What Would You Do?

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Just got back from a weekend gig that had promised to be amazing, and was a serious let down for more then one reason.

When we arrived at the location and asked what time we would be performing, we were informed that we had no stage time, as they were not sure we had wanted it.

Pardon?

I do believe in our CONTRACT it stated we wanted to dance on a STAGE up to 2 times per day with the exception of Friday, would like a Gypsy Camp so we could have a home base to put our things, and would like our name listed in the program with a provided blurb, and lunch.

These were our requirements for performing for Tips rather then requesting payment.

I have the emails and contract where the event agreed to our conditions.

So once again…Pardon?

As to not piss off the car full of tired gypsies who just drove 3+ hours, management agreed to allow us stage time between acts. Any time there was not an act on stage was our for the taking….

Oh, unless an act needed 20 extra minutes to set up…in which case we were unceremoniously asked to stop what we were doing as we were “Stepping on the toes of the next act.” I should then mention that the management was WRONG, as they assumed it was half an hour earlier then it was and the next act only needed 2 minutes to set up, and then started late anyways…oh and they still blamed us.

We had no stage time set, no one knew we were supposed to be performing, there for we made no tips. All of us are in the red thanks to this trip.

So here’s the real kicker…We apparently have something of a following in the area, as we were approached by more then a few people and told that we were their favorite thing from the faire last year, and we’re the reason they came back. At least we have fans and they’re loyal.

And now the question I present to you, the masses. To my fellow dancers and not….

What would YOU do in this situation? Would you write to management and explain you are very unhappy that the agreements weren’t honored? Would you simply refuse to perform there again next year? Is it even worth the time and effort? I’m curious to see what others think.

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5 responses »

  1. There is a serious need to convey the disappointment over the obvious BREACH OF CONTRACT. The Faire failed to meet it’s obligations. While i am not advocating for legal actions, though there was a loss of money due to the Faire, I do feel that making them aware of their egregious behavior it rather important. This wasn’t just a fun jaunt down the street, this was a job(doing something you truly enjoy, but still…), I would take the time to put a strongly worded letter together and remind them that you would still be willing to do the Faire again provided they don’t bollocks it up.

  2. I would complain in writing to management, and unless something changed drastically, I wouldn’t be back next year. Producers tend to assume that belly dancers are so desperate to get onstage they’ll tolerate anything. Unfortunately, this presumption is often true.

    I walked away from a gig once. On the phone the producer seemed fine with our terms. When I arrived for the meeting and she handed me the contracts, I thought it was a typo. But no, she planned to pay $20 per dancer, for 7 shows over a 4 day weekend AND we had to park our cars. 4 days of parking cost $24!!!
    She said “Another troupe agreed to do it for this price”
    I said “Call them”
    She said “They backed out”
    I said “You get what you pay for”
    She said “You have to honor their agreement or I’ll sue you”
    I said “Bye” and left.

    Sometimes the thrill of being onstage just isn’t worth it. We’d get a lot more gigs if we cut our fees and were more flexible, but we’d rather do fewer shows that are more fun and enjoyable.

  3. I’d write a letter explaining your issues — your contract, etc.. As for whether or not to perform there again, I think that you should as long as there’s a more solid agreement.. Not saying that yours wasn’t, I’m saying I’d be overly careful and keep in constant contact — possibly ask to see the advertising.. Your fans shouldn’t suffer because of the mistakes of others :)

  4. Definetly talk to management and/or send a full letter detailing the whole issue, including a copy of the contract. Also a copy of the new contract for next year, with all the details. Make sure to leave signature spots for all involved parties of the Ren Faire ie: Stage manager, Public liason, Brochure printer, that type of thing. Perhaps they just have trouble finding qualified people to run the show and they were having problems of thier own. Offer them help possibly? I know how much you guys loved this show and enjoyed it the first year, I would say don’t give up them! If you stick around, you can jibe them for it later how you stuck with them through thick and thin from the very beginning!

  5. I would need a schedule in writing prior to going next year plus reimursement for gas that way they are motivated to make sure they get you stage space. I would write a very businesslike professional letter stating that your following came to the rennfaire and presumably bringing money in but you lost out and was even kicked off the stage very poor professionalism especially since you have a contract.

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