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What's an easier way to be equity?

I want to know what are other ways to be equity for I can audition for more roles

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To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

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Katherine’s Answer

Hello Juan,

During the pandemic, Equity transitioned to an Open Access model, eliminating the need for accumulated EMC hours. This means that if you've ever been compensated for your work as an actor or stage manager, you're now eligible to join Equity.

The only conditions for membership now are that you can't continue to work non-union jobs, and you must stay up-to-date with your dues.

However, I'd advise you to take your time before deciding to join Equity. If you're seeking more audition opportunities, it would be beneficial to start building your resume and connections at off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway houses in New York. It's completely understandable that many people are eager to work at union houses right off the bat, given the advantages that come with being an AEA member. However, there's a vast world of non-union theatre in cities like New York, Chicago, and DC.

Many of my colleagues have expressed concern about their schedules as Equity performers. While they earn a higher income when they land a gig, those opportunities tend to come less frequently. Depending on your personal circumstances and how comfortable you are with this feast-or-famine job landscape (consider factors like your living arrangements, your alternative work plans when not on contract, and your availability for auditions), you could choose to join Equity right away. But I urge you to carefully consider the potential impact on your resume, connections, and lifestyle flexibility in the early stages of your career.

Katherine recommends the following next steps:

Talk to Equity Performers IN YOUR AREA about their work history - how often are the booking? Do they think being AEA is a necessity?
Look around at the types of performances and art you are passionate about being a part of - are these being performed in Equity houses only? What about LORT B houses? Off off Broadway?
Figure out what type of lifestyle you can afford to live while you audition, and how you plan to build a schedule that prioritizes auditioning and also feeding yourself.
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