Residence: Brooklyn, NY
Contracts worked: Off-Broadway, LORT, LOA, LOA-NYC, SPT, Mini, Showcase, Special Agreement, and the late, great ANTC
I’m running for Council because I believe in AEA’s role as a powerful labor organization advocating for the arts and all 51,000 of its workers.
I was on the 2016 Off-Broadway negotiation team, created the final numbers, and presented them to the producers. The outcome was transformative. We need to bring this momentum to the national level, on all contracts. I’m running to ensure that AEA pushes producers to pay what they can according to their full financial picture, and also prioritizes each market’s needs.
My wife is an actor too, and we’re parents to a whirling imp of a kid. We know the need for theaters to be more conducive for families. I’m running to urge the union to work with institutions on finding solutions in scheduling, childcare, and family-friendly facilities.
I care about the fiscal and cultural health of our industry. I was in the Equity contingent for Arts Advocacy Day in 2017, a paramount year for arts lobbying. I’m part of a group crafting a budgetary initiative that will demand our city council acknowledge the importance of theater. I’m running to ensure that AEA recognizes its indispensability to the cultural economy.
I’ve been working for stage managers and actors as a founding member of #FairWageOnStage and as a member of AEA committees. I’m running to continue that work on improving contracts; making the stage and booth truly representative; enhancing the website with needs like a stage manager portal and more functional EPA online signups; eliminating the undemocratic earnings dues cap; researching our employers’ financial and employment history; and every other thing that makes our union powerful, engaged, and proud.
I was born and raised in New York City. I took the subway alone at ten, didn’t get my driver’s license until I was 28, and this is 100% the way it should be.
As tempting as it’s been to leave, and as much as I’ve cultivated a complicated love-hate relationship with this place, I recognize I’ll most likely be living in New York City forever. Or at least until the floods wash over it, and we’re all hiding out in the Appalachians hording iodine and salt. But even then, I’d probably call my new territory something clever like Old New York or whatever.
I currently serve on the Off-Broadway and LORT committees, and am an observer on DevT and Election Procedures.
I received my Equity card in 2005 on Rebecca Gilman’s show The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, a co-production between the Acting Company and the Alliance Theatre. Doug Hughes directed it, and it had just a fantastic cast. As Andy Weems described themselves, a “wonderful collection of theater gasbags.” Because it was an Acting Company co-pro, we also took it to Talladega, Mobile, and a couple of other stops in the South, on the Carson McCullers circuit. It turns out you can actually subsist on boiled peanuts for two straight weeks.
I have a four-year-old daughter named Stella, and a grey cat named Violet. Whenever Stella cried as an infant, Violet would bring her this little toy stuffed sea otter in hopes that it would soothe her. That was very cute! Now the two have entered into strong frenemy territory, in which Stella tries to pet Violet, Violet hisses at Stella, Stella throws a ball at Violet, Violet slinks away to pee on the bathmat, and I sit in the other room fondly remembering when I didn’t have any responsibility.
Equity is important to me because I believe in the power of unions. That there’s power in the collective, that a common cause and unity in improving the lives of workers makes the world a better place. That labor organizations can and must level the playing field in an economic system that is tweaked more and more to limit mobility. Equity is important to me because it means that what we do is not a frivolity; that our work and our workers deserve benefits, protections, and respect. Because while our symbol may look like the tragicomedy masks, they also look like a shield, and I believe our union can and should step in between us and employers who take advantage of the close relationships in this heavily personal industry.
Something you might not know about me: 1. I wrote and edited for the travel guide book Let’s Go. 2. I majored in Latin briefly. 3. I worked on the 53rd floor of Tower 1 of the World Trade Center. 4. I’ve been running a fantasy baseball league since 1992. 5. Oh crap, all of these things make me seem pretty old.
Each plank in the #FairWageOnCouncil platform has a page of its own where you can read about it in greater detail. Just click on the text of the planks your are interested in learning more about.