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 Post subject: News from US Equity
PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2005 8:49 am 
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I'm not sure whether US Equity also includes dance artists, as its UK equivalent does, albeit in linited numbers. Nevertheless the article has some interesting stats about how much performers earn from their craft, with an average around $6000 per year - ouch!

US Equity reports rise in membership
By Judd Hollander for The Stage

US Actors’ Equity Association has released its 2004 report on the earning and employment cycles for its 45,000 members, showing a small increase in subscriber numbers. The information covers the 2003/4 theatre season, which ran from June 1, 2003 to May 31, 2004.

During the period, Equity reported 39,544 members of “good standing” - those that are up to date with their membership dues. This represents a small rise from 39,200 such members in 2002/3.

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 Post subject: Re: News from US Equity
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 11:30 am 
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Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
Quote:
I'm not sure whether US Equity also includes dance artists, as its UK equivalent does
It's variable (and confusing). If the dancers are in a Broadway show, or dancing in a musical produced by a company with an Equity contract, they're members of Actors' Equity. If they're members of one of the few dance companies with a union contract, they're probably members of AGMA (The Associated Guild of Musical Artists). If they're in Vegas, they're probably protected (and I use that term loosely) by AGVA (The Associated Guild of Variety Artists).

<small>[ 20 February 2005, 12:32 PM: Message edited by: salzberg ]</small>

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 Post subject: Re: News from US Equity
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2005 4:35 am 
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But I think if the dancers are just dancers and not singing, as in 'Movin' Out', they are represented by AGMA.

There was a debate over this recently, and I think AGMA won.

Kate


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 Post subject: Re: News from US Equity
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2005 8:55 am 
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They're "sister" unions, with reciprocal agreements, so you're probably right.

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 Post subject: Re: News from US Equity
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2005 4:41 pm 
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Just an FYI: All Movin Out dancer contracts are governed by AEA, Actors Equity Association, not AGMA.

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 Post subject: Re: News from US Equity
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 3:36 am 
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Thanks, Osiris; I wasn't sure.

Broadway actors (and, apparently, dancers) are protected by Equity's contract with the League of Broadway Producers and Theatres.

From Equity's web site:

Quote:
First negotiated in 1919, the Production Agreement covers Broadway, National and International Tours. It is also used for touring productions at large performing arts centers such as the Kennedy Center. This agreement can be used by both commercial and not-for-profit producers, for either limited or open-ended runs. It covers both musical and dramatic productions and is the only agreement with provisions allowing non-resident alien performers to work in the United States. In June of 2001, a 401(k) Plan was added to the Agreement. MassMutual provides financial services to help Actors save for retirement.

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 Post subject: Re: News from US Equity
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2005 7:30 am 
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Yeah, AEA has some really great membership benefits. Their Federal Credit union is fantastic, and the healthcare/pension plan is very very solid.
FYI- If you use ATM's in NYC the Actor's Federal Credit Uniton ATM machines which are owned and operated by AEA only charge .99 to use. A great way to support the AEA Federal Credit Union and save some money in ATM charges. They must have worked out some kind of deal with all the McDonalds' in Manhattan because you see the AEA federal credit union ATM's in all of them.

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 Post subject: Re: News from US Equity
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 4:57 am 
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Quote:
Yeah, AEA has some really great membership benefits.
What's the current minimum number of weeks required to qualify for the health care benefit? How many members actually work that long per year?

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 Post subject: Re: News from US Equity
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 11:50 am 
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Now don't quote me here but last I checked it was 12 weeks a year under AEA contract to qualify for the health insurance. Percentage who qualify for that per year I couldn't tell you. I know the ratio of working members in AEA compared to the non-working is not real good though.

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 Post subject: Re: News from US Equity
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 3:59 am 
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Quote:
They must have worked out some kind of deal with all the McDonalds' in Manhattan because you see the AEA federal credit union ATM's in all of them.
Well, think how many MacDonald's employees in Manhattan are also members of Equity....

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 Post subject: Re: News from US Equity
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 6:36 am 
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Hahahaha, ooohhh I just almost spilled coffee all over my keyboard, now that is too funny! Sad because it is probably true to some degree, but very funny. :D

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 Post subject: Re: News from US Equity
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 10:10 am 
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Quote:
Originally posted by salzberg:
They're "sister" unions, with reciprocal agreements, so you're probably right.
By why is it, by most accounts, AGMA is so much weaker than AEA in terms of representing its members? Or am I mistaken in my perception?


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 Post subject: Re: News from US Equity
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 5:55 am 
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I think, or atleast from what I know of AGMA that they represent their mebers just fine, or atleast that is my opinion. The difference is that AEA has many many more members as well as performing organizations that use their contracts and recognize them as the sole bargaining agent for their talent. I don't know the accurate number but if you look at the ratio of working dance companies in north america that recognize AGMA as opposed to the working dance companies in north america that do not recognize AGMA the difference is staggering. I am just doing this math in my head here but I would estimate that AGMA represents less than 5% of all North American working dance companies.
The simple truth is this, more members, more money, more benefits. Some would say, more money, more bureaucracy, more problems, but that is not what I have seen or experienced with AEA over the years.

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 Post subject: Re: News from US Equity
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 8:12 am 
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Dance companies have less reason to affiliate with AGMA than theatre companies have to sign an agreement with Equity, I think.

Every professional dancer knows that, if s/he declines a job for any reason -- safety, general workplace conditions, scheduling, whatever -- there are 200 dancers who will leap at the opportunity. Management knows this, too.

The same situation exists in theatre, of course, but to a lesser degree. I think, for example, that it would be easier to cast a national-class ballet or modern dance company with non-AGMA dancers than it would be to find non-Equity LORT-class (at least, LORT A) actors.

...But maybe I'm wrong.

I think that what Azlan was referring to was the difference in protection in matters concerning things like workplace safety, scheduling, and pay. Most dancers would kill for the protection offered to actors by AEA, and almost anyone would like the protections offered to musicians by the AFofM.

<small>[ 28 February 2005, 09:44 AM: Message edited by: salzberg ]</small>

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