The Actors Fund Blog Has Moved!

April 11, 2013 Comments off

PrintAttention Actors Fund fans: we’ve moved our Blog home to the actorsfund.org website! Visit us at actorsfund.org/Blog to stay up-to-date on our latest news, client stories, event information, fascinating tidbits and much, much more! (And if you’re following us automatically, be sure to update your feed settings.)

Be sure to check out the first post on out featuring our 2013 Gala Ticket Giveaway — it tells you how you can enter to win two tickets to our 2013 Gala on April 29, honoring Academy Award®-winning actor Robert De NiroHBO® (accepted by CEO Richard Plepler) and entrepreneur/film producer and Fund Trustee Steve Kalafer!

(And to anyone just joining us, below is a little intro to The Actors Fund. See you soon at our new Blog home!)

The Actors Fund is a national human services organization that helps everyone—performers and those behind the scenes—who works in performing arts and entertainment, helping more than 13,500 people directly each year, and hundreds of thousands online. Serving professionals in film, theatre, television, music, opera, radio and dance, The Fund’s programs include social services and emergency financial assistance, health care and insurance counseling, housing, and employment and training services. With offices in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, The Actors Fund has—for 131 years—been a safety net for those in need, crisis or transition. Visit www.actorsfund.org.

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Run/Walk Wednesday: Robin LaBorwit

April 10, 2013 Comments off

IMG_0738Over the last few weeks, we’ve spent every Wednesday leading up to the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s Revlon Run/Walk (May 4 in New YorkMay 11 in Los Angeles), celebrating our team members! This week we talk to Robin LaBorwit, Social Work Supervisor extraordinaire in our Los Angeles office.

(We’d love to have you answer these questions, too! If you’re one of our team members, contact our captain Caroline Parrone, and you could be featured on our blog!)

Actors Fund: Are you walking in “honor” or “memory” of someone special in this year’s EIF Revlon Run/Walk? 
Robin LaBorwit: I am walking in honor of Lynn Redgrave, a staunch supporter of The Actors Fund.  I walked for the first time in the EIF Revlon Run/Walk the year that Ms. Redgrave died. I also walk in memory of my mother as well as in solidarity with my clients – past and present – and close friends who continue to live with cancer – some in remission.

AF: Why do you walk with The Actors Fund team?
RL: The Actors Fund provides a community of support and I believe that community is essential to the task of both living and dying.

AF: The Fund’s services help everyone in film, theatre, television, music, opera, radio and dance in need. So, what’s your favorite art form, and why?
RL: Hard question. My mother was in AFTRA, and I have very fond memories of being five years old and running amuck in the Ed Sullivan Theater (the last time I ran, by the way), so I grew up with television – I love television. I was also lucky enough to have been exposed and encouraged to go to all the Broadway and Off-Broadway and Off-off Broadway theater I could afford (thank you TKTS), and was also briefly a performance artist (another story for another day), so I love theater. I was also taught that the most hedonistic activity was going to a movie in the middle of the day, so I love movies. I thought I was going to be a dancer (I was too short), so I love dancing, too. Not to mention that I could not live without the radio when I drive. So, long story short…all of the above with the exception of opera (though that’s mostly because I don’t speak any other language).

AF: Run or walk, and why?
RL: I am a walker. I hate running – too much….running.

AF: We’re taking a vote: Suggest a Theme Song for this years’ team.
RL: How about a chant: “We’re here, we’re strong, live long!”

The EIF Revlon Run/Walk is an annual event that raises money and awareness for the fight against women’s cancers. Among other beneficiaries, proceeds help support The Fund’s The Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative (PNWHI), created to address the myriad of concerns women face when dealing with a serious medical condition. Help us fight the fight by joining one of our teams (clickhere for NYChere for LA), or making a pledge or donation on behalf of someone who’s walking with us. Your pledge will help fund important research into the cause and cure of women’s cancers, prevention, education and support service programs for those women battling cancer and their families.

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Lillian Booth Actors Home Named Among Best Nursing Homes In The US

April 4, 2013 Comments off

BNH_2013“I’m in awe every time I visit The Home. It’s a national treasure of talented artists under one roof — a group with so much to share with us, and with each other.” –Brian Stokes Mitchell, Chairman

The Lillian Booth Actors Home houses big talent. As Stokes says, its a unique community of individuals who have dedicated a major portion of their professional lives to performing arts and entertainment. But there’s also big talent behind the scenes, as evidenced by the recent U.S.News & World Report naming it among the best nursing homes in the country!

Our assisted living and skilled nursing care facility in Englewood, NJ received the highest-possible rating of five stars from the 2013 report. Of the 16,000 nursing homes in the US, only 3,036 received a five-star rating from the federal government (results are based on data collected from Nursing Home Compare, a website run by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services).

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Special thanks go to our facility’s entire staff – this dedicated team of 125 people takes great great pride in providing the best care possible for our 124 residents. In this photo, front row, left to right: Omar Castano, Jesus Serrano, Maritza Bonilla, Luz Lopez, Tolgonay Agamez, Michelle Rauch, Joyce Kim, Kim Eng, Jose Lopez, Arjan Dema. Middle row, left to right: Nafi Diakebe, Miguelina Cuello, Ana Carasig, Yalile Alzate, Maria Box, Gladys Zelaya, Soo Donlin, Jessica Reial, Annmarie De Feis, Patricia Sinclair, Taida Santana. Top row, left to right: Chris Tyrell, Gary Webb, Michael Howell, Jorge Castro, John Bautista, Silvia Bravo, Linda Zimmerman, Lucy Vance Seligson, Jordan Strohl, Helen Crimmins, Richard Grant, Lucy Prettypaul, Grace Park, Nancy Gronwoldt, Nashwa Fawzy, Cesar Garcia, Igor Denisenko.

Old Jews Telling Jokes Visits The Home - 1Additionally, among the treats that make The Home extra-special are the regular visits by residents’ industry peers and volunteers who come to share their talents. Most recently, cast members from the Off-Broadway show Old Jews Telling Jokes spent an hilarious afternoon in Englewood. A huge thanks to pianist Donald Corren and actors Audrey Lynn Weston, Marilyn Sokol, Bill Army and Lenny Wolpe for sharing their laughter and love!

To learn more about The Lillian Booth Actors Home, or to download an application, click here. Our residents love performers (after all, many of them still perform)! Visit this page to contact The Home and volunteer your talents, whatever they might be!

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Run/Walk Wednesday: David Engelman!

April 3, 2013 Comments off

601964_10151397613989001_1401724995_nEvery Wednesday leading up to the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s Revlon Run/Walk (May 4 in New YorkMay 11 in Los Angeles), we’re sharing memories and celebrating our team members! This week we talk to The Actors Fund Communications Maestro (aka Director of Communications and Marketing) David Engelman, who’s topping last year’s “Song Requests” fundraising effort with a special one-night-only performance!

(And we’d love to have you answer these questions, too! If you’re one of our team members, contact our captain Caroline Parrone, and you could be featured on our blog!)

Actors Fund: Are you walking in “honor” or “memory” of someone special in this year’s EIF Revlon Run/Walk?
David Engelman: I’m walking in honor of my friend Michele, an actress who was so brave during her battle and is now thankfully in remission. She kept a positive attitude during the whole traumatic experience, and she continues to live her life with gusto. Also, I’m walking in memory of my friend Gail, who kept her beautiful smile right through to the end, always saying how thankful she was for good friends and a good laugh.

AF: Why do you walk with The Actors Fund Team?
DE: Full disclosure? I work there. Seriously, The Actors Fund helps hundreds of women in entertainment in health crisis every year. Artists are a vital part of our lives – they make us laugh, cry and make understanding what makes people tick a lot easier. I have great respect for all women who devote their lives to their art. It’s also  a small way to give back (and have some fun).

AF: Do you fundraise for RRW, or have anything special planned this year?
DE: Oh yeah! This year my friend Beth (a talented actress & singer) and I are doing a one-night-only fundraiser on May 6 in NYC! David & Beth, Together Again… Live! Anyone who donates to my Revlon Run/Walk page gets to come to this special one hour performance! My brother, a professional musician, is even coming out from Detroit to play for us! It’ll be a total laff-fest and a blast!

AF: Run or Walk, and why?
DE: I used to run, but now WALK! I like to sip coffee and chat along the way, not to mention and taking in the sites of spring in Central Park.

AF: We’re taking a vote… Suggest a Theme Song for this years’ team?
DE: Flashdance: “What a Feeling!” It’s all about following your passion. It also opens our May 6 show! (Plus, it just makes you wanna move.)

The EIF Revlon Run/Walk is an annual event that raises money and awareness for the fight against women’s cancers, and funds raised by The Actors Fund team supports The Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative (PNWHI), created to address the myriad of concerns women face when dealing with a serious medical condition. Help us fight the fight by joining one of our teams (clickhere for NYChere for LA), or making a pledge or donation on behalf of someone who’s walking with us. Your pledge will help fund important research into the cause and cure of women’s cancers, prevention, education and support service programs for those women battling cancer and their families.

Categories: Uncategorized

Planning for Future Needs in Our Entertainment Community

March 28, 2013 Comments off

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Annette Bening and Actors Fund Work Program Director Kathy Schrier in a session on Human Services led by BC/EFA’s Tom Viola.

Throughout our 131-year history, The Actors Fund has grown and adapted to the always-changing landscape in which everyone working in performing arts and entertainment lives. In order to continue serving our clients in the best possible ways, and to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to new trends, our management and Board leaders periodically take time out every few years to craft a new Strategic Plan.

On March 18, a dedicated group of Actors Fund Trustees and industry leaders gathered at New York City’s Time Warner Center, hosted by Trustee and Time Inc. Edit0r-in-Chief Martha Nelson, to spend the day exploring how best to serve our community in the next five years. It was a productive day, and we would like to thank everyone who took time out from there busy schedules to participate (all photos by Jay Brady Photography). Visit our website for a full listing of our generous Actors Fund Boards and Committees.

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Front row (l-r):  Four-time Oscar Nominated actor Annette Bening; GRAMMY Foundation Sr. Vice President Kristen Madsen; Cartoon Network VP of Casting and Talent Development Sharon Lieblein; Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Executive Director Tom Viola; former Deloitte Financial Advisory Services partner George Zuber; Stage Manager’s Committee Co-Chairs Peter Wolf and Sherry Cohen; former ATPAM President Merle Debuskey; New Jersey real estate developer David Steiner; former SAG New York Division President Joyce Gordon; ASCAP Director of Musical Theatre Michael Kerker; Lodestone Banking Consultancy Advisory Board Chairman Robert O. Lehrman.

Middle row (l-r): Neuberger Berman Managing Director Jeffrey Bolton; New Jersey Pictures LLC Chairman Steve Kalafer; Local 1-IATSE President James Claffey, Jr.; Shubert Organization Chairman Philip J. Smith; IATSE President Matthew Loeb; music producer Abby Schroeder; producer/philanthropist Kate Edelman Johnson, actor Jomarie Ward; Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs Executive Director Olga Garay; Director/founder of the Research Center for the Arts & Culture at the National Center for Creative Aging Joan Jeffri.

Back row (l-r): Fund CEO Joseph P. Benincasa; Local 1 – IATSE Secretary Bobby Score; Fund Chief Advancement Officer Thomas Exton; BioReference Laboratories, Inc. CEO Marc Grodman, M.D.; Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation CEO Scott Weiner; Cassidy Turly Senior Managing Director David Lebenstein; American Theatre Wing Executive Director Heather Hitchens; Newpol Foundation’s Stanley Newman; Broadway League Executive Director Charlotte St. Martin; Actors’ Equity President Nick Wyman; Shubert Organization President Robert Wankel; Greater New York Hospital Association Ventures, Inc. President Lee Perlman; Fund Chairman Brian Stokes Mitchell; United Hospital Fund Aging In Place Initiative Director Fredda Vladeck; Medicare Rights Center President Joe Baker; SAG-AFTRA Executive Director David White; philanthropist Honey Waldman; SAG-AFTRA Co-President Roberta Reardon; Time Inc. Editor-in-Chief Martha Nelson; Chadick Ellig Co-CEO Janice Reals Ellig; Cannon Heyman & Weiss, LLP founding partner Steve Weiss; TV writer and Co-Executive Producer of NBC’s Revolution David Rambo.

(Also in attendance were AERIN Communications Director Ebs Burnough, actor Judy Frank, Jujamcyn Theatres Vice President Paul Libin.)

Dr. Marc Grodman led an exploration of issues around the Affordable Care Act and accessing health insurance.

Additionally, special thanks to our four break-out session facilitators, each of whom guided enlightening discussions in partnership with key staff: GRAMMY Foundation Sr. Vice President Kristen Madsen led talks around affordable housing with Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation CEO Scott Weiner; Bio-Reference Laboratories CEO Dr. Marc Grodman explored the future of healthcare with Artists Health Insurance Resource Center Director Jim Brown; Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Executive Director Tom Viola looked at our human services with National Director of Social Services Tamar Shapiro; and Trustee Joyce Gordon explored serving seniors in our industry along with Fund COO Barbara Davis and Lillian Booth Actors Home Administrator Jordan Strohl.

Finally, we’d like to thank Chairman Brian Stokes Mitchell for his continued leadership, as well as Trustee Janice Reals Ellig (and her husband, Bruce) for hosting a wonderful social for our leaders on Sunday evening. And last, but certainly not least, Trustee Martha Nelson, who hosted The Fund at the Time Warner Center. Thank you, all!

Ellig Reception

At the Ellig Reception (l-r): Brian Stokes Mitchell, Annette Bening, Martha Nelson, Janice Reals Ellig and Bebe Neuwirth.

We’re preparing a special report, and we look forward to continuing a dialogue which will enable The Fund to advance its good work for every member of the creative community.  In the meantime, learn more about what we can do for you (and what you can do for us!) and stay up-to-date on the latest Actors Fund news by visiting our website, following us on Twitter and liking us on Facebook.

Chairman Brian Stokes Mitchell opened the Strategic Planning retreat at TimeWarner Center.

Stokes opened the Strategic Planning retreat at the Time Warner Center.

Joyce Gordon leads a session on Seniors.

Kristen Madsen led a session on affordable and senior housing.

 Actors’ Equity President Nick Wyman, Playwright, TV writer and Co-Executive Producer of NBC’s Revolution David Rambo, SAG-AFTRA Co-President Roberta Reardon, vp casting and talent development at Cartoon Network Sharon Lieblein and IATSE President Matthew Loeb attend a session on Human Services.

Nick Wyman, David Rambo, Roberta Reardon, Sharon Lieblein and Matthew Loeb attend a session on Human Services.

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Trustee Joyce Gordon leads a session on Seniors.

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Run/Walk Wednesday: Team Captain Caroline Parrone!

March 27, 2013 Comments off

Caroline's mother Donna, her grandmother Joyce & Caroline.

Caroline’s mother Donna, her grandmother Joyce & Caroline.

Every Wednesday leading up to the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s Revlon Run/Walk (May 4 in New YorkMay 11 in Los Angeles), we’re sharing memories and celebrating our members! Today we chat with this year’s team captain, Special Events Associate (and Young Professionals guru) Caroline Parrone.

Actors Fund: Are you walking in “honor” or “memory” of someone special in this year’s EIF Revlon Run/Walk?
Caroline Parrone: I am walking in honor of all the women in my life who have been affected by cancer, including my great-grandmother Nathalie Rosa, my grandmother Carita and my husband’s grandmother Mimi.

It is so scary to come from a family line of women who have been affected by cancer (on both my mother’s and father’s sides), and I walk in hopes that my mother, cousins, maybe future daughters and I will live to see a cure.

AF: Why do you walk with The Actors Fund Team?
CP: Not only do I fully believe in and support the work of the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative, but I also enjoy this event so much that I asked to be Team Captain while our regular TC Amy Picar spends time with her new baby!   

AF: Do you fundraise for RRW, or have anything special planned this year?
CP: I love fundraising for this event! Last year I knit a little something for each person that donated to my page. This year I am creating a small piece of paper art for each person who donates. Just a little thank you to my supporters.

AF: Run or Walk, and why?
CP: I tend to walk this 5k, mostly so I can chat and snap photos.

AF: We’re taking a vote… Suggest a Theme Song for this years’ team?
CP: “Think,” Aretha Franklin

The EIF Revlon Run/Walk is an annual event that raises money and awareness for the fight against women’s cancers, and funds raised by The Actors Fund team supports The Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative (PNWHI), created to address the myriad of concerns women face when dealing with a serious medical condition. Help us fight the fight by joining one of our teams (clickhere for NYChere for LA), or making a pledge or donation on behalf of someone who’s walking with us. Your pledge will help fund important research into the cause and cure of women’s cancers, prevention, education and support service programs for those women battling cancer and their families.

EIF Run/Walk Wednesday: Meet Team Member Nina Mandell

March 20, 2013 Comments off

As The Actors Fund gears up for the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s Revlon Run/Walk (May 4 in New York, May 11 in Los Angeles), we’ll be celebrating our team members and sharing some memories from years past every Run/Walk Wednesday! Today we chat with Nina Mandell, who is part of  The Fund’s NYC team!

nina mandell linda cymrot

Nina Mandell with her mother, Linda Cymrot.

AF: Are you walking in “honor” or “memory” of someone special in this year’s EIF Revlon Run/Walk?
Nina: My mom and I are walking in honor of my grandmother, Annie Cymrot, who passed away after a battle with breast cancer.

AF: Why do you walk with The Actors Fund Team?
Nina: The Actors Fund is a great organization that helps people who make us all smile when they’re on stage.

AF: Do you fundraise for RRW, or have anything special planned this year?
Nina: No… but we plan on being incredibly enthusiastic in the walk.

AF: Run or Walk, and why?
Nina: Walk, so we can hang out with the great group that’s coming.

AF: We’re taking a vote: Suggest a Theme Song for this year’s team.
Nina: Take a walk on the Wild Side? Walking in Memphis? I Would Walk 500 Miles? I mean, it should be a pun, right?

The EIF Revlon Run/Walk is an annual event that raises money and awareness for the fight against women’s cancers, and funds raised by The Actors Fund team supports The Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative (PNWHI), created to address the myriad of concerns women face when dealing with a serious medical condition. Help us fight the fight by joining one of our teams (click here for NYC, here for LA), or making a pledge or donation on behalf of someone who’s walking with us. Your pledge will help fund important research into the cause and cure of women’s cancers, prevention, education and support service programs for those women battling cancer and their families.

Categories: Uncategorized
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