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Equity Waiver

April 23, 1988

Sylvie Drake's report on the Actor's Equity meeting, ("Stage Actors Press Campaign to Overturn New Equity Plan," April 19) did not tell the full story. Her numbers are correct but she doesn't use them.

There were 2,707 ballots cast in the matter of the 99-Seat Theater Plan and the plan was affirmed by 62% of members voting. On Friday, April 16, Waiver theater operators and pro-waiver actors mobilized 250 or so actors (a figure representing less than 10% of those who voted on the referendum) and they took control of the meeting and voted to disenfranchise the majority.

I support the idea of Waiver theater, an idea that provides a place for the actor to continue to work on his or her craft and to showcase their talent. An idea that was meant to benefit the actor, not the producer.

As in all cases where concessions are made to further a worthy idea, there will be those who come along and pervert the idea to their own advantage. Such is the case here in Los Angeles.

There are Waiver producers who are making Waiver theater their principal business and the only thing that is going to put them out of the business of exploiting the actor is this referendum or something very like it.

The cycle must be broken. We can and must return the showcase theater to the actor. As it stands, the litany regarding pay for the actor goes: "It cannot be done!" Has it ever been tried? "No!" Why not? "Because it can't be done!"


Santa Monica

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