How Important is Equity compared to years ago.

  • Alex Walton

    Actor

    Hi,

    I am about to return from tour to live and work in London.

    I am going through the usual setting up profiles again, and got to Equity, and I'm not sure if it's needed.

    How important is it to be a member?

    Does it limit opportunities not to have it?

    Thanks for any advice. Klarke

    • 21st Jul 2019
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  • Monty Burgess

    Actor

    If you're on a production and something goes wrong, you're on your own in terms of legal action. If you're with Equity, you've got a whole heap of legal back up.

    Not to forget that in addition, some branches are organizing general auditions with casting directors - at no cost.

    • 19th Mar 2014
    • 1
  • Charles Delaney

    Actor

    ..Meeting CD's at no cost is an excellent prospect.

    Can we organize this for central London

    branch please?

    Charles Delaney

    Equity Member No:MOO264461

    • 19th Mar 2014
    • 2
  • Alex Walton

    Actor

    The CD aspect certainly seems worth it, but as I'm only just coming back, haven't got big projects lined up yet, that would warrant the necessary insurance.

    Will look more into the CD side of it, think that may stay me for when I get back.

    Thanks for the advice.

    • 19th Mar 2014
    • 3
  • Nigel Peever

    Actor

    You want a builder and you see "federation of master builders" on an ad, you're buying Tuna and see "Dolphin friendly" on the tin, your holiday is protected by ATOL, your plumber is a member of the association of plumbing and heating contractors doesn't. it help you make your decision? Don't you think casting people think the same way.

    I remember getting smacked really hard in the mouth in a scene once my teeth jarred together and thinking I hope he's insured through Equity too.

    I think you need these badges of professionalism to mark you out as a pro.

    • 20th Mar 2014
    • 4
  • Stephen Moriaty

    Actor

    Being a member of Equity is really a no brainer. remember it is Equity that campaigned for minimum pay rates not just in the theatre but with BBC, ITV and other recorded media. To a large extent you may consider that Equity is like your car insurance; you hope that you will never have to claim but it's good to know that it's there. They will help and advise on contracts, help resolve contractual disputes, help collect outstanding fees/royalties, legal support for contracts and personal injury, tax and welfare advice, accident and backstage insurance, public liability insurance up to £10 million to name just some of the benefits. You can also pay by monthly instalments. So what is stopping you from joining?

    • 20th Mar 2014
    • 5
  • Stephen Moriaty

    Actor

    Exactly, Nigel.

    • 20th Mar 2014
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  • Dan Gregory

    Actor

    Can't say much more than what has already been posted.

    Definitely worth being a member.

    I only needed help once (in 1967) but would never consider leaving.

    My new membership card arrived today!

    • 20th Mar 2014
    • 7
  • Dan Gregory

    Actor

    Here you go: -

    www.equity.org.uk/openhouse/

    • 20th Mar 2014
    • 8
  • Alex Walton

    Actor

    I couldn't agree more that equity is vital, and certainly something that I'm going to become a member of when I'm back, it's essential in so many ways.

    But I'm currently on tour, insured through them until July, and setting myself up for when I return, just curious as to weather it's best to set up now, or set up when I get my first acting Job after the tour.

    Also, are the top agents looking for equity membership on a Co's? or is it seen as something that can be got at a later date, given the circumstances of tour?

    Don't want to say it every time, but all your advice is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

    • 20th Mar 2014
    • 9
  • Emmy McMorrow

    Actor

    Until equity becomes a strong union like SAG in the US, its a waste of money.

    Most actors I know actors who are doing well are not with it.

    I think it's a novelty certain actors like to have so they can flash their card around and say 'look I'm a professional actor'! aside from that, It's not worth the money - and that goes for whether you do a job once every other year or every week

    • 12th Jun 2014
    • 10
  • Nigel Peever

    Actor

    Did you read the entries above Emma? are we all those "certain actors" who " flash their card around and say 'look I'm a professional actor" Hopefully you'll never need their legal aid or even just some professional advice re tax or contracts etc, But you might. In the meantime by all means stay out of the union but let's not be offensive to those that think that any union is better than total anarchy.

    • 12th Jun 2014
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  • Sheila Jones

    Actor

    am also puzzled by Emma's suggestion that Equity is "not worth the money". Hmmm. Legal representation, accident & public liability insurance, info on all kinds incl tax, national insurance, benefits. And all of that aside from minimum pay rates and conditions that people take for granted, and yes, Emma, people like you and your friends benefit from that. The belief that you can do better on your own is fine so long as you never hurt yourself in a show, never hurt someone else, never get ripped off or unfairly treated by an employer, always get paid on time and fairly, never need legal advice...etc etc. we're all swimming alone without each other and the union.

    • 12th Jun 2014
    • 12
  • Assunta Esposito

    Actor

    I've been a proud member of Equity since I started my training. Over the years they've guided me through the muddy waters of tax and HMRC. When I encountered difficulties with a venue that refused to honour a contract Equity legal stepped in and got me the money I was owed. It personally gives me the peace of mind to know that they have my back.

    • 12th Jun 2014
    • 13
  • Stephen Moriaty

    Actor

    Emma, "Most actors I know who are doing well are not with it". Without being rudd I would suggest that they are not that well known. Malcolm Sinclair the current president is very successful ad is that wizard fella. What's his name. Oh yes Ian McKellan. Equity is our union and can only be as strong as it's members (and the law) allow. Thanks to Mrs T Equity can no longer operate a closed shop and therefore can't gave the influence of SAG but it is still a very important asset to any actor. You don't have to join of course but as others have said lets hope you never need their help and just benefit from the rates and working conditions that Equity has negotiated.

    • 12th Jun 2014
    • 14
  • Charles Delaney

    Actor

    Equity was far more influential than S.A.G. back in the day! (post 1984)

    However it's significance and support structure for professional actors in the 21st century shouldn't be ignored;

    The major unions took 'a hit' in the 80's with the dilution of media outlets internet,youtube,reality Tv & 'drain workers', 'cops with cameras', 'I'm a celeb..pay me £75 grand and get me outa here!' blah blah.. it's all been a bit of a breading ground for

    ' www.let's rip off actors.co.uk'

    It's nice to know there's something in life you can rely on....!

    • 12th Jun 2014
    • 15
  • Dan Gregory

    Actor

    I've been a member since 1967 and have never regretted paying my subs even though I have only once needed help from our Union once - and that was when my first Equity contracted Tour folded early and we were paid thanks to the deposit system.

    I walked last year when I was told by a producer "we don't do Equity" and I too wish that we were as strong as US Equity, or SAG because then we wouldn't spend time negotiating terms for those who are happy to take the money without putting in the graft.

    • 12th Jun 2014
    • 16
  • Adam Anouer

    Actor

    I've had similar confusion about the whole thing but I want to do my homework before I put forward my application so I can get the best out of it. Which I'm going to do very shortly.

    • 12th Jun 2014
    • 17
  • Emmy McMorrow

    Actor

    I'm not sure why everybody is being so mean and condescending to me! So mich anger! It's just my opinion .

    Stephen - I assure you you would consider them doing 'well', unless you don't consider doing well headlining major films & having a public profile.

    I see how strong SAG is and equity is not the same. When I graduated from Drama school and got no work for literally - ages, I didn't appreciate having to pay what they wanted - thet should charge much less than what they do for actors in that situation.

    Perhaps im wrong here - but I'm pretty sure what few TV jobs I have done were covered by the BBC ' Insurance or Kudos.

    also - doesn't one's personal insurance cover accidents at work?

    - happy to admit when I am wrong if so, and would, at this stage in my career,now consider joining if the answer to the above is no - just don't appreciate the tone of the above posts towards me!

    • 13th Jun 2014
    • 18
  • Nigel Peever

    Actor

    I think it's because your argument that equity is worthless is a self defeating one. As long as you fight it, work outside it's organisation, fail to give it the financial support it needs to campaign for our rights you, yes you, are chipping away at it's foundations whilst enjoying the benefits of it's agreements for the TV work that you have done. Many of us remember a time when equity was a closed shop, it meant that some people found it hard to get in and find work (including me! but that's another loooong story) but those that were in stood a better chance, and believe me once I'd got in it wasn't easy then! Now though it's almost total anarchy! employers can offer and do what they like because they know they can get away with it.

    There was a time when unions didn't exist, when they were illegal, factory owners would try to stop them so that they could get away literally with murder. So do you want to go back to those times? Or is it just equity?

    I don't know about anyone else but it was your criticism of actors waving their equity cards around proclaiming (and I think we can all imagine the voice) oooh look I'm a professional actor. It was that for me that got my back up, and why I think you have aroused some discussion on the subject.

    • 13th Jun 2014
    • 19