Monday, September 3, 2012

Of labor and roller coasters

Happy Labor Day!

In case you need a refresher on why most people in the U.S. get the first Monday in September off from work, why many businesses are closed, etc., check out the handy History of Labor Day from the U.S. Dept. of Labor website. It is interesting to note that workers are celebrated in most other countries on May Day, but here that has long been seen as a day that is too un-American to mark.

But whether we mark the day in September or in May, we should pay tribute to the men and women who protested, marched, petitioned, fought, faced imprisonment and ostracism to make each and every workplace and work site a safer, more equitable place. As a member of three unions -- Actors' Equity Association, SEIU, and the newly unified SAG-AFTRA --  I am grateful for those who paved the way.   

So, we mark the day by not laboring. Many of us relax at the pool one last time and barbeque. Here in my corner of Virginia our kids are getting ready to go back to school. (I believe my son is working, even as I type, on finishing up his summer work packet!) We have an extremely late start date because our lawmakers think it is important our families have one last chance to ride roller coasters and hit the Midway at the amusement park.

I am back at work tomorrow, going into the home stretch for my upcoming production of Becoming Calvin. As Producing Artistic Director of this project, I have been at the helm for 3 1/2 years. As you can imagine, I am very excited to finally get it off the ground. Our fundraising period was successful enough to allow me to hire professional actors who are extremely gifted. Getting the right people to do their jobs has made my job so much easier.  I am grateful to the union that supports my actors, so they can bring the play to life!

Thanks, Labor!


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