How to find paid acting work without an Equity card
It is not vital to have 'Equity' in order to find paid/professional work. In fact there are many actors that work in the industry without Equity.
The key to finding work and contacts is keeping your eyes and ears open- and by that I mean researching, for example, doing work for free e.g. opportunities on casting call pro, would lead you to get connections- this could lead to paid work.
There a publications that would provide you with professional work opportunities- this can be quite costly but may be worth looking in to.
These sites are used by professional casting directors, providing opportunities in the industry. Please also note for spotlight you have to have at least 3 professional credits or have been to drama school.
Just remember-these aren't essential options but could increase your chances. Just stay keen to make contacts and build on it, we all start with no contacts, look out for workshops with casting directors and actors as these are very helpful/productive/educational.
This site I highly recommend, they provide workshops at a very good value for money with some of the top casting directors. At the moment they all take place in London but are shortly expanding to Manchester.
I hope this information is helpful. Remember- keep eyes and ears open- never stop networking and researching- you will be surprised as occasionally there are very good break downs you can get just by goggling Auditions.
I also recommend creating a professional face book page and twitter account as also there are many networking opportunities through these social networking sites. Think carefully about what you put on this account, for example, have a professional headshot as your profile picture (not a drunken night out picture) there are groups and small companies that work through these and I myself have found these social networking sites very helpful and productive.
Thank you and the best of luck