5 October 2012
It was when Dirk confided in me he had been murdered a couple of times in the past I knew I was in for a good night at the Branch meeting held on 2nd October, with guest speaker Gerry Smith. Gerry is the brains behind popular Murder Mystery events held on the Orient Express. Her stories about how she became a variety performer (singer/actress) were amazing, funny and nostalgic. When she imitated Sophie tucker, we were astounded at her talent. Looking like Vera Lynn and sounding like Vera Lynn had taken her all around the world. Thank you Gerry for coming to give us a talk as the Vera Lynn song goes "We'll meet again"
5 October 2012
For the 3rd year running Shelli (Secretary) and member Noel West organized a variety show at the Four Winds Hotel Aberavon, near Port Talbot. Onc again the manager Bromley of the Four Winds provided and donated a chicken and chip meal, it was scrumptious as always. Members performing, Jeff Eley, Christine Lee Jones, Steve Derrick, Russell Lloyd, Dickie Heart and the show was compared by Shelli Dawn. Noel West was technician fo all artists and suplied P.A. system. Hazel Pitt a friend and volunteer of the South Wales Branch organised the tickets and the door. Dirk Saunders and Byron LLoyd organised raffle ticket selling. Prizes were donated by R.N.L.A. Equity and Shelli and her husband. The audience were enthralled by the variety of talent and asked when they could see us return. Shelli assured them "we will be back next year" and then thanked them all for their tremendous support and the artists were thanked for their wonderful night of entertainment. £185 was donated to the R.N.L.I and £185 was donated to the South Wales Branch of Equity.
26 September 2012
Mad dog casting are looking for people in Wales over the age of 16 years of age for supporting artists for television work in the near future. Contact them through their website www.maddogcasting.com
8 September 2012
Equity is giving its support to two major public protests this Autumn and is calling on members to get behind the Equity banner and raise their voices in support of the arts. On 20 October the TUC’s march for a Future that Works will challenge the Government’s assertion that cuts and austerity are the only approaches to recession and on 24 October UK Feminista, a gender equality campaigning organisation, will lead a march and lobby to urge politicians to take urgent action to defend women’s rights.
To read about this and more, please download the Council Report for the meeting of the Equity Council on 4 September which is now available in the Member Resources area of the Equity web site at https://www.equity.org.uk/documents/council-report-4-september-2012/
10 May 2012
Equity has persuaded the BBC to use proper Equity/PACT contracts for productions taking place in the Republic of Ireland.
The BBC has commissioned UK-based independents to produce three large-budget programmes in the Irish Republic for transmission in the UK. The BBC was attracted to filming in the Republic because all three productions will get financial support from the Irish government through the Irish Film Board.
3 May 2012
A tax investigation can be a nightmare and very costly Equity are doing a survey to find out if members would like to take out insurance to cover this expense.
3 May 2012
At the 1st May meeting of the South Wales Variety Branch a request was sent out for members to suggest ways of using the funds in the bank to put on some sort of event that would encourage people to support their branch.
30 April 2012
A tribute night of entertainment in conjunction with Equity raising funds for Ty Hafan Children's Hospital.
4 April 2012
The Annual General Meeting of the South Wales Variety Branch took place on Tuesday 3rd April 2012 at the Tyn Y Twr Public House, Baglan, Port Talbot.
Unfortunately Malcolm Sinclair, our President and Guest Speaker, was unable to be at the meeting due to extended TV work commitment on the day. However it was good to have Chris Ryde our Area National Organiser to be with us to add to the branch special date. The meeting was very well attended and Chris Ryde was able to give information that was valuable to our branch. One item amongst many that he eloquently raised was the slightly different way that our branch and other variety branches nationally would be financed. The Council with input from the Hon. Treasurer had agreed that 25p per member registered with the South Wales Variety Branch would be made available for branch funds. In our case that is £94 to be used for Education, Training or other agreed criteria. It was seen as a good incentive to attract more members and the money could be used to kickstart some interesting events. Shelli Dawn our Branch Secretary said she had some ideas but would welcome other suggestions on uses for the funding. The £94 is an annual amount that will be lost if not used in the 12 months period.This is a separate fund from our own branch monies which we have accrued that is looked after by our able Branch Treasurer Cei Phillips and derived from Showtime Events, Raffles etc.
A campaign is to be mounted shortly by Equity for more work for members in areas where productions for TV, Theatre and Films are actually made. The regions mostly involved with problems are Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. For instance we now have major production activity in Wales and much of the casting etc involves London or outside of Wales. To redress this there should be a " Live in Wales - Work in Wales" or "Produce in Wales - Use Talent of Wales" - type of campaign so that the creative talent in Wales is effectively used and recognised. More of this with promotional literature will soon be available.
The Licencing of Entertainment for venues has led to a reduction of live entertainment because the criteria for a permit started at a low level of 50 persons. Equity has been active in getting Parliament to increase the numbers to 100 persons but in their wisdom the Ministers at Westminster upped the level to 200 persons.
A welcome surprise and this is going forward for Royal Assent shortly. It should lead to an increase in work for members.
Shelli Dawn thanked Chris Ryde for attending the AGM at such short notice. She also thanked him for his valued support over many years. This was endorsed by everyone at the meeting. He will be a hard act to follow.
A late discussion on the tax insurance proposal currently being examined by Equity was raised. Goldini gave an indepth analysis of the problem and the need for members to consider getting insured. It is basically an insurance for costs incurred if HMRC decides to investigate your business etc. for possible tax avoidance.
Whether you have an accountant or not it would cost you an enormous amount of time, money and sleepless nights. The cost to get insurance yourself seems to be between £80 and £130 mostly around £100 but Equity Insurance could currently be set at £59 annually on top of your subscription. You will hear more about this probably in the next Equity Journal . A few at the meeting said they were really interested and would like to arrange the cover. Members also registered interest at previous branch meetings. Equity will if there are sufficient takers put up £10,000 to get the ball rolling with our insurers and get the £59 payments to offset the upfront payment. It needs just around 180 members to make this viable. This insurance is not only for the self employed and of course is a legitimate expenditure against your income from entertainment. HMRC is Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs the former Inland Revenue.
The AGM ended and members enjoyed Welsh Cakes, tea, coffee and good gossip.