Michael A. Newcomer Video Transcript
Hi. My name is Michael A. Newcomer. I’m a husband, a father and a 20-year member of Actor’s Equity Association. I live in New Orleans, LA. I’m a Central Principal Councilor Candidate and a proud member of Fair Wage On Council. There are 83 seats on council, of those 83 councilors currently in office, only three of them are occupied by persons outside of an office city. Three. Three council seats occupied by members not living in New York, Chicago or Los Angeles, representing about 40% of our membership.
We will look back on this election cycle, not just for the number of seats that are being filled, but because we will finally elect a new slate of councilors that represent our entire membership, from one corner of the country to the other, and all of the liaison cities and smaller markets in between.
I am the true definition of a regional theatre actor. I have lived and worked from Portland to San Diego, from Dallas to Atlanta.
I’m an advocate for fair wages, for family, and for having representation on council for those of us whose voices haven’t really been heard. As a trailblazer on the Equity2020 Campaign, I had the great privilege of sitting in a virtual meeting room with actors and stage managers from across the country, hearing the same struggles come from Kansas City and Seattle, D.C. and Houston; we want to be heard, we want our individual market issues addressed, we want a better future for ourselves, as a member of a National Union. One size does not fit all. We need to start looking at wages and inclusion, participation and engagement from that national perspective, but understanding the point of view will vary from region to region. We are one union, but we are not one city. A vote for me is a vote for a Newcomer to Council who will listen, respond and vigorously fight for the regions every day. Thank you.
Central Principal Councilor Candidate
I was born in Bad Kreuznach, Germany and spent the first 17 years of my life moving back and forth to the U.S. as the son of a career Army Veteran.
With no specific place to call home, my hometown has always been where my feet are planted and that is currently in the Big Easy, New Orleans, Louisiana. I relocated here after long stints in both NYC and Los Angeles.
Currently I serve as a member of the New Orleans/Baton Rouge Liaison Committee, as well as sitting as an observer on the Entry to Equity, Developing Theatres/LOA, and Codes Central Committess. I also proudly served as an Equity2020 Trailblazer in 2017.
I got my equity card way back in 1998 when I was offered a contract to work at Ford’s Theatre (which then operated under a special agreement with AEA). To do the show, I had to accept my Union Card and proudly did so, even then knowing that when I moved back to Atlanta (where I was living at the time), I would have to re-introduce myself as an AEA member, after having worked non-union for many years.
My wife and I moved to New Orleans in 2014 to start our family, which as of this writing is one, beautiful 17 month old son, and another boy about 10 weeks away from making his entrance into the world.
Having done 30 plus AEA shows, on a wide variety of contracts, I am true Regional Theatre Actor! My membership in AEA is the tangible proof that I subscribe to a professional level of theatre, that comes with all of the hard fought privileges and protections.
My career as an AEA actor has been spent traveling the country, working at many of the country’s great Regional Theatre’s. Many of those opportunities came only when I was living in NYC or Los Angeles. Now that I live in New Orleans, I find myself on the outer edges of the Union’s stronghold - the office cities. My desire for a better life for myself and my family shouldn’t be in opposition to my desire to continue my career as a member of AEA. The conversation has really just started with the hard work we did on the Equity2020 campaign and all that we learned. I am ready to be a strong voice in that conversation, to bring my 20 plus years of experience to the table as someone who has never been on Broadway, never been on a National Tour, but still have been an active and productive member of our Union. We can be stronger nationally and to do that, we need voices like mine from the regions to represent our diverse needs and experiences.