• So much going /gone nonunion 03/20/2018  1:27pm

    It's great that rocktopia now is a part of a Union contract. I am very pleased. But what about everything that is out on tour that is misleading audiences into believing they are seeing a "professional touring show from New York" , when it is non-union? As Equity continues to add more people to its roster , why doesn't it crack down on things like this? Why is any musical giving out its rights to be toured when it is non-union? Why isn't the equity pushing for these things? Oh I know the obvious answer. Money. But that is not enough when they claim to be truly looking out for their people, and at the same time adding more and more people into the Union.

    sing_happy

    Non equity does not mean that it’s not professional. Union status doesn’t make you more or less talented. So the talent doesn’t change. The quality of the production doesn’t change either. It just means that it’s bit backed by a union. Nothing else changes. It’s still a professional touring company from New York

    EpaMonitor 03/20/2018  1:29pm

    Not backed by a union*

    EpaMonitor 03/20/2018  1:30pm

    ^^^Beat me to it.

    Icanseeyou 03/20/2018  1:31pm

    Oh believe me I know that it does not mean anyone is less talented in the production. But when all of these actors who are not part of the Union are getting more and more opportunities to do these major tours, and tours are playing at these major houses where the audience thinks that, for instance, the Beauty and the Beast they are watching is the same as Jersey Boys. It is not, and I feel it is so wrong that Equity has not tried to bring these shows back to the union... Have there been pushes in the past, I would love to hear about them. I would love to be wrong, and have someone tell me that Equity is in fact actively trying to get these tours to move Union and get more opportunities for its members.

    I became Union for the idea of having someone on my side, protected Productions, insurance, and better opportunities... But since becoming Union I've seen so many more things going non Union, especially tours.

    tell someone you're in a national tour, anyone outside the theater doesn't know Union versus non-union, it sounds like the big time. Yes an amazing opportunity for a non-union performer... But when it's advertised and appearing on the outside as the same or almost the same as any other Broadway tour, how is that right for union members?

    Listen, I'm about the most idealistic person around, but I have just been so frustrated for so long. If anyone can tell me that Equity has been pushing for a change, I would love to hear details. Sid?

    sing_happy 03/20/2018  1:36pm

    I strongly disagree with the quality of production doesn't change. It does. Sets get paired down for easier breakdown, one nighters take a toll on the talent, travel days that end in performing change the performance, cast size often shrinks. Cast tend to skew younger too. I won't knock the talent because most of those kids move on to do great things... but it does change. There is a difference. I agree its unfair to call it "unprofessional." But, it isn't the same standard a traditional broadway tour is held to.

    DorothyMichaels 03/20/2018  1:36pm

    Equity tours still send out easier to break down sets and they will still do what’s necessary to make it an easier job for everyone.

    Equity is fighting for these tours to go equity. But those companies are refusing. Stop blaming equity if you don’t know what’s going on.

    EpaMonitor 03/20/2018  2:14pm

    until "Broadway production" is a trademarked term, and regional road houses stop putting one-nighter bus-and-trucks in their "best of Broadway" series, there isn't a thing anyone can do about it. Some reviewers and audience members are becoming more savvy to the overall decline in quality, but they'll just keep selling this stuff as "Broadway."

    When I was in these non-eq tours I always laughed at how silly it was to be called a Broadway show...especially when the last revival of that show may have been 5-10 years prior.

    CompensatedPaperweight 03/20/2018  2:52pm

    Correct they usually pair the sets down for union tours. But a good example, without dragging Cats inflatable set, is Legally Blonde. They paired the set down for the union tour. Then futher cut the sets for the non-union tour to a handful of units. When you do one nighters it needs more ease.

    Also, I actually think the union is doing a great job curbing this market. There is more work to do. But, if you see the other recent thread on this, I actually think the union is doing all that they can short of making a deal with the SDC so that you can't use the original broadway staging.

    I also think it should be noted, I think non-union tours are a great stepping stone. I see their value from our side as performers. It gives you real legs. If you can survive 21 one nighters in a row, I truly believe you can do anything. And you get work with great choreographers, directors, casting, learn life on the road... Its great. I think the real setback is an audience that sees this Rent tour may be less likely to go see the next broadway tour in their area because there is something they can't put their finger on thats missing.

    DorothyMichaels 03/20/2018  2:52pm

    I'm not sure what the statistics are regarding whether non-equity tours have increased in the past ten years or so. It definitely feels like there are about the same if not less non-eq tours since 2013 but I haven't done the homework. Regardless I think this is all indicative of a much bigger problem. As someone who has worked on non-eq tours and would very much like to have the protections equity members are given, its pretty demoralizing to work on a production very similar to its broadway touring equivalent, but not have insurance because I'm non-eq and pay out of pocket when I have a sore throat and a week of shows in front of me OR the fact that when I get back to nyc I am back with less experienced/green performers (although still very talented) at open calls even though I've put in the time and paid my dues - (just all in non-equity work.) My lack of equity standing is not for lack of trying but I also think most of us are between a rock and a hard place. The rock being non-eq gigs that keep the lights on and the hard place being an influx of new equity members and a dysfunctional union.

    divadinnah101 03/20/2018  3:36pm

    The amount of ignorance here from an equity member is staggering. All these things you are asking are discussed on our website and at our membership
    meetings ad nauseum.
    The number of non eq tours has dropped. The reasoning for them being non union is Equity has a bottom line and it’s far more than pay scale. Please stop embarrassing us on a public website and do the tiniest amount of research into your chosen field.
    Go back to being non union. There are a ton of people who’d love the protections, minimums, EPAs and ECCs Equity provides. Or yknow, show up to a meeting where they cover literally everything you are blathering about on an anonymous website. Stop expecting other people to educate you on YOUR union and your profession.

    Water With Lemon 03/20/2018  3:47pm

    Wow Water With Lemon, who put vinegar in your poppers?? There is no need to be quite so mean to the original poster - they make valid points even if they haven't memorized the meeting minutes of every equity meeting. Maybe instead of focusing on how "ignorant" someone is you should focus on booking work and being less rude.

    divadinnah101 03/20/2018  3:58pm

    Nah...I gotta agree with Water With Lemon. The OP has no clue what they’re talking about and clearly has made no effort to educate their self on what is going on within their own union when the numbers are readily available.

    littleeagle 03/20/2018  8:31pm

    There was a long thread here on AU just a couple of days ago about the touring situation, in which Sid, Steve Rogers, and other knowledgable people explained in detail that a) fewer tours are going out non-union than in the past, b) Equity worked hard and won back a lot if non-union work by creating the SETA contract (which allows performers to be paid less if the tour is not projected to make more than X amount, BUT the performers then get paid more (called "overages") if the tour does make more money than expected; and c) Sid pointed out that that Equity could get all tours union if they were willing to accept minimum wage and no benefits for the performers, but then what's the point of having a union? Equity does fight hard to negotiate and get tours union, but they HAVE to have union wages and benefits, and it's not always possible to get the producers on board.

    actorsmom 03/21/2018  6:11am

    P.S. The thread is titled "Every Tour is Going Non-Eq.". Just scroll down a vit and you"ll see it. It answers a lot of questions about the touring situation.

    actorsmom 03/21/2018  6:16am

    Just wanted to chime in about the language of "Broadway show" - a lot of non theater people in rural areas / far from NYC will use "Broadway show" to mean a show that was good enough to be on Bway - they don't actually think it's a Bway transfer. They aren't conned into thinking "oh this is an Equity tour" because they don't even know what Equity is. I've heard people talk about how their local community theater is putting on a Broadway show. Most of these people don't care if it's equity or not - they're just excited they finally get to see Something Rotten (or whatever) since they aren't able to see it in NYC.

    Are You Kidding Me 03/21/2018  11:51am

    Most of the shows turning Non-Eq now have been on the road previously as Equity, and are turning non-eq to go to the smaller markets that can't sustain an Equity contract. I'm surprised Jersey Boys is still Equity and doing one-nighters, so that's a win. Although, I think it's a bit shameful that Kinky Boots, still on Broadway, is non-eq and playing Philly, etc, some bigger markets.

    And I've had a few friends who worked on Seta tours and have said the $$ is great, so I think on paper it looks like less, but it sometimes turns out to be better.

    Smactor 03/21/2018  3:34pm