Of course there is! And we’re seeing it nationwide in the UK at the moment from so many professions so I thought this feels like a timely Blog. The collective coming together to speak out, to rally, to support and engineer change. But what I’m sometimes asked in relation to Equity membership for actors is “why?”….”why be one of the numbers? What do I get out of joining? What’s in it for me?”.
So, here goes for some of the why’s:
Firstly – let’s get the ‘it’s not always about me out there! Sometimes we’re campaigning for someone or something else not totally linked to you. But hey – you can be sure therefore when it is you – you know who’s got your back, right? And the more that join, the louder the voice! And then of course the more funds there are. And the Union can then continue making sure there’s equity for all within the industry. And yes, let’s reiterate they will be there when you need them, so let’s make it about the ‘we’ as well as the ‘me’.
By the way – just in case you weren’t aware – membership fees are on a sliding scale based on annual income. Couldn’t be fairer than that could you?
So, what do those funds pay for? Quite a lot actually:
Insurance – your Public Liability Insurance is included in your membership.
A range of workplace support including:
Legal support – contracts for example (a side note here for voiceover artists that Equity has developed a template agreement you can use for bookings if needed). Or support in chasing or pursuing unpaid invoices – a common one sadly.
Pay & Conditions – you can access information and guidance on Equity agreed rates and influence continued work relating to the voiceover industry specifically.
It’s worth noting that Equity has an Audio specific Committee. They’ve developed an Action Plan committed to improving and protecting the professionalism of audio work. Some very current examples of their work is the template contract already mentioned, educational guides for companies and campaigns such as ‘Stop AI stealing the show’ You can get more information from the Equity website for more details – I’ll leave a link:
There’s also free medical support from the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine.
Specific Financial Benefits like Pensions, discounts, grants, and Tax and welfare rights advice.
And good ol’ CPD:
As an Equity member you can access free training through the Federation of Entertainment Unions – a whole load of on line courses are available.
And back to the strength in numbers – you’ll be part of a Network of in excess of 47,000 members all working together to make sure you’re not alone – whatever support it is you find you need.
So, hopefully I’ve answered some why’s if you were one of the askers and I’ll leave a couple of extra links for further info just in case.
Are you ready to jump on board if you were undecided? Or perhaps you’re a fellow member – have I missed some your ‘why’?
Any feedback is much appreciated, and is sometimes helpful for other people too.
Thanks for reading or listening!