Brian Myers Cooper

Trusted leadership + Radical thinking

#FairWageOnCouncil

Once again, I am running to represent you on the
Equity Council.

This year, I am proud to stand beside some of the smartest, most passionate, and experienced trade unionists I’ve ever seen.

It is due to their courage and perseverance that allowed me and my team to win the most significant contract gains ever in our history.  

Stand with us as we continue to fight for fair wages
on every stage! 

 

Two years ago…

…I marched into uncharted territory armed with a comprehensive strategy to overhaul our flagship Eastern regional contract. From the beginning, I set out to 1) separate commercial and NFP pay structures; 2) create a NFP pay scale based on an institution’s ability to pay instead of seating capacity; 3) and most importantly, move salaries 30 years into the future to finally give Off-Broadway stage managers and actors a LIVING wage. 

Unsurprisingly, we were met with vehement resistance from the Off-Broadway League. Undaunted, I began a long game strategy I knew would take us to the contract expiration and beyond. I leveraged a brave group of committed Off-Broadway actors to apply pressure and build public awareness, controlling the narrative of the negotiations from the beginning. As the contract expiration neared, I sought–in caucus as a team, and privately one-on-one–to find deep consensus around our objectives, and to build a united front that hammered home our message to the League that we were dead serious about our ambitious proposals. As proof, we didn’t move off of our initial top salary numbers from June until well into November, a delicate dance that challenged everything we collectively knew about negotiations. 

I led that team, staff, Tom, Mary, and the League into the unknown with a vision of what that contract could and should be. With every obstacle, I looked for the opportunity to strengthen and advance our position. Where the League sought to divide us, I listened to every team member to make sure we were united in every step we took. Surrounded by a team of smart, dedicated, and brave members and staff who stood by me, guided me, and trusted me–and to whom I will be forever grateful–we succeeded in completely restructuring the Off-Broadway market. It is a legacy we are all enormously proud of that continues to reverberate throughout our Association and the theatre industry.

This is the kind of vision and leadership I will bring to the Council. With 17 years of service, including twelve on Council and eight as a Pension & Health trustee, I bring a long history of advocacy and leadership on a wide range of issues, from nurturing small theatres into strong employers and marketplace partners, to strengthening our health and pension funds for generations to come. I see both the big picture and the niggling details, with an ability to prioritize the latter in service to the former. 

The Actor Revolution

“Make no mistake–they are here because of you and me, not the other way around. They make our jobs easier. We make their jobs possible.”

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to see more of how
I’ve been serving you
for over 17  years

Residence: New York City

Contracts worked: Production, LORT, Off-Broadway, LOA-COST, Guest Artist, Guest Appearance, Dinner Theatre, Mini. Codes: Showcase (seasonal and NYMTF), 29-hour Reading

Equity Service Experience:

Council/ERB: 12 years: 5 years as Chorus councilor; 7 years as Principal councilor

Councilor Only Committees: Executive Director Review (2016), President’s Planning Committee, House Affairs

Negotiation Teams: Off-Broadway (2002, 2006, 2009-Chair, 2012-Chair, 2016-Leader, Strategist,  and co-Chair), ANTC (2002–contract origin, 2005, 2016-Chair)

Committees: Online Signup Working Group, Election Procedures (Chair, 2009-2016), Off-Broadway (1st Vice Chair, 2009-2016), Media & New Tech (1st Vice Chair, 2008-2016),  Production, ACCA (Vice Chair 2008-2011), EPA, Equal Employment Opportunity, Nominating Committee (2002-member, 2009 & 2012-Chair); Joint Officers Nominating Committee (2009 & 2012-Chair)

Equity Staff Pension Fund (Trustee, 2011-Present)

 

** Equity-League Pension & Health Funds: Trustee (2010-Present) – Committees: Investments, Benefits, Pension Approval Sub-committee

 

Ongoing Investment Committee education: Wharton School Executive Education – Portfolio Concepts and Management (2014);  Alternative Investment Strategies (2015); and International & Emerging Market Investing (2016)

Experience

The voice of reason,
not afraid of speaking
uncomfortable truth,
equally at home
finding consensus
or fighting tooth & nail
for your interests!