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Paying the Piper

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For many actors getting the job is hard enough. An uphill struggle to get into the audition room, get oneself noticed, and be the winning choice. No wonder then that after such a battle, the thought of when one might actually get paid can be the last thing on your mind.
A theatre job might bring a pay cheque a week or 10 days after the work has been done. An agent gets the bank payment on payday and then processes it so that it arrives in the bank account of the needy actor the following week. All fine and this does have the added bonus that when you actually finish the job you still have one pay packet to come.
But what about the one-off job? The one day's filming, the commercial, or the voice-over? The corporate role-play day or the day’s work in promotions? What's a reasonable amount of time to expect to wait for payment on those occasions?
If you're dealing with the work yourself, work such as a role-play agency or a promotions agency, then it's best to check paym…

Vote for Isaac. He will make a difference.

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I've really had my fill of elections. Whatever calamitous route the decision made on June 8 takes the country down, the real sense of relief on the morning of Friday will be that the campaigning, the endless platitudes, the oft repeated right-wing stance, the lefty Facebook rants, will ease  and although there will be a large portion of people who won't get what they want, at least we might feel we have made a step forward.
So this is probably not the best time to mention that the actor's trade union, Equity, has some forthcoming elections coming up. Not normally something that would ever make me blog, but on this occasion, there is someone I want to talk about.
I have to say I’ve never really been a great fan of Equity. I just don’t get it. It may be that as a prospective actor in the 1970s, Equity represented the biggest barrier to me fulfilling my dreams. At that stage it was, like many other trade unions, a closed shop. Entry was strictly restricted and getting an Equ…

Breaking Into The Evenings

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My first job way back in 1978  was a  British Council tour Shakespeare play on behalf of the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester. We trotted back and forward across Europe playing for two or three nights in large theatres and attending a number of receptions in British embassies and various other locations. It was an evening reception in the cultural attache's house in Luxembourg on one of our rare evenings off which stays in my mind. By now we had grown used to making chitchat with the various diplomats and their wives we would encounter. We all had our stock reply to that searching question  "How do you learn your lines?".
So it was rather refreshing to be taxed in a different way on this particular evening by a  diplomatic wife whose first query about our lives in the theatre was "Don't you find it breaks into your evenings terribly?".  I don't think it was something that any of us had really considered. Having just come out of drama school where I…

A Hope full of Show.

So it's the morning of our first preview for "Brimstone and Treacle" at the delightful Hope theatre.

Three weeks of rehearsal seem to have flown by and as is always the case, no matter how long the rehearsal period is, one feels less than prepared for putting our work in front of an audience, but strangely excited by the prospect of doing so.

It's been a great experience so far and one that I'm so glad I stuck with. Four days before rehearsals were due to start, I was offered a couple of days on a very major movie. Nothing demanding in the acting stakes, but it would have made my bank manager very happy and would have been a great credit. Having spent many hours learning "Brimstone and Treacle",  so that I was off the book before rehearsals started, I decided I had already made sufficient investment in the production not to be sidelined by sheer financial concerns.

 The rewards have been great. In the very capable hands of Matthew Parker, an exceptional…

Brimstone and Fear

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Regular readers of my blog may be feeling a little uncared for this year. It was with a certain amount of surprise that I noticed my last post was at the end of January. Probably the same reaction I had when finding out that we have now entered Spring, the clocks have gone forward, and the end of the week will bring April Fools’ Day.
Probably apt as April this year will see my return to the stage after a gap of nine years. It wasn’t a deliberate career move; just that the right project hasn’t come along. With the exception of starring in a West End show, theatre is what I would unfortunately regard as underpaid. My ability therefore to commit to a long run has been limited by my desire to earn money. Also limited by my boredom threshold. My last theatre outing as an actor was in Watford in 2008 and it was hugely enjoyable. Sarah Esdaile directed a brilliant cast in “Kafka’s Dick” by Alan Bennett and we had a very enjoyable three weeks in the rehearsal room. Then we had a technical  wee…