Equity card V Spotlight

  • Farah Sardar

    Actor

    Hi everyone,

    As money is tight at the moment, I thought it would be more worthwhile trying for Spotlight than getting an equity card. I would be grateful for some feedback from all enlightened and experienced actors out there.

    Thankyou.

    • 10th May 2007
    • 6880
    • 32
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Equity has a deal with Spotlight and a specific Spotlight directory for African, Caribbean, Oriental & Asian Artists.

    So if you are an Equity member and an African, Caribbean, Oriental or Asian Artists it is free to go in this directory. This directory is on the Spotlight website, and accessible by casting directors in exactly the same way as any white actor Spotlight page.

    You have to get in touch with the London Equity office not Spotlight to find out more about the Equity /Spotlight deal and I am not sure which person at Equity you talk to. Equity's head office number is Tel: 020 7379 6000

    So, there is no need for you to miss out on both membership of Equity, and being in Spotlight, when Equity have this deal.

    Cheers

    Tracey

    • 10th Apr 2007
    • 1
  • Alison Naomi

    Actor

    Hiya I don't think it is really a question of either/or.

    You should really be a member of both as they do different things. Equity gives you overall union protection for your career (public liability insurance etc) they deal with your contracts etc.. Spotlight are the no 1 source for Casting Directors to see and cast you for parts. You need to be with both.

    Good luck

    alison-naomi

    • 10th Apr 2007
    • 2
  • Sally Beaumont

    Actor

    I think that the spotlight directory sovay mentions is in addition to the usual spotlight entry (which you still have to pay for).

    I'd say go for Equity every time. (Although you really need to be in both).

    Equity: legal cover, advice, support, standardised rates of pay, a stamp of professionalis.

    Spotlight: Professionalism also, appeals to agents who might take you on, makes you visible to casting folks.

    Personally my Equity subs were the best money I've ever spent and saved me a fortune in legal costs alone.

    • 10th Apr 2007
    • 3
  • Lucy Perkins

    Actor

    I sincerely hope so Sally, otherwise I too am not impressed with that!

    Lx

    • 10th Apr 2007
    • 4
  • Sally Beaumont

    Actor

    Here's the spotlight info

    www.spotlightcd.com/books/acoa.html

    They also do one for extras and those with disabilities.

    It is a certain degree of positive discrimination, however I think the idea behind it (and I'm by no means a representative) is to encourage the casting of those in ethnic minorities by making them more visible, rather than deliberately disadvantage caucasian folks.

    All the additional registrations seem to be free, although it's not specified whether you need to already be on spotlight to join.

    • 10th Apr 2007
    • 5
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Yes Sally is right, the spotlight directory that I mentioned is an addition to the usual Spotlight entry. I've noticed that a lot of black actors who are in the Equity Spotlight entry also pay to go in the main directory, so it must be lacking in some search facilities.

    I believe this directory was established by Equity, because casting directors kept saying they could not find any African, Caribbean, Oriental or Asian artists to cast.

    Equity have several other directories including a children's entertainers, artists with disabilities, stage management, welsh speaking members, Scottish casting directory, a walk on a supporting artist directory, and Theatre fight directors directory. Some of these are joint projects with Spotlight, and others are hosted on the Equity website.

    I also believe Equity Staff and Council have been discussing a new improved website which will be able to host CV and photos of Equity actors in the similar way to CCP.

    Hope that helps.

    Cheers

    Tracey

    • 10th Apr 2007
    • 6
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    If I had to choose, I would say go for Spotlight as Spotlight gets you seen and gives you publicity and contact details for jobs. Equity is great to be a member of, but in the 9 years of subs I haven't had to personally call on them for anything. Now I am not knocking Equity for anyone wanting to jump on their soapbox defend, they do a great job in protecting us and are there when we need them, (it's a good thing I haven't needed them!) But I feel Spotlight can help you get a job and Equity can protect you in it. With Equity no longer being 'closed shop' its not a necessity to be a member, you will still be employed without membership.

    • 10th Apr 2007
    • 7
  • Farah Sardar

    Actor

    Hi everyone,

    Thankyou for your feedback. Regarding the contoversial spotlight publication for ethnic minoities, I had previously made enquiries about this. It is free to register here if you have an equity card, but it's not the same as being in 'The Spotlight', with a spotlight Number etc. xxx

    • 10th Apr 2007
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  • Carmell Roche

    Actor

    I am only a spotlight member and have no problems.

    • 11th Apr 2007
    • 9
  • Caroline Boulton

    Actor

    Equity is an essential for a professional actor. You don't realise how valuable they are untill you need them. Its all very well joining Spotlight and getting castings but what if you get a great job but they refuse to pay, Equity jumps in and sorts it out. You need both hand in hand. These are standard expenses for any serious actor and you shouldn't choose between them.

    • 11th Apr 2007
    • 10
  • Alan Brent

    Actor

    Well done, Carmel for doing alright without an Equity card. All the rights and wages you receive are negotiated by Equity on your behalf even though you're not a member. BUT as they say above IF they don't pay you or take advantage of you, you are on your own! AND THAT WILL BE FAR MORE EXPENSIVE than paying your Equity subs!

    • 11th Apr 2007
    • 11
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    But can't you only join Equity if you have a certain number of paid credits to your name and they themselves may be hard to obtain, whereas you can join Spotlight straight from professional training for example, without having a body of work to your name? I'm in no way saying 'don't join Equity' as I think they do a tremendous job, just voicing a little question as to what's needed to join...I may be wrong so don't shoot me if I am!

    • 11th Apr 2007
    • 12
  • Farah Sardar

    Actor

    You need at least one equity contract in 12 months to be eligable for an equity card. For Spotlight you need to be a 'professionl' - which they judge from a preliminery application and CV. (That's what I concluded from my enquiries anyway)

    • 11th Apr 2007
    • 13
  • Alan Brent

    Actor

    That's agreed, Fuzz. But you will also need to prove more to Spotlight that you have done professional work and that you have some pro training to get in. With Equity if you have been a Student Member you can become a full member on completion of your course. Contact membership services (free of charge) for details or get in touch with your local area representative.

    • 12th Apr 2007
    • 14
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    It is now and has been for a long time incredibly easy to join Equity. If you have worked in theatre as a paid performer weather on an equity contract or not, you are eligible to join Equity. You just have to prove you were paid a realistic living wage, and therefore are professional.

    You can also join as a performer working in television, film, commercials or radio to join under this field, you must work on a standard equity contract. One day's work in this field is all you need to join as long as this job was a proper part not a supporting artist role.

    And as Alan says, if you have been a student member on an NCDT or CDET accredited course you can become a full member on completion of your course. There are also lots of other ways to join Equity.

    Full details of how to join Equity are on the Equity website, and if there's anything that isn't clear, please ring Equity staff they are not horrible scary people they want to help you, they want professional actors to join, so don't be afraid to ring.

    Cheers

    Tracey

    • 12th Apr 2007
    • 15
  • Nathan Sussex

    Actor

    Personally, i think both are as valuable as each other. I have had equity and spotlight since i left drama school. In my time as a prof actor i have called on equity's help in 2 disputes which involved sums of money. Without being a member i wouldn't have had a leg to stand on. I think Equity work so hard making sure actors are well protected and i think any prof actor should be with them. this is a hard enough profession and having the help of your union behind is reassuring. Also, i pay my subs by monthly direct debit and dont even notice it going out and i am also skint at the mo

    with regards to spotlight, I think it is vital that any prof actor should be in it if they want to be taken seriously by any casting or industry professional. Hundreds of CD and industry people look through spotlight on a daily basis. I understand the cost factor and there is no way around that.

    I dont think being an equity member increases your chances of work like it used to but it sure does give me peace of mind when i am working

    • 12th Apr 2007
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  • Carmell Roche

    Actor

    I've never had any problems and get complimented on my sharp business mind, I've never worked and not been paid.

    • 12th Apr 2007
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  • Carmell Roche

    Actor

    the reason I'm not with equity is I haven't had an equity contract

    • 12th Apr 2007
    • 18
  • Nathan Sussex

    Actor

    i dont mean to be rude carmel butb thats eactly why we have equity. I anm not saying there is anythign wrong with a non equity contract but who can you turn to when things go wrong with that job. I consider myself to be quite shrewd which is why i am with equity

    • 12th Apr 2007
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