Week 5:
Lunching and Learning

Slater Fellow in Acting & Performance

Creede Repertory Theatre | Creede, Colorado

June 22, 2019

This week I learned a lot about the legal aspects of working as a professional actor or actress, when it comes to filing taxes and deciding on whether or not to earn points and become “equity”. For those of you reading this, and do not know what becoming equity means, it’s just when an actor or actress (who hopefully has a lot of professional work and experience on their resume), joins a labor union for theatre actors called the Actors Equity Association (AEA). Before joining, you have to work at professional theatres who offer EMC points. After working for 25 weeks, you’ll have earned enough  points to join equity or stay EMC (Equity Membership Candidate) for 25 more weeks. I learned that becoming equity has many benefits that really allow people to work as actors and be able to live off of what they make as an actor alone, which is not very common. For theatre actors and actresses who live in huge cities such as New York and Chicago, and only plan to choose to work as an actor (tress) for the rest or bulk of their lives, they will 100% benefit from becoming equity because 1) being equity guarantees a person to be seen at an audition and seen before anyone else. The way that it was explained to me, is that, being non equity you could be waiting in a line to audition for 12+ hours and someone who is equity can come to that same audition way later than you and be seen within 15 minutes of arriving, whereas you probably wont be seen at all. Being equity, you also will be paid (usually) way way way more than non equity actors (at most big theatres), you also get more breaks during rehearsal (because legally you have to), and most importantly, you will be provided health insurance. 

CRT is so awesome because as a freshman in college, I’ve already gotten the opportunity to earn EMC points into becoming equity; however, because I am so young, and I don’t have enough work or experience on my resume, and because I’m still in college, I can’t work as an actress full time, so I decided not to begin earning EMC points.

I was also taught that as an non equity actor, I still have to file taxes. I will more than likely be given a 1099 form for small gigs that I do, meaning that I will owe money every year to the IRS; so it would be wise to set aside money from each paycheck to make sure that I will be able to pay my taxes. But with these 1099 forms, I will be able to write off a plethora of deductions (anything that has to do with my work). I can write off a percentage of my phone bill, gas, a percentage of my rent (since I rehearse there and rehearsing is part of my job), makeup, hair care, education (acting classes), and etc.

In other news, this week I also got to sit down and have lunch with my donor (The man who paid for me to be able to intern here at CRT.) His name is Bob Slater and he is a Cornell alumni from the Class of 1960 and also a previous board member at CRT. He was very funny and very supportive of my endeavors. We talked a lot about Cornell and it’s endless opportunities that it has provided for students, and how much it’s changed since he went to school there. He cares so much about CRT and about Cornell students being able to experience the beauty of Creede, it’s theatre, and it’s people.

Had lunch with my donor, Bob Slater, Education Director, Brittni Addison and Executive Director, John D. Antonio!

For my fellow food lovers, this week I also tried out some new restaurants and dishes here in Creede, and I was super surprised at how much I enjoyed everything! I went to Cascada’s Bar and Grill and got their rice bowl with crab meat, corn, peppers, and oh my just a little bit of everything honestly; it was delicious. I stayed there for hours after I was done with my food too, just because the people who worked there were so nice and personable. I went to Miners and tried the chicken and waffles and sweet tea, and boy, I almost fell over, it was so good. The waffles had that southern crispy edge, soft inside, and were topped with powdered sugar while the chicken was crunchy and tender. Mmmm.. I’ll add the photos down below.

Cascada’s rice bowl!
Chicken and Waffles from Miners

Kayla Johnson '22

Kayla is a theatre and chemistry major with a minor in creative writing from Kankakee, Illinois.