Nikka Graff Lanzarone
What committees do you currently serve on?
Oh god. Okay. Here goes. Production, LORT, Off-Broadway, Media & New Technology, ACCA, EEO, Public Policy, Member Ed, President’s Committee to Prevent Harassment, Equity News, Show Development, SETA, Young Workers, Convention
Nikka Graff Lanzarone
It feels wild to be running for office right now. It feels wild doing just about ANYTHING right now, I thought. Then I kept thinking.
I thought about my last three years spent on Council, the negotiating teams I’ve served on (Show Development, SETA, Production), the dozens of cast meetings (you may remember me from those), the phone/text banking (or that), the zillions of committee meetings (fifteen committees total), and I realized how fired up I became.
Because here’s the thing (the thing is nerdy): I love it.
Negotiating until 4am, advocating for the worth of our members’ contributions – I love it. Getting into the weeds on policy details – I love it. I love being a delegate to the NYC Central Labor Council. I love it even (okay, especially) when it’s not easy. I love knowing I’ve been part of some of the most innovative and historic changes our union has ever seen, and I want to continue championing equity – and Equity – into the future.
As the labor movement and union favorability regain traction in America, workers across the country are realizing their worth and remembering the immense power found in solidarity. Worker power is instrumental as our industry and economy recover from unprecedented wildness. Not only does AEA have a seat at the table, we’re helping lead the charge. We can do this. Let’s keep the momentum going – together. We need leaders who are ready for what comes next, and I’m ready.
I was born and raised in Los Angeles, and moved to NY after college. I live with my husband and cat in Brooklyn, New York.
My Equity Card: 2006, in the original company of Theatreworks’ Seussical
How/Why is Equity and this work important to you?
It’s everything to me. I’ve said it a million times – I’m the third generation of my family to be a member of a labor union, and an arts union at that. I know firsthand what strength and solidarity can do for artist workers, because it’s how I was raised. I feel a huge responsibility to do right by my fellow members, and I bring that into the room with me every time. It’s our lives and livelihood.
Is there anything else do you do in the world (volunteerism, side hustle, civic work) that informs your world view and the experience you will bring to the Council room?
As one of AEA’s delegates to the NYC Central Labor Council, I bring the perspective of our context within the labor movement at large – how we fit into the larger picture and what we can do to be supportive to our fellow union members across the city and country.
What is a Fun Fact® or something most people don’t know about you?
I saw Waiting For Guffman in the theatre. It remains one of my shining personal achievements.
Where/What is your happy place?
Anywhere with really good food and people I love.