Michael A. Newcomer
Residence: New Orleans, LA
Contracts/Codes Worked: LORT (Non-Rep), LOA, Guest Artist, SPT, 29-Hour Reading
As a 20-year member, I have had the great privilege of working and living all over the country, enjoying a vibrant artistic life, but barely making ends meet. I am the definition of a regional theatre actor.
My family moved to New Orleans to create a more stable life, and while my family thrives, my access to opportunities and a living wage as a Union actor living outside of an office city, has greatly diminished.
I joined the Equity2020 campaign as a Trailblazer because I wanted to be a part of the conversation between the office cities and the regions. We started moving in the right direction, but we have much further to travel.
This election should be a referendum on that momentum, electing fresh voices like mine who know firsthand what our members face in the liaison and regional markets.
New Orleans is a great example of a liaison city left to fend for itself. The NOLA Contract was put in place to solve a problem that existed years ago. We continue to work under a contract that has no health benefits or Stage Manager requirements. We cannot move towards a more vibrant future in our region if we continue to look to the past for answers.
It’s time to look forward. Our lives are changing as we grow our families, and our Union and contracts should change alongside us.
A vote for me is a vote for a Newcomer to council who will listen, respond, and vigorously stand up for the Regions every day.
I was born in Bad Kreuznach, Germany and spent the first 17 years of my life moving back and forth to the U.S. as the son of a career Army Veteran.
With no specific place to call home, my hometown has always been where my feet are planted and that is currently in the Big Easy, New Orleans, Louisiana. I relocated here after long stints in both NYC and Los Angeles.
Currently I serve as a member of the New Orleans/Baton Rouge Liaison Committee, as well as sitting as an observer on the Entry to Equity, Developing Theatres/LOA, and Codes Central Committess. I also proudly served as an Equity2020 Trailblazer in 2017.
I got my equity card way back in 1998 when I was offered a contract to work at Ford’s Theatre (which then operated under a special agreement with AEA). To do the show, I had to accept my Union Card and proudly did so, even then knowing that when I moved back to Atlanta (where I was living at the time), I would have to re-introduce myself as an AEA member, after having worked non-union for many years.
My wife and I moved to New Orleans in 2014 to start our family, which as of this writing is one, beautiful 17 month old son, and another boy about 10 weeks away from making his entrance into the world.
Having done 30 plus AEA shows, on a wide variety of contracts, I am true Regional Theatre Actor! My membership in AEA is the tangible proof that I subscribe to a professional level of theatre, that comes with all of the hard fought privileges and protections.
My career as an AEA actor has been spent traveling the country, working at many of the country’s great Regional Theatres. Many of those opportunities came only when I was living in NYC or Los Angeles. Now that I live in New Orleans, I find myself on the outer edges of the Union’s stronghold – the office cities. My desire for a better life for myself and my family shouldn’t be in opposition to my desire to continue my career as a member of AEA. The conversation has really just started with the hard work we did on the Equity2020 campaign and all that we learned. I am ready to be a strong voice in that conversation, to bring my 20 plus years of experience to the table as someone who has never been on Broadway, never been on a National Tour, but still have been an active and productive member of our Union. We can be stronger nationally and to do that, we need voices like mine from the regions to represent our diverse needs and experiences.
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.