the day to day of a professional actor in the San Francisco Bay Area

mostly the day to day of a professional actor in the San Francisco Bay Area, but also the home of the Counting Actors Project

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Counting Actors and the local/non-local issue

When I first envisioned the Counting Actors project, I added the question of whether actors were local or not partly because I was afraid that 'just' tracking gender wouldn't get enough people interested.

Fast forward just under two years, and it turns out many many people are interested in tracking gender of actors, writers and directors.  Theatre Bay Area magazine has even published an article about my findings, focused on the gender portion of this study.

In this post, I'm taking the exact same plays used for the TBA article, listed here, and looking at the numbers in regards to local and non-local hires.

I include 235 plays in this count, rather than the full 236.  There was one play that I couldn't find out what kind of union contract it had used, even after a conversation with the LA Equity office, who had to admit that the show had slipped through their fingers.

Here's what I found in table format, broken down by type of contract, with totals at the bottom.

Type of contract
Number of Plays (% of total)
Total actors (% of total)
Total union actors (% of total)
Total non-local actors (% of total)
Non-local actors as % of total actors
Non-local actors as % of union actors
No contract
58 (25%)
406 (22%)
0 (0%)
5 (3%)
21 (9%)
122  (7%)
46 (7%)
1 (>1%)
Contracts without health weeks
24 (10%)
227 (12%)
43 (6%)
6 (3%)
Contracts with health weeks
132 (56%)
1074 (59%)
588 (87%)
188 (94%)
235 (100%)
1829 (100%)
677 (100%)
200 (100%)

235 plays used 1829 actors, and 677 (37%)  of those actors were union members.  Of that same total, 200 actors or 11% of the total were non-local.  The line that probably holds the most interest for the union actors reading this is the line that breaks out contracts with health weeks.  Those 132 shows employed 1074 actors, 588 (55%) of them members of AEA.  188 of the actors working on those shows with the high level contracts were from out of town.  They made up 18% of the actors who worked on these shows, and 32% of the actors who worked on contracts with health weeks in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

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