Features

Labor Day for Artists

hamburger minimum wage

There is much in the news these days about how artists, and the personnel infrastructure supporting the artists, need to be appropriately compensated.  Los Angeles theater, of course, has become ground-zero for some of this debate.  Despite claims to the contrary, you’d be hard-pressed to find a stage actor in L.A. who wouldn’t like to be more appropriately compensated.  The issue is defining the term ...

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Letter: Proposed Changes to Actors’ Equity’s Constitution

constitution equity

Footlights received this letter from actor and Actors’ Equity member Leo Marks.  In it, he references an upcoming Equity meeting on September 12, 2016:  For those of you wondering what the 9/12 meeting is about: I’m attaching the text of the proposals I’ve submitted, which will be voted on at that meeting. I really encourage people to read these for themselves. For what it’s worth, ...

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Counterpoint to a Datapoint

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Under the title “There is Pro99 Data and Then There Are the Facts,” Los Angeles playwright, producer, and stage manager Armina LaManna has published a rebuttal in The Dramatist  to Vanessa Stewart’s earlier article there (a version of which first appeared in Footlights). You may recall that Stewart, aided by Monica Greene, took upon herself the daunting task of capturing the life of any intimate ...

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Equity Exec Director Mary McColl Contradicts Equity Website

picard face palm forehead smack

Earlier this week,  I reviewed Actors’ Equity’s new website equityworksla.com.  Equity claims this special site will inform Los Angeles about the coming rule-changes.  Secondarily, the tone on the website is clearly designed to make the changes seem as benign as possible.  As I found in my review, however, the website is riddled with inconsistencies, partial truths, and deliberately misleading graphics.  The site is so flawed ...

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Product Review: Actors’ Equity Launches New Website

askifitsaccurate logo equity equityworkla

Actors’ Equity has launched a new website, equityworksla.com.  I wondered why a new website?  After all, Equity already has a website and anyone in IT will tell you that maintaining a single website is easier and more efficient than two.  The domain name was registered on May 18, 2015 – two days before voting ended in Equity’s national election.  In other words, the domain was ...

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L.A. Plaintiffs’ Response to Union’s Motion to Dismiss

rebuttal volley return equity AEA

In the latest of the legal battle shaping up between a group of Los Angeles actors who are suing their own union, Actors’ Equity Association, comes the official legal response to Equity’s Motion to Dismiss their lawsuit.  The 34-page document, submitted to the court, is a point-for-point rebuttal of Equity’s motion filed on July 21, 2016. These volleys back and forth make clear this legal ...

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Dakin Matthews: A Layman Looks at Equity’s Motion to Dismiss

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Back in October 2015, when a group of LA actors served a lawsuit on their own Union, Actors’ Equity, veteran actor and scholar Dakin Matthews was there to give a layman’s analysis of the legal text.  Now that Equity has filed a motion to dismiss the case, Dakin is back to scrutinize the new document: Again, I’m not a lawyer or a judge, and I ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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