Anita Cooper-Avrick discusses her 36-year career stage managing television programs ranging from Soap and The People’s Court to Mr. Belvedere and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air; her AD/SM/PA Council West participation; and her extensive Guild involvement.
Anita Cooper-Avrick earned a degree in business and marketing from Cal State Northridge never imagining she would work in entertainment. After a year of working in New York, she moved back to Los Angeles and found employment as an AFTRA Field Representative. After six years at AFTRA, and while attending law school, Cooper-Avrick transitioned to stage managing with Soap’s producer Andy Selig’s assistance.
Since her start on Soap in 1980, Cooper-Avrick has stage managed more than 20 episodic programs, including Lewis & Clark, This Is Your Life, Nine to Five, Kid’s Incorporated, Who’s the Boss?, Davis Rules, Step By Step, Herman’s Head, Dudley, Murphy Brown, Minor Adjustments, America’s Funniest Home Videos, Social Studies and Los Beltran.
Cooper-Avrick has actively been involved in the Guild since she was elected to serve as an alternate to the DGA’s AD/SM/PA Council in 1980. Her service to the Guild includes 7 terms on the National Board, 15 terms on the Western AD/SM/PA Council, and has served on the National Negotiation Committee from 1984 to 2011. She has also served as a member of the Women’s Steering Committee (1981-1983); the Internal Complaints Committee (1982, 1993-1998); the Mentor Committee (1991-1993); and as a Trustee of the Pension & Health Fund (1994-present), among others.
For her decades of service to the Guild, Cooper-Avrick received the Franklin J. Schaffner Achievement Award in 2002. She has been a DGA member since 1980.