-term events, with the goal of bringing both ease and fun back to entertainment. We say “f* it” to waiting for opportunity to knock. We are seizing opportunity and making it ours. We want to make work and we want to make it NOW.
We are best known for the multiple award-winning series of world premiere, commissioned short plays known as The Spring Fling. Artists we’ve collaborated with include Brooke Berman, Hilary Bettis, Lucy Boyle, Bekah Brunstetter, Ashlin Halfnight, Nick Jones, Greg Keller, Anna Kerrigan, Krista Knight, Victor Lesniewski, Caroline V. McGraw, Janine Nabers, Isaac Oliver, Heidi Schreck, Mark Schultz, Joe Tracz, and Anna Ziegler. Find out more on F*It Club’s Facebook page and Twitter feed.