About the NZ Actors Guild

 

The NZ Actors Guild is an independent guild set up by New Zealanders to provide advice and advocacy for actors.

We are not an autonomous branch of another group either domestic or overseas.

The following values sit at our core:

1. The NZ Actors’ Guild should act in a reasoned and informed manner for the benefit of its members and, where warranted, other actors;

2. The NZ Actors’ Guild will respect the fact that under the current law Actors are independent contractors shall therefore endeavor to help Actors get the most out of that status;

3. The NZ Actors’ Guild acknowledges the collaborative nature of film and theatre, and will work, where possible, in a collaborative fashion with other industry groups;

4. The NZ Actors’ Guild will consult with it’s membership where possible;

5. The NZ Actors’ Guild will attempt to foster positive collaboration with all industry partners and reach out to all actors regardless of affiliations;

6. The NZ Actors’ Guild will positively promote the acting profession within the film, television and theatre industries as well as the wider community;

7. The NZ Actors’ Guild will provide advice and professional development opportunities for members to enhance their ability to run themselves as a successful business 

8. The NZ Actors’ Guild will act as a clearing house for information, in particular about industry standards for Actors worldwide, and be a place for Actors to share information and engage in robust debate;

9. The NZ Actors’ Guild will be indigenous; run by New Zealand actors for New Zealand actors;

10. The NZ Actors’ Guild acknowledges that actors’ agents are the actors’ nominated representatives in contract negotiations, and will, where warranted,  work closely with actors’ agents to ensure members get the best deal possible from contract negotiations;

 11. The NZ Actors’ Guild will engage in regular good faith discussion about industry standards like the Pink Book with all parties concerned (its members, SPADA, the Agents’ Associations, NZ Equity, etc and were appropriate the representative bodies of other workers affiliated with the film industry);

12. The NZ Actors’ Guild should recognise and respect the diversity amongst our membership and to be mindful of that diversity when making decisions and seek consultation when necessary

We welcome your thoughts and if you are interested in becoming part of the Guild please email nzactorsguild@gmail.com

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§ 8 Responses to About the NZ Actors Guild

  • Deana Elvins says:

    I have a small issue with point 5. I don’t think we need to waste any energy on trying to make people like us or change the public perception of a profession that has long been both revered and ridiculed. I think that as long as we conduct ourselves with integrity and are transparent that those who are open to the truth will be able to form a favourable opinion and those who are not will comfort themselves with thinking what they have always thought.

    • I’m not sure if there would be any more to it than that. Certainly the public don’t want to see more whingy actors saying “please love us”.

      But I could see NZAG organising the odd benefit show here and there and helping out in that way.

      • Deana Elvins says:

        We could spearhead a fund to look after retired members like they do in the States. That would be warm and fuzzy.

  • […] my first post but this week a rather momentous thing
    happened. You see, I’ve just joined the New Zealand
    Actors’ Guild, but wait…do your eyes deceive you? I made
    no mention that I was an actor above and yet […]

  • Nic Farra says:

    I am concerned about several things in the Guild. Down the
    centuries actors have be reviled. That’s not going to change any
    time soon. What gets me is when actors are pitted against each
    other outside of the usual competition for roles. Why not include
    non-members as a matter of course instead of ‘where warranted’?
    There have been instances in the days when there was an actual
    union movement, i.e. before the Fourth Labour Government, when
    non-Equity members have approached Equity reps for help and been
    given it. I think it’s a matter of principle that all actors,
    including the unemployed, should be able to access and benefit from
    the services a Guild offers. Are we likely to be helped by bosses?
    I think help and advice over business matters is essential. Tax and
    ACC levies are scandalous and need to be combated. Paying tax on
    tiny fees, as are typical here, make hardly worth doing the job.
    All means to avoid tax should be taken and the government needs
    constant pressure to exempt actors from punishing ACC levies. Is
    the Guild interested in its own insurance with the profits
    belonging to the members? That would be far more useful than
    increasing the coffers of the industry founded on extracting as
    much profit from the people who pay to keep it afloat. Deana’s
    point about retirement and health care is not simply warm and
    fuzzy, it is something that no-one else is doing. We are in this
    current incarnation of professionalism, comparatively young and we
    stand on the shoulders of those who founded the profession and who
    saw little if any reward. They need the respect and the care that
    sacrifice deserves. We owe it to them. Beware of ‘New Zealand for
    New Zealanders’. I agree that affiliation to gangs like the
    Australian association inevitably mean conceding to their demands,
    but I am highly suspicious of nationalism as an artificial way of
    setting actor against actor, usually by those multi-national
    corporations who like to see those sorts of conflicts blow up to
    protect their profits.

    • Nic

      I think the whole idea of actors being pitted against actors is a false impression.

      The purpose of the Guild is not to see any increase in competition but rather to strengthen collegiality. Our approach to all performers has been open handed and we are not opposed to giving assistance to non-members but there must be limits.

      People who have made the investment of time and money should expect to get a certain level of service and while we don’t want to be elitist we have to honour that. We are, however, open to membership from anyone and will not turn people away because of other past or current affiliations.

      NZAG aims to be inclusive and collaborative. Despite not being given the same response in return from everyone we have talked to our stance remains unchanged

      • Nic Farra says:

        Actors against actors is exactly what the AAEA, the government and SPADA were all fostering las year. By the core values you ennumerate above you understand that an industry divided is one ripe for exploitation. The film crews I work alongside are not my competition, but people who purport to represent actors on no say-so are most definitely the tools in someone else’s hands. A piecemeal group like that will only further divide. I’m on the side of the actors and all other workers in my industry. Together we are a force if we are comitted to action. Otherwise we are an informal club with no mandate, no aims and no power.

        How about the insurance or the retirement scheme? Currently government or private schemes are dodgy and all the profits go elsewhere. There is a broader picture here than I think is being represented.

        I think I lean more toward radical syndicalist/anarchist unions. I was part of the Equity that was successively sold down the river first by its own membership (closing smaller branches without the branches’ consent) and the forced amalgamation with larger unions with no understanding or sympathy for actors’ concerns. The betrayal felt by many actors at the time led directly to the jaundiced view of the Equity Club when it got itself up five years ago. Here is an opportunity to (haha) act.

        I don’t care how many shows or films each committee member has been in. I don’t need their CV’s. I’m not looking to cast them or admire them. I want to know where the Guild is heading and what it’s prepared, as a collective , to do for the membership while enabling each member to remain free. I’m looking for an organisation that also believes in individual freedom and collective action.

      • Some sort of super scheme may very well be a service to be offered in the future but probably not in the way SAG does it (where producers make a contribution when actors are paid).

        Anything to do with getting deals on super schemes (or getting SPADA to do a SAG type deal) relies on a strong membership base. So this is down the track – if it’s something the membership wants.

        And membership in the South Island is definitely something that needs to be addressed. You still Christchurch based?

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  • Kia Ora

    Welcome to the home of the NZ Actors' Guild.

    The NZ Actors' Guild is a guild for NZ actors run by NZ actors. We seek to act as advisers and advocates for actors across all industries and to work collaboratively with other craft guilds and organisations, where possible, to further our members' interests.

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    Postal address:

    PO Box 27-396
    Marion Square
    Wellington 6141

    Phone:

    027 506 9509

    Skype:

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