Do you know Local One Stagehand, John Martinez? If not, you should. Martinez is the House Carpenter for Circle in the Square Theatre on Broadway in New York, New York. He is a dedicated IATSE member and says unions have played a key part in his family.
“My Mexican culture correlates with the Sisterhood and Brotherhood of IATSE, because just like my family, we are all one,” says Martinez.
In 1965 John’s grandfather moved from Mexico to the United States and worked as a construction laborer for Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) Local 362 for 43 years. His grandfather was the first Latino labor member in his Local. In addition, John’s American grandfather was a member of United Auto Workers as well. He says his father then went on to become a Business Agent for LIUNA in San Antonio, Texas, and this is where John was introduced to the world of theatre and IATSE.
“It’s a blast to be able to work doing something you love, so the work doesn’t feel like a job. The thing about working in entertainment is, even when you’re working on the same show more than once, you’re never doing the same thing twice,” he added.
John shares the proudest moment in his career was getting his current position at Circle in the Square Theatre. “I am half-Mexican. Throughout my experience there have not been many people in supervisory positions who look like me. When other BIPOC members see me in this leadership role, it gives them a sense of opportunity,” he says.
So, who is John Martinez? He is a proud first-generation American, third-generation union member and dedicated to the work he’s been able to contribute to his Local’s Social Justice Committee.