I just signed my first Equity (AEA) contract tonight! What does going Equity mean? It means I am now a part of the stage actors' union. What are the benefits? I can continue to work in Equity venues all the way from Stage One in Louisville to Broadway. Being in Equity provides an option for affordable health care/pension (contingent upon me making money within union contracts). It is a necessary milestone for any professional actor- "You gotta do it sometime." It communicates professionalism.
What's more, I'm going equity through an astounding theater company and with a group of artists who I could not enjoy and admire more.
Here's to you Actors Equity Association.