Equity Feed

The day to vote is the day to stand.

9.00 am I walked down the street, turned left at the corner and in just a few minutes I’d arrived at Long Eaton town hall, votes and was heading home.

It was a duty but felt empty and unimportant. What would give it meaning? 
Today I submitted my nomination to stand as a candidate for the Equity committee elections. Standing for the Stage Management Committee.

95370C6D-1CF8-479D-9A18-6E0F112DECF6

My 2021 candidate statement.

“Stagemanagement in 2020 went 100% digital. It’s been digital to varying degrees ranging across an array of tasks and duties since social media emerged from Web2.0 victorious in the mid-noughties. I’ve been a Stagemanager since the late ’90s (digital since 2007) and stepping out from the pandemic digital stage-managing once again kicking and streaming! I’ve been an Equity member since 1995, I’m chair of the Online Branch. I’ve served on the SM committee several times. I’ve worked the fringe, toured on ITC contracts, resided seasons on UK Theatre agreements and currently I’m a freelancer using equity terms experience to guide me. My career has taken me from Butlins to Billingham from Reykjavik to Rome. The industry needs SM’s, we need solid, suitable contracts and expertise at the table to look after all our interests in the modern Physical, Digital and Virtual blended worlds. Vote me onto the committee.”

Are you an EquityUK member?
Elections take place with online voting that closes early July.


More talent from around me - Wonderful wordsmith Terry Victor

Mindfulness in March - Seeing Red was a blog post back in March featuring fellow Equity member Caron Reidy

Terry is the welshest non-native Welshman living in wales I have ever met. An energy presence at Equity Annual Representative Conferences and a long-standing advocate and active member of the Equity Online Branch.

Another talent I have never seen perform. I do know he has a regular podcast and features regularly on Radio.

Time to listen to the inimitable Word Wrangling Terry Victor

701716C8-E8E1-4FC7-9801-514BD5A9EEE6

Word Wrangling is a series of slightly skew-whiff looks at the English and the way we skewer it. This episode is formed around an attempt to see how many adjectives can be loaded on the back of a single noun.

Informative and silly. I don't know about you but all this social distancing is getting at me.

Slang lexicographer and language commentator Terry Victor is happiest on the liberal left-wing of language usage. Here are his short, sharp and sideways looks at the ways we mess with the English language. It's our language, we can do what we like with it.

Occasionally provocative, sometimes grumpy and generally mischievous: that's Word Wrangling.

I enjoyed listened to… 

105FF050-31A4-49E3-A494-A94F3E251DAC


Performance for All - one point at a time. Lunchtime Livestream S4 | E1

70EFAEDE-2812-44A4-A8CA-36AA319C7A2E

The first guests of the series joined me today. UtopiaArts’ Frances Rifkin and Graham Lucas talked 

Fringe, Forum, Small-Scale, Independent Theatre was the focus. Finding a focus on which to discuss Equity’s Performance for All Policy has taken focus in itself.

It’s full of context. It’s extensively referenced. It’s a little booklet with mighty ambitions. It’s scope is incomprehensibly transformative.

One section resonated most as I dissected and reflected on my corner of the industry called Show Business. A section relevant to every other section.

Section 7 on page 20 of the Performance for All booklet - http://bit.ly/equity-fp19

Democratising Funding and Decision Making
All 10 sections of the policy are split in two parts. First a collection of data (stats, quotes and statements) and the second a series of policies Equity want to realise to... in the words of the current political climate... ‘Build Back Better’.

Policies ideals are cited “Autonomous, equitable and accountable funding and creative leadership.” The Performance for All policy asks for an expanded, fairly-balanced, socially responsive, democratic cultural provision with out reductions to funding in the capital. Its talks of rebalancing through an increased arts allocation.

It goes on to reinforce the independent sector... “often innovative and community oriented should be further developed and seen for what it is - An established and key part of cultural provision and source of employment.

The entire gamut from community to commercial. Inner London to the Outer Hebrides.
How that might be approached references a 2016 report

“Contributing to the national cultural policy debate”

http://www.gpsculture.co.uk/next-steps.php

Today’s livestream looked in brief at one element of the policy. It covers film, theatre, tv, Variety and games.

It was conceived before Covid in a pre pandemic digital resistance.

What is next?

Check out the livestream episode

Annotated...

28EA0DBB-BA3C-49EF-A995-BDC40F50C27A
28EA0DBB-BA3C-49EF-A995-BDC40F50C27A


Meetup vs Meeting - EquityOLB

Tonight was a meet up for EquityUK’s Online Branch. A meet up or a meeting?

They are different and importantly so. Equity is the trade union for performers and creative production professionals. Thanks very simplistic but sufficient for the purposes of this post. The branch network gives members real time physical opportunities to meet, exchange experiences and receive updates. These branches are spread across the UK. But what if you don’t reside within sensible traveling distance of a branch’s meeting location? Any member can attend any branch, in theory. The Online Branch was conceived to provide a branch for members for who for what ever reason the physical branches aren’t accessible to them. For some it’s work, others it’s destination even timezone if overseas and others it’s care responsibilities or a variety of challenges making physical attended impractical. Enter stage left the Online Branch. 

With this in mind for the Online Branch it could not just be a replication of a physical branch. 

So Meet Up vs Meeting? Meetings have official structure, they are led by an agenda. Meetings are united and with a determined number of people decisions can be made collectively through motions, debates, conclude with a vote and progressed for action or developed by the branch. That’s the official bit. Some argue that’s the boring bit. 

A meet up is a social affair. Like minded colleagues coming together. For the online branch a technology solution to enable the official bit forms the foundation of the Online Branch. It’s ideology and it’s goal is to place the democratic lever to afford change within the reach of all members of the union and not only when they can go to a Meeting.

A branch is its members and the activity must be determined and led by the members. The online branch has a committee of nine who have held together the ideals since the branch received its official sanction from Council in 2016. 

DF4FC653-0DF3-4209-AF35-F08C8724BBC1

Here in 2021 members are coming together using video meeting platform Zoom from Scotland, Wales, East Midlands, Sussex, New York, Berlin and Los Angeles. 

In the intervening years various technology solutions have be developed, discarded, discovered and explored. The most recent milestone was not a technological one but a human one. Equity assigned union organiser Dominic Bascombe to support us.

A technology discovery report was commissioned just prior to the pandemic last March so world events have surpassed us in regards to securing union funds to evolve the technology we would ideally have built. But I’m a firm believer that people follow people not platforms. The platforms augment and assist.
Reaching the people, engaging the Online Branch members is the task at hand while we acquire the technology to uncouple the physical from the temporal we must meet.

The meet ups scheduled are commitments from the branch chair to open a door. The meetings will be scheduled in accordance with the members of the branch. That’s where they get hand in that democratic lever.
Tonight the desire to hold Meetings was requested. An interest in understanding the union’s structure and their (those attending the meet up) role and purpose within it was revealed. That was music to my ears. 

One member located in the US had questions about work and visa logistics across UK and EU following a recent film contract opportunity. 

A very heartening Meet Up. I will report all the raised points and suggestions to the committee and our organiser.

The branch is open for business. Now we have to desire what that business is.


Equity's 2019 Committee Elections Campaigning in Full Swing.

EquityElections19-01

I can not express to you how important this is to me. I vote in my local council elections I vote in the General elections. The impact Equity Elections has on me is far more immediate. This year the Committee's are being elected. Next year, in 2020 the biennial cycle of Equity's democracy comes full circle with the election of the Council. 

Continue reading "Equity's 2019 Committee Elections Campaigning in Full Swing." »


Favourite Things

Favourite-things

Online community, digital curating. YouTube subscription, Instagram Stories. Blogging and giveaways, Facebook page groups... these are few of my favourite thing!

I love digital. Mobile computing is just... I think my younger self would approve. I like augmented analogue just as much. Being able to fuse the modern and the traditional tends to bring a greater sense of satisfaction from the resulting manifestation be it event, artwork or life lesson.

and yes Brown paper packages tied up with string... these are a few of my favourite things.

Last month I ran a giveaway in the Equity Online Branch with 10 Equity branded torches. Entering to win one was simple. Visit the Online Branch Chat Room, locate the Torch Giveaway chat thread and add your name to the comments. To some, it may seem trivial but in the absence of a marketing or development budget (all Equity branches are run my member committees and not financed by EquityHQ) building the Online Branch through small acts of curiosity is the epic battle of engagement at zero cost. Why? Believe me, I often ask myself that very question. The Union that provided a foundation for contractual stability in many of the jobs I have undertaken over the years, I want to give back.

I also want to keep moving forward. New horizons are opening up where the old traditions start to encompass the new media while new continues to innovate and find ways to demand our creativity before the mainstream catches up and negotiates contractual situations and conditions.

Equity's online branch is an exercise in monitoring digital adoptions. Who can, who can't, who will and who won't. The organisation is the attraction and the communication platforms and engagement option have to accommodate the members. The most effective and cost effective don't always align. Multichannel, multi media, most accessible are different in many cases. Building a holistic community from a multitude of networks is an evolving process requirement cross platform teams with a central hub. In theatre, this is the production office serviced predominantly my stagemanagement.

In theatre, this is the production office serviced predominantly my stagemanagement.

Who is your stagemanager?

Are you familiar with the role of stagemanagement?

What is the equivalent department that looks after cross departmental communication, resource acquisition and distribution?

When this is a topic for another post.

 


Another Equity Online Branch GiveAway - entries close 14th July

July-torch-OLB-giveaway2

The last giveaway back in February was, I hope you'll agree, a bit of fun and certainly brought new members into the branch. It also reminded me that the branch has international members too who are a long way from home.

Here's the Chat Room Thread from the first giveaway if you're inter...

This time it's for TEN Equity torches. These branded torches were taken to Glastonbury to and handed out to members performing who visited the Equity 'tent'. I managed to get TEN so here we are with another giveaway. Same as before visit the Online Branch Chat Room thread set up for the giveaway and add your name in the comments.

It's as simple as that.

Continue reading "Another Equity Online Branch GiveAway - entries close 14th July" »


Digital Hustings - It's all part of the Online Branch Experience.

DigitalHustings01

Several of the London Branches have held a series of Hustings events providing an opportunity for committee election candidates to share their perspectives on why they want to stand and as an opportunity for members who are voting to meet the candidates seeking support in getting them elected.

Continue reading "Digital Hustings - It's all part of the Online Branch Experience." »


EquityUK - 2017 Committee Elections - why you should vote.

It's an Equity Election. This time it's for members who are going to represent us on the various Equity Committees. There are Industrial, Specialist, Diversity and Regional Committees where candidates have put themselves forward with the intention of giving you a voice and to forward their own agenda to make the industry a better place to work in from their point of view.

OLB_EquityElections_banner_ee2017

Within Equity, every member is assigned to a constitutional register. Members can select additional registers where they feel the information communicated to those registers would be me professionally advantageous.

Then there are committees. All the registers are represented by one of the committees.

Here is a list of the constitutional registers.

Continue reading "EquityUK - 2017 Committee Elections - why you should vote." »


Equity Online Branch Goodies Give Away - 01

OLB_GGA01

The First Equity Online Branch Goodies Give Away

Equity Members are active on Facebook and Twitter. Many members also have Linkedin profiles. There are other professional networks such as Spotlight, Casting Call Pro or Stage Jobs Pro. Visiting the Online Branch you will always know you are connecting directly with fellow members. From the feedback we have received, that factor is very important to those who have joined. For others for whatever reason don't use Facebook or Twitter.

In the Ensemble Facebook Group recently (a fabulous group for industry professionals working in musical theatre), a member suggested Equity make logo pin badges for members to wear with pride to champion our allegiance to our union. As an annual representative conference (ARC) attendee for several years, I delight in my ownership of such a badge handed out to representatives on registration. I wear mine proudly on my coat lapel. 

Members can visit Equity's HQ, Guild House in London and request one but they are not 'merch for purchase'. Not everyone is in central London, it's a major reason why the online branch was conceived. After the recent meeting taking me to head office, I requested some pin badges to give away in a small initiative to encourage Equity Members to opt into the branch and to give existing members a call to action. Drop by, say Hi.

So would you like to be entered into the draw? Here's how it works.

  • Drop by the online branch, visit the Chat Room thread called - The First Equity OLB Goodies Give Away and post your name in the comments.
  • 10 names will be drawn at random from the list of names after midnight on 19th Feb
  • If your name is the first selected from those who log-in and post their name, a parcel will be sent to you with the items in the photo.
  • Nine further Online Branch Members from the list will receive pin badges and Equity pens.

If you are an Equity advocate, council member, branch chair, secretary or PRO feel free to share even copy and paste this to send to members. Get in touch if you'd like to run something similar. This is a direct link to the Chat Room Thread http://bit.ly/olbgga01