Welcome to episode five of the Westpark park bench podcast. I do apologise for the roughly roughly at the beginning of this, but for those that don't know this is an extension of my podcast, Audio Blog, concept of Note to self note standing for no opportunity to edit. Because inevitably, I record some think I want to edit it. I want to put a little piece of music on the front I want to chop out any little bits that I might have stopped midway. But inevitably and it's not a new tech thing. This used to happen to me when I wrote letters to people, I would write letters, put them in the envelopes, and then not put them in the post box. And it's kind of an extension of that so squiggly bit at the beginning. That is me putting the spoonful which is a black foam. Sock on the bottom of my mobile phone so that you don't get the wind noises throughout the podcasts.
So this is another equity special. Normal service will resume probably next week for Episode Six. But Episode Five is going to be Hustings.
So welcome to Hustings, social media and Metaverse Wombles. I'm Karen. I sit on a park bench in West Park in long Eaton in the East Midlands, UK on a Tuesday after I come out of swimming, to sit down and just reflect on where I'm at, where the projects that I'm on are at those projects I can share. I'll talk about a little bit and sort of try and guide people to check them out. So anything that I talk about in this podcast, I try and use keywords or names or people's names. You should be able to either find stuff out in the sun got screaming children, the wind doesn't this awful doesn't cut out screaming children
I was saying that you'll be able to find stuff in the Show Notes. And if not, tweet me at PCM creative and use Google. So without further ado hostings
What are Hustings? It's not just an equity thing equity if you are not part of my world if you're not part of my world, subscribe and if you're not part of my world welcome and I am a member of equity UK say equity UK because there is equity in the US and they are acting union have very different roles. I'd love to have a Actors Equity US versus UK comparison because it's really interesting comparisons. And as the chair and moderator of the online branch, we do have some UK equity members are also equity us members and some of the insights that we get from them are the most valuable that the branch has. It's been a real eye opener to understand how another country's union rules and regulations impact their their business world and their careers. Really, really interesting.
So Hustings has things take place before voting for political and political elections finding the power of words and the idea of a Hustings is that a group of people so it's about the people Hustings are about audience. Hustings are an opportunity for a group of like minded audience members to come together. And for people who are seeking election to visit them and for the people in the audience to ask questions specifically of those candidates that directly affect them. So during the elections, equity is the main instance that I have referenced to everybody who stands for election in whatever seat submits a candidate statement and a photo and that gets sent out to all the members and with a voting paper and within a month, everybody is asked to go through the candidate paper, get the voting ballot, take them off, and it's not as easy as just like if you go to a council elections, you've got four choices and you just pick one and that's it. Elections are a little bit more complicated with equity because there's more than one seat.
So for your council elections, you're just in your borough or your ward, and you go to a voting station and there'll be five people or even two or three standing from different parties for that one seat and you choose who's going to be your representative. Equity elections, especially council elections have multiple seats.
So there is the president and the president is being elected this year. There are two people standing for election so that one you know read their statements. There have been they are on Twitter. I will put their Twitter details in the chat. So there's Adam Burns and there's Linda rook do make choice even if you only do one vote, vote for the president. Now the president chairs the council, they're also the members face of the Union. The President is not a paid member of staff. They are one of us. They are a member who has stood for that position, and they are standing at the top of the tree representing our interests and really being the conduit between the executive and the members. The council do support that voice to the executive. But essentially the president is the figurehead.
Then we have the Council. The Council is made up in its entirety. I think of 33 seats, and the biggest block of those seats goes to the general list. Now the general list is anybody that doesn't fit into all the other lists and ironically with equity that tends to be actors. Yes, you would think there was an actor's committee in equity but there isn't. Actors are ubiquitous across the entire union. And really the different seats are about the specialisms within the industry. So for some of those specialisms seats, we've got the audio, artists, audio artists, also act as performers. But then their main medium sector is audio. So you've got podcasts and you've got voiceover, and you've got radio.
So, also, there's a stage management counsellor that's a specialism. There's two people standing in that that seat and that is the voice on council with the ear of the President and also collectively can bring stage management issues directly to the council and make sure that when Council business is taking place stage management interests are at the table. So if your stage manager, knowing who that person is, even if you don't vote, but please vote, knowing who ends up being and following them on Twitter, finding them on LinkedIn, checking out where their specialism is and they will have a council email address. They are your conduit to the Union if you are not in a branch. So if you're in a branch or you live quite regionally and you you are founded, you have a solid, local presence, then your area counsellor is going to be really important to you. And the area councillors have seats up for election as well. So the East Midlands, which is where I live, the East Midlands has two candidates standing. So there's a choice for those in the East Midlands this year. Look at those. Also, I think there's the North West, there's North East there's Scotland, Northern Ireland, south west, south east and Wales. And I've probably missed some but you get the idea. There's one person that represents those areas. And each of those areas has multiple branches in so that counsellor will be your direct contact regionally, all the regions as well do have and regions and nations do have a member of staff allocated to them. So the online branch which I am chair of, of course, we don't have a geographic region, but we do have a representative on the staff that looks after our interests and makes sure that our meetings are within the rules and make sure that if any of our members have got particular issues that need to be addressed, they would be able to feel those. And for us that is Dominic Bascom. He's a paid member of equity. He's not a member of equity. I'm not sure if he has ever been a member but you can but essentially, he is our member of staff. So that's the region's the East Midlands instantly incidentally, who's got two candidates standing there member of staff is in base. So that will be a point of reference. They deal with legal issues. If you've got a contract that you've been issued, and you're not quite sure whether it's really as good as people say it is. That could be a point of contact that is a way into the equity staff equity knowledge. That's the way in, but the people who were elected into those seats are the ones that kind of the muscle and the bone of the member network. So back to the general list. The general list tends to cover anybody that isn't covered by any of the other committees, and they're people who are working in the industry. You have to have been working within last two years to be able to stand the council. And also you you need to have some time. So it's in the deck in the age of digital it is great that it's great that we've now got zoom and council do have an extended access component. But essentially there's quite a lot of work that goes into council that cycle they have a monthly meeting and two weeks or three weeks before that meeting. There is a deadline for submitting items that council will consider. They get to three weeks to read all the papers that have been generated by all the activity that has happened within the union, Current Affairs, ongoing campaigns, new campaigns, what might happen in the future, following up things that are legacy from the past. All of that happens and they have a meeting which takes place over a day and then that repeats itself and they go through that period for two years Council position is for two years.
So on the general list, you have 12 seats. For those 12 seats this year. There are 21 people standing. So you really do have a choice of being able to look through those 21 candidates. I'm picking 12. So you can't just tick first 12 Because they're listed alphabetically, so the people at the end of the alphabet, don't get a look in. You do need to look through those. So let's say you, you don't, you're not in a region. You don't really align with a specialism and you don't really have much time, just in the generalist. Take a look at the generalist have a look at those. However, there is a way that you can kind of see what these people are about. And we're all into video in this age of social media and, and Life Media.
Hello, I've got a doggy visitor Hello. guest on the podcast a first you my first guest on my podcast oh oh great thing that's sitting out in the park is you just see everybody walking past it's a beautiful park. If you've not been to West Park in long Eaton, I really recommend it. There's a great car park at the West Park Leisure Centre. Great car park park walk into the park right in the heart of the park. There's a bandstand and there's a cafe during summer months. There's also a waterpark for kids. There's also a Tennis Centre with bowling centre there's cricket during the weekends during season and there's football during season. There's rugby during seasons also baseball during season and there's also a park gym as well one of those as you run around the park. There's different pieces of apparatus spread all around the park. So we go there was a bit of a promotion for West Park. Because again, if you've got this far, like what is it I'm missing Jim West Park park bench podcast episode five.
So the hustings, the hustings are an opportunity for you to turn up to an event. And bearing in mind that not all the candidates are free to turn up. So the fact that they don't turn up has nothing to do with how seriously they are taking the elections. You have to bear that in mind. But it is an opportunity to see and ask questions of those that do turn up. Any question is valid? It doesn't have to be, you know, what are you going to do for me? Because that's actually quite a difficult question. You know, how long is a piece of string? You know, if there are issues that you want to make sure have been raised or you're not sure if they are raised, bringing those kinds of questions. They might not know the answer. I might not know the answer, but it's an opportunity to have put a question forward and all of those questions will be gathered, and they will be looked over and branches will be going all people turned up to the hustings. It's really exciting. And it's really rewarding when you've organised something for the members and the members turn up. It's great to have a speaker it's great that the candidates will turn up but ultimately, what members who are organising Hustings are organising Hustings for is to encourage fellow members to come together. Ask questions at a point in the cycle of equity where we have the loudest voice we ever have in a two year cycle. This is it. This is the moment and the example I mentioned in last week's podcast, which was fit for purpose. And so the only way that equity is fit for purpose is if we as members make it fit for purpose if we define what it is the purpose of it is. And yes, there's industrial issues that are going on and there are campaigns but but you could be the seed of a new campaign. You could be the seed of a campaign that the branch pick up and run with and invite you in invite fellow members that you have.
So the actor centre I think is the best example of this right now. The actor Centre for those that aren't familiar with the actor centre. It's a cafe, almost co working type, vibe building that has a theatre in it that professional acting members and people who are working in the entertainment industry kind of hanging out. It's it was it's almost like it was almost like a public greenroom. Or you know, but it's gone. And it's gone because the theatre space over COVID kind of got repurposed and a business conglomerate has come in and try to make it the best theatre that they want to make it for a business strategy without really understanding the core purpose of the building and it is a tragedy it really is a tragedy because people who go into business of course they want to go into business for monetary purposes and they need a business to generate revenue because otherwise what's the point of doing the business however, when you go in and take over a business without considering the root core of the legacy of why a building was there? It's problematic. So talking to actors centre, users that are now sort of lost for a space and have lost a legacy and have lost a history. There's a real sense of mourning and a real sense of trauma that's going on at the moment around this space and many of them are equity members. So the solution that I have recommended to them is to find out which branch is operating on the day that's most convenient for a group of you.
And I say that I would say pick the one the actor centre is in, but I had a really interesting conversation with the Northwest chair, Elise Harris, do check out Elise. She has a YouTube channel and does regular live streams just talking to our audience, as a comedian, as a actress, actor, as a creative performer. She talks to her audience great example. So check out Elise Harris. On Twitter and at least Harris on YouTube. And of course, you want to subscribe to my stuff. But subscribe to Elise if that's the only thing you do. Subscribe to Elise his Twitter and Elise Harris YouTube so at least was explaining to me that the nexus of how the north south east and west branches are divided.
The point at which all branches meet is pretty much the street that the actus centre is in so it's really hard to really align with one branch so any of the branches in London has the test for me. So can I listen? There's Thames variety. That's an easy one. Now there's North West London, north west, north and northwest, north, east, west and southwest and they must be in southwest, south east, Northwest and North East. I can't reel them off myself. But if you're an equity member, go to the equity websites. Get involved tab. Click that and there's a big button with people on it big picture that says Find my branch. You click that it will list all the branches in regions click on London it will list all five branches. You click into there you'll find out who the chair is there'll be email addresses in there. Anyway, this is about Hustings. And if you stayed this far, congrats to you. I wish there was a badge I could issue as part of this. But please do tell me in the Facebook online branch Facebook group or the online branch Facebook page, the online branch Twitter equity Oh lb. stick that into Google and you'll find the stuff that's around at the moment.
The online branch is about focus in an online group within a forum. So I tend not to spread out too far in social media as social media is quite active right now. Because it's elections. So I will be looking at it but other times so the hustings there are two Hustings to Hustings. One is on the 16th which is coming up. If you're listening to this today, on the 14th of June. It's two days time it's on the first day. It's seven o'clock. Seven o'clock till half past eight. Turn up. See which candidates arrive. Ask them questions. If you miss that, so if you're listening to this, and it's before the 23rd of June, you've not missed your opportunity. There is a link to register in this podcast. And that registration link is for zoom. It starts at 330 on the 23rd of June. So if you click that link between 330 and five you will still be asked to register but it will put you directly into the event. So don't worry. If you've not registered, you can register right up to up until the end. So those Hustings are going to follow a similar pattern.
So we're going to have an opening welcome. They will be a co host and a host. So I'm going to co host the online brunch listings on the 23rd. There will be a host who will take over once I've done all the boring announcements about the closed captions about respecting each other. The equity safe spaces campaign is a really core part of all events that take place on the equity spectrum. And then Kim is going to take over and over a period of an hour we're going to have the general list candidates, the area candidates, the specialists, the rules and standing orders and appeals committee because that's a well and then the President and if candidates turn up, we will put questions to them. It's only 10 minutes so it's not a lot of time. If there is a section where there are no candidates in attendance, there is a YouTube list of people who have submitted self tapes and they will be played and you can see those now because again, there's a list in the there's a link in the description.
So I think I'm gonna leave it there. I hope that's given you a bit of insight into council because that's the important thing. Even if you decide not to vote do check out who actually gets elected and who is your voice at the table. I will probably do. I will do another podcast about equity when the election is called. So there you go. So for those who have got to the end Hustings, audience type event, it is for us the hustings off us to question them. And it's your opportunity to question the people who are going to be representing you for two years. One on the 16th one on the 23rd. And if you do miss the 23rd You might just be in time for the review at 10pm. UK time, four o'clock New York time on the evening of the 23rd.
So plenty of opportunity and if not, just get in touch with me. I'm Karen at PCM creative on Twitter.
Thank you so much for getting this far. And I will now head home have my lunch and continue my day