Last week 50 lucky Equity members were selected by ballot to attend an exclusive Equity event with Sam Neill. The performer – known for his work on productions such as Jurassic Park, The Piano, Sirens, The Dish and many more – joined NZ Actors Equity president Jennifer Ward-Lealand for a chat on stage at the St Columba Centre in Ponsonby Auckland. Neill opened up about everything from his New Zealand vineyard to how he prepares for his roles and why he still gets nervous. Neill then joined performers for a drink and chat, where attendees drank wine generously donated by Neill from his vineyard.
The Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance has called for the Government to act decisively to bring copyright law into the 21st century. This follows the Federal Court’s decision this week to dismiss an appeal by the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft in its case against the Internet service provider iiNet.
Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby" will be filmed at Sydney's Fox Studios later this year. See http://bit.ly/hQXq4i Equity will meet with the producers next week to discuss a range of issues including the terms under which Australian performers will be engaged. It will be the first live action 3D film shot in New South Wales.
Actors Equity is the organisation which represents the industrial and professional interests of performers in Australia and New Zealand.
The Equity Foundation – the professional development arm of Actors Equity Australia – was established in 2002 to oversee Equity’s publications and extensive professional program.
The Foundation aims to advance the interests of professional performers and performance in Australia, and the interests of Actors’ Equity Australia.
Equity Foundation Events
Our professional program, which connects with performers in Australia and New Zealand through an extensive masterclass and workshop program, is developed in close collaboration with performers throughout the country. Click here to view the events we are currently running for members of Actors Equity Australia.Masterclasses
The Equity Foundation's masterclasses are designed to address our members’ need for ongoing professional development and provide rare opportunities to work with leading directors and casting agents. With the support of our partners and sponsors, the Equity Foundation hosts more than 20 masterclasses annually throughout the country. In 2011 performers were given the opportunity to work with Belvoir Theatre’s resident director Simon Stone, TV director Jessica Hobbs, Mullinars’ Jane Norris and many more.
Our workshop series is an opportunity to work on specifics, such as acting for the camera, comedy, dancing, voiceovers and accents. Up to 10 members work over a two-hour period with an expert in their field. In 2011 our workshops included; Uploading a Screentest with Pearl Tan, How to Get a TV Commercial with Gabriella Maselli, US accents with Natasha McNamara, the Art of Voicoovers with Abbe Holmes and many more.
As part of the foundation’s In Conversation series, performers are given the opportunity to attend an intimate question and answer session with leading international actors and directors. Sir Ian McKellen and Waiting for Godot director Sean Mathias, Richard E Grant, Sam Neill, and Cate Blanchett are among those who have participated in the In Conversation events.
Each year the Equity Foundation hosts a Casting Hothouse, which gives performers a unique opportunity to meet and work with international casting agents. Guests of the Casting Hothouse have included; CBS Paramount's vice president of casting, Matt Skrobalak, US feature film casting director Margery Simkin, Christine King of Christine King Casting and Todd McSweeney of Maura Fay & Associates. VIP drinks are held in the lead up to the Casting Hothouse.
The Equity Magazine
The Equity Foundation also publishes The Equity Magazine quarterly, click here for more information about the magazine.
The Awards Program
In 2009 the Equity Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by FOXTEL was established to honour the achievements of a leading Australian performer who has had both a distinguished career and has also been a leader and inspiration to other Australian performers. It is a unique award in that it is awarded by performers for a performer.
In 2011 the Equity Foundation launched the Equity Awards,
which recognise excellence by an ensemble in television comedy and drama
series.Click here for more information about the Equity Awards.