I serve on 22 committees and working groups, which is quite possibly more than anyone besides Kate Shindle herself. Highlights include serving as Chair of the Eastern Regional Board and EPA Committee, Vice Chair of the Eastern Developing Theater, Entry to Equity, Off-Off Broadway, and Young Workers Committees, and as a member of the Production, LORT, Equal Employment Opportunity, Executive, and Public Policy Committees. So, you know, that’s half of them.
I’m more grateful than ever to be a union member, knowing that none of us has to live through our present moment alone. In the months to come, as we work to emerge from this situation together, it’ll be important as ever that Equity has senior officers who are up to the task.
As your incumbent Eastern Regional Vice President, I know firsthand that this position requires a depth of knowledge—comprehensive understanding of Equity’s operations, skills to manage a large organization, expertise in the contents of our contracts, and real familiarity with labor history, theory, and law.
Above and beyond that proficiency, though, is a need for our elected leadership to be visible and visionary—committed to an unending willingness to engage deeply and meaningfully with our stage managers and actors, and to use what’s learned from their lived experiences to help change their lives for the better.
Over five years I’ve amassed a 95% Council attendance record, serving on a virtually unparalleled 22 committees and working groups. I’ve traveled the country, listening to and learning from members in over fifteen different Liaison Areas. I’ve championed member-driven and regionally-appropriate approaches in Eastern contract committees—leading to both more jobs and fairer wages—while seeking at every turn to dismantle Equity’s “concession culture.” All while earning a Certificate in Labor Leadership from Cornell University’s Worker Institute.
My time as Vice President has been a marriage of these necessary components—knowledge, vision, and accomplishment—and it’s on that record that I run for reelection.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, a few blocks from where Ebbets Field used to be. (The Dodgers leaving for Los Angeles—27 years before my birth—remains a great tragedy of my life.) I moved to Minneapolis for college, and ended up staying in the Twin Cities for the better part of a decade. I eventually moved back to New York, and have been home now for ten years.
I live on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with my brilliant spouse Gretchen and my impossibly elderly dachshund Gigi. We’ve recently decamped to Western Wisconsin, so that we may assist my mother-in-law as she runs her rural hospital during this time of pandemic.
My Equity Card: I took my card when I joined The Acting Company in 2010, touring the country with their productions of Romeo and Juliet (Mercutio) and The Comedy of Errors (Angelo) performed in repertory.
How/Why is Equity and this work important to you?
I love teams. Baseball and theater are my two first loves, and it’s because they’re both team sports. Equity turns out to be the biggest and the best team I’ve ever been a part of.
I come from a family deeply committed to service, and from the beginning of my involvement with the union’s governance, I’ve just wanted to help make people’s lives better in whatever way I can. It’s why I live and breathe this work.
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?
I run. I’ve completed a handful of full and half marathons, but more importantly running is the closest I get to a regular meditation practice. Central Park is my regular stomping ground, and it’s often while running the park loop that I try to put together my thoughts about what I’m working on at Equity—a chance to synthesize all the information I take in on a regular basis into real, tangible policy solutions for our members.
What was your first ever stage production?
I played King Sidney in my Pre-K production of Cinderella at P.S. 272 in Canarsie, Brooklyn. My teacher told me to stare at the clock at the back of the auditorium and say my lines as loudly as I could. I went to drama school for eight years, and it’s still the best note I’ve ever gotten.