EP119 – What does Equity offer professional comedy performers?

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EP119 – What does Equity offer professional comedy performers?


Total run time: 1 hour 13 mins 16 secs.

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About this episode…

Michael Day is the London Variety Organiser and Louise Grainger is in charge of Marketing, Events and Training at Equity (@EquityUK). I got them on to talk about why a performers union is important to comedians, their role in the #MeToo movement and the future improvements they want to make to better serve the comedy industry and more!

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In this episode we talked about…

  • What do you do specifically for comedians? [0 mins]
  • What misconceptions do people have that you don’t do for comedians? [0 mins]
  • What are the most underused features of membership? [16 mins 30 secs]
    • http://feutraining.org/
  • What are your biggest area’s of weakness that you want to improve on? [43 mins]
  • What is your “safe spaces” campaign? [46 mins]
  • In the world of #MeToo, what exactly can you offer comedians to help them against people in the industry who use their power for negative ends? [46 mins]
    • Are members allowed to report things anonymously?
  • What’s your relationship like with the Comedy Guild?
  • What’s your stance on free gigs?
  • What career advice do you offer comedians? [1 hour 1 mins]
  • In 2015, Chortle published an article talking about your new Comedians Standard Contract. A three-page standard contract for acts doing shows to ensure everything is transparent and agreed. How are you enforcing this to continue? [6 mins]
  • In 2017, Equity, targeted pay to play gigs and free shows as well as charity nights in a manifesto which made it clear that all acts should be paid for all work, in my understanding that was a similar thing to the Equity minimum that actors are paid for parts. This got mixed reactions given you couldn’t police all gigs and some nights are free for a reason, what’s happened with that and why? [25 mins]
  • How does the pension scheme work for comedians? [1 hour 5 mins]
  • When it comes to professional names, is it possible for someone to have the same name as someone in another area of performing? How is this resolved with you if an established act wants to keep their name and join? [1 hour 7 mins]







Simon Caine is a comedian, author, podcaster, writer and social media manager. He's the host of the Ask The Industry Podcast (iTunes link) , writer of jokes for Twitter and teller of gags on the London comedy scene. He's also the person writing this and it is taking all his willpower not to make a "Simon Says" joke.
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