Christchurch film screening 27 July - The Standbys
Equity held a productive hui with several casting directors from across the country last week, and the actors’ agents association (AAANZ). Equity, the AAANZ and Casting Directors have agreed to update the 2010 casting guidelines and produce a document that can be ratified by all parties. It was agreed that each party will appraise the existing guidelines, then feedback their comments by 9 July 2015. These comments would be distributed to all parties that day. By 23 July 2015 all parties would submit a considered response. Thereafter, two representatives per group will begin negotiating a final standard for casting guidelines in NZ. This may take several meetings. Equity thanks all actors for submitting comments on the current guidelines. The union is using these comments to suggest updates to the guidelines. We will keep you posted.
DEADLINE: FRIDAY 3 JULY
The Equity Foundation is giving you a unique opportunity to learn the art of self-testing from some of the best casting directors in the world. Once a month we issue a brief with an age range. This month we are looking for males and females aged between 45 and 55 years old, with a specific role in mind. If you have applied previously, you will need to apply again when a role comes up within your age range. Ten performers within the age range will be chosen at random each month. The closing date to register your interest is this Friday, 3 July. Equity members only.
Rupert, by the Auckland Theatre Company, opens on 25 June, and is sold out on two nights already. The 100% Equity cast of Rupert, pictured at rehearsals receiving their 100% Equity cake, are: Stuart Devenie, Arlo McDiarmid, Damien Avery, Stephen Lovatt, Hera Dunleavy, Adam Gardiner, JJ Fong, Equity president Jennifer Ward-Lealand and Simon Prast. Choreographer Jeremy Birchall (not pictured) is also an Equity member.
The most powerful media magnate in modern history, Rupert Murdoch, takes a cabaret-style romp down memory lane to give us his cleverly crafted version of his life. Watch as Rupert tap-dances his way to early success across the ditch, discos towards his big American breakthroughs, shares a fiery post-Falklands tango with Margaret Thatcher, and charms some of the most powerful players of the twentieth-century. A smash hit at the box office when it premiered at the Melbourne Theatre Company, Rupert is now scheduled for a West End run. Scandalously audacious!
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Equity Green Room on nudity and simulated sex on stage and screen
Equity held a Green Room event on 31 May 2015 on nudity and simulated sex on stage and screen and how performers could empower themselves. On the panel were actors and Equity members Michael Hurst, Nicole Whippy, Fasitua Amosa, Felicity Josling and Equity vice-president Tandi Wright, with Equity president Jennifer Ward-Lealand in the chair. Their experiences provide a useful guideline for performers on what is acceptable and what is not when asked to do nudity.
The first message was that many American productions are currently filming in New Zealand, and performers are being asked for nudity a lot. It is very important for performers to know their rights and obligations and how to say no and not to be bullied. Performers, together as a group, must effect change and take back our power as people who are integral to the creative process.
Michael Hurst was the producing director on Spartacus and the ‘go-to guy’ for nudity issues. He developed a practice of discussing every nude scene with the relevent performer, writing down the proposed shots and getting the performer’s consent in writing. However this is not standard practice on every production. Ideally, directors should describe the detail of every nude shot to the performer before getting the performer’s consent. Any performer who has consented to nudity must make sure that their agent knows the performer wants a discussion about every nude scene and a summary of agreed scenes in writing.
What not to do:
Equity will be holding a hui with casting directors from across the country on 25 June. The Actors Agents Association of New Zealand will also be sending representatives. The aim of the meeting is to commence updating casting guidelines written in 2010. Equity aims to take into account the experiences of actors since that time, and produce a document that actors can support. Your feedback is very important! Please read the existing guidelines here and email us your comments, including anything you want us to know about your recent casting experiences. Your names will be kept confidential when your experiences are discussed.