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A note from Michael Mendelson regarding the December Equity Meeting

As I said before, this is a very exciting time for Portland Theatre. For Actors, Technicians, Designers, Producers, and Patrons alike it feels as if the "bar" is rising. From an influx of new and untapped talent to our region (participate in the PATAs in February), the Portland Actor's Conservatory moving gloriously toward their accredidation, Portland Center Stage begining an Education Program of their own, Classes being offered Privately by well-respected members of our Community, ART blazing forward in their second season with two performing spaces and moving into their 25th Anniversary Season, Profile Theatre currently in its 10 year Anniversary Season, PCS's big move this year with 2 spaces of their own, 3rd Rail Repertory, Imago, Miracle Theatre, Lakewood Theatre, Readers Theatre Repertory, Mt. Hood Repertory Theatre, the list goes on..., new Theatre Companies - Blue Monkey (opening this weekend it's inaugural production "Aladdin"), Arts Equity in Vancouver, the return of Triangle Productions, not to mention Individuals within our Community who have a desire to Produce on their own. There are more and more opportunities for everybody, and with those opportunities come a responsibility to set that "bar" every time a little higher.

That said, the PATA/AEA Event was very exciting and Thank You to everybody who attended: 21 Members of Actors Equity Association but 45 in total. These folk included EMCs, past members, members of the sister unions, and those just interested in what's going on.

Great Questions and passionate dialogue ran throughout the evening and I believe the upside was an outlook that is positive and energized. I believe there will be a posting of the conversation on the PATA website. [coming soon! -ed.]

Now that the ball is rolling, so to speak, I anticipate the next meeting sometime near the end of January or Early February, I'm not sure if it will be solely an AEA Meeting or a two part meeting similar to the last, with a question/answer 45min.-1hr. and then the AEA Meeting to come after. Regardless, look for postings around late Jan. or Early Feb. If questions can wait save em up. If not I would suggest either calling AEA at 323-634-1750 and ask for Ivan or Timothy, and tell them you're calling from Portland, or e-mail me and I'll try to either answer your question or get you to somebody who can. I feel the best information to have come to us in Portland is that we now have enough members is good standing to qualify for a Liason City. Our Region now reaches from Vancouver, WA. south to Eugene, and Astoria to the Columbia Gorge. Now National will speak on our behalf at Council and I've been given the idea that we will most likely be granted Liason Status. The most important thing we get from this is a National Voice, a Voice that can now be heard regarding issues which concern not only us as a National Union but the concerns we have living and working in Portland Oregon and our Region. I feel it most important that when the next meeting is called we all make an effort to attend, contribute, and be a part of this positive energy. Things will not change overnight but with grace and ease we can continue to Protect the Dignity, Integrity, and Respect for the Art Form about which we are all passionate.

Side note- if you are an AEA Member or an EMC please make sure I have your current address and e-mail. AEA Members please make sure your Union has your current address. I am looking for Members in Eugene, Salem, Vancouver, and the outlying areas to be point people where you live.

Again, Many thanks, on we go and a Very Happy Holidays to you all!
Michael Mendelson