A quick introduction from me – my name is Shannon Sailing, and I’ve worked for Equity for just over ten years. I am delighted to say that as of May 2021 I will be taking over responsibility for organising in Audio and in Games.
I started working for Equity back in 2010 as an Organising Assistant for West End Theatre and in 2015 became a Recruitment and Retention Organiser in Equity’s Recorded Media Department, so I have quite a varied experience of working with members across many fields.
When I started as a Recruitment and Retention Organiser in 2015, one of the priorities I set myself was to work more closely with Audio artists and visit them in their place of work in recording studios, something Equity hadn’t been doing regularly. It was important to me to reach out and engage with members who may not have ever seen an Equity official at work before. I realised quite quickly the varied nature of audio work and issues that arise specifically in this field from the varied rates of pay, to working in home studios and so on, and I am excited to be given responsibility for organising in this area.
It is really good news that Equity has given Audio and Games a dedicated organiser as there is potential for such a huge amount of work in this field and our Audio and Games workers deserve and need that focus.
Happily, I am having a long handover period with Cathy Sweet, Equity’s BBC Organiser who currently has responsibility for Audio. I am sure most people know Cathy well and how highly regarded she is by Equity staff and most importantly Equity members. She has been doing amazing work in Audio, alongside the Audio committee, for many years and is currently showing me the ropes and will of course be on hand after I take over in May to support me in my work should I need it. I realise I have huge shoes to fill after Cathy and I hope to do it justice!
The Audio and Games roles of course do cross over hugely, and I am excited to make big steps with organising in the Games area too. I am currently working alongside John Barclay (Equity’s Assistant General Secretary for Recorded Media) on negotiating a voice over agreement between Equity and some major games studios – this will be the first of its kind for Equity and we hope will make a hugely positive impact on our members working in Games.
I am genuinely delighted to be taking on Audio and Games, and working with the Audio Committee too, I think we can all look forward to making some positive changes within the industry. I also feel strongly that our members voices are heard so I would really encourage anyone who wants to talk to me about anything within these areas to get in touch!