• I’m an active Equity member, currently working in different roles as an actor, a director and variety artist. As a performer I act, sing and compere or host both as myself and in character as the illustriously glambolic Titania Trust.
• I’m approachable, open and I believe that actions are better than words.

“I know there are many things that can take priority at the moment. From finding the next job, to earning a wage and worrying about the future both with the pandemic and Brexit in mind. This year has also shown us how our industry can pull together and support and look after one another. But I urge you to use your vote so your voice can be heard from here in the South East Area.”

Use your vote –  you make the Union stronger by ensuring your voice is heard.
Ballot papers have been sent out with the Equity Magazine,

vote and post back asap (ballot closes on 30 November).

Passionate about all the roles and people of our industry
I am passionate about all aspects of live performance, having worked in different roles both on and off stage. I am also passionate about fairness, equality and ensuring fair representation; importantly giving platform to the voices that need to be heard.

Aware of issues and causes
I’m aware of the issues in our industry as someone who actively seeks work and enjoys networking and getting to know people. I am also aware of the challenges we have faced, currently facing and that I will listen for what is to come. We’ve not only the pandemic to consider but also life post-Brexit which will significantly affect our working rights and mobility.

An active member
I am very active on by local Branch committee, working on communications, development and projects. This year as lockdown began, I introduced our Branch Regional Benevolent Fund with small grants, to ensure local members got some financial help.

I have developed all Branch communications, ensuring news from head office is relayed in different forms using different channels online, on paper and importantly face-to-face and word-of-mouth.

I represented the South East Area at Equity’s Annual Representative Conference (also called ARC, it is Equity’s annual conference) last year, having been elected at the South East Area AGM along with the AGM attendees voting for my motion to take with me. I was also elected to do so from the South East Area AGM this year along with my own motion – but of course the ARC has been postponed in a different form later this year.

I strongly believe in our Branches and I would like to support the Branches across the South East Area ensuring they receive all communications, are up-to-date with current Equity campaigns and know they can always contact me.

Please explore the other pages of my website if you would like to know more about me.
You could also follow me on Twitter @josephballard
and feel free to contact me with ideas or questions using my contact page or email me direct.

I am proud to have been proposed by Dawn Hope and seconded by Sorcha Brooks.

Election statement
As an actor, director, singer and variety artist I have worked in the different areas of the sector from venues, tours and community settings. I’ve been a member since 2005 and active with my branch, presenting campaigns, events and initiatives to help members and profile our Union.

Many of us are freelancers and in challenging times need to work together from all ends of the sector to ensure possible new agreements and expectations for a new world. We must be relevant, responsive and proactive – including in communications and strengthening our Branches.

I’ll keep voicing value of the arts. It’s not just the venues at risk, not just social and wellbeing benefits but the economical. Not just about the country’s headline figures but our livelihoods – those creatives who are central to the industry. It’s about a plan for the future and putting food on the table now.

The South East Area
The South East Area stretches right across Oxford to Norfolk, down to Dorset and across to Kent (excluding central London).

Aside from Equity
I live in Norwich, Norfolk. I have also lived in different areas across the region including Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

I am Director of Norwich Fringe, having resurrected it earlier this year. I also successfully bid for and was awarded a Project Grant from Arts Council England to ensure Norwich Fringe develops with creatives and theatre makers in mind. We have done with this a robust training and development programme, as well as a Norwich Fringe Festival for 2021. The project also includes commissioning opportunities for local creatives and theatre companies, so we can distribute funds of the grant to others.

I have run my own theatre companies (including New Stages) since 2005, focusing on community work that responds to issues in the local community, along with classes and education programmes for all ages.

I am also a playwright of plays and pantomime.

I have worked in the arts and theatre industry in different roles, with experience as a CEO, Artistic Director of organisations and venues, from arts centres to theatres and festivals.

I also worked for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games for 4 years, ensuring the whole of the East of England was engaged with activity and its legacy as Regional Inspire Programmer for the East of England.

I have also been a trustee for various charities and I also volunteer for different local organisations and causes.

I believe in getting involved – if something is a problem, not to complain or add to it – but to step up and make change yourself.

Thank you for taking the time to visit my website and I hope you vote in the South East Area ballot. Our Union is only as strong as those who take part in its democratic process, who ever you vote for.

Download a campaign poster (to share on Facebook, Twitter, Insta, online or by email).
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(or download by clicking here)

Please explore the other pages of my website if you would like to know more about me.
You could also follow me on Twitter @josephballard
and feel free to contact me with ideas or questions using my contact page.