Melissa Robinette

First Vice President

Candidate Statement

Residence: Peekskill, NY

Contracts worked: Off Broadway, LORT, LOA, SPT, Westchester Broadway Dinner Theater, Guest Artist, Showcase Code, 29 Hour Stage Reading.


Though I be but little, I am fierce!

Born a circus kid, I’ve been a proud AEA member for twelve years, something I’ve achieved without representation, booking solely through EPAs and ECCs. I was vested through these regional gigs by the age of 27.

Having served on the negotiating team that secured historic increases in Off-Broadway wages, I will always stand up for better wages and working conditions.

Twice elected AEA’s Eastern Vice President, I served a one year term as 1st National Vice President, and fulfilled all of my campaign promises, including more money in members pockets on all contracts; improvements to Equity News; pipelines to Eastern Region Liaisons; online signups; better branding through social media; the NYC Sky Lobby; and more contracts, especially in the Eastern Region.

I’ve given AEA a bigger national footprint, having been elected to the NYC Central Labor Executive Board and AFL-CIO National Young Workers’ Board, and helping create our own Young Workers’ Committee, fostering the next generation of union leaders.

Within Equity, I kicked off the improved national liaison plan and summit, and advocated for the President’s Committee on Sexual Harassment.

Of greatest importance to me moving forward are gender parity and diversity on all stages; job access for stage managers and a dedicated SM portal; mandated liaison seats on Council; maintaining EPA and ECC access, and making signup system work for ALL; outreach to other unions that need our help; making our workspaces harassment-free; and driving wages up so we can feed and house ourselves.

Personal Statement

Born in the circus.  Settled down in north county San Diego for school. Been a New Yorker for 16 years.  Just moved to the burbs from Astoria!  Peekskill, NY is now home.

Committees I’m on: Co-Chair of the Theme Parks Committee. Member of: Young Workers, Organizing, National Public Policy, Strategic Alliance, EPA, Agency, House of Affairs, New Media, Entry to Equity, Equity News, Developing Theatre, LORT, Executive Committee, Online Sign Ups Working Group.

Got my AGVA card in 2000.  Bought my Actors Equity card through my AGVA membership in 2005.

Happily married with 2 rescue pitbulls, 5 chickens.

Actors Equity is my living, my health insurance and my retirement.  Coming from a circus family my Aunt fell off her trapeze twice.  She settled for a workman comp case for a laughable amount of money and is unable to work or financially support herself.  What we as stage managers and actors do every day is inherently dangerous, similar to the circus.  Thanks to the wages, working conditions, and the public policy of/from Actors Equity, my aunt’s story can’t happen to me or any member of this union.  There is strength and safety in numbers.

FUN FACT: Since rescuing two pitbulls I have become obsessed with animal behavior training and train on the side for fun.

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.