I’m a person who used to live with her head in the sand with regards to issues like equal pay, sexism and racism, (casual, institutionalized, or outright and deliberate). I am making an effort to stop ignoring what’s going on every day, what’s being done TO me. I think it’d be super (and horrific) to find out more about what’s going on and I am going to the next Act for Change debate on diversity at the Olivier stage, National Theatre on June 2, 10am to see what people are saying now and to support the cause. I’ve gotten over the fact that I am not the most clued up, intelligent, articulate, political person. “Just” showing up is valuable and important.
I thought you might be interested. I went to the inaugural Act For Change debate at the Young Vic and it was interesting, depressing, inspiring, and PACKED OUT, by the way. So many people, from all sections of society, who had shown up to speak up about how they feel marginalised and treated differently on the basis of what they looked liked and what their life choices are.
Act for Change cover a wide area of looking at the lack of diversity in media (TV and screen) – gender, age, sexuality, race, disability, class etc. – but I think this time they are focussing on theatre. Following on from a really interesting meeting with the Equity group of National Theatre actors, one of the things we touched on was the sensitive subject of the probable inequality in pay structure*, and we’re guessing imbalances don’t stop there, not because of any deliberate malice obvs, but maybe a throwback to older systems that haven’t been considered in a while.
Now, I don’t know if anything will come of this debate but I guess the good thing is that the Olivier stalls are already booked out, which already signals to folk making decisions that we do care about equality in the workplace. I know I am not the only one who is fed up of going to things and getting riled up and staying frustrated when things appear not to be changing, but I do believe in showing up, and that that makes a difference. I know from my own experience that it took a few years of gradually meeting more and more clued in and vocal people who are now friends, that helped open my eyes. I now feel that I have more agency and support, and I feel a part of something positive. I feel that I am not going mad when I often find myself in the position of feeling like I am being treated like someone who doesn’t belong and on that basis, someone who gets fewer rights, and who should not have a voice.
Come along. Spread the news. It’s free and you book here:
Thanks to Kat Golding for standing up and sharing the quote above at the last Act for Change meeting.