brian myers cooper
Residence: New York, NY
Contracts worked: Production, LORT, Off-Broadway, LOA-COST, Guest Artist, Guest Appearance, Dinner Theatre, Mini. Codes: Showcase (Seasonal and NYMTF), 29-hour Reading
Vision, patience, empathy, consensus building, courage, flexibility, integrity.
In over 17 years of service, 12 on Council and 8 as a trustee of our Pension & Health funds, these traits reflect the leadership I’ve always aspired to.
I led the team and developed the strategy for the 2016 Off-Broadway negotiations which won historic 32%-83% gains. We looked at theatres’ full financial picture to determine fair wages, fundamentally changing the way Equity approaches negotiations.
To help achieve this extraordinary result, I leveraged the passion and courage of the #FairWageOnStage movement. This year I’m standing with #FairWageOnCouncil to continue our journey towards fair wages, inclusive opportunities and representation reflective of our diverse world, participation in our creative contributions, and robust engagement with an energized national membership.
As a Pension & Health trustee – separate and apart from my Council service – I work to create meaningful health benefits for as many members as possible, and make good the promise of the pension you’ve worked so hard to earn. My priorities include: extending 11/19 eligibility beyond 2019; finding a way to affordably extend coverage for pregnant women who often lose coverage during pregnancy; and keeping our investments aligned with our consciences.
In 2010, long before Equity Stage Door, I ran a campaign dedicated to listening to as many members as possible, showing up with coffee at 6am and meeting over a thousand of you in audition lines. I brought your voices to Council for the next 6 years. My commitment to hearing you is stronger now than ever. I’d be honored to have your vote.
I grew up on a farm near the tiny village of Scio, OH.
My home is New York City where my husband Orville and I have one feline fur baby, Cleo.
Near the top of the list of fun facts about myself I might not normally share right off the bat would be that I secretly twirled baton in our backyard in Jr. High and High School. I was GOOD.
Actors’ Equity is important to me and my family because it allows my husband and I to pursue theatre as a legitimate career. Without the wages and protections of the contracts we work, and without our health coverage and pension, we could never afford to do this thing we love so much. Unfortunately, theatre jobs often pay unsustainable, unlivable wages, and Equity is vital to moving that bar upward.
I joined Equity in August 1997 through the EMC program, which at the time offered early entry if you took a test on all things Equity. I passed with 100%!
Since then, I’ve become very active in union governance, including serving 12 years in Council and on numerous negotiating teams and committees:
Negotiation Teams: Off-Broadway (2002, 2006, 2009-Chair, 2012-Chair, 2016-Chair/Leader), ANTC (2002–contract origin, 2005, 2016-Chair)
Committees: Online Signup Working Group, Election Procedures (Chair, 2009-2016), Off-Broadway (1st Vice Chair, 2009-2016), Media & New Tech (1st Vice Chair, 2008-2016), Production, ACCA (Vice Chair 2008-2011), EPA, Equal Employment Opportunity,
Equity Staff Pension Fund (Trustee, 2011-Present)
** Equity-League Pension & Health Funds: Trustee (2010-Present) – Committees: Investments, Benefits, Pension Approval Sub-committee
(** E-L Funds are NOT Equity, nor committees of Equity, but completely separate entities).
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.