Joel Veenstra

The moment I received my Equity Card, I felt like I was finally a professional stage manager. That’s not to say I hadn’t worked on well over a hundred productions previously in various capacities, but once I was given the opportunity to join the union I knew that it was a very special validation that could not be taken away. At that point in my career, joining the union was the right decision for me, and I was thrilled to do so on a TYA contract. The show had numerous challenges including a double cast of children, animals, magic tricks and up to 15 shows a week, but it was worth it to achieve my dream of joining Actors’ Equity.

Since then, I have had the opportunity to stage manage a variety of projects from workshopping new works to full LORT productions where we prepared a complete breakfast to be cooked on stage each night. Every production is an adventure, and I am passionate about collaborating in that process of discovery. I also have the incredible gift to teach students about collaboration and the benefits of Actors’ Equity at the University of California, Irvine.

Originally published in Equity News, Winter 2018.