Liam Budd, Industrial Official – Audio and New Media, Equity UK
As an Industrial Official for Audio and New Media, Liam supports Equity’s audio artists working across Audiobooks, Commercials, Videogames, ADR, Radio Drama, or any of the other diverse areas of this field. Key responsibilities include resolving workplace issues, negotiating and enforcing Equity’s collective bargained agreements and working with industry partners, agents and members to secure fair terms and conditions in the workplace.
Prior to being an Industrial Official, Liam was Equity’s Policy Officer, where he spearheaded their new campaign, Stop AI Stealing the Show, calling on the government to protect audio artists from the potential impact of artificial intelligence. Before joining Equity, he was a Senior External Affairs and Policy Manager for the Incorporated Society for Musicians and a Political Advisor for the Labour Party.
Industry Background: Education: MA in Social Work, University of East London / The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, Acting Training, Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art, BA in Political Theory, Middlesex University. As an Actor worked mainly in TV and Theatre. Extensive voiceover catalogue in media & business, including radio, continuity, telecommunications and corporate video voiceovers. Clients with global brands include the BBC, BBC World Service, Google, The Body Shop, MTV, VO5, B&Q and more.
Current work: Ongoing Voice Over work in areas stated above.
Audio Committee: Second term on the committee and looking forward to working with the team to produce robust data research on Artists with protected characteristics within the Equality Act 2010. As a black woman of African heritage working as a professional Voice Over Artist, passionate and committed to Equality, Diversity & Inclusion. To improve rates and to implement strategies, making the Voice Over community more inclusive and diverse, reflecting UK society.
Industry Background: Trained at Mountview Theatre School and have worked as an actress for 30 years on stage, TV, film and commercials. Nearly 10 years in the audio industry working on audiobooks and corporate voiceovers.
Current work: As well as being as an actress, I also facilitate literacy and drama workshops and work as a facilitator/coach with companies on their communication techniques, through role-play, forum theatre and coaching. I work one to one with individuals to hone their presenting skills and I have recently volunteered with the fantastic ‘Scene and Heard’ on their mentoring projects. I am a mother and a carer.
Audio Committee: Being relatively new to the audio world, I feel that I’m in a good position to bring my experience of the challenges encountered on entering this booming industry to the committee. I hope that we can tackle the continuing exploitation within the voice world, and offer practical advice on how to negotiate fair rates of pay and acceptable contracts and usage. On the committee, I am working on updating the Equity Audio Guide and I am on the working parties for TV Commercials and Audiobooks.
Marcus Hutton (Vice Chair)
Industry Background: Trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and joined Equity in 1985. I have worked extensively in theatre, television, film and radio drama as an actor and as a commercial voice artist for the last 20years. I set up my own production company in 2001 and have produced and written radio commercials and also directed and produced a number of video commercials and corporate films for a diverse range of clients.
Current Work: Full time actor and voice artist. Voice: TV and radio ads, e- learning, IVR, animation, corporate/explainer videos and narration for a global client base.
On the Committee: I was elected to the audio committee in 2017 and previously served on a working party for radio commercials from 2003 to 2005. I want to see Equity transition successfully into their arrangements with employers in the digital realm and to help ensure that fair pay and terms for artists in all areas of audio work are both preserved and improved upon.
David John (Audio Seat on Council and Observer Role on Audio Committee)
Industry Background: I studied at Arts Educational School. My work in Theatre includes The Royal Shakespeare Company, West End, National Tours and London Fringe. TV work includes Play for Today, BBC Playhouse, various Sit Coms and Dramas including Sherlock Holmes, The Bill and Dr Who. Film work includes Chariots of Fire, Shock Treatment and Remembrance. I’ve been in the industry for 37 years.
Current work: Exclusively in Audio. I work regularly in ADR and Revoicing, ELT, Audiobooks and Computer Games.
On the Committee: I first stood for the Audio Committee to represent Audio Actors and to defend and improve our hard fought rates in ADR and ELT and to support Equity’s hard work on Audiobooks.
Industry Background: Trained at the Drama Centre London, graduating in 2008 after spending the first part of my adult life as a Hospital Social Worker before changing tack in my late twenties. Have been working as an actor and voiceover for just shy of 14 years and I still love my job, whether it be site specific theatre in the depths of the Scottish weather or standing on the backlot at Shepperton Studios on a Loop ADR session. Most recently I have completed filming on a brand new 3 episode comedy pilot, produced a development week of a new stage play which is set to tour once we get past the pandemic and played Father Christmas/Connor Fir at the Royal Botanics Gardens Edinburgh.
Current work: I am a full-time actor and voiceover artist working across theatre, film, television, radio and commercials. Within voice specifically – ADR, corporate film, documentary narration, radio and television commercials, gaming.
On the Committee: As my career continues and the longer I work within this wonderful industry, the more determined I become about standing up for the rights of our members. I fundamentally believe that artists should be treated with respect and dignity, that they should be valued and whilst the latter does bring remuneration into it, I believe it goes much further than what we are paid. As an industry, artists put up with a great deal of injustice and I stand for bringing a halt to this. I am immensely proud to be joining the Audio Committee for my first year having joined Equity way back when I was a student at the formidable Drama Centre Londons.
Industry Background: Trained at New York University and Mountview in London and have worked extensively as an actor for over 20 years.
Current work: Full-time actor and voice artist (film, tv, games & animation) in the UK, USA and Norway and also do workshops with game developers, students and voice actors on how to get the best work out of games and animation sessions.
On the Committee: I joined the Audio Committee in 2022 as its’ games representative, with a view to help the industry set fair working practices for games recording as well as better working conditions for artists in all areas of audio production.
Sheila Mitchell (Committee Chair)
Industry Background: Member of Equity since 1949 although took a career break of 20 years to bring up a family. Trained at Central School of Speech and Drama. Worked in theatre – Rep; Fringe; West End and Touring; -TV and Film; Audio – extensive Radio, drama, schools, poetry, book and short story reading; commercial voice overs and audio-visual narration; audio books
Current Work: As above, although audio books nowadays provide the bulk of work for me
On the Committee: I Became actively involved with Equity in the late 1970s and was first on Council in the early 1980s then again 2008-2012. Joined the Audio Committee late 1990s, later serving as Vice-Chair and am now the Chair. With the proliferation of Audio the committee has become more and more important and I feel privileged to be working with a group of very dedicated members almost all of whom are much younger than I am.
Industry Background: Trained at Drama Studio London in Professional Acting and the National Broadcasting School as a radio presenter. Worked for over 10 years in commercial radio where I produced and mixed for the longest running commercial radio dance show. Since graduating in 2013 i’ve been professionally acting. My theatre work includes new writing nights for Blackshaw, Ghost Dog Productions and New Prose. Screen work includes corporate and short films. Voice over includes commercials, corporate reads and animation.
Current Work: Full time actor and voice artist. Voicing commercials for TV, radio and corporates. As well as organising and running my own actors workshops with fellow actors.
Audio Committee: My first year on the committee and looking forward to it. I’m standing for better pay, rights and conditions for voice artists. To educate our employers and hirers about our world we work in.
Annette Rizzo (Vice Chair)
Industry Background: Started as a member of a children’s radio drama team in the U.S. when flares and platforms were cool. In the UK, I worked from my teens as a radio presenter, reporter and producer, moving into full-time voice work in 2005.
Current Work: Radio & TV commercials, e-learning, corporate videos, audio books, documentary narration, IVR
On the Committee: In order to play an active part in representing audio artists within the Union and in the industry at large, and to help members connect with Equity and each other.
Industry Background: Education; BA English, University of Toronto; Bristol Old Vic Theatre School
Worked several years in theatre, television and all areas of audio work. I have a special interest in audiobooks, both as reader and in production. I’ve been a member
of the Audiobooks Working Party for ten years and am enthusiastic about home studios for recording audiobooks and voiceovers.
Current work: ‘The Oedipus Plays’ audio drama for Audible, ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’ film, ‘Bo’s Bazaar’ animaton, and many audiobooks.
Audio Committee: I want to see every area of this expanding industry recognized and properly remunerated, to continue to promote radio drama and to help improve working conditions for audio artists.