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Trans performers to work with agents and casting directors to address representation

Tigger Blaize. Photo: Michael Wharley Tigger Blaize. Photo: Michael Wharley
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Trans performers are to share their experiences of the theatre industry as part of an event that will inform guidelines on how casting directors and agents can work with them more sensitively and effectively.

Labelled an “interaction”, the event will bring together trans performers with industry professionals to “look at the way trans performers experience casting and work in the industry”.

It is being run by Equity in association with All About Trans, a project that aims to to support more sensitive representation of trans people in the UK media. The event is being supported by Spotlight.

The event will look at how to use performers’ correct pronouns, safe casting and rehearsal spaces, and how to word a casting notice, as well as how venues can be more inclusive.

Tigger Blaize, one of the performers organising the event, said there was an “issue about visibility” in the sector and that Trans performers were “tentative about outing themselves”, meaning casting directors struggled to find them.

“There is a lot of brilliant work being made by transgender performers. Much of it is self-generated rather than mainstream,” Blaize said.

“In an ideal world I think I’d like to get to the stage where it was accepted that any actor could play any role, but right now it feels that we should be making every effort to cast a trans actor for a trans role, or at least be inviting as many trans actors as possible into the casting process.”

Blaize also highlighted how trans performers were excluded from applying for some jobs on mainstream platforms because the technology requires them to be recorded on the databases as male or female, but they do not identify with a binary gender.

“This stops them from being able to click on the link to actually apply. I hope technology can be updated really soon to aid in this,” Blaize said.

The event is a closed one, and will take place at the end of November.

Performers and industry professionals will be able to talk openly and honestly to each other, with discussions and insights being used to inform a new set of guidelines Equity is developing.

The guidelines will be for industry professionals and will lay out how they can better work with LGBT+ people.

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