"MEAA was formed in 1992 as the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance from the merger of three organisations: the Australian Journalists Association, Actors Equity of Australia, and the Australian Theatrical & Amusement Employees Association." - Courtesy of the MEAA Website.
Chances are if you're reading this article you either are or should be a member of the MEAA. When you're actually fortunate enough to be in paid work MEAA look after your interests and make sure you get a fair deal on pay, conditions, health and safety etc. They also campaign on major issues like keeping jobs shot in Australia filled by Australian's, the growth of diversity on our screens as well as fighting for their members rights at work. But all that aside, even if you're not working, there are still some pretty boss perks to being a MEAA member. Here's a little taste of what you can expect or what you might have been missing out on:
1. Discounted Theatre Tickets To The STC.
Want to catch a bit of Cate Blanchett treading the boards of the wharf? What about Richard Roxburgh, Hugo Weaving, Pamela Rabe, Robin Nevin or Geoffrey Rush? Yes the giants of Australian theatre have all performed with the STC and thanks to MEAA - "Sydney Theatre Company is pleased to offer MEAA members a discount of up to 30% on all our productions. In our 2015/16 season, ticket prices with the MEAA discount range from $24-72." Not bad at all.
2. A Free Ticket To Every Main Stage Show Produced By Belvoir For The Past 20 Years!
The Unwaged Performances at Belvoir have now been running for over 20 years and provide an opportunity for actors that on one Thursday matinee of every season a full house of 320 tickets are on offer to anyone with a MEAA or Equity card. The next performance of this variety is on this Thursday the 28th of January for the current season of Jasper Jones at 2pm.
3. Cheap Hoyts Movie Tickets Pretty Much All the Time.
Present your Membership card when purchasing tickets and your entitled to 2x $14 tickets on any day bar Tuesdays, (because cheap Tuesdays are cheaper anyway) and Saturday nights. There are other provisions, $17 for 3D, its not valid on "No Free List" movies i.e. when they first come out etc. But still... $14 movie tickets are pretty rad.
4. Malthouse Theatre Industry Memberships.
For $30 upfront you can get an industry membership to the home of some of the best indy theatre in Melbourne and then only have to pay $20 to every play on the schedule for the rest of the year. That's almost as cheap as going to the movies ;).
5. Loads of Discounts at other Prominent Theatre Companies.
Griffin (NSW), La Boite (Qld), Chapel off Chapel (Vic), QTC (Qld), TTC (Tas), New Theatre (NSW), and Darlinghurst Theatre (NSW) all of offer concessions to Equity members, as do AFTRS on their short courses too.
6. Ticket Giveaways Featured In Nearly Every Newsletter.
Again we could be talking tickets to the theatre or a movie premiere or special screening, its important to keep your ear to the ground for every opportunity that comes up as is the case with the...
7. Free Workshops and Scholarships To Paid Workshops Throughout The Year.
Often times the most important investment an actor can make in their career is getting to casting director workshops. Being exposed to the casting environment, being able to show your work and connect to decision makers in a low stakes environment can be invaluable to a young burgeoning career. Unfortunately it can also be really expensive. Equity, however often gives actors the chance to do it for free with their special members only workshops, that regularly don't even fill up because people forget to check when they're on. It's not just CD workshops however, specialty workshops on things like voice overs etc also come up from time to time.
8. Access To The MEAA Casting Hot House.
Every year Equity host a number of prominent Casting Directors over a couple of days to host the mother of all Casting Workshops. So take everything I said above and times the benefits by ten. Spots are always limited and participants can only enter via a raffle like system and selection is random, but if you get the opportunity this is an invaluable experience and well worth the price of your membership.
Film and Theatre Actor Based in Sydney. Creator of Script Gym. Lover of Stories.