I personally wouldn’t really say I “earned” my membership. I got in because I was fortunate to be hired to be in a show at the Guthrie Theater in 1995. It was a subjective decision by the director. It didn’t mean I was more talented than the other actors who auditioned. It just meant they thought I’d be good in that specific role. Being in the union says nothing about how talented you are. It just means you’ve been paid.