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Ep#7. Part 1. ABOUT UNIONS: BRITISH EQUITY.
For BATTERSEA ARTS CENTER Donations:
There is yet again too much information to contain in this episode on joining the Union, as I cover both Equity, the British actors' Union, and, SAG-AFTRA and AEA, the two U.S. Unions serving Screen & Radio actors, and Stage actors respectively across the United States.
When I graduated from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in 1982, you had to join British Equity, as it was then known, in order to take any professional acting job; be it theatre, film, tv or radio.The only way to do that was to be engaged by a theatre company on an Equity contract for a set number of consecutive weeks. Each repertory/regional theatre had two Equity cards at each season to issue to newcomers. Competition was fierce; your Equity card therefore, hard won.
Then during Maggie Thatcher's second term in office as Prime Minister, she outlawed all Unions, and from then on there were no longer requirements for actors to be Equity card carriers to work in any of the mediums in the UK.
I remain immensely proud of my Equity Union card, and hugely grateful for everything that Equity do to support and protect myself and my fellow members during both the times when we are engaged in work, and those times when we are seeking work.
Equity continues to do so much more for actors and entertainers in their membership across the UK and internationally, than you could ever imagine. I encourage every British professional actor to join Equity, wherever in the world they live and work. The union is only as strong as its membership, and by supporting your Union, you enable your Union to support you, your fellow actors, and those actors in our community not as fortunate as us or who are no longer able to support themselves.
In this episode, we look at how Equity achieves this, to what lengths they go to provide that support, and also how they ensure that all 'lost' revenues owed you are collected and issued to you or your representation. Equity remains as vital now as it did when I first stepped out onto the stage as a professional actor over 30 years ago.
Joining is incredibly simple and incredibly inexpensive. To do so or to rejoin, click on the link below.
Also, at the start of this episode, I make an appeal for donations to help the Battersea Arts Centre (BAC), in London to rebuild after a devastating blaze tore through the building two weeks ago. Recently named by The Guardian newspaper as 'The Nation's Theatre, it is without a doubt London's most committed, innovative and exciting Arts Centre. When we first set up Theatre 503, the then Artistic Director, Tom Morris was hugely supportive of us with his team, and that relationship continues with David Jubb at the helm, and Theatre 503's current Artistic Director, Paul Robinson.
There is a BAC donation link below. If your are able to give something, your support is hugely appreciated, so as the BAC can resume their incredible work.
DIARY OF A 'failed' ACTOR.
Directed by Cécile DELEPIÈRE