Not everyone has a smartphone, so tickets have to be printed on to an A4 sheet (‘Paperless tickets are the future, so why aren’t they catching on?’).
Having been in long queues to enter auditoriums caused by people trying to find several tickets on their phones, I am at a loss to see how e-tickets are more efficient.
I would never rely on a paperless ticket. On a trip to London there is an 80% chance of my phone running out of charge before the end of the day. I often choose print at home but that actually uses more paper than a traditional ticket. I’d never trust my phone not running out of charge. And Hamilton was never totally paperless. You had to bring a copy of your email confirmation and exchange it for paper seat slips on arrival.
Running out of phone charge is highly avoidable, with just a little prep and changes in behaviour, and shouldn’t be used as an excuse to object to paperless tickets. Even now, most venues with a paperless ticketing system will offer a reprint on arrival if absolutely necessary.
If box office providers and venues lead the way, the majority of audiences will adjust almost immediately, and the rest given time. Paper tickets may still be required for phone sales and customers without access to printers or mobile devices, but nobody booking online should be offered a paper ticket these days.
When it comes to finding extra work to make ends meet, the point is not that those working in our industry are badly paid. Someone with a starring role in EastEnders isn’t on a poor wage while they are working on it.
But working in the arts doesn’t mean you will be employed 52 weeks a year. There is no shame or failure in taking up other jobs temporarily in between.
The hardest thing about being an actor is trying to avoid poverty. You have to be prepared to do anything to survive so that you can practise your art. It’s definitely not for the faint-hearted.
When I was an actor, I worked in retail, as a temp for Camden and Islington councils, in barristers’ chambers, for an occupational therapist and with a Quaker organisation.
You have to have other jobs as an actor. Much of the time you’re unemployed but need to spend money travelling to auditions and recalls or paying for headshots.
What Katie Jarvis having a second job says to me is that as a determined actor, she’ll take any job you need to pay the bills, which should be congratulated. She wasn’t sitting around waiting for the next acting job to be handed to her on a plate – she was out there working and paying taxes in whatever way she had to. Many of my actor friends have made good business careers alongside their acting careers.
It’s not just actors. I used to work in stage management and did temp work in offices, schools and car companies between contracts. Bills need paying whether you’re working or not.
For the avoidance of doubt, I am not the Kevin Francis of Angel and Francis, which has been accused of various wrong-doing in connection with the family commitments of a potential client.
I have never been an agent and have never had any connection whatsoever with Angel and Francis. I have been gainfully employed by Tyburn Film Productions (and its associated companies) for 47 years.
I make no comment on the alleged actions of Kevin Francis of Angel and Francis; I merely wish it to be known that he is not me.
Senior executive, Tyburn Film Productions
I have every sympathy for the actors and backstage crew claiming to be owed money by the collapsed Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre, but their experience is the same as any small business or sole trader – one that hardly ever makes headline news.
When I attended a Business Link course in the 1990s, no one told me that a few customers would do a runner, that in some cultures shaking hands on a deal is merely a preliminary to aggressive price negotiations or that some customers would suddenly announce their liquidation. I learned the hard way.
Liquidation was bad enough when I was owed for my time, but worse when I was also owed for goods I had purchased for the client. Commercial credit checks are often useless as they are based on old data. And after preferential creditors such as HMRC have been paid, the liquidators’ fees tend to swallow up most of the remaining assets.
All freelances in any profession can do is be careful, be prepared and acknowledge that sometimes they may end up not being paid. It’s not a great prospect, but it’s a bitter truth. At least these actors and stage crew have Equity – most victims of non-payment are on their own.
“Things have changed. We’re allowed to age. The #MeToo movement has happened on screen a well as off. When I was younger, the parts I was offered were so boring because you were always the girlfriend, you were always described in terms of what you looked like and you had to have 7ft-long legs.” – Actor Helena Bonham Carter (Sunday Times)
“I’ve helped create a path for young black actors. When I go to swanky Hollywood dos, it’s great to see more and more young black British faces. I can remember a time when I was the only one there.” – Actor David Harewood (Observer)
“I feel like sometimes with minorities there is a bit of a one-at-a-time rule, where you can’t all come through the door at the same time, so it is sometimes a bit disheartening when there’s another black writer who is the person of the moment.” – Playwright Gloria Williams (speaking at the Black British Theatre Awards)
“I, like Ibsen, am just trying to be faithful to my society’s dynamics. I’m fascinated by how culture and patriarchy expresses itself in how women are supposed to behave – I think Ibsen was too.” – Playwright Anupama Chandrasekhar (Guardian)
“If someone slags me off on social media, I definitely still feel a stab of hurt and vulnerability. And then I think: material!” – Writer and comedian David Baddiel (Guardian)
“The screenplay I wish I’d written is Billy Elliot by Lee Hall. I grew up in the 1980s and went to a stage school; I did ballet while my mates took the piss. I grew up where I’d walk among the riots in Southall. When I first saw Billy Elliot I thought: ‘So much of that represents my life.’ ” – Young Vic artistic director Kwame Kwei-Armah (Times)
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