Life off-stage - Survival guide for creative arts professionals

IETM’s newest publication Life off-stage - Survival guide for creative arts professionals, provides tips and resources that can help professionals of the performing arts field to better navigate into the sector’s practical, technical, political and ethical challenges. The toolkit is produced in collaboration with FIA - the International Federation of Actors and UNI MEI - the global union in the media, entertainment, and arts.

Together, the three organisations have listened to the questions most frequently asked by professionals in the sector; the author, Matina Magkou, has gathered comprehensive replies, aiming to signpost the most relevant resources. The guide is written in practical, accessible language, based on sound theoretical knowledge combined with practical experience of the field. 

Life off-stage covers a wide variety of topics, from administrative issues and taxation / social security challenges to dealing with anti-discrimination or environmental responsibility in the performing arts sector. It provides links to useful research, toolkits and background material for each of the questions and gives information on projects and initiatives in different European countries that can serve as inspiration as well. 


Matina Magkou is a researcher, project manager, trainer and consultant in the fields of culture, civil society and entrepreneurship. She cooperates with organisations and institutions at the local and international level and has lived and worked in different countries including Greece, Spain, Belgium and Qatar. She holds a PhD on the evaluation of international cultural cooperation programmes with a focus on the EuroArab region. Her research interests include cultural policy and management, international cultural cooperation, creative industries, culture and urban development.

IETM is a network of over 500 performing arts organisations and individual members working in the contemporary performing arts worldwide: theatre, dance, circus, interdisciplinary live art forms, new media. IETM advocates for the value of the arts and culture in a changing world and empowers performing arts professionals through access to international connections, knowledge and a dynamic forum for exchange.

FIA, International Federation of Actors, brings together performers’ trade unions, guilds and professional associations in some 70 countries. In a connected world of content and entertainment and arts, it stands for fair social, economic and moral rights for performers (actors, dancers, broadcast professionals, circus artists and others) working in all recorded media and live performance. Internationally, FIA works on any subject matter that may impact on the working lives of the professionals it represents. It advocates primarily to improve the working conditions of performers, but also to campaign for the value of the cultural and creative sector in which they work.

UNI Global Union – Media Entertainment & Arts (UNI MEI) represents more than 140 national unions & guilds affiliating more than 400 000 creators, technicians and other workers in the media, entertainment and arts worldwide. UNI MEI serves as a point of contact and platform for cooperation among its affiliates and the members they represent in the global media and entertainment industry. It works towards union growth and carries out capacity building for trade unions and workers, defends their human rights, campaigns for the improvement of their working conditions and represents their common interest vis-à-vis multinational companies, international industry and employers’ association as well as governmental and inter-governmental organisations.