Equity Annual Representative Conference 2019 - highlights

On the weekend of May 18-20, 2019, several hundred members of Equity converged on Belfast for the Annual Representative Conference to discuss union issues and decide policy for the coming year. Although a more complete report of the overall conference and the 57 motions presented (including two emergency motions, and three motions that were remitted) is available through the union, a few topics will be of particular interest to AAUK members.


Brexit: Changing Status

Brexit. There’s no escaping it at the moment; as time ticks ever closer to what may (or may not) be the UK’s departure date from the EU, it is still uncertain the exact impact this will have on everyone’s lives.

However, as a performer and member of AAUK, which by definition means you are a foreign national, it is vital to be informed as to how your working life may be affected, depending on the passports or visas you hold. Here is a quick general run-down on what to expect, assuming you also hold a US or Canadian passport.


Freedom of Movement: The Other Side of the Coin

I’ve written previously about the impact of Brexit on those AAUK members who are working in the UK as EU nationals, and the worrying consequences that we face. This time, I want to talk about those AAUK members who are working here either as UK nationals or under Indefinite Leave to Remain or other visa routes, and what they are going to have to take into consideration when (if?) Britain leaves the EU.


Taxing Times

Recently, a seemingly casual posting in the AAUK Facebook group triggered an impassioned and emotional discussion. The topic? Not casting procedures or the value of union membership or even the polarizing state of politics in the U.S. or UK; no, the subject was one that strikes terror in the heart of every American working abroad  - U.S. tax policy. An American member asked whether it mattered that he hadn’t filed tax in ten years. Then the deluge of replies came in.

Foreign Bodies

I was privy to an interesting discussion recently among a group of professional actors, all fiercely committed to their craft and to fighting for an even playing field in casting. Some were from an ethnic minority background, and there was talk about how unfair the casting process can be, with several bemoaning the fact that despite being British, their ethnic background was often held against them and seemed more important than their talent or suitability.