In late September, the International Federation of Actors, or FIA, held its yearly meeting of the executive committee in Paris.
This year’s agenda spoke to universal issues that each union had interest in, including LGBT representation, arts funding, intellectual property rights and working conditions, among numerous others. Present from Actors’ Equity were President Nick Wyman, Eastern Regional Director/Assistant Executive Director & General Counsel, Thomas Carpenter and Flora Stamatiades, National Director, Organizing & Special Projects.
Wyman spoke about Equity’s centennial celebrations as well as the recent Hart survey, and a subject of great interest to other unions, the launch of the Deputy Portal. One of the events that many of the unions, including AEA, is looking forward to is the 2015 FIA World Live Performance Conference in Dublin (Equity’s Stamatiades is serving on the working group that is helping to plan the event). This particular conference, this second of its kind since 1999, will focus on the needs and specific conditions of every type of live performer and how those needs can be addressed. AEA’s involvement will be vital as the union will be able to help frame the conversation.
“We really are the largest union in the world that exclusively represents actors and stage managers that work in live performance,” said Carpenter. “Other unions care what we have to say and it’s important for us to maintain relationships.”
FIA has proven to be an important organization for Equity members, especially for those who work overseas. As one of the few global federations, FIA gives a voice to actors on an international scale, getting the concerns and thoughts of performers heard by organizations like the United Nations.