Incorporating the Variety Artistes' Federation
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Training advice from Sarah Buckland

6 April 2011

Performers and technicians are constantly training and re-training. If you are in work often or rarely, whether it’s theatre or film, you must keep your technical skills at a high standard, you may also want to diversify and learn something different, so you’ll be attending classes regularly. We can offer you help with fees for these classes and are, through your Learning Rep, organising workshops based on your specific needs.

Every union can have members trained as Union Learning Reps. This role was created by the unions to attempt to ‘upskill’ the workforce and is funded mainly by the government – which is why it is open to members and non-members. For Equity, the SW is the only area to have ULR’s and I am the new (first) that will cover the B&W branch.

I need to know what you need. Tell me what you would like in courses and workshops and I will endeavour to create it for you or point you in the right direction. Eg: literacy and numeracy or ICT and basic computer skills; Forum Theatre, auditions to camera, finance for the self-emloyed, music, singing etc… Have a think about what you really NEED and what you really WANT no matter how weird it may sound!

I’ll add you to an e:group if you send me your email address – I will then contact you all and you can contact me, confidentially (I am bound by data protection law, I cannot contact you unless you invite me to). This will create a ‘hub’ of information FOR US: professional performers and technicians working in performing arts in the B&W region. These workshops will be heavily subsidised and you will be asked to pay – if at all – only a small contribution. We can work alongside, or with, established companies, colleges, workshop leaders etc.

Please pass this information on to friends and colleagues: and anyone who would like to lead a course that may interest our group, please get in touch.

If you do not have a computer at home, you can still have an email address, go to your local library and ask for help (if you still have one) or get in touch with the branch or Area Organiser another way and they can pass you on to me.

Please email me at or for Devon and Cornwall branch area email Jill at

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