How to if you should join Equity
Working in this very difficult industry, where work comes and goes and with (unfortunately) a lot of dishonest and untrustworthy companies on the rise, it is 100% worth being a member of equity.
Equity can be a life line when you are unsure about any performance based issue you may have in your career. They have a vast knowledge about the industry and really look after their members.
You may think if you are not doing much acting work at the moment or are only working on unpaid projects, that you don't need your membership. Equity do not just help you fight legal battles. They are constantly raising issues and concerns that effect the future of the industry so that we have access to fair pay, good facilities, fair contracts and much more. They provide you with Public Liability Insurance, tax advice and support, job vacancies, free career advice and they give us a voice in Parliament where they often fight concerns raised by us.
I have been a member of Equity for 7 years now and in that time I have often thought that I don't need this membership until I am working under an equity payed contract. I was very wrong.
Recently I worked on an unpaid basis with a new theatre company over 6 months. During this time I was treated very badly, they demanded a lot of my time and made false promises to keep me committed to the show. 3 cast members, including myself, were dismissed from the production after the show, based on false information. I was very upset and thought how can they treat people like this.
So I decided to write a letter to Equity explaining in detail the situation in the hope for some advice and support. They got back to me the next day and have been absolutely amazing. Even though this theatre company had said it was an unpaid production, they had infact broken the law by putting us through a professional rehearsal and performance process.
Working on an unpaid production I thought I had no rights, but being a member of equity has assured me that I do and that they will support me all the way.
Your equity membership is something to be proud of. It assures me that I have that support behind me that I can call upon at any time.
No matter what you are doing within the entertainment industry, they are there working for you and for the future of the arts.
Be proud of your equity membership.