Are you listening Actors Equity Association?
LA City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell announced his support today for #Pro99 and the artists who want to volunteer their time to make intimate theatre in Los Angeles.
Followed by news crews from channels 2, 4, 7, 9 and 11 (SCROLL TO WATCH BELOW), he stood with AEA members Tim Robbins, Noah Wyle, Jane Kaczmarek, Frances Fisher, Parveesh Cheena, Angel Parker, Jack Laufer, Scott Lowell, Adam Silver, Deborah S. Craig, Richard Azurdia to say #ILove99. What started out as as small event, became a much larger press conference, thanks to the support from and appearance by Councilman O’Farrell. We are extremely thankful for his supporting our right to perform our crafts in an intimate setting.
“99 seat theatre really built the theatre scene in LA” – Councilman Mitch O’Farrell
Councilmember O’Farrell, a former actor and small theater group member, won unanimous support from his colleagues on a motion that will start the process to designate Santa Monica Blvd at Wilcox Ave as Hollywood Theatre Row, a creative hub for the theater arts in the City of Los Angeles. Live theater enriches the cultural vitality of a community and provides significant economic benefits. And interestingly, when he walked into The Blank Theatre’s 2nd Stage before the outside press conference, he said with a smile, “I used to perform in this theatre a lot when I was an actor in the late 80s.” We were very happy to have you back Councilman!
Actor Jeff Perry send his regrets and support
“My name is Jeff Perry. I am a company member and a co-founder of The Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago. I’ve had the good luck to work under Actor’s Equity contracts in Chicago, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington DC, New York, London, and Sydney.
My primary residence since 1987 has been LA and working under the 99-seat plan is the ONLY way I have been able to straddle the worlds of camera & stage.
The supremacy of actor compensation and the breadth of opportunity in Los Angeles camera work is simply a fact. Los Angeles remains the undeniable exception for actors in our country. The 99-seat plan allows us actors, who need to work on camera to survive, the ONLY and absolutely CRUCIAL venue for artistic self determination, growth, and exploration on the stage. The time commitment required of ALL the larger Equity contracts simply rules out almost ALL of the currently thriving co-existence of camera & stage artistic expression we LA based actors enjoy.
I haven’t heard a single voice in our LA actor community who believes that minimum wage rules imposed on our 99-seat stages will lead to our ability to earn a living solely on the stage.
The most likely result of such an imposition will instead lead to the destruction of a resource we desperately love.” Sincerely, Jeff Perry