A verbal agreement isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.
“You can’t join Equity until you have a job in an Equity company, and you can’t get a job in an Equity company until you are a member of Equity.” This seeming paradox is often quoted but quite misleading. As soon as you can convince an Equity producer or director that you should be the stage manager, the doors of the union will open to you. Equity is not one of the closed unions where nepotism reigns or where “blood is thicker than talent.”
If it is your intent to become an Equity stage manager, don’t wait for an Equity job to get acquainted with the union. Understand the benefits and disadvantages of union membership. Go out of your way to meet ...