Features

When Intelligence is Artificial

eliza artificial intelligence footlights

If you follow the popular tech press, it’s likely you’ve seen a number of stories about artificial intelligence.  The term “artificial intelligence” is somewhat loosely defined.  It fits under the category of “we’ll know it when we see it.” The mathematician Alan Turing defined artificial intelligence as an “imitation game.”  If a human couldn’t tell if the origin of the responses on the other side ...

Read More »

The Meaning of Actors’ Equity’s Motion to Dismiss LA Lawsuit

actors equity motion to dismiss lawsuit duel

Following the LA actors serving a lawsuit on their union (Actor’s Equity), the Union has countered with a motion to dismiss that lawsuit.  The complete text of the motion can be found here in PDF format.  (It’s a 45 MB file.  A lighter, text-version of the primary document appears below.) Lawsuits are often about the rules of the conflict – and how they apply to ...

Read More »

UPDATED: 99-Seat Plan to Equity Contract – The Data

updated data database

Footlights originally published this letter from actress and producer Vanessa Stewart on March 25, 2016. Vanessa has since updated her database making it even more accurate and a more valuable tool for the theater community. She explains her update in an addendum which follows her original letter below: I just spent about a year of researching 99-Seat productions that moved to contracts. And here’s what ...

Read More »

Garry Marshall – Cultural Titan and Family Man

garry marshall

If you are of a certain age, your cultural life was dominated by Garry Marshall’s touch.  The Odd Couple. Happy Days. Laverne & Shirley. Mork & Mindy. Pretty Woman. The Princess Diaries.  He helped Ron Howard get cast in his first film (George Lucas’ American Graffiti) and directed Jackie Gleason in his last (Nothing in Common  with Tom Hanks). And these are just a few ...

Read More »

This Is a True L.A. Story: ‘Recorded In Hollywood’

footlights recorded in hollywood musicals

Dolphin’s of Hollywood was not just a record store with a DJ or an iconic music gathering place for rebellious teens during a time of segregation in Los Angeles. For many people who traveled to the original Central Avenue shop, sometimes even secretly, it was a home. Legendary owner and music producer John Dolphin opened his doors to all ethnicities. By doing so he opened ...

Read More »

Dakin Matthews: A Whimsical Look at Equity’s Hypothetical

exchange equity pro99 99-seat plan

From veteran actor and scholar Dakin Matthews who is currently appearing on Broadway in Waitress: In a recent letter to the membership – I assume I was not the only person who got it – an AEA press release (“The Actual Facts”) quoted Mary McColl as comparing Los Angeles to a number of other major American cities in order to “look at the facts.” Being ...

Read More »

Equity Work Week Numbers by the Numbers

hollywood theater row footlights equity

Actors’ Equity Association has repeatedly expressed concern that the Los Angeles 99-Seat Plan has impeded paid opportunities for actors in the region. Equity President Kate Shindle made remarks along these lines in March of this year: …the idea that a mid-sized theater could open at this point, or even a smallish theater, could open at this point in Los Angeles when they had to compete ...

Read More »

UPDATED: Dealing with Facts

checking facts

As if their press release earlier in the week wasn’t enough, Actor’s Equity has distributed another  press release today in a reaction to the Plaintiffs’ Statement published yesterday.  Some context and analysis follow after the Union’s official statement: Actors’ Equity Association Executive Director Mary McColl issued the following statement: Actors’ Equity Association (Equity) remains disappointed that the facilitated discussions with the plaintiffs in the Asner ...

Read More »

Letter to the Editor: A Response to Equity’s Statement

letter to the editor footlights

Veteran actress Wendy Worthington, who is currently appearing in the National Tour of Wicked, sends this open letter in response to the statement made by Actors’ Equity concerning the 99-Seat Plan on June 28, 2016: My Dear AEA Councilors: Yes, I have indeed “become aware” of all of the events that have transpired in Los Angeles theatre in the last several years. And I am ...

Read More »

Los Angeles and the Car Go Cult

los angeles car culture freeway

It’s summer!  That time of year when people think about relaxing, stress-free family car trips.  When oil companies think about increasing gas prices.  And, in Los Angeles, when we realize we live in not only endless summer but also endless traffic.  Here are a few helpful driving tips to navigate the city’s hallowed asphalt.  The astute motorist will note the average Angeleno follows these simple ...

Read More »