Paying to ask for employment - Audition fees #

Griffin, 09.02.2013 13:27:06

I was wondering if you might consider a topic.

Audition fees!

Ive recently noticed some dance companies, mainly american, posting a fee for auditions. Usually somewhere between $10-30. Its not a sudden happening but I have noticed this fee appearing more often on european websites (z.B. tanznetz.de).

Some background on this topic...

Charging audition fees in the UK at least is illegal.

By paying an audition fee/regristration fee guarantees the applicant of nothing. The company is not obliged to offer work to anyone attending the audition.

Ive been contacting various companies who use audition fees. Some get back to me but only one has ever answered a second email. He wasnt particularily polite though.

Answers about this fee essentially boil down to,

"Holding auditions costs money, the dancers can pay for our searching for them!"

Which I firmly believe is an in-house cost. Much like costumes and make-up, it is a part of being in business.

Another reason given is,

"Everyone else does it!"

Which to me is like a 14yr old girl trying to explain why she should be allowed to wear lipstick. (One director took this analogy as meaning I thought he WAS a 14yr old girl. Interesting email that one was).

Last and certainy the least is,

"We've always done it that way!"

I may bring up slavery or it being socially acceptable to be publically racist or homophobic as practices that enjoyed long observation of practice.

The director (who isnt a 14yr old girl, but who bitches like one) did insinuate that perhaps my objection to this practice is purely personal and that I am alone in finding it objectionable. Therefore I thought Id ask other people.

So now you know my feelings on the topic. Could you also ask other people please?

Griffin
Re: Paying to ask for employment - Audition fees #

Griffin, 09.02.2013 13:29:50

If anyone would like to translate/repost this forum please do.
But link the original website so answers can be read by all.

thanks,

Griffin
Re: Paying to ask for employment - Audition fees #

Diane (moderator), 09.02.2013 17:01:41

hi! Could you please list which companies charge fees for auditioning?

I was not aware of this happening in Germany, at least.
In the US I think it happens mainly when an audition is held in another place where the company auditioning has to rent space, etc. Or?

At any rate, this was NOT the practice when I was still dancing, so - no - it has not "always been done that way". ;)

-d-
Re: Paying to ask for employment - Audition fees #

Griffin, 10.02.2013 14:26:07

Companies in Germany. None thankfully, at least that Im aware of.
Corella did charge an audition fee when he was starting his company in Spain though I dont know if the fee applies to current auditions.
One reason I have been concerning myself with this aspect of the industry is that I dont want it to spread. Im not auditioning as a dancer myself though I hate to think that future generations of dancers may have to pay to ask for work.
Re: Paying to ask for employment - Audition fees #

Diane (moderator), 10.02.2013 15:39:15

ah, o.k. Yes, I understand your concern.

I am also concerned about the proliferation of "apprentice" contracts, where a young dancer is "hired" for a non-living wage (basically "peanuts") and works the same hours as those on a full-contract, and they only have the position for one season. This is exploitation and not good for the industry, either. -sigh-
There are "apprentice" contracts which do pay enough to live on, though less than the "normalvertrag bühne" stipulates; but sadly the majority of these contracts pay miserably.

I am not sure, though, what can be DONE about any of this!

-d-
Re: Paying to ask for employment - Audition fees #

Griffin, 11.02.2013 13:46:55

Damm straight. When I was fresh from uni I turned down an apprentice contract. The conditions were - Train and rehearse full time with the company but no pay unless one of the guys called in sick for a performance. I also could perform with any other group.
I also know of a friend of mine who has two Elevens in his company. One receives less than minimum wage and the other NOTHING. Very disappointed with him.

If you are good enough to be onstage you are good enough to be paid.

:banghead: :banghead:
Re: Paying to ask for employment - Audition fees #

Griffin, 11.02.2013 13:48:01

*correction*

I COULDNT perform with other groups. Exclusive contract.
Re: Paying to ask for employment - Audition fees #

Diane (moderator), 11.02.2013 13:58:08

oh, that is terrible!

one of the main problems - at least here in Germany - is that the majority of the dancers do not speak German, nor are they in the profession long enough to want to /be able to put enough energy into getting things changed - by writing letters, protesting (there are always other dancers who would take their places!) or getting in contact with their reps at the theatres. .
Many are not even members of the/a union, though back when I was dancing we all were, whether we spoke the language or not.
There are legal loopholes for the theatres, but some of those contracts are just plain bad.

So, the dancers are exploited left, right and centre, and if they open their mouths, they are fired, and at any rate their careers are short.

Not good.

-d-



 

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