Equity Online Branch Digital Summit
Anyone involved with Audience Development by which I mean the act of building awareness towards a specific location to put people before a performance, knows how hard it is.
It’s take commitment and honest respect.
Bringing people to you is an act of venerability. They don’t know who you are or even care.
You care deeply, your livelihood depends upon it. Ironic eh?
For years now I have works against the odds to reach a position where Equity’s idea for an Online Branch is fit for an audience. Not a random audience but members of the union who are unable to attend a monthly geographically tied branch meeting.
Branch meetings are the place where the collective democracy of the union takes place outside of the formally elected council and committees.
The online branch was conceived from the recognition that the transitory members often working away from home on tour and some finding themselves residing overseas for periods of time.
It’s was also expected to provide an online sanctuary bringing members together. In the early days it was hoped that would be away from the mainstream social media of public exposure.
Proposed, debated and adopted by a vote at several Annual Representatives Conferences. It even had substantial investment but Equity seemed unable to reach the finishing line when it came to get the developer to produce a working version. It also suffered the fate of mainstream social media, that of trolls and misanthropes, personal agendas and failures to hold suppliers to account. But…
During the pandemic and following a change at the top along with a cascade of staff changes the Online Branch found it’s ledge on the rocky cliff. Stable but precarious.
We are to hold the first annual general meeting. For the online Branch, a digital summit.
I have become the torch-bearer. As I began this post, audience development is hard. The audience here is union members but the cuffs applies was to limit that to only members nit affiliated to a physical branch. I pushed against the challenge. It’s been hard. The goal is to establish an engaged membership sufficiently invested to retain and sustain a committee of Nine. The branch committee election is to be rerun over the summer. Until the time a branch chair can be elected I am keeping the flame alight.
Greetings! Are you an Equity Member. Did you tour prior to the pandemic. Have you every supported and attended a regional branch meeting? Tuesday is the first Online Branch digital summit. It's a review of activities of the last 12 months and a chance to look to the future. There will be a screen shared tour of the forum, a warm welcome for the union's president and a special event wouldn't be complete without a guest speaker and Darren Darnborough has accepted my invitation to speak.
Actor / Filmmaker / Travel Writer and CoFounder & CEO of WeAudition. I encountered Darren while researching a self-tape workshop in 2018 and attended a WeAudition Networking event hosted in London. Darren’s story of creating the SelfTelp committee WeAudition, the casting opportunities he created for himself and perhaps some tales of partying on yachts at the Film Festival in Cannes are anticipated! As a British, LA-based actor he is the perfect example of the Online Branch’s networking potential to help members find work opportunities and meet fellow members for who the Online provides a democratic voice within the industry where they have no physical branch to take advantage of.
There is a registration link if you haven't signed up. I do hope you are able to attend. Message me for the link.
The Online Branch is for members not able to attend a physical branch. There are lots of reasons but not being in the UK and not being available at 7.30 UK time to attend a geographic-specific gathering are the major factors to why the Online Branch exists.
This 7.30 online meeting for an AGM or for us this Digital Summit is likely to be the once a year occurrence. For the rest of the year, it's the online forum and informal meetups.
The first task for the branch is to form a committee. Audience development skills at the ready.
Thank you Audiences Europe. I sometimes wish I was less tenacious.