A Message from Tamara Harvey

'This vital campaign is asking all the right questions and, perhaps most importantly, keeping an open mind in terms of possible solutions and ways of moving forward. The more we make it possible for those who work in the performing arts to have families and continue to work, the richer and more diverse our work will become. There will not be one easy solution - PIPA needs and deserves the commitment of everyone who works in the arts to put their brains to work and commit to making it a fairer an...

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Rick Finlay – Musician

I was pleased to second the Equity motion at the 2015 TUC on behalf of the Musicians' Union. Here's how I told my story: I worked for thirty years in musical theatre in the west end, and I was lucky enough to find myself in the middle of a very long run of a show when we found ourselves expecting our first child. Even working in one the better-paid sectors of our industry, and having regular employment near to home, my first response when we discovered a baby was one the way was: I'm going t...

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Will Evans Podcast

Will Evans, Lighting Designer, father of two and married to a freelance Stage Manager talks about moving to North Wales. Discussing how he is trying to make it work as well as gender balance and the importance of family Will tells us why he thinks having kids is the last taboo in our Industry... [embed]https://soundcloud.com/pcmcreative/the-last-taboo-having-kids-parents-in-performing-arts-03[/embed]...

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Podcast with actor Jean Rogers

[embed]http://soundcloud.com/pcmcreative/not-about-women-but-a-balance-for-humanity-parents-in-performing-arts-02/s-6iCUL[/embed] Actor Jean Rogers shares her experience of bringing up children whilst working in the TV industry through the 80's and 90's and finds that very little has changed. She believes the work of PIPA 'is not about women but about a balance for humanity.' She discusses the need for attitudinal change, gender balance, children of performing artists and how we can learn...

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Ruth Wilkinson – Repetiteur

I've been working as a freelance repetiteur - opera rehearsal pianist and vocal coach - for over twenty years. My daughter is eleven years old; my husband works long hours with frequent trips away from home. Freelancing means a constant struggle to balance childcare needs with working schedules characterised by afternoon sessions which finish later than after-school care does, frequent evenings and weekends, no account taken of school holidays, and details of hours to be worked only given on a F...

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Flip Webster – Actor

My children are now grown up but it always irked me that when working there was no attention given to the fact that I was a parent. I certainly didn't feel that I could ask for any allowances. After I had my first child my work improved dramatically but I had to rely on my partner and friends for childcare or pay a nanny or have an au pair to live with us. Without this I would not have been able to work. I had my first job 6 weeks after my second child was born and the production company was abl...

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Anonymous – Stage Manager

On a day when I have signed up to a temping agency after lots of knock backs, I wanted to share my story. I began work almost 20 years ago as a Stage Manager and worked in theatres across the country. I decided to change career paths and work in the Theatre-in-Education sector as I wanted to create work with and for young people. I retrained, spending 4 years at University as a mature student to get a BA and a MA in my chosen field. During this time, I had been with my husband for 5 years...

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Alex Milman – Actor

I had my first son 5 years ago and moved out of London in order to be closer to family so that I could get help with childcare to enable me to continue to audition. The reality wasn't as easy as that. It all just slowed down, auditions were always arranged at the last minute not allowing the nursery to accommodate the little one. I missed a few meetings and it then just dried up. I now have two sons and I just thought "no this is never going to work". I have recently taken the decision to o...

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Emily Carding – Actor and Theatre Maker

My name is Emily Carding and I am, amongst other things, an actor and theatre-maker. When I fell in 2002 it was unplanned and even though I was married and living in London at the time there was no way I could consider continuing in theatre. I wasn't well enough established and could not afford the childcare. We moved away from London and as a result of not working and looking as though I would have to quit for good I felt very lost and depressed. My first marriage ended and very soon after...

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Ros Sobotnicki – Theatre Technician

I worked as a theatre electrician - lighting - for 20 or so years . I did have Equity membership as I was a technical asm in one of my first jobs. Think I long ago gave it up as Bectu was more apt. As I review my financial position during the autumn I expect I may have to think about forgoing that along with the public liability insurance it brings with it. I have 2 children who aged 10 and 4. I have not worked since just before I had my second. To start she was in her first year and slep...

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