Since I’ve been taking a look at unions today, it occurs to me that I have been a member of two unions back in my New York past.
As a theatre worker in the early 70s, I had experience as a member of AEA (Actors Equity Association) and LOBTET (the League of Off Broadway Theatre Employees and Technicians.) LOBTET was eaten up by Equity after a couple of years and does not exist anymore.
As an Equity member (which I had to join as a professional stage manager), I was involved in the Off Broadway strike in 1970 or 71. Equity was protesting the fact that actors in off-Broadway productions were often paid very little or nothing at all, but took jobs so that they might be seen by critics or casting direc tors or Broadway producers.
I had to picket the Theatre De Lys (now the Lucille Lortel Theatre) one night. I walked back and forth with my
After a while I was joined by another Equity member, and this was one of the most interesting occurences in my theatre career. The other picketer was Shelley Winters!
Shelley and I picketed for about two hours, carrying on a neat social conversation, until we decided that it was past what would have been curtain time and we quit. She got a cab and I walked down the block to the subway.
That’s my Union Story.