Since 1945, the Actors Fund of America has administered the Conrad Catzen Shoe Fund. The fund provides $40.00 towards a pair of new shoes for out-of-work actors and other workers in the performing arts.
Cantzen bequeathed his estate to create the fund so actors would not appear “down at the heels” when auditioning. He believed that a nice pair of shoes would help make a good first impression on casting directors.
To be eligible for the fund, an applicant must be currently unemployed in the performing arts or another entertainment field—and be a member in good standing of a performing arts union. The shoes can’t cost more than $100.
Founded in 1882, the Actors Fund of America is a charitable organization that supports performers and other workers in the performing arts.
Image: Shoes from Alden of New England (a union shop)