Curt Bonnem - What's your 99 seat story?
Curt Bonnem - What's your AEA 99 Seat Story?
The entire reason I have my Equity card is due to 99-seat theater. Every single paying contract job I've had in theater has been through a 99-seat show that has gone to contract. Every single one. Because of the 99-seat plan, I've done shows that have taken me across the world, to places like Moscow, Scotland and yes, the mecca of theater, NY. Just last fall I was in a production that began at my home now, Sacred Fools, and we won the NY Fringe. That's right NY, one of our little shows won! That same show also went to contract at South Coast Rep and is still moving forward. And I can also directly link being seen in 99-seat shows and getting hired for on camera work, though that is by no means the reason I do small theater. I do it because it's a place where I get to originate roles in exciting new plays. Where I get to play parts I could never get to play, in shows that would likely never be produced anywhere else. I have friends who make their living doing on-camera work who have told me they were jealous of me because of all the amazing intimate theater I have gotten to be a part of. And I have friends who are successful outside of 99-seat who have said the entire reason they have a career is because of the work they got to do in 99-seat shows. What this new proposal will do is limit my ability to participate in the very productions that got me into the union, which went to contract and did get me paid, and which keep me going as an actor, an artist and frankly as a human being. My participation in 99-seat theater is what has allowed me to SURVIVE as an artist in this town.
Learn more about Curt Bonnem and contact him on his twitter page.
Peter Konerko is a LA portrait photographer shooting out of Los Angeles and New York. This project is a part of the #AEAvoteNO, #Pro99 #unity99 and @ActorsEquity campaign.